Archive for February, 2014

Bu-Bye Bottle

Friday, February 28th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory was diagnosed with another ear infection last week. This was his third total and his second one in six weeks. In addition to having to schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss whether we should be considering putting tubes in his ears, or other preventive measures, we were also given strict instructions from his pediatrician to try to get him off of bottles. Apparently there are differing schools of thought, but our pediatrician’s stance is that bottle feeding increases the chance of ear infections (based on the reclined sucking involved).

We’d started weaning Rory from the bottle to the cup at his first birthday, but he came down with a stomach flu shortly thereafter that threw our phased approach to reducing his bottle feeding for a loop. The past two weeks, however, we have been making a much more concerted effort to reducing the overall volume of formula/breastmilk in each bottle and, instead, offer him a sippy cup or straw cup with milk throughout the day (at meal times and snack time). As of this week, we’re down to two ounces of milk/formula per bottle. He’s still not a big whole-milk drinker, but we’ve been making a concerted effort to ensure that he gets around 8-ounces of whole-milk yogurt in addition to his milk to ensure that he is getting enough calcium. He also LOVES cheese, so we try to incorporate that as another way of getting him calcium for his growing bones.

I’ve worried a bit about whether or not Rory is getting enough to eat now that he is moving almost entirely to solid foods and his liquid nourishment has taken a back seat. We’re fortunate in that he seems to be a pretty good eater. And he has started to enjoy feeding himself with a fork and spoon, so mealtime carries a new-found sense of independence, as well. In that respect, I feel confident that he’ll continue to tell us when he wants more to eat. But I know that we are going to face a bit of a struggle as we move away from using bottles in the nap time routine. So far, he’s done alright, but I am a little apprehensive about how he’ll do when the bottle is gone entirely. For now we are taking things one step at a time and hoping it continues to go smoothly. Fingers crossed.

Safe Travels

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I have witnessed several major accidents in recent years on roads and at intersections that I drive everyday with my two young children. The collisions were frightening even at low speeds. My husband reminds me of the importance of not driving distracted, especially when others are.  I want to take every precaution to preserve my children’s safety.

We bought a vehicle with numerous airbags and we installed the latest car seat systems in the second row of seats.  I have read countless articles, blogs and official recommendations for several types, models and features of car seats. When we get a new seat, we make sure to read the manual for proper installation and fit. We make sure our children are strapped in properly, EVERY time we drive.

The annoying thing about car seats is that every year experts from the NHTSA, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others constantly change their recommendations about the type of seat required based on age and weight, direction (rear/forward) facing, as well as technical limits on latch welds and seat belt positioning.

However, I cringe when I see irresponsible parents allowing small children to ride unrestrained in vehicles.  I wouldn’t rank myself as a car seat know- it -all, but when it comes to safety, I want the best for my family.  The examples I see at the pick up line at school scare me… knowing small children are at a high risk of death because they are not restrained in an appropriate car seat or even buckled in for that matter.

Soon we’ll be in the market for a new car seat.  Hopefully all the latest regulations will be posted with clarity.  I want to make certain my kids, and other children riding in my vehicle, are safe at all times.


Sad Times

Monday, February 24th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Over the weekend, my family suffered a profound loss. My grandmother passed away. Even though you mentally prepare yourself for things like that happening, it’s always tough to deal with in reality. I’ve been through difficult things before, of course, but this challenge took on a whole new meaning as I navigate it as a parent.

Haley was very close to my grandmother, whom she called “Great-Grandma.” She has definitely noticed her absence, and I’ve tried to explain it in the most simplistic terms. It’s probably a conversation I will continue to have with her in the coming months. I worry about what will happen weeks from now when Haley sees a picture of the two of them together, and it really starts to hit her that my grandmother has not been around.

Yet I’m so grateful that I have those pictures; that Haley had three precious years with her Great-Grandma. In our culture, it’s considered a special blessing when one is lucky enough to reach the title of Great-Grandparent. I know it meant a lot to my grandmother to get to know my daughter, and it was an absolute joy to see their close relationship develop.

Like every loss, this one is a reminder that our time together is finite. It’s difficult not to take your loved ones for granted. As painful as it is to say goodbye, it’s a wondrous thing to have had a life full of joy and laughter. And if you are very fortunate, as Haley and I are, you will have amazing people there to help you get through the sad times.

One Small Step

Friday, February 21st, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory took his first steps last week. Luckily for us, mommy and daddy were snowed in for the day in the fairly extensive storm that struck the northeast. That meant that we were there in person to see those exciting, tentative, wobble-filled steps forward.

When it happened, we all looked at one other with excitement (Rory included). I then spent much of the remainder of the day trying desperately to capture the act on video. The best we could muster was a single, fifteen second shot of a few shuffles forward, which we sent around to the family once we gave up on the likelihood of getting anything more that day.

As with many milestones, Rory has been slow to repeat his newfound skill. He has definitely been standing up more often, but he strongly resists walking on demand. In fact, we’ve decided that he is actually more inclined to walk when you are least expecting it, and definitely only if he is the one initiating the effort. So we’re trying our best to be patient.

It is only a matter of time now before he’s running circles around our living room. With any luck, the warmer weather they are predicting for this week will arrive as scheduled so that we can let him exercise those legs outdoors very soon!

Back Seat Driver

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Over the years, my children have been very curious about the rules of the road.  They frequently ask questions about driving, road signs, turn signals, and parts of a vehicle. When Jack was a bit younger, he would always find it fascinating how quickly we could go and how quickly we could stop.  He would ask questions like; “What makes the clicking sound when we turn?” ”What makes us go faster?” “Is gasoline like food for the van?” Perhaps we have an engineer on our hands.

Tate is also extremely curious when riding in the car.  However, he is more concerned with road signs and whether or not I fully stopped at a stop sign.  When he was a toddler he used to shout, “Go” when he’d see the traffic light turn green.  At first I thought it was hysterical, but now he is quite the back seat driver.  Maybe I need to get him is own steering wheel for the car.

To this day, Tate still announces when the light turns green.  He gets very confused when I stop at a red light, but then proceed to turn right.  He is starting to read/memorize a few road signs and asks why it’s placed along side of the road.  It’s quite comical hearing his backseat commentary on our way home from school or anywhere we go for that matter – especially when he thinks I’m speeding.

I’m hoping their love for car/road knowledge continues until it’s their turn to sit behind the wheel.  I hope the knowledge they absorb now will make them smart and safe drivers in the future.











Monday, February 17th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I thought the famously rough patch for preschoolers usually occurs when a child is two years old. Shows what I know! Apparently, most seasoned parents are perfectly aware that though two might not be easy, three can really throw you for a loop in terms of acting up.

Haley is nearly three now and lately she has shown a new level of defiance. I always appreciated the fact that she seemed like a very aware, savvy kid. Now, it’s working against me! I thought she was testing her limits a lot this past year, but that’s nothing compared to the stuff she pulls now. It’s harder to manipulate—excuse me—convince her of things. She can be unbelievably stubborn. Her emotions are all over the chart. As social media has taken note lately, the things that make a three-year-old cry are incredible. She wants a cheese stick, so she cries. You open it and give it to her, she cries. She didn’t want it opened! Silly mommy.

I am taking it all in stride, though. Haley has her moments, but she still makes me laugh. I love her interest in and enthusiasm for everything. I think her acting out is correlated with her taking in the world and understanding it at a new, deeper level. I can understand that. Sometimes I find life overwhelming, so I can only imagine how she feels. As for her occasional difficult disposition, I’m telling myself that this too, shall pass. It has to!

On the Mend

Friday, February 14th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Our family fell victim to our first full-family stomach virus last weekend. Rory was sent home from daycare on Friday. Daddy took care of him all day and ended up ill himself first thing on Saturday morning. I was on full-time parent duty during the day on Saturday, and then fell ill over night, as well. Luckily, Daddy was feeling much better by Sunday morning, so he was able to take the lead that day.

Thank goodness the fates were on our side in attacking one at a time; otherwise, I have no idea how we would have managed. By the end of the weekend, we all wished we were able to take another day or two to recuperate.

Unfortunately, Rory wasn’t quite well-enough to stay at school on Monday, either. As a result, his Daddy and I juggled daytime duties Monday and Tuesday in an effort to get the little man back to feeling like his own self. Luckily, after calling his teacher on Wednesday morning to confirm her agreement that he sounded improved enough to return, he headed back on Wednesday.

Each time Rory falls ill, we find ourselves questioning our childcare decisions somewhat. After all, if he were home with a sitter, it is far less likely that he would be sick this often. However, by the same token, we know how much he lights up when he arrives at daycare each day and how much he is learning from the highly social environment. Upon his return this week he was running all over the room bouncing with glee at the toys around him. We know how much more at ease we are with the levels of accountability at his school, and we feel comfortable with its glowing reputation. At the end of the day, each of those things were drivers in our decision-making process. So, as inconvenient as it may be some times, we do our best to focus on getting him better, rather than obsess over the “what-ifs” and “what-might-have-beens.”

All You Need Is Love

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Valentine’s Day is a week long for our family.  We love each other every day of the year, but Valentine’s Day is a fun way to kick the winter blues. The boys and I love to make cards for family and classmates, bake special treats and decorate our house with hearts of all sizes and colors.

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, listed below are ten things I love about my kids:

1. I love Jack’s caring personality, like his mom.

2. I love Tate’s outgoing personality, like his dad.

3. I love when they learn something for themselves  – especially when I can see the moment on their faces. I can see their confidence grow, and I’m glad to help them figure out the world.

4. I love watching them play with their friends. I overhear them talking through the door and watch them play out the window. They play well with different kids and toys. I love watching them use their imaginations and the endless noises of laughter, wrecks, and imaginary explosion sounds they make with their mouths.

5. I love that they adapt well to change. I used to be stuck in my ways and obsessive. Being a parent has forced me to prioritize what is really important on any given day. The boys don’t sweat the small stuff, and it helps me accept that I don’t have to accomplish everything everyday. Watching them adapt to new environments has helped me realize being flexible can make life much more enjoyable.

6. I love their random hugs, kisses, and snuggles.  My kids are growing up quickly, and I know these gestures will be few and far between when they get older.  I take every opportunity when they cuddle up beside me to watch a movie.

7. I love when they laugh out loud at my humor.  I’m certain they’re the only people who consider me funny.

8. I love their kindheartedness and care for others.  When someone is upset they always try to help or find an adult who can.  I’m so thankful they acquired this trait. My kids display empathy, which makes me proud.

9. I love to dance with my kids. They have loved music since they were newborns.  We often have “dance parties” to cheer one of the boys up.  It’s a go-to trick my husband and I found helps them be silly and let out all their frenzy.

10. I love that my kids love me back.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter Blues

Monday, February 10th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I can’t be the only one who has HAD IT with this winter. Here on the East Coast, it’s been utterly unrelenting. We haven’t even thawed out from one storm when another one blankets the area. The days it doesn’t precipitate, it’s incredibly cold. I know that the Midwest and the South have experienced similar lows in temperature, so at least we’re not alone!

I like a beautiful snowfall as much as the next girl. I don’t mind bundling up a few weeks a year. But it’s starting to get old. Haley is not a child who likes wearing layers, and unfortunately she has no choice. Frigid weather doesn’t stop her from tearing her mittens off on the sidewalk if she’s simply not in the mood to wear them. I can’t remember the last time we played at the park. Sometimes it’s too cold to even make it to our favorite indoor hangouts. Walking on icy paths with a little one can be scary. So can driving on dicey roads.

At first, it was fun experiencing winter through Haley’s eyes. But now it’s just getting old! Usually she loves getting out of the house, but there are times when she looks at her overcoat and boots and implores me to just let her stay in. She doesn’t even think it’s worth the hassle. She’s getting more TV time than I would like. Luckily, we are visiting family down south in a few short weeks. I’m hoping that the weather will be much warmer and we can remind Haley what outdoor fun is all about!

Stranger Danger

Friday, February 7th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Like Wednesday Mom, Rory has been showing some new-found anxiety this week.  On Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from his teacher to let me know that he’d been extraordinarily needy during the course of the day– refusing to leave her side, wanting to be held, and generally just wanting to be close to her.  Apparently there were a few substitute teachers in and out of the room today, and Rory was very uncomfortable with the new faces.

I witnessed a little of this when I dropped him off that morning, but he seemed to have calmed perfectly well before I left.  We were a little worried he might not be feeling well– but his behavior when he arrived home with his daddy was stellar.  He was his happy, playful, giggly self.  In short, the anxiety was the only explanation for his breakdowns.

Rory never really demonstrated any stranger or separation anxiety around the eight to nine month mark when infants ordinarily exhibit such tendencies.  Instead, he was always pretty calm and perfectly happy to be passed around to strangers.  Now, that is definitely not the case.  According to the “experts,” toddlers tend to have such separation and/or stranger anxiety relapses around the fifteen month mark.  This anxiety can continue up until age two, though typically subsides in a month or two.

Although we are very glad to see that Rory has bonded with his regular teachers, we hope that he gets used to the new faces soon.  It makes me sad to think of him being unhappy during the day, especially knowing that I can’t be the one to pick him up and make everything all better.  Knowing that it is simply a developmental stage helps ease the sting a little bit, but I am sure it will feel even better when we’re past it.