August 03, 2015

How I Plan to Start Our School Year with Less Stress


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reduce stress new family routines when starting school


Starting school is an exciting and stressful time in our lives.  Shelby is beginning VPK (preschool) in September, which means new routines for our family to adjust to.  As it is, we roll out of bed when we want to and I try to take the morning easy.  Honestly, mornings are never easy as there are so many things that need to be accomplished before lunch.  Even though we're fairly early risers, the rush is still on in the mornings.

Enter the extra stress of starting preschool.  We're going to need to wake up a little earlier to start our days, and I really want to do this without added rushing around.  Now we have to be out of the house by a certain time, ready to go, and maintaining as decent a mood for arriving to school as possible.

I currently start Shelby with pancakes as I prepare eggs and sometimes bacon every morning.  We get dressed when we feel like it and usually don't have play dates until 10 a.m. or later.  So, I know our routines are going to have to change for the 3 days a week she'll be going to school.  I've spent plenty of time trying to figure out how to enter school with less stress, and, so far, this is what I've come up with:

July 27, 2015

Will I Survive the Terrible Year of the Threenager?



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I feel pretty confident that the answer is no!  Maybe physically I'll survive ... nothing has succeeded in killing me yet.  Mentally, however, my threenager is making me more and more insane.

kids they'll make you crazy threenager
Image Source: Jokideo.com

Forget the "terrible twos."  In comparison, I loved two.  My daughter was learning a lot, soaking up all the information you gave her.  She was sweet and polite, using her manners regularly.  I actually enjoyed being around her, and she seemed to be happy around us.  I'd venture to say she even liked me.

Now?

July 20, 2015

Reduce Anxiety, Get Excited about Preschool: 7 Awesome Books



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children's books to prepare for preschool #ivysvariety


It's time to really start talking to my daughter about going to VPK.  She starts in September and she's only been in a daycare setting 2 times in her life.  When we talk about preschool, she seems enthusiastic, but she often asks me if I'm going with her.  Explaining to her that I'll take her and drop her off to be in school with new people happens to be more difficult for me than you might think.  We're big on reading and she seems to grasp subjects better when we read books geared toward what I want her to understand.  So, we've been reading a few children's books to help reduce any anxiety and get her more excited about entering preschool as a big girl.  Here's a list of books we've read which may be helpful if your child is nervous or unsure of preschool.

July 13, 2015

How to Help Your Child Accept New Baby with Books

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books prepare child for new baby sibling #ivysvariety img


I'm no expert on this, but I've finally gotten my daughter to agree to hug and kiss the new baby.  When I first found out I was pregnant, I asked her if she would hug, kiss, and help out with a new baby.  "No" she'd respond sternly.  As long as I can remember, she's never liked babies.  In fact, she's always wanted to divert our attention from them and remind us SHE was the baby.  Only in the last year has she started to become more comfortable around babies as she's had a new baby cousin and lots of new babies in our playgroup.

When I realized she needed a little help understanding what being a sibling was like, I knew I wasn't going to be offering much in the way of positive experiences to help her want to be a good big sister.  In my own upbringing, my family didn't do much in the way of making a new baby a positive thing for me.  I'll spare you the details of all the times I had to watch my brother because my mom wanted to enjoy something, as I felt held back from enjoying some of those childhood moments.  I won't say I was an angel about it either .... I mean, I did intentionally wake him up so I could go swimming with my cousins.

I don't want the same experience(s) for my daughter.  I want her to want to be helpful and enjoy having a new baby in the house.  I want it to be fun, but I also want her to know that she is just as important to us as she was when she was the only child in the house.  And, I needed to remember that my choice to have another baby didn't mean that I let her handle some of the dirty work when I don't want to get left out of something.  That meant, in order to prepare her for being a sibling, I needed to prepare myself for trying to offer her a more positive experience as a big sister and first child.  So, I began borrowing books from the library so that we both could read up on bringing a new baby into our home, and what it means for all of us.

July 06, 2015

Please Don't Give Me a Push Present, Unless...

push present thoughts ideas img

I found the topic of push presents, or push gifts, to be rather materialistic in nature.  I, still, can't quite grasp the idea that a woman should receive some fancy trinket or bauble because she has given (or will give) birth to a baby, which, more than likely, SHE wanted in the first place.

I say these things as a mother of one and currently expecting my second.  With my first pregnancy, I enjoyed it rather immensely and I was just so excited to be having a baby that gifts other than what we needed for the baby never even came to mind.  I carried and delivered a baby because that is what I wanted to do.  No one forced me to have a baby.  I wasn't doing it out of guilt or obligation.  I was having a baby because it was a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.

June 29, 2015

Do You Like Being Pregnant?

With my first pregnancy, I loved the majority of the nine months.  There were a few days that weren't quite pleasurable, but overall, I had a decent pregnancy.  I think the couple of times I didn't like it were the few days of morning sickness or inability to eat, and the hot summer months when I was at my largest.  And, as most mothers experience, the last couple of weeks were miserable as I was too large around my midsection to tie shoes or bend over to pick up anything I dropped.  I remember trying many of those home remedies to evict my little one early, but overall, I really liked being pregnant.

May 04, 2015

To the Mom with the Bluetooth Headset Who Judged Me for Being on the Phone

parenting and hypocritical judgements mom wars


I was struggling one morning dealing with being sick but forcing myself to get ready for an Easter event with our playgroup for my daughter.  I had been sick and sluggish for weeks and today was no different.  Except that this day, I had to put on my big girl panties, try to do my hair, force myself to look alive, visit a grocery store, and make it to our Easter event on time.  My daughter needed this day out of the house to play with her friends at the park, and I needed her to run out some of her energy without needing me every two seconds.

I'd waited a week for lab results, knowing they were going to show I needed an increase in meds.  I'd been extra sluggish and lacked motivation to do more than sleep.  I was a walking zombie, which I knew wasn't good for the baby I had recently found out I was going to have.  (Yes, this is also how I'm announcing my second pregnancy to my readers.  I was on the phone back and forth with doctor's offices trying to make immediate appointments and waiting for call backs on questions I had.  And, while I was doing my hair, my father in law called.  I had to let it go to voice mail, otherwise I was never going to get out the door in time to pick up what we needed at the store for the party.

By the time we arrived at the park for our event, I was tired, frazzled, and was still waiting to get things cleared away for my med increase.  My daughter had spent the morning crying and being at the park with her friends wasn't as much relief from the dramatics as I had hoped.

Finally, she was playing on the playground and I noticed her making friends with a girl, slightly older and not much bigger.  I was amazed and impressed that my daughter was actually making friends on her own... and not with a girl in our playgroup.  I was somewhat relieved as I watched her follow her around giving me a few minutes of peace as I continued to wait on hold.  Then I watched this new little girl take a mis-step, slip, and land on her bottom.  She got up and chased down my daughter to whine at her like it was her fault.  I was annoyed, but I let it go when I heard my daughter say "It's okay, it happens."  (Darn right, I didn't raise a wuss!)

April 30, 2015

Why I'm Still Proud of the Baltimore Mom Controlling Her Rioting Son

I admit two things when I saw the video of this Baltimore mother who was angry that her son was involved in the rioting.  The first, is that I was cheering her on, because I was glad to see that at least one mother was taking responsibility for her child's actions.  Secondly, I was a little perturbed that she was repeatedly hitting him.  Still, some of the remarks on social media and blog posts regarding the instance hit a nerve with me.

I sat down and read a post from a mom blogger who believed that we shouldn't be applauding this mother for her abusing her son.  This particular blogger also quoted another blogger on how a "peaceful parent" would handle their child in the midst of rioting.  Further, she states that America needs more "bleeding hearts" like herself.  Before I express my opinions on this matter, you can read up on the post about the so-called "abusive mother."

My rebuttal is as follows:

April 13, 2015

Children's Clothing I Can't Stand!

I honestly don't know my inspiration for this post ... I was sitting down relaxing on the couch during kiddo's quiet time and I began thinking about clothes she would need for preschool.  Somehow, that turned into thinking about all the styles I've seen in the last few years that I have found absolutely atrocious.  So, I thought it would be funny to share my thoughts on children's clothing styles that I can't stand.  Read on, and don't forget to leave me your comments ... I'm certain you will have plenty to say.

Firstly, when I began seeing Matilda Jane pop up, I was absolutely sickened by their styles.  My list is TOPPED by the pants that make me think of clown pants.

You put your kid in these:

Matilda Jane Legume Leggings
Matilda Jane Legume Leggings (photo source matildajaneclothing.com)
I see a clown costume:

April 06, 2015

More Simple Blogging Tips for Beginners

more blogging tips for beginners #ivysvariety


I previously wrote 10 blogging tips for beginners.  It appeared that there are still plenty of people just starting their blogging journeys or those struggling to get readership.  I'm no expert and I'm not making much money, but I've been at it long enough to have learned a few things I've found invaluable, so I would love to share more tips for new or struggling bloggers.  Perhaps in the near future, I can start sharing slightly more advanced tips to push you to the next level.
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