January 26, 2015

Hurtful Words: When My Daughter Says "I Don't Love You"

hurtful words #ivysvariety When My Daughter says "I Don't Love You"

I struggle with my mother-daughter relationship.  When I first found out I was having a girl, I worried.  I'm not a girlie-girl and I don't really know what to do with one of those.  Even more so, I had a strained relationship with my own mother for as long as I could remember.  Finding out I was having a girl brought back so many negative memories.  How could I raise a daughter when I never felt right about how I was raised?

Well, we do what we must right?  Here we are, approaching 4 years and my daughter tells me "I don't love you, I love Daddy."

I'm heart-broken.

I struggle to be a good mom.  I try hard to foster her interests and to do things for her, even when I don't feel like it.  I try to hug her, kiss her, and tell her I love her often.  And, despite all I experienced as a young girl, I force myself to tell my daughter "I'm sorry" when I realize I'm wrong or behaved inappropriately.

January 19, 2015

Another New Years Resolution: Clean and Organize the House

new years resolution clean and organize pantry

It's never too late to work on New Years resolutions (though maybe they aren't called New Years Resolutions at this point).  I've been considering this for a while, but just started following through so I thought I'd mention my progress.  I've been needing to get my house more cleaned and organized.  Living here for over a year, we still have things unpacked and shoved into corners of the house.  It's rather embarrassing.  And, it's even worse that we generally just keep adding more stuff.

January 12, 2015

On Almond Milk and Homemaking

You know, I'm completely fed up with articles on how all these foods and drinks in the stores are bad for you, and you can just simply go home and make your own replacement.  I admit, most of my  disdain for these articles isn't directly related to the article and the idea that they're probably genuinely trying to help, rather I'm frustrated by the fact that I already spend so much time in the kitchen making all sorts of foods because I can't purchase most of what's in the grocery store for my own consumption.
silk almond milk unsweetened picture
Photo credit: Silk.com product list

January 05, 2015

The Elf on the Shelf and Failed Parenting Tactics

Elf on the Shelf pulling ceiling fan chain

I was sitting working on my blog and registering for sweepstakes one day during my daughter's quiet time.  It's time I get to use to be productive or have a break from the insanity.  One particular day, just a few days before Christmas, I was thinking of all the presents I still have left to wrap, and then I began to think about our Elf on the Shelf tradition.

The idea behind Elf on the Shelf is that she's supposed to report the kiddo's behavior back to Santa every night.  We've told our daughter numerous times that Doodle (our elf's name when we started the tradition with S at 2 years) is watching her and she's going to report back to Santa.  More often than not, because my daughter at 3 has entered the terrible two's, we remind her that Doodle will be telling Santa she's being a bad girl and he doesn't give presents to bad children.

December 29, 2014

Making a New Year's Resolution for 2015

I rarely make New Year's resolutions.  I know that a) I won't stick to it and b) I never know what I most want to improve.  The last couple years I've been working on my health, but that's come with necessity as it has failed me miserably and I knew I HAD to get better for the sake of my husband and daughter.

#ivysvariety giraffe at Animal Kingdom New Year's Resolution 2015

Recently, I began to realize that I wasn't able to find much joy in my day.  Struggling with my health, constantly in the kitchen cooking Paleo, and trudging through the day listening to my kid whine and argue with me has taken a toll on my ability to see the beauty in life.  It wasn't until a recent, & almost completely horrible day at Animal Kingdom with the crankiest kid in the park, that I found a moment of beauty in spite of it all.  In this moment, I captured a wonderful shot (above) of a giraffe during our safari ride and completely forgot about the arguing, crying and screaming I'd listened to all day.

December 23, 2014

After by Anna Todd from Wattpad to Published Novel #AfterSaga

After by Anna Todd One 2 One Network #Aftersaga

I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One 2 One Network.  I received a free copy of the book and will receive monetary compensation for sharing information about the book and writer, however, all opinions expressed here are my own.  I feel I should clarify, ahead of time, that this is not a book review.

So, here's the cool thing about After by Anna Todd.  She began writing stories on Wattpad as Imaginator1D.  Wattpad is a free mobile social reading and writing app that can be used on your phone, tablet or computer.  It connects readers and writers socially and is a great inexpensive hobby.  Anna began After on Wattpad and gained more than 1 billion reads and over 6 million comments.

December 15, 2014

Disney World Alone With Toddler or Preschooler

Tackle Disney World when it's just you and a toddler

The family recently took a week long vacation to Disney World.  Planning for the Disney Vacation was problematic, but we ended up having such a great time.  When my husband had to spend a few days away from home, I decided I would put our annual passes to good use and take the kiddo back for an overnight trip to get out of the house.  I learned a few things taking her by myself and wanted to share our experience.  So, here are some things to think about it you're venturing to Disney World alone with a toddler or preschooler.

December 08, 2014

Why I Let the iPad Babysit My Kid

As you probably know, I'm not a fan of allowing too much television or sitting idle in front of electronics.  I'm prone to limit the time my child spends on them because they make her whiny and unruly.  It's terrible!

In the last week, I've broken my own rules on limiting access to electronics and sitting idle watching videos.  For a few weeks, the kiddo has been whiny about everything and it's been driving me insane.  (You know it's okay to admit these things publicly, right?!  Maybe I just say that because I need to feel better about it)  I couldn't really stand it anymore.  It didn't matter if we were busy doing school work, coloring, playing, eating ... she wasn't happy with anything.  For a while there, she complained with "I don't feel good" if she was being reprimanded for her behavior.  She was seeking pity ... I know this because she wouldn't say it when things were going her way.

November 24, 2014

Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Toddlers or Preschoolers

non-toy gift ideas toddler preschooler #ivysvariety

I've most certainly written about how much stuff we have in our home and wondered if I could live in a tiny house.  I know the answer is no, but for the desire for simplicity and the ease of cleaning, I'm still daydreaming.  My child's playroom is growing more like the playroom I'd hoped for her, but I had never realized how much stress it would cause me in how much time I have to spend cleaning and the need for more organizational items (and the skills to implement a better organizational system).

All this got me thinking...

It's about time to start worrying about Christmas and all the toys we're bound to receive.  The thought made me cringe.  I can hardly bear it.  I've had some difficulty getting rid of the toys my daughter doesn't use and I'm going to have to find room for more?  I need to put a plea out there for fewer toys.  So, here's a list of the non-toy gift ideas I came up with for toddlers and preschoolers.  (hey family: there's a few hints for you if you're reading this)

November 17, 2014

Online Home Preschool Resources - Free and Paid

It's no secret I was working on a home preschool program last year with my daughter.  It was informal and was a way to help me teach her things I felt like she might have been missing out on by not being in daycare.  This year, we've started another round and I wanted to share the resources I'm using.
online preschool education resources

Bear in mind, these are just a selection of resources I use and certainly doesn't begin to account for the many resources out there.  Additionally, I find it useful to use many sources to tailor our program to our needs or moods.  Of course, because this is somewhat an informal way for us to educate ourselves, I find it most beneficial to use as many free online resources as I can find.  This year, I have a very large binder I put together of print outs and the only thing it has cost me was printer paper and ink (not counting the preschool art and craft supplies).  I do use several other paid-for educational resources to boost our program and change up our learning options.  I have provided the paid-for resources at the bottom of the list in the form of affiliate links.  If you click those links and make purchases, I will be paid a small commission, but it will not cost you any more than if you went to the site directly.  I wouldn't recommend those resources if I didn't find them useful.