Sunday, November 23, 2014

One Size Doesn't Fit All

Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together, they make this world a beautiful garden ~ Author Unknown

These days, I seldom make it to a store to try on clothing.  I mean, if I brought my almost three-year-old shopping with me,  I’d probably end up running out of the dressing room naked to try to catch the little escape artist.   So, that means, if I need a new shirt, I shop online. 

The last time I purchased a shirt, it was from a brand that sold one size fits all items.  That’s really funny to me because, everyone knows that’s not possible, unless you’re a character in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".  

However, I really wanted this shirt so I went for it.  A few weeks later,  when it showed up at my doorstep, I was happy that the shirt did fit me.  Still, it was a little tight for my liking and emphasized my muffin top a wee bit too much.  

The idea of ‘one size fits all’ is silly.  There isn’t one shirt out there that will fit everyone in the world, at least not how we want it to fit.  

This got me to thinking about how sometimes I try to fit my kids into a one size fits all category.   In fact, I’ve caught myself saying, ‘Why doesn’t my son like the zip line swing at the gym… daughter loved it.”

And then I stop myself because what I’m saying…’s ridiculous. 

After all, there isn’t a “one size fits all” manual for each child.

We can’t always use the same discipline method for each child.  What works for one may not work for another. 

We can’t make our kids fit into a specified learning style.   One may be a tactile learner while another may be a visual one. 

And, we can’t stuff them into football jerseys and assume they will become football players.  

Most importantly, we can’t  assign a checklist to our children, a list of personality characteristics and achievements, that they should possess or meet.

If we did these things, we would strip them of the characteristics that makes them unique. 

When I catch myself questioning why my kids do this or that, I will remind myself of a poster I saw that said “No Two Flowers Bloom in Exactly The Same Way” because children grow, develop, and love in all different ways.  Indeed, nature can be cruel but it also teaches us plenty of life lessons.  

In order to help children bloom, we must be willing to adjust our discipline methods and the way we teach. 

We need to support their choices (even though sometimes we have to say no).

But most of all we can love and encourage them, because, like the sunshine and water that flowers need to grow, these methods will help our children develop and thrive, in their own way. 

As for now, I’m think I’m done with shopping for clothing that only has one size….it’s just not natural.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

15 Reasons my Toddler Might be Mad at Me Today

You’re having a great day with your toddler. Suddenly, he or she becomes angry. You’ve done something tantrum worthy. Now, your toddler is crying, screaming, or both. People are staring and a stranger might even say, “Why is s/he crying?” Well, I’ll tell you.  There are a lot of reasons my toddler might be mad at me today.  Some of the reasons might make sense and others might be downright baffling.  

1. I wouldn’t let you eat the entire bottle of toothpaste.

Yes honey, I know that grape-flavored toothpaste tastes oh so yummy. However, even though it’s just training toothpaste, I’m pretty sure consuming an entire bottle wouldn’t be very good for your tummy.  

2. I gave you the red cup.

I gave you the red cup but you really wanted the green cup because water tastes so much better out of the green cup. Did that make sense? It didn't to me but it’s part of toddler language 101. 

3. I wouldn’t let you run into the street.  

I understand that you want to get to the park. Still, we need to wait for the little blue man to tell us we can walk.  

4. We had to leave the park.

I enjoy being at the park too.  There is plenty of space. We meet friends there and the birds eat up all of your cracker crumbs. Yet, there comes a time, when we have to go home, have lunch, and pick up your sister from school.  She will want to go to the park too so you know, we’ll just end up back here again in  a few hours. Don't look at me like that. 

5. I made you put on clothes.

I’m sorry you wanted to run around naked all day, but we needed to go to the store. You’re lucky you live in Southern California.  However, it’s still almost winter and getting a bit chilly out there. 

6. I wouldn’t let you dump a mountain of parmesan cheese on your spaghetti/pizza/ whatever!

Not only does parmesan cheese have an uncanny ability to settle into nooks and crannies, but a big mouthful could make you choke.  

7. I’m trying to make a phone call.  You want to talk too.

I know that my conversation with the air conditioner repair man sounds riveting. I can assure you it’s not. If a telemarketer calls, I’ll be happy to let you talk.

8. Your fruit snacks fell on the ground in a sticky puddle of something at the mall.  You want to eat them.  

Yes, you may believe in the five second rule, but I don’t, especially not at the mall. 

9. You want to use the toilet at the same time I’m using it. 

I know I’m trying to encourage you to potty train but I’m not going to get off the toilet mid-stream. That could be messy.  

10 . There weren’t any car shopping carts at the grocery store.

I realize it’s fun to pretend like you are driving but those cars are popular. Really, it's not my fault. Perhaps, we could talk to the manager about having more than two car shopping carts on the premises. 

11. I wouldn’t let you have another cookie.

Those things are really good but mommy doesn’t want you to have any more sugar. I’ll make sure to save the rest of the cookies for later or eat them in the closet when you aren’t looking

12. You don’t want to ride in your car seat.

Yup, driving a car IS a lot of fun. However, you can’t ride in the front seat because it’s dangerous and I’m pretty sure I would get arrested for letting you. 

13. You want to do it ‘all by myself’

I love to encourage your free spirit and I’m excited you want to be independent. But no, I can't let you put the pasta in the boiling water (all by yourself) because yes, that's dangerous. There are a lot of things that are dangerous. I know, mommy isn't any fun at all.  

14.  You want to draw on your sister's homework.

I'm excited you want to learn but I don't think your sister wants two big lines and a circle on her math homework. Maybe you can help when she brings home some geometry.

15.   I wouldn't give you that.

It may be a steak knife or my wedding ring or my tax return.  I'm sorry but you can't have everything you want. Perhaps you'll understand when you get older.  

Don't be mad. Just remember that I'm doing all these things because I love you! Soon, you'll forget why you're mad at me and go on being your happy self. 

Why is your toddler/child mad at you today?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Taking Care of Yourself: A Jamberry Nails Review (and a giveaway)

Sometimes, I'm so busy taking care of my kids that I forget to take care of myself. Suddenly, I realize that I'm thirsty or I need to pee or my legs are dry and in desperate need of lotion. Do you do this? As a parent, it's important to take a time out to exercise, rest, and do something nice for yourself. Little things like doing my nails can make me feel pampered.

This is why I was so glad to be given some Jamberry nails to try in the Floral Oasis pattern.  

*** I received the Jamberry nails for free in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn't recommend a product if I didn't believe in it.

What are Jamberry nails? They are non-toxic, vinyl based nail designs that allow you to give yourself a beautiful manicure or pedicure. Unlike nail polish, they aren't wet so you don't have to sit around and wait for your nails to dry. With a toddler running around the house, I don't have ten minutes to wait for my nails to dry. Also, Jamberry nails don't chip or have a chemical smell.

So, how did I like them?

I think Jamberry nails are amazing. My favorite part is all of the different designs. I love polka dots, flowers and stripes on my nails. However, it can be hard to make intricate designs on your own nails and when you mess up, you have to take off the polish and start all over again. Who has time for that?

With these nail wraps, the pattern is already on the 'heat-activated nail wraps.' They have so many options for the holidays too and there are Jamberry Juniors made for smaller hands. Jamberry wraps come on sheets so they don't take up a lot of room either.

Here is a You Tube video to show you how easy these nails are to apply and remove:

It's important to follow the directions so that you get the most "life" out of your Jamberry manicure or pedicure. I used a hair dryer to heat my nails for a few seconds (be careful).

After five days of doing dishes and cleaning up tons of messes, my nails still look great!

If you're interested in learning more about Jamberry nails you can check out Katie's Jamberry shop. She's an independent consultant for the company. If you like Jamberry, you might want to take advantage of their Buy 3, Get One Free Promotion. Katie also hosts Jamberry Facebook parties. If you host a party, you can earn free wraps. Check out her Facebook page here.

Katie was nice enough to give me another variety of wraps, in Etched Leaf, so I could host a giveaway.

Enter below for a chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Contest is open to residents in the US.  Must be 18 or older to participant.  Only one entry per household, per address.  The winner will be chosen at random and will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be selected.  Void where prohibited by law. This contest is not affiliated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.  No purchase is necessary to enter.  Contest ends on November 23 at 12:00 am.

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Happy Place

When the sink is full with dishes, your toddler is throwing a tantrum, and you’re surviving on only a few hours sleep, it’s nice to have a happy place to visit.  Awesome mom blogger Mama by Fire wrote about some things that make her happy and then asked me to participate.  So here it goes….

My Happy Place is…..

Disneyland because, well, it is the Happiest Place on Earth.

Sibling love because it makes me happy when they get along, hold hands, and give spontaneous hugs.

The beach! I can't get enough of the weather, the salty breeze, and the beauty of the sun setting over the water.

My partner in crime!  We've been married for 11 years. 

Cupcakes!  As a mom, I have plenty of cupcake-worthy moments

So, there you have it!  Now, I'm asking Alana from Healthy Family Simple Budget, Tarissa from Introverted Mama and Sue from For the Love of Family, Fitness and Food to tell me about their Happy Place!

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Sting of Parenthood

Last week, as the dismissal bell rang, I shaded my eyes and looked for my daughter, S, coming out of the gate.  Suddenly, my toddler, M, started crying and grabbed at his eye.  

It was windy so, at first, I thought something had gotten in his eye.

But no!

A bee had stung him.  A parent sitting next to me saw the bee on my shirt and I quickly flicked it off.

Then, I saw the stinger.  It was about a centimeter from M’s eye and I quickly plucked it from his face (You’re supposed to scrape it off but, at the time, I wasn’t thinking).  

Naturally, I worried.  This was the first time he had been stung and I had no idea if his face was going to swell up, or even worse, if he would have a serious allergic reaction.

And, where was my daughter?   

In case he did have a reaction, I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.  I got some ice from the nurse, grabbed my daughter’s hand, and hurried off campus.

As we approached the car, my worries subsided a little.  M’s face was red and slightly swollen, but mostly from crying.   Fortunately, he didn’t end up having have a serious reaction. Still….

How did I not notice a bee on my son’s face?

He was sitting right on my lap and I was unable to protect him.  

And, that’s what really stings…..that I didn’t stop it from happening.

There have been times as a parent when I have felt powerless because something bad was happening to my children and I felt like I couldn’t fix it.  

For instance,  there was the time when my daughter’s heart beat started slowing during delivery, because  the cord was wrapped around her neck.  I felt powerless as the doctors discussed emergency c-sections and assisted deliveries.  As I listened to the thump thump sound on the monitor become slower and fainter,  I wondered if she was going to make it.  At that moment, I felt terrified.  When I heard my daughter’s first cries, that terror quickly turned to joy, but the memory is still fresh.

There are many moments in life when we will be unable to protect our children, even if we take preventative measures. 

It might be when your toddler takes a nasty tumble on the playground and even though you were right there, you couldn’t stop it.

Or when your child is upended during a soccer game while you are standing on the sidelines.  

Or when someone says something mean and hurtful to your child at school, at the park, or anywhere. 

Then, there’s the sting of rejection, of failure, of loss. 

These experiences are painful.  They make our hearts hurt and our minds swell with ‘if I had only’ thoughts.

If I had only put a guard on that corner, the baby wouldn’t have hit his or her head.

If I had only helped ____study more, he/she would have gotten a better grade.

But the truth is there are only so many preventative measures we can take because sooner or later, our children will get hurt, physically or emotionally and it will sting and the venom may fester under the surface.  

Although I was pretty sure M was okay, I took him to the pediatrician.  Interestingly, the doctor told me that even though M didn’t have a bad reaction, he could with a second sting.  After all, allergic reactions can intensify with each sting.   

I’ll do my best to prevent my kids from provoking or stepping on bees.  However, I can’t promise M won’t ever get stung again because pain is part of life.  Unfortunately, often times, it is people, not bees, that inflict the most pain…..the type of pain that leave scars both inside and out.   

I’m already on the lookout for these types of people, the ones who sting on purpose.  Yet, they seem to be everywhere.  

Yet, the good news is we can lessen the pain.   Love, faith, laughter, and conversation are all powerful remedies.  

For me, knowing that God is there cradling my babies, through it all, is a relief.  And, I remember,  Psalm 147:3: He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds.

And, suddenly, I no longer feel powerless. 

Have there been moments in your life where you felt powerless?

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Our Growing Roots

Sunday, November 2, 2014

10 Signs You've Been Sucked into the Mom-petition

The mom-petition……..I try to stay out of it.  However, sometimes, I feel it sucking me in.  To combat it, I try to hang out with other parents who aren’t trying to one-up me.  We can talk about our kids. We can talk about breastfeeding, potty training and school. However, no one tries to make their child out to be better than the others. I'm glad. Frankly, some moms scare me because they are constantly making veiled put downs, bragging about their kids and asking passive aggressive questions. According to the, the mompetition is "the one-up rivalry that moms play making their child seem better, smarter, and/ or more advanced than yours." Here are 10 signs you have been sucked into the MOMpetition.
1. After school, you make sure to flash your daughter's 100% Math Test at all the other parents.
2. When Timmy starts singing the ABC song at playgroup, you prompt your child to sing the same song in Spanish.
3. You frequently encourage the kids to race because you know your child is the fastest.
4. You complain to your mommy friends, "It's so exhausting trying to find something to challenge _____."
5. You share your child's test scores and batting average on Facebook, frequently.
6. When running into acquaintances, you make sure to let each person know your son just finished his MBA program (or M.A. or Ph.D).
7. Your response to a mom with a sick child: "I'm so lucky. ________ never gets sick. I breastfed him/her for two years."
8. When your child is offered some crackers the park, you say (rather than simply replying no thank you), "No, those are loaded with sodium and preservatives." Then, you pull out your own homemade, gluten-free, organic crackers.
9. When Sally is having a hard time taking a nap, you say, "Oh, so you never taught your child how to self-soothe." 10. You frequently tell stories about how your child walked by nine months, potty trained by age two, swam by age three and so on.
I think it's normal to be proud of your child's accomplishments. I think we all want to be recognized as good mothers. However, at some point, you have to ask yourself if you are trying to compete with other moms. If you are, find some new friends or just stop trying to "win" the mom-petition.

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