Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No One Mentioned THAT!

As I stumble through parenting I frequently think 'why didn't someone TELL me about this?' whenever I encounter something new and challenging. There are so many things in parenting people don't really share or warn you about about. That's why I vow to tell it like it is. Ask me anything about parenting and I'll tell you what worked and what most certainly didn't work. All kids, families, and situations are different but I'm the type of person that prefers to hear it from another mom rather than a book or tv.

I thought I'd write down some of the thinks I wish someone had mentioned to me PRIOR to going through it myself.

1.  The sleepless nights start before the baby arrives. At about the 7 month mark not only was I waking up all night to pee but I also started waking up with back pain, hip pain, leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, etc. I would have to shift positions at least once an hour. It's like a little, tiny bit of training before the baby comes because the difference was I could always at least try to go back to sleep vs. when the baby came I always had to physically get out of bed.

2. Showering and washing your hair becomes a luxury you can't always afford.

3. There will be times you can't stand hearing the word 'mom'. Usually it's when it's the only word you hear for 60 seconds straight.

4. You will almost never be able to use the bathroom without having someone disturb you. No matter how quiet you are, or how far away in the house you go - they'll find you.

5. There will be times that you feel completely unappreciated. You likely went from working a job 5 days a week where people frequently said thank you, or showed appreciation for your efforts.  The days I feel unappreciated are the days I tend to sit down and start searching the internet for a paying job!

6. One moment you can't believe how much love you can have for this little person and the next you can wonder if someone will buy them from you because they're drving you insane.

7. Your bladder will never be the same.

8. Sometimes you'll look down at this little human being and won't believe they came out of you. My daughter is almost 4 1/2 and this still happens to me.

9. The one thing they don't teach you in your prenatal classes - how to get your baby to sleep!! Even if you think you have a good sleeper you're almost guaranteed to have a problem at some stage. If you have any issues let me know and I'll tell you what we learned in the sleep training class we took :)

10. There will be moments where you can't help but cry with pride, love, laughter and happiness. The first day you leave them at school, when you see them share or show kindness to another, when you see them playing a sport or singing in a concert...the moments are endless and those are the moments that make it ALL worthwhile. Especially when they say ' I wuv you' - that NEVER grows old!

All in all, if you ever have any questions or encounter a situation that makes you wonder what is going on feel free to ask me and I'll be sure to be honest with you :)

*all blog enteries I post are my own views and expressions :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Baby to Preschool - Things We Couldn't Live Without!

My baby just turned 3 so really I can no longer call him my baby! As we are done adding to our family it made me go through our household and realize we no longer needed certain things. As I was throwing away things like baby powder (that we used maybe once) it got me thinking about what I found to be essential while they were growing up. I have a few friends with babies on the way and some that are getting into that next stage of baby to toddler so thought I'd put together a list of a few of the items that worked well for us and were our 'must haves'. Feel free to add your 'must haves' to the list :)

Baby - Toddler

1. Penaten - this stuff could dry out ANY rash our kids had even as toddlers. It's bloody near impossible to wash off your hands afterwards so I suggest you wipe it off first with a baby wipe and then wash it off.

2. Soothers - ACK - for the life of me I can't remember the name of the brand we used but it's the kind they give you at the hospital after your baby is born. You can't buy them in stores like Toys R Us but can get them in Bo Bebe or e-children. Our kids loved soothers and yet we were able to break the habit overnight with both of them.

3. Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier  -  When your baby (or toddler) has a cold and has a hard time breathing this thing will be worth it's weight in gold, especially in super DRY Alberta.

4. Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe - I never used a sleep sack because you can't pin the kid's arms down like in a traditional swaddle. Babies like to be super snug like in the womb so we found the SwaddleMe was a great because the swaddle is held by velcro so you didn't have to reswaddle them throughout the night. We would also swaddle them so their hands were positioned by their face because on almost every ultrasound we had (17 between the 2 kids) their hands were always right in their face; trying to put their fingers (or sometimes the whole hand) in their mouth.

5. Jolly Jumper - you don't need the kind with the musical mat, just go for the original. If you kid is destined to like it (which most are) then they're going to LOVE the bouncing alone, they don't need extra stimulation.

6. Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat - we never bought a high chair, we didn't need one after we paid 1/3 the price and bought this instead. It was so handy as we just strapped it to any chair anywhere we went - restaurants, the grandparents, over to visit friends that didn't have kids, etc. We even kept it to use at our house when friends with small ones visit us; it takes up so little space it's super easy to store.

7. Johnson's Baby Body Wash - we still use this stuff on the kids because it's so gentle on their skin and on the eyes.

Toddler - Preschool

1. Snack Traps - these were great to travel with because you could put Cheerios or goldfish in them and they won't fall out. Kids tend to take a bit to figure them out but when they do you'll find they don't make a mess and are easy to clean.

2. Playtex Cups - our kids started our with the Sipster (with double handles) and still use the Twist & Click Straw cup in the car, the playground, etc.

3. Pampers Clean 'n Go Wipes - I use these things like CRAZY! I have them in the kitchen, in the car, in the diaper bag (that no longer holds diapers but now holds changes of clothes and such - yay!!). It's hard to get the kids to wash their hands after ever activity, especially when they can't reach the sink, but if you keep a pack of these at their level they get used to wiping their hands after crafts, and eating.

4. Kula Klips - made by a local mom these hair clips are great and don't fall out but because of DD's crazy hair I'm a huge fan of the Pony O's because she looks super cute in pigtails and the bows are so sweet!

5. Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock & Nightlight - Ahhhhhh - let the angles singing come in here. This product is a life saver, we have one for each kid. You program it to change colours when it's ok for the kids to get out of bed. The kids really abide by it, we have the odd time they get up before it turns green but then you remind them and they go back to bed until it changes colour!!

6. Ikea step stools - the things are like $6!! Put these in your bathrooms so the kids can wash their hands and brush their teeth.

7. Children's Tylenol - you need this way more then you'd ever hope to need it but between teething and them touching the floor, door handles, toys, etc, and then sticking their hands in their mouth or eyes they'll be sick a fair amount. Suggestion: DON'T buy the Berry flavoured one as it's dyed and can stain, buy the grape one that is CLEAR.

There's just a few of the products that we found to be fantastic in our household. I'm sure I missed 4 dozen products we use all the time but these were the ones that were at the top of my head :)