Friday, April 24, 2015

Personalizing Motherhood (a guest post + $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway!)

Hello! I’m Julie, and so thankful to have the opportunity to get to know Faith and to come together to share tips and adventures in raising our little ones. I hope this article is helpful to new and experienced mamas, and would love your comments and feedback. Please stop over at Everyday Happiness and say hi!
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Looking back, I was relying solely on instinct and my mom to teach me what to do once my son was born. Since I had watched a lot of Rosie Pope and The Duggers, I thought I knew exactly what to expect with a baby {yeah right!} My pregnancy symptoms were by the book, and I when everyone told me, “get your sleep now!” I thought, oh they don’t know I’m a morning person.
Now this post won’t be a “reality was so much worse than I could have imagined.” In fact, reality was so much BETTER than I ever could have imagined. But it was really hard in ways I didn’t expect, and I didn’t know what I was doing. My mom and my husband’s mom were there to help me, but I was fixed on figuring it out myself.
I started doing my own research, and stumbled upon a few books, including Secrets of a Baby Whisperer and On BecomingBabywise, and a bazillion blogs. By nature I am a person who loved routine, so I was drawn to some of the methods describedBabywise. But then when I googled “babywise” horrific stories and blogs came up attacking the book and the methods it supposedly recommended to help your baby sleep.
I also found in my frantic research that there are essentially two main schools of parenting today that were on completely opposite of the spectrum– Attachment Parenting and Babywise Methods.
Attachment Parentingaccording to WebMD, is a method that focuses on nurturing the relationship between mom and baby. It encourages parents to respond to baby’s cries immediately and follow the baby’s schedule. Developed by pediatrician William Sears, M.D., it also recommends breastfeeding, holding and soothing baby when crying and co-sleeping. It’s from the mindset that mama and baby are “one” just like when the mom was pregnant.
Babywise methods say that parents set the schedule for baby. The books I read encourage you to follow the same schedule every day for naps and feedings to help regulate your baby’s sleep clock. Some people also say this method encourages CIO (cry it out) methods.
First of all, these are two very confusing extremes in my mind. I found myself feeling guilty for thinking attachment parenting seemed right, but too time-consuming. But then I found myself swinging toward Babywise scheduling tendencies and incorporating methods of Attachment Parenting.
For example, I never, ever practiced CIO methods and I think it’s a misconception that you must do CIO to make Babywise work. I found other blogs outside of the actual Babywise book that did a better job explaining how Babywise was a way to help develop a schedule for your baby, but should only be used as a guideline. That was so different than other attacks I was reading online about how militant you had to be with Babywise to make it work.
I also read The Baby Whisperer, which had looser, but similar guidelines as Babywise. It recommended the “EASY” routine approach rather than a strict schedule. As Shep has gotten older, we’ve leaned toward this approach more than a strict schedule. The “EASY” routine says “Eat, Activity, Sleep, You.”
During weeks three and four, Shepard was crying at some points 5-7 hours a day no matter who was holding him. I remember vividly Clint walking Shep around the block around 11 pm multiple times to help him settle, to no avail. Clint and I would do everything to make this sweet boy happy, and sometimes we found that after five minutes in his Rock and Play, he finally could relax and take a nap. We found sometimes WE were the distraction keeping him from resting or settling.
What I know now is that I am a modern mama with crunchy tendencies. I knew that developing a strong attachment was important to me, but so was routine. My natural instinct was to help him and hold him whenever he cried. I also knew I wanted to move toward getting him in a better schedule. And I knew at 13 weeks I’d be heading back to a full-time career outside of the home. Those were my realities.
I found around the 6 week mark when I started instituting a routine, Shep’s really fussy periods started to decrease. I started to relax. We both knew what was next and got into a groove. That said, I also started babywearing whenever I could, and still had him sleeping in his Rock N’ Play in our room. I didn’t stick to one parenting method except the one we carved out for our family that worked best, and I don’t think anyone else should feel pressured to pick just one method either. God gave us parenting intuition and the love for our child to help us throughout he tough moments. It’s not a multiple choices test. Our babies are individuals with complex needs just like us, and we’re all continually learning how to help and love our little ones better every day.
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About Julie: As a new mother, Julie is energized by combining her love of writing and the adventures of parenthood on her blog, Everyday Happiness. Julie enjoys spending time with her husband, Clint, their first child, an almost one-year-old boy named Shepard and their dog Cooper. Julie grew up in a small town in Ohio but moved across the country to attend Arizona State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She is a true morning person who loves running with her jogging stroller, Bible studies, and being outside in the Florida sunshine.

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I (Faith) am so thrilled to have Julie guest posting today as well as hosting a generous giveaway for everyone! Make sure you visit her lovely blog, Everyday Happiness to stay up to date with baby updates, motherhood encouragement and tips as well as some yummy recipes!
Enter below to win a $50 gift card to Target as well as 50% off any order at Daisy Designed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Getting Housework Done with a Toddler (LINKUP)

Getting housework done while caring for a toddler sometimes takes strategic planning. Since most of us have the responsibility of housecleaning, cooking and keeping a crazy toddler alive, it can seem like a crazy juggling act at times. 

Part of what this link up is for is to share ideas for the more complicated areas of life with a toddler so I'm looking forward to reading tips from you all as well!

Here is how I manage my home while caring for my busy two year old. 

1. Let your toddler help
I know this sounds like a lot more work. 
It is.
 But it is also not time wasted. 
Toddlers just want to do everything that you are doing and that's a wonderful thing even though at times it may start to drive you crazy I am learning to embrace my shadow and let my two year old "help". We have a lot of fun working together on housework even if it doesn't always get done quickly!

Here are some of the chores around the house that we do together. 

-laundry: She loves to hand me the clothing items out of the basket for me to fold. This also keeps her from destroying my neatly folded piles!

-dishes: I pull her little chair next to me and let her rinse the soap off the plastic wear and silver wear or I just give her a plastic cup and a clean sponge and she is happy!

-sweeping and mopping: She has her own little broom and dustpan so I give her a section of the room to sweep and clean while I'm working on the rest of the room. 

-washing windows/cleaning: She loves to wipe down the windows with me. I use an 100% toxic-free cleaner from the company I'm a rep for: Healthy Home. I use that same cleaner for all of my cleaning so that I don't have to worry about her helping me. Here is a link to where you can purchase it if you are interested. It's called CLEAN.

-picking up toys: I try to consistently teach my daughter to clean up after herself and put her toys away. This is definitely a chore to do together!

-cooking: This one is the hardest for me. I love to have my daughter help me with dinner but it gets VERY messy letting her stir/pour/dump etc... If I have plenty of time to prepare dinner and clean up, I let her help me as much as I can. The kitchen is where memories are made and I want my daughter even now to have great memories of baking and cooking with her mama :)

2. I distract her with her own special activity.

I keep a lot of her toys put up in separate boxes so that she doesn't get into them all at one time. It's a real mess saver, but it also gives me an opportunity to distract her with a specific activity if I need to get something done around the house. 
Here is a list of the different activities I have for her to do if I have some work to get done:

Play dough
Finger Paint
Puzzles
Chalkboard/Whiteboard coloring

I also try to match what I give her to do with what I'm doing so she feels like she is doing something similar. If I'm cooking, I ask her to cook me a meal on her play kitchen, or if I'm paying bills, I give her a pad of paper to scribble on. Those are just a few of the activities that keep her busy for a short period of time so I can get things done. As a last resort there is always Curious George. He is the ultimate distraction in our house :)

What about you? I would love to hear how you manage your home and keep your toddler busy. Link up below!




In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!







Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc
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Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mommy Moments #143

Welcome to Mommy Moments! We hope you all a week filled with wonderful memories! Let's keep it up by sharing and promoting Mommy Moments and the wonderful community we have here! I have enjoyed getting to know all the new mamas linking up and sharing their lives with us! I can't wait to hear more from you all again this week! 

Motherhood has its seriousness and frustration as well as its laughs. That's why we are here. Life is much easier when traveled with companions! So mamas, let's join together in the spirit of motherhood and share our moments together. We want to hear the happy, sad, tough, terrible, hilarious moments that make being a mother the best job in the world!




The top viewed link this week belongs to Jess from Sweet Little Ones and her post Adoption Update: We have a son! We are so thrilled for Jess and her family with the addition of this sweet little life and we can't wait to watch him grow! Thanks for linking up with us Jess!




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A  Beautiful Ministry


Daily Momtivity

Now, link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

Then, explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 


Please, pretty please, we'd love it if you would tweet or share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!
We would also love it if you could add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up! If you are not able to copy/paste the code on your page, please e-mail one of us and we would be happy to send you the code!

The Life Of Faith
<div align="center"><a href="http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com//search/label/mommymoments" title="The Life Of Faith"><img src="http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/faithkonrath/cfa5ba11752f4e898055d03d33cf24e0.jpg" alt="The Life Of Faith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>



P.S. We will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you!

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Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

One Year and Beyond Link Up-Our Potty Training Stories!


Our potty training journey began when my daughter was around 18 months. At least that's when I wanted it to begin. *Cue all the experienced mama's laughter*. I really thought that my daughter was going to potty train just because I decided she was ready. 

It didn't take long for me to realize, that she wasn't.

I tried the "three day method" and we sat at home for three long days with movies, juice and no diaper. When I let her sit on the potty to watch movies, she did great and would pee in the potty after about an hour of sitting, but unless she was sitting on the potty all day long, she went on the floor. 

It took me all three days to realize that my daughter really didn't have two necessary skills to potty train. 

1. She wasn't even aware when she was peeing. 
2. She didn't know how to intentionally pee

Mamas, trust me when I say, those capabilities are necessary!

And so I swallowed my pride and decided to wait.

A month before she turned 2, she started telling me all on her own that she needed to poop on the potty. Along with that, she finally discovered how to let her pee go in the potty as well. 
And yes, she does sing "Let It Go" when she is on her potty chair. 
Oh the irony!

As soon as she showed interest in using the potty, I added to her interest with a double reward system that included princess stickers AND chocolate chips. Every time she peed or pooped on the potty she received a sticker to put on her chart as well as a chocolate chip. Since she knew how to pee and poop on the potty, she willingly participated in my game!

After just a week of the reward system, she was in panties with only 1-2 accidents a week. Woop woop!

The key for us, was first of all waiting for her to have the ability to control her bowel movements and then consistently rewarding her, encouraging her and teaching her! I also had to remember to take her to the bathroom every couple of hours when we were home and when we were out. It is actually a lot more time consuming than changing a diaper at my convenience, but it sure beats changing a stinky one!

 Initially, I had my own idea of how potty training was going to work based on things I had read, but we ended up working together and figuring out our own system! I would love to hear how all of you mamas figured it out with your toddlers as well!

P.S. When we went on vacation 4 months later, I decided to put her back in diapers since I didn't know when we would be around a bathroom. BIG MISTAKE! She regressed and it has taken us over a month of consistently working with her to get back to where we had been. Don't do what I did!

B
In this link up we want to share with you what we've found that has worked for us as new mamas to toddlers. Because we're experts  after being moms for a few years or so, right? Not really, but we have some experience and want to share what we've learned and we'd love to learn from you, too!

               Here's our Hosts for this round!







Here are the topics we will be talking about this Month!

April 2nd. Spring activities and craft ideas for toddlers.

April 9th.  How  you keep your toddler occupied while grocery shopping.

April 15th.  Potty Training.

April 22.Ways to distract a toddler while you're cooking/cleaning etc.

April 29th Clothes shopping for your toddler. (Where do you get the best deals, where do you shop, how do you save money) etc

 
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Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mommy Moments #142

Welcome to Mommy Moments! We hope you all a week filled with wonderful memories! Let's keep it up by sharing and promoting Mommy Moments and the wonderful community we have here! I have enjoyed getting to know all the new mamas linking up and sharing their lives with us! I can't wait to hear more from you all again this week! 

Motherhood has its seriousness and frustration as well as its laughs. That's why we are here. Life is much easier when traveled with companions! So mamas, let's join together in the spirit of motherhood and share our moments together. We want to hear the happy, sad, tough, terrible, hilarious moments that make being a mother the best job in the world!




The top viewed link this week belongs to Micah from Deeper Life Today and her inspiring post 31 Days Of Prayer Week 4. Wow, what a great reminder that even in the midst of our never ending to-do list, time spent in prayer with God is one of the most important yet we often neglect it. Visit Micah's blog for some great challenges in your prayer life! 
Micah Maddox



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A  Beautiful Ministry



Now, link up your post!
Post can include anything related to mommy-hood, children, homemaking, pregnancy etc. If you aren't a mom yet, feel free to link up your preparation for motherhood, your journey as you try to conceive, or even a post that would be encouraging to the other moms in the party!

Then, explore some of the other posts in the link-up and say hello to some new blog friends! 


Please, pretty please, we'd love it if you would tweet or share the link up on Facebook so we can all make even more friends!
We would also love it if you could add the Mommy Moments button to your post or blog so everyone knows where you are linking up! If you are not able to copy/paste the code on your page, please e-mail one of us and we would be happy to send you the code!

The Life Of Faith
<div align="center"><a href="http://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com//search/label/mommymoments" title="The Life Of Faith"><img src="http://i1114.photobucket.com/albums/k537/faithkonrath/cfa5ba11752f4e898055d03d33cf24e0.jpg" alt="The Life Of Faith" style="border:none;" /></a></div>



P.S. We will be having a new guest host every week! Want to be a guest host of the Mommy Moments Blog Hop? Send Faith a message at farmprincess14{at}gmail{dot}com. We would love to have you!

Photobucket
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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