Is that a doll?

Why yes, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Why does it matter to you? I know this may sound harsh, but really I don’t need random people giving me their opinions on what my child should be playing with.

H started playing with baby dolls at an ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class we were taking. He would rock the baby and feed the baby. It melted my heart watching him play with the baby dolls. He always knows when a real baby is nearby and makes a point to say hello. He’s a loving and caring child and I will nurture those qualities no matter what.

I was telling my mom how much H wanted a baby doll and kept asking for one. She sent him the one seen in the photo above. He was beyond excited to get HIS BABY. The joy in his little body was so great, he smiled so big when he opened his package.

Since his baby arrived, they go everywhere with us. The baby doesn’t have a name yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loved. The baby goes to the gym, the grocery store, to school pick up, etc.

I can’t tell you how many people commented on the fact that my son was carrying around a baby doll. A friend said to me when discussing this issue with people inserting their opinions, “Do you think they would have made a negative comment if he were carrying a stuffed dog?” Honestly, I don’t think any comment would have been made or if there was it would have been, “Aw, so cute!”.

I tend to walk away when people make comments at the store, but maybe I need to take the time to explain to them that there is nothing wrong my son playing with a doll. To me, I see a child learning to be nurturing (he changes the baby’s diaper and feeds them too), caring, and pretending to be just like his Mom and Dad.

H is learning and growing. It doesn’t matter what he plays with, he’s using his imagination and developing important life skills. So, yes, my son is playing with a doll. Playing with his baby is no different than him playing and using his imagination with his tools, cars, trucks, superheroes, stuffed animals, etc… It shouldn’t matter to you what he chooses to play with, what should matter is that we are raising loving, caring, and compassionate children who will one day excellent friends, uncles, fathers, partners, and contributing members of society.

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Potty Training

I am so ready to be done with diapers. For one, they are expensive! I also am just ready for H to go to the bathroom on the toilet.

I remember potty training L like it was yesterday. Our goal was to have him potty trained before H was born, and that definitely didn’t happen. He was showing signs that he was almost ready, like hiding when he went to the bathroom, telling us AFTER he went, and just being really interested in the bathroom. We let L pick out fun new undies and we let him wear them throughout the day while we had a timer set for every 30 minutes. We all were getting very frustrated and decided to stop for a few weeks and try again. After about three week we tried again with L and there were no issues or accidents, HE was ready…we can’t be ready for them.

So, here we are, H is two and he is definitely showing signs that he is interested. He tells me when he has to go to the bathroom (he won’t sit on the toilet unless he wants to…and this kid has multiple options from potties to toilet seat covers). I ask him often if he is ready to sit on the toilet and his response usually is: NO THANKS! ( At least he’s polite about it.) He also loves to flush the toilet and take all of the toilet paper off of the roll.

I think we need to try the same techniques we used when training L but I know we will need modifications because they are totally different children. Firstly, I need to take him shopping for his own undies. H likes to wear L’s over his diaper from time to time, but I want this to be special for him too. I am ready for H to be out of diapers but I’m not sure that he is quite ready… maybe in a few more week we will really be able to start!

So here is where I need you! Send me your tips and ideas! I want to add to my bag of tricks! So please let me know how you potty trained your little one(s) or how you plan on training when you/they are ready. Feel free to send wine too!

Minnesota Children’s Museum Night

Mini Postal Workers
The car wash might be the boys favorite exhibit! They can get all soapy and wet!

This week we got to explore the Children’s Museum after hours! We have been many times but there something about Matt being able to come after work even more fun!

We two hours to play and explore and that time flew by! I know we could spend an entire day here! It’s such a fun space for children and adult. There is even a sign that said “Attention: For Children and for those who use to be Children”.

For kids of all ages!

We are so lucky to live in a big city where there are so many opportunities for us to take our children so they can grow and learn as individuals, with each other, and with other children.

My only complaint…the parking garages 😂 Other than that, this place is a membership worthy spot, especially with the cold winter months coming up!

Parenting Styles/Trends: How do you feel about them?

img_3921I sat in a class recently and we discussed the “new” parenting trends. We broke into groups and really dug into a few of them. Some of the ones discussed were: Lawn Mower Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, Attachment Parenting, Tiger Parenting, and Free Range Parenting.

I sat there and just wondered…why do we have to label how we parent? Are we just opening ourselves up to be judged and shamed? While researching some of these parenting styles, I learned that one came from someones memoir, not anything that was meant to be a parenting book.

I know as a mother today, dads too I am sure, I always hear about mom shaming and I know none of us want to be judged or shamed, but we are. For example, Free Range parenting can land you in trouble with the law in many areas.

So back to my title: How do you feel about them? What do these trends say about us? Do we need to label ourselves? Do we have to fit ourselves in one little box? As I looked over the list, honestly I could see myself grabbing at pieces from each “trend”. I don’t fit into a box. Truly, once I hit 30 I stopped caring about what people thought about me…as long as my family is happy and we are doing the best we can, I’m good.

What do you want your parenting to say about you? How do you want to feel at the end of the day? Do you want to parent just like your parent(s) did or do you want to go the opposite direction? My parents always told us that they raised all 4 of us the same way and we are all so different. Each child is going to be their own person, different from you, your partner, or anyone else for that matter. You might have to change up your parenting regularly…and that’s ok! As long as you are taking care of you family the best that you can, that’s all that really matters isn’t it?

I took a few moments to think about how I want to describe my parenting:

  • supportive and involved but not overbearing
  • an advocate but not super aggressive
  • patient but not lackadaisical
  • respectful but not a pushover

I am NOT saying I am all of these things all of the time but I work towards those. My parenting has changed since the beginning but I am evolving as a person as are my children.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent, just be a real one. If you need help, ask for help. Find your tribe, and if you need help I am always here. Let’s work together and not put labels on ourselves. Let’s just love our children and raise them to be good human beings.

Potty Training 😱

With H just about 2 he’s starting to show signs he’s getting ready to learn how to use the Big Boy Potty. (I swore I’d never use the word “potty” and I catch myself using it in convos now.)

He’s hiding now, so we know he’s becoming aware of what’s going on when he needs to go.

He wants a front row seat when anyone heads into the bathroom which is super fun.

Honestly, I forget all about potty training! I don’t remember how we started with L. I need tips and tricks!

Thankfully we have a super cute potty on the way thanks to Wildkin!

Send Lysol, Clorox, and wine!

Back to Reality

It’s so good to be back home with the boys and dogs! It’s so good to sleep in our own bed. But it was back to reality bright and early, the boys were ready to play at 6 am!

I think the time away was great for us all, the only thing I’ll have to remember for next time is to rest and relax a little more!

I will write a post later today about the fun adventures in DC!

SOS! Clinger Alert!

The photo above is an actual photo of me taken this morning. Ok, it’s the Cynthia doll from Rugrats but I swear this is how I look/feel today.

I have a clinger and I don’t know what to do about it! H is having a seriously hard time with L going back to school and it’s definitely throwing his mornings.

Today (and it’s only 9:45 am) I went to the gym after dropping off L and I tried to get H to stay in the childcare room. He cried for 15 minutes and would not let go. Monday he had a rough time at the gym alone too.

Well today, we left. I have serious guilt about not working out but I think my “mom guilt” would be worse if I left him crying and a mess for the full hour.

I’m just looking for suggestions on what you (any of you..moms, dads, babysitters, teachers, aunts, uncles, anyone who loves/takes care of a child) would do or how to handle my little clinger. He’s my baby and he won’t be a baby much longer. I don’t want him to be so distressed he doesn’t want to go to the gym or any classes alone again.

Please comment your suggestions and then come on by for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Family Photos

We have been having family photos taken starting with our maternity photos when I was pregnant with L.

We have been looking for a photographer since we moved to Minnesota but life got busy and I haven’t had the time. When my SIL and her family were visiting, she and my MIL set up a photo shoot for the family that was here and we had a lovely afternoon.

Now let’s be real, you NEVER know how the photos will turn out when children are involved. H was being so silly and running and crawling away. L got to the point where we was done and just wanted to go look at Lake Minnetonka and watch the boats. At one point L became sad and was pouty, I told him to smile and here was the result…

Big thanks to my sister for the zoomed in photos! This kid is cracking us up!!! Every time I see this photo I can’t help but laugh! When I showed him the photo he also just giggles!

Now our photographer was amazing and really did get some amazing shots of everyone (I’ll share some more once I have time to decide on favorites!) and we will totally use her again. She was great with the children and even let L take a few photos with her camera! He’s a little photographer in the making.

I hope this photo brought a smile or a giggle to you. And if you should have a rough day, come back and take a look again!

Sorry About The Small Hiatus

Hey there! It’s me! I know I haven’t blogged a while (it seems like forever), but life has been crazy! Big things coming! Stay tuned as I know I’ll need lots of ideas and input!

Minnesota has been treating us well! We have made some awesome friends and have done some fun things! There is still so much exploring to do and we are excited about it!

I’ve been going to the gym a lot, 4-5 days a week but I sometimes get that “MOM GUILT” in thinking I’m taking away time from the boys and doing fun activities with them, but an hour during the week is ok for me to workout, right?!?! Ooo, I’ve been trying out the Pilates Reformer too and I think I’m in LOVE! I have one more private reformer session lined up but I might just have to add some more before I’m ready to dive right in to a class.

I am also looking for activities to do for the school year. L will be in school each day, but half days. H and I will be looking for toddler friendly activities during that time for sure! (PLEASE tell me they have rock climbing or skydiving for an 19 month old…because I feel these are things he craves.) As for L, he wants to play soccer for sure in the Fall! He also really seems interested into Hockey, but that’s a world I know nothing about and it scares me!

Well, both kiddos are awake and my coffee is lukewarm! Time to get this day started!

Love to you all! Thanks for reading and always coming back!