“How Toddlers Thrive”

Raising Toddlers is a tough gig. With their growing desire for independence we forget that this age still is very dependent on us as caregivers. With me, my first kiddo was determined and sensitive from the getgo. I honestly didn’t realize it until I had our second child and saw how different the two are. My youngest has just been more at ease and laid back from day one compared to my first. Through the tough days, I still acknowledge how amazing she is and I thank her for teaching me how to grow into a stronger and whole person because really, it’s my past that I haven’t healed when I’m triggered from one of her meltdowns or the like. I’m apologizing a lot and letting her know I’m trying to be a better mama and sometimes I ask her how I can be better for her. Usually her response is more hugs and kisses.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this transformation didn’t happen over night. Every day is a challenge and every day I learn more and more about myself and about how to be supportive to my family.

Recently, I finally started listening to an amazing book that I hope every parent either listens to or reads the book “How Toddlers Thrive” by Tovah P Klein

This book reminds us that these kiddos with such big emotions are kids. The ability for children to plan and deal with transitions and process through feelings takes place in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which isn’t fully developed until around age 25! The author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” has an amazing, yet simple mantra she used to use when her kids were “being difficult.” She would breath and repeat in her head “she’s just a little kid.” This has really helped!! Recently we went on a shopping trip for some clothes for my youngest and she wanted to go with. She had a big meltdown, one of the firsts about not being able to get a toy she wanted and I breezed through it while supporting and acknowledging her feelings! It was tough getting past the thoughts, “what do these other customers think of my parenting,” but then I just reminded myself that I didn’t care. I WAS SUPPORTING MY CHILD. I think too many times we parents forget this and become too worried about what other people think. We need to get past our feelings by taking care of our needs and healing our past so we may honor our children and support them as best as possible.

The beauty of being sick…

Yes, the title to my post this week may sound a little crazy, but stay with me…

We started the kiddos in daycare 7 weeks ago… since then, it’s been a germ factory in our home and at least one of us has been sick since then. I’m starting on my second round of being sick in the last 6 weeks and so are my kids!  Summer colds are the worst, but I have never been in a cold continuum for this long! I don’t mind being sick if it’s me vs the kids, however, I’m starting to get really pissy from all this sickness. We’ve missed work and there were days that I left my youngest crying and miserable at daycare.

No, I can’t really blame it all on daycare, although I’m sure that’s where it stems from. The real problem is that our immune systems have been weakened to the point where we haven’t been able to fight off all these germs. How, you may ask? Well it seems once I deviated from the keto diet, my food choices haven’t been as healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not eating out at fast food joints, however, I have eaten some foods that I know weaken my immune system (fish and chips and ice cream… and then the occasions where my husband and I ate the majority of the brownies he made… twice). I am done! I woke up yesterday feeling like garbage again and I won’t do it anymore! The worst is seeing my children in pain from coughing or seeing their constant running noses.

So what I’m doing is cutting out all added sugars until I’m feeling well and then allowing myself something sweet on occasion, because I feel deprived when I won’t allow myself to have something indulgent every once in a while. I will eat fruits when I feel a craving come on or  better yet, drink my tea.

Second, we are cutting back on meat. When I went on the keto diet, we reintroduced meat into the family and it seems like this was right when we all started getting sick. Not saying that this is a definite contributor, yet, I believe that eating a lot of meat isn’t great for the body (or the planet, especially if not sourced from a pastured farm). A little bit every once in a while is okay, but I feel like we started to go a bit overboard.

I know being “stuck” indoors doesn’t help either, and I know that allergies have been bad this year, which I’m usually not a victim to until this year. All I know, is that I’ve been slacking on the diet and that stops here. And really, so does the pissy-ness… Rather, I’m thankful to my body for telling me that I can’t continue to feed it unhealthy foods and expect to thrive. I’m thankful that my family and I only have a cold and not something worse. The body is so intelligent and it’s constantly telling us if we need to change something up- be it pimples, fatigue, colds, cold sores, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. So rather than getting grumpy, which only makes things worse, thank your body for the signs/signals and change it up! And take this time to slow down and soak up stillness.

I know that I’m not the only one who has been struggling with their diet this summer. Have you had a hard time eating healthy this summer? If so, what are your challenges? What do you feel would help? I’d love to hear from you and help!

 

 

 

My little achiever

In our home, we had a “word of the day” which stayed the same for about a year with my eldest kiddo. The word was paleontologist and she picked it up at her sitters house when she was just 2. Since then, she has said she wants to be a chiropractor, a midwife, a barista, and still a paleontologist after 2 years later. She even says that she wants to work with me some day. Her father and I have always told her that she is totally capable of doing all of that, however, it’s going to be a lot of hard work. I also remind her that she should find something that she’s passionate about when she’s ready to really think about her career. She never seems to mind those reminders.

Then, we went to a spring fair for kids a few months ago and there was a woman who was representing the Mammoth Site where they do digs every day throughout the summer for kids. We decided that this was going to be on our list of to-dos for the summer!

I signed her up for Friday last week and we all hopped in the van with our lunches and headed toward the dig site. We got there with some time to spare so we played around in the gift shop and the “Kids Cave” and then there was an announcement that the little diggers were about to head out to look for mammoth bones! After the kids (probably about 15 kids) got their name tags on, we walked to the dig site and got to learn a little bit about fossils and the proper way to dig them up. For example, do you know the difference between an archeologist and a paleontologist? Archeologists may dig up anything that is connected in some way with humans and a paleontologist may only dig up things not connected to humans such as animals or plants.

My daughter was the last kiddo to get to her dig spot and she was really into it for about 10 minutes and then she decided she’d rather just play in the soft dirt they were all digging through. She got to a bone and started to expose some of it and then got bored with it so I took over. As I was digging up more of the bone, I heard the instructor say that some paleontologists don’t find anything for years… I was excited about digging up our replica bone and thought that maybe I should have a career change, until I heard that. Seems like it would be a tedious, boring, and frustrating job most of the time. My husband took over after a while and finally, we exposed a rib from a mammoth. Then we took a self-guided tour around the actual dig site before heading back home.

On the ride home, my daughter still says she would like to be a paleontologist, along with the few other careers I mentioned above. We had such a fun time together (okay… there was a little bit of whining from my daughter…) and are looking forward to our next adventure together…