Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TODDLER TUESDAY! Is the Breastfeeding Doll Appropriate for Toddlers?

There is a new doll on the market for toddlers which comes with accessories for the toddler to nurse the doll.  I have mixed feelings about this controversial product.  First of all, I think there is a little too much hoopla being made about something that's not a big deal in my mind.  I don't think that I would buy this product for my daughter...but that doesn't mean I have a problem with it. 
There is nothing 'sexual' about breastfeeding, therefore I don't really see this product being much different than a babydoll with a bottle or a baby that comes with diapers for changing when their wet.
If you don't care for this doll than you don't have to buy it for your child....but saying it should be taken off the market is a bit much in my opinion.  If we are really concerned about inappropriate games or toys for our children then perhaps we should focus on getting some of the violent games and toys off the market instead of a nurturing doll.

Friday, July 22, 2011

FOCUS FRIDAY! Our Newest Member!


Please Be Patient!

As most of you know, we welcomed Jacklyn Raine to our lives on July 12th.  As a result, my postings are going to be a little sporadic for the next few weeks (until I can get back in the swing of things!) I am still posting here and there but not as consistantly as I was before!!
Thanks for checkin' in and keep coming back!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Simple Sunday! Ice Cream Sunday!

Of course this special holiday would fall on a SUNDAE! 
Who doesn't love ice cream especially on a hot summer day?!  Check out this great way to have fun with your kids and also challenge their math skills!

Take a Survey:
Have your kids take a survey of their friends and family using some of these questions (or create their own!)  Knock on neighbors doors (if you feel comfortable) or call some friends and family on the phone.   
1.  What's your favorite flavor?
2.  Do you prefer water ice, gelato, or popsicles?
3.  Do you prefer your ice cream in a cone (if so, what kind) or a dish?
4.  Do you like soft ice cream or hard ice cream?
5.  What do you think is the most popular flavor of ice cream? (see trivia below)
6.  Do you prefer Rita's or Dairy Queen?
7.  Make up your own questions!!

After taking the survey, your kids can ave some fun with the results.  If your child is young they can add up the tally.  If they are older, they can have them do a prediction, add up the tallies, graph the results, and come up with conclusions. 
Impress your family and friends with some fun ice cream trivia! 
  • National ice cream day was started by Ronald Reagan in 1984
  • An average of 50 licks is needed to down a single-dip ice cream cone
  • The average American eats about five-and-a-half gallons of ice cream each year
  • Here's the order of America's favorite flavors:
    • 1st-Vanilla
    • 2nd-Chocolate
    • 3rd-Cookies ‘n cream
    • 4th-Strawberry
    • 5th-Chocolate Chip Mint 
  • Ice cream is basically just frozen milk and sugar
  • Children ages 2 through 12 and adults over age 45 eat the most ice cream
Author’s note: Information provided by the International Dairy Foods Association, www.idfa.org.

Want some more ideas to celebrate this fun holiday?  Send some online ice cream cards http://www.123greetings.com/events/ice_cream_day_june/ or watch this fun ice cream videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5bEbgBBAyU (my daughter LOVES this song!).  Finally, don't forget to visit your local ice cream shop for some fun celebrations (and maybe even some freebies!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Jacklynn Raine Langdon was born on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 12:50pm.  She weighed 7 lbs and 2 oz and measured 19 inches long.  The middle name Raine came to us becuase we couldn't think of a middle name while in the hospital and decided we should pick a name that represented one of our heritages.  Wayne came up with Raine which is a native American name from his ancestery.
So, here's the story!  We went into the hospital on Monday night at 10pm and to my disappointment I was only 2 centimeters dialated but luckily the contractions were hurting really bad although they were only 5 minutes apart.  Early Tuesday morning I got the epidural (woo hoo!)  At 12:00pm I started feeling all the contractions and was in a lot of pain.  The epidural had warn off!  When the doctor checked me I was still only 6 centimeters dialated to which I responded, "Are you freaking kidding me?!"  The nurses began trying to figure out how to relieve my pain then at 12:40 they figured out that the baby was coming right away!  Everyone started scrambling to get all the tools, lights, etc. set up (and get the doctor in the room) and I began getting a little scared.  Then, in 3 pushes baby Jax was born and laying in my arms with a beautiful, peaceful, and calm disposition. 
Recovery was so much easier this time around.  In fact, my mother in law said, "You look ALOT better than when you had Sienna"  I guess that's what happens when you have an extended labor and endure an hour and a half of pushing!  I was amazed how easy it was to get out of bed and move around compared to how I felt after I delivered Sienna.
I was able to have a provate room (becuase there weren't alot of deliveries) so it was nice to have some privacy and of course this time I was feeling more confident and was sure to send baby to the nursery whenever I needed a break. 
I was given the choice to leave on Wednesday or stay until Friday and aside from the crappy food, I was so glad that I stayed the extra day.  My mom and husband were so great about keeping the fort down at home so I didn't have to worry about Sienna.  My mom brought Sienna in to meet her little sister. The introduction didn't really go as beautiful as I had pictured in my head but it was great non the less!  I could see Sienna instantly becoming jealous and wanting a lot of attention....uh oh...we're in for it!
We came home yesterday and things have been great!  More updates and pictures will be posted shortly!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Children Tune Us Out...

I would say knowing how to choose battles with children is the ultimate test of parenting.  When I was in martial arts training, I learned a very important lesson.  My teacher explained that a hard blow occurs to your body, less injury occurs if we bend away (as oppossed to stiffening up).  I have applied this idea to many aspects of my life.  When I was learning to drive a car I learned that if a person is tailgating you, it's better to pull over and let them pass then it is to slam on your brakes and have them ram into you.  The same principle applies-reacting in anger can be detrimental to your well being.
When we apply this principle to raising children its obvious that the more we are rigid, the less we accomplish and therefore create more problems.  This morning my daughter and I got into a full blown battle of the wills because she wanted to get out of her room at 5:30am and my rule is not before 6am.  SO, not being awake enough to problem solve the situation in an effective manner, we ended up in a head to head battle lasting in an hour of arguing (not my proudest mommy moment) but I look at every experience as something to learn from.  What could I have done differently?  Did I do the right thing?  I'm not really sure of the correct answer in this scenerio, but what I do know is that there are times in parenting when you don't have to be "the winner" or prove a point and if you dig your heels in without seeing any other solution than you can often create big problems.
While I feel that being consistant when raising my children is extremely important I realize that sometimes avoiding battles can simply mean talking in a soft voice (while still being assertive) or finding a better time to discuss the situation when anger has subsided.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Boys, Boys, Boys

Boys will be boys? 
I am about to have 2 girls and currently take care of two girls so my life is surrounded by pigtails, tutus, and baby dolls.  However, it wasn't too long ago that I was a nanny for two boys and taught martial arts to boys and girls, so I do remember what that world was like...much different!
Boys and girls definitely have different biological makeup and tendencies.  It seems to me that boys often have more energy (or at least need stimulated in different ways) however, I don't think there is a huge difference unless the environment around them is expecting those behaviors of them.  For instance, if a boy is given positive reinforcement for being "a little devil" (or not given consequences for aggressive behaviors) than he is being taught that these behaviors are appropriate and will therefore continue those behaviors.   
On the flip side, I think it's important that we teach little boys how to care for others and reward them when they are affectionate or kind toward others at any age.   Also, exposing girls or boys to excessive violent games and toys can desensitize violence and make it fun.  Do we really need to look at the thousands of studies that we have seen over the years to prove that violent games and t.v make a negative impact on a child's behavior?
Boys will be boys.  They may think different than girls and are often better at more analytical activities such as how things operate.  It's important to embrace those characters but not reinforce the behaviors that lead to aggression or violence.  At the same time, I believe it's important to encourage girls to learn sports and how things work and not to overemphasize social skills and taking care of babies, etc.....
I guess I will save that discussion for another day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Toddler Tuesday! How to Get Through Those Difficult Times

Raising a toddler can be difficult.  Then you add stresses of work, marriage, and other life struggles and sometimes raising a toddler can seem impossible.  Although it may sound a little far fetched, using guided imagery can really help you work on your goals and get through those difficult times.
Guided imagery is an amazing tool for creating the life you want. Research has proven again and again that our imagination can help us build our own realities. What is that you want? What kind of family do you want to have? When you are old and sitting on a rocking chair, what kind of family to you want to come visit you?

Do you think it sounds sound corny or silly? Maybe, but chat with some athletes that have won races, people who have overcome illnesses, or people who have lost a lot of weight and you will quickly learn that guided imagery is a powerful tool. Whether these people realize it or not, they have used guided imagery (in some form or another) to attain the goals they have set. In other words, they become the person they want to be.

Can we turn our worries into dreams?
I am a women, therefore I worry (I think it goes along with the territory!) but I really think that worries can be our own worst enemy. Don't get me wrong, listening to our intuition (and taking time to listen to what is best for us is a good thing) but when these thoughts of doing what's best turn into worries, it really doesn't help us and instead drags us down; preventing success.
Instead, if we take the time to listen to our intuition, then visualize the life we want we will inevitable (almost effortlessly) create the life we want. It's SIMPLE. If you believe in yourself and take baby steps you will be moving in the direction of your goals and dreams.
Are you ready to make it happen? Try these simple steps one or 2 times a day (or whenever you want!) and watch your dreams become a reality.

1. Picture your family doing the things that you wish would change (ex. fighting, sadness, or illness).

2. Next, picture yourself throwing that picture away.

3. Create a new family portrait in your imagination with the family that you wish to become.
4. Take baby steps to move toward that image.

Interested in learning more about guided imagery? Check this out: www.holisticonline.com/guided-imagery.htm

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Simple Sundays! 3 Easy Ways to Get Your Kids to Enjoy Dinnertime!

1.  Engage children in decision making and meal preparation when possible.  Kids of all ages love choices and feeling like they are a part of the process.  When a child reaches 2 (or older), they can begin to help with stirring the food and smelling the food cooking.  As they get older they can help with picking out recipes, helping at the grocery store, and even preparing foods.
2.  Make dinner time a pleasant time by keeping conversations light and fun and also not allowing disrespectful behavior.  Try to avoid too much talk about work or adult gossip and remember to include the kids in conversations.
3.  Start a tradition.  In our family we have a special plate that we use for when a member of the family has a birthday, receives special recognition for something, or worked especially hard on something positive. 

(You can buy the special plate by clicking on my store on the home page!!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Focus Fridays! Division of Labor Among Parents

In today’s day and age, we are seeing such a shift in roles of what parents are doing in a family.  Long gone are the days of Mom having dinner on the table at 5:00 with the kids bathed and lip stick on when Daddy arrives.  Instead, we live in an age where men want to be more involved in parenting and women want to be more involved in a life outside of the house.  We are seeing both women and men staying at home to raise the kids and many stay at home parents are also working a paying job while the kids are napping or go to another job when the other parent comes home. 

The good part of this change in society mindset is that both parents are much more involved in their children’s lives and also still feeling like they have a life outside the home.  The difficult part is that parents are now putting so much on their plates that they have trouble juggling it all. 
We see this often in our home.  My husband works full time in a stressful job.  He rushes home to have quality time and dinner before our daughter goes to bed.  Then, he tries to fit in a workout (or play with his softball team) After that, he comes home and either does more work on the computer for his full time job or researches information for the startup company he is doing on the side (in an effort to raise money for a shore house).  On the weekends he is often coupon clipping (yes, my husband clips our coupons and does our grocery shopping!) and spending quality time with us as well as extended family.
As for myself, I am home with our daughter every day.  I spend 3 days taking care of 2 other children in our home while also taking care of my daughter and trying to get some rest since I am 8 months pregnant.  I also work 3 mornings a week at a fitness center (in the babysitting room) so I can get free membership and make a few extra bucks.  In addition, I maintain this blog (to keep my sanity) and also hopefully start a career in writing or journalism when my children are in school.  I am also trying to make money some money blogging so we can have a beach house (but I am not succeeding in the making money pert yet!)  Lastly, I am spending a lot of my time trying to learn more about money and finances so that I can be more involved and in control of how and where my families money is spent (which I have not been in the past).
Just like every other couple with kids, we are trying to share duties and responsibilities and also set boundaries with each other in a respectful way.  There’s constantly a never ending to do list and we often are on different pages about who is doing what and how much is on the other person’s plate.  Does this sound familiar?  We both have a habit of getting overextended and resentful toward one another when we put too much on our plate. 
1.       Being clear about goals.  While it’s common to have differences in what we think 'may need to be done urgently', it’s important that both people are on the same page for what the overall goals may be.  Having these conversations about our gooals is very important so that both partners are reminded that they are working toward the same outcome.
A conversation started may be “I know that we both want to make sure our family is healthy, happy, and financially secure (for example) but I feel like we are not communicating well about how to achieve those goals.  What can we do differently?"
or simply, “I need more help at home.  I feel very overwhelmed.  What can we do?”   
2.       Going to church (or spend time with whatever higher power you believe in).  Whatever your spiritual belief is, it’s helpful to take some time every week to remind yourself that you can’t be in control of everything all the time and sometimes it’s helpful to allow yourself to let go.
3.        Set boundaries.  Take time OFTEN to tell your spouse what you need.  No, you are not a nag! This is what people do to keep sane and ask for the help that they need!
4.       Make a list of what each person is doing on a daily basis so that both of you can see the big picture.