I figured I'd do something a little different this week and show you some of the stuff I'm loving right now. A few things I'm loving this week...
So about a month ago, I was on vacation, and I got a message from Shannon of Working Mom Memoirs, letting me know that she had nominated me for the Liebster Award. I was so honored! And I can't believe that I let over a month go by without responding to this amazing honor!
Before I go on, I'm sure you're wondering what exactly this is.
The Liebster Award is a chain of awards that help people to discover new blogs. In this chain, the award is given to a number of nominees, who then pass the award on to other new bloggers, and the chain goes on. The rules for receiving the award are simple:
Okay, I'm going to come out and say it. I'm not thin. I'm actually on the heavier side. And you know what? At this point in my life, I don't care.
I have never been extraordinarily thin. Not in my entire life. Even in elementary/middle school - I was never overweight, but I always felt like I was just a little bit bigger than the other girls. I danced ballet most of my childhood, and I always felt like I was the biggest girl in class. Call it what you will, but I have always been self-conscious. My parents are both on the thin side, not because it is naturally occurring but because they have always been extra careful with what they eat.
From very early on, my husband and I decided that we would not put our lives on hold because we had children. We enjoy eating out, we enjoy going on vacation, and we can't be expected to live life in the bubble of our home just because we have a kid. And one of the best pieces of advice I received before Caleb was born was, "Don't mold your life to your kids, fit your kids into your life."
And becoming a stay-at-home mom cemented this for me. I don't have the time to wait around to find someone who can stay with him while I got to the grocery store. Some weeks, I'm really lucky and my mother-in-law comes over and spends a few hours with him, or my parents have a day off and they come over and hang out with him, and I can go get things done really efficiently. But most of the time, I do everything with him. And I don't see why the weekends have to be any different.
He has been to doctors appointments with me, he goes shopping with me (frequently, I might add), he goes to restaurants, and he certainly goes to mass with us on Sundays. Why do I subject myself to these stressful levels of toddlerhood? Well, because if I don't expose him to these situations now, when is he going to learn what is appropriate behavior in certain settings and what isn't?
We are far from having perfect behavior in these public places, but for the most part, he does pretty well. He knows that when we are at the grocery store or at Target, he is going to be in the cart. He knows that when we are shopping, he sits in his stroller (and he usually deals with this atrocity by taking a nap).
I feel like there are two big things that annoy others when it comes to kids (there are probably a million more but these are the big ones). I try to abide by some general rules to keep myself, baby, and the rest of those around us happy (let's face it, as much as we would like to think it does, the world doesn't revolve around us and our kids).
We also make every effort to go to restaurants that are child-friendly. I wouldn't take my toddler to an upscale restaurant with a quiet ambiance. We choose places where we know some of his noise will be drowned out by the noise of the restaurant. Places where we know he will be welcomed and it won't be frowned upon that we have a toddler with us.
And truthfully, I have found that more places than not are very accepting and friendly towards small children. I have found this in every city, in every country we have been to with Caleb - From Toronto, to Paris, to New York, to the Dominican Republic. The rules of common courtesy apply everywhere!
So don't lock yourself in your house with your kids. Take them out, expose them to the sights and sounds and smells that this world has to offer. Teach them socially acceptable behaviors and norms for all the different situations they can encounter. It will make them more adaptable and ready to handle all kinds of situations!
Good luck and I can't wait to hear all about your adventures!
I have made a truly conscious effort to be intentional about what I feed my son. I figure my system might be addicted to all the bad things that I shouldn't be eating, but I want to set him up to make good choices when it comes to his eating habits. This is going to be the first of a few posts in regards to meals and what I feed my little guy. I've included photos from 7 of our breakfasts, which gives you a week's worth of ideas. There is nothing spectacular here - nothing fancy, nothing gourmet. Most of these I put together in 10 minutes or fewer.
I have found that toddler preferences vary from one day to the next, so I'm constantly having to try new things. But I have found a few things that are tried and true, and I try to incorporate at least one sure thing into each meal so I'm not frustrated that he isn't eating enough.
He loves fruit, so breakfast usually consists of at least one kind of fruit. He also loves cheese and yogurt, so I make sure that dairy is in there as well. Most days I include some kind of whole grain.
He also likes to feed himself, and self-feeding is very important to me. When children self-feed, they learn to stop when they are full and they start to give us cues as to when they have reached their point of fullness. Caleb, for example, begins to throw food on the floor once he is full. When he does that, I know he's done. If I were spoon feeding him, he wouldn't be able to give me those cues, and it's highly likely he would be overfed more often than not. His self-feeding also gives me time to have my breakfast and more importantly, my coffee, in the morning while he is entertained and eating (we actually sit facing one another and eat breakfast together most days).
There you have it! Some ideas for toddler breakfasts.
Have more ideas? Let me know - I'd love to hear from you!