Thursday, August 30, 2007

W is for weaning

So in my family right now there seems to be a lot of weaning going on. And before you get the wrong idea, no I am not weaning my 5 month old from his bottle yet, unless you count the fact that we have started rice cereal.
Most of the weaning involves my toddler. Another way to say it is we are trying to break habits, or one case, she is breaking a habit or routine.
So I will start with what she is doing. She has recently decided that she doesn't need naps anymore. This is difficult for me, because I still need naps, and I can't take one if she doesn't. She is down to about 2 naps a week. And don't get me wrong I totally appreciate those two naps. In fact I couldn't be writing this right now if she wasn't taking one of her two naps for this week, right now.
We are also in the process of weaning her from her "plug" or pacifier. This is one that is hard for me, and I have tried different ways different times and have yet to succeed. However right now we are trying a replacement method. She uses her plug as an item of comfort, so we are trying to displace that affection and comfort to another item. We bought her two stuffed bears that are identical. One is only for when she is taking a nap or going to bed, the times that she is allowed her plug. The other one is for when we are in the car, a time when she seeks comfort in asking for fruit snacks (another habit we are trying to break at the moment.) I'm hoping she will develop an attachment to the bear and then we can gradually remove the plugs and fruit snacks.
The last item that we are trying to wean right now is movies. If you read my "M is for movies" post you noticed that she watches a lot of movies. I decided she watches too many movies. I decided that instead of a movie a day (on weekdays) I would cut it down to one movie per week, plus special occasions. What I didn't count on were withdrawal symptoms. The first day that I tried no movies, I found myself craving TV, and movies. I think my daughter was having similar problems. She told me probably 6-10 times that day that she "needed to watch a movie". I didn't give in, however I decided that going from a movie a day to a movie a week in one shot was maybe too crazy of a move. So I have altered my plan for the moment. Right now I am trying to cut it down to a movie every other day on weekdays and none on weekends unless it was a special occasion. Once we have adapted to that schedule then maybe it will be twice a week, and then down to once a week.
So I don't know if it is my timing is bad, or that I am trying to do too much at one time, but my daughter has also lately become incredibly clingy. She has always been an outgoing independent child, but now if I go somewhere, even somewhere that is familiar and the people are familiar, she doesn't leave my side for very long. And she is clingy at home too. She always seems to need me right there doing what she is doing, and need my very attention. If I am on the floor paying attention to the baby, she will climb on my back, if I am at the computer she comes and pulls at my arm. If I am in the kitchen, she is underfoot constantly.
So what I want to ask all of you is, do you have any advice for a struggling parent in this situation. Am I doing too much at once do I need to cut back on all that is being cut out of her life at one time? Is there some way that I can pay her attention, and have her take some "own" time too?

Monday, August 27, 2007

A is for attitude

Which if any of you have ever had a two year old, I 'm sure you know all about attitude. She thinks she knows everything. She is a born leader, and domineering. She has strong opinions and throws a world class fit if you try to go against them. Whether it is leaving someones house, or some other play place to go home, or saying no to watching a movie, or getting a snack.
I think tantrums are a way that two-year-olds try to remind you that they are only two. They don't understand things on an adult level, or even an older child level, even if they come across as very mature at times.
However, I've found that even five-month-olds can have a strong attitude. And if I forget myself and allow a willful attitude on my part, we just never get anywhere.

However there is another side to attitude too. There is a positive attitude. Looking at the bright side. That is something my children are really good at. My son smiles more than I have ever seen any other 5 month old smile. True there is only one other 5 month old that I have been around as much as I have been around him, and that is his sister. But he is a very happy baby. He seems to be grinning constantly, even if he isn't feeling well. Even if he is tired or hungry quite often he is smiling through his tears. What a wonderful lesson to learn, to be happy through adversity. My daughter has an outgoing attitude, most of the time. She is getting to be more shy lately, when faced with unfamiliar circumstances, but it doesn't take her long to warm up and strive to make friends with any in the group, no matter age or gender. She loves people. She loves to say hi.

I think it is best to try to ignore the negative and focus on the positive and this is something that my children are teaching me daily.
So take some time and ask yourself, what good things have happened to me today, and forget about the bad.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

M is for Movies

So my husband and I decided that we didn't care to have TV in our home, because we don't feel that there is much that is broadcast that we would care to watch or have our children watch. We decided however that movies are OK, and so we have a passle of movies, mostly Disney, that we play on our computer and that is our media center.
Well our current movie collection started maybe about a year and a half ago, when we purchased a Veggie Tales DVD. Our daughter, who was one at the time, loved it and requested it over and over. Unfortunately at least part of this time period was in my first trimester of my second pregnancy. So once I got past the majority of the nausea period, this video would still make me nauseous. In fact it still does. Isn't it amazing how those kinds of connections work? Anyway, I developed a strong desire to build up our movie collection with other films that our daughter would like, so that I wouldn't have to watch that one repeatedly.
We now have at least 18 DVD's that she watches on a regular basis. Now I know that for some people that really isn't that big of a collection. But for us it seems huge. Plus we have some other movies that she isn't as enthralled with.
Anyway, Monday through Friday, there is usually at least one movie shown in our house. And unfortunately the number watched per day has escalated since our son was born, and I find that sometimes the only time I can get anything done is to turn on a movie.
So now I have created a monster. I have a two year old who quotes movies left and right. She can sing many Disney tunes, and can identify a movie just from you humming the tune to one of the songs in it. And she tends to throw quite the tantrum if I tell her no when she asks to watch a movie.
Well yesterday, I realized an even bigger problem. She doesn't know what things aren't the best to repeat. Now we try to not have any movies that have swearing in them. But almost every show has words like; stupid, idiot, bozo, etc. Now I know these aren't the worst words in the world, and that she will eventually learn them anyway. But I don't want my children to learn that calling people names is all right.
I'm sure that this is a battle that most parents have to face at some point in time or another. So I want to know, how do you, or would you handle this situation, if faced with it? How do we teach our children that not all the things they hear in the world around them are worth repeating?
Also what kind of indoor activities can you think of to entertain a 2 1/2 year old?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

F is for finding humor in situations

OK so it really should be H is for humor but seeing as how I have already used H I needed a different option.
Having a 2 year old and a 4 month old can create some interesting situations. For example, when I am home with just my two kids I have gotten in the habit of when I go to the bathroom, I take the baby with me and lay him on the floor in my bedroom right outside the bathroom door, and then I leave the door open. My daughter will then sometimes wonder where I am and start calling out "Mommy", and then I will respond with "what?" and she will ask "where are you" and I will yell back, if she hasn't found me yet, "I'm using the potty". Well today in such a scenario I realized that the bathroom window happened to be open, and I could just imagine someone walking past our apartment and suddenly hearing "I'm using the potty" in an adult voice, and the thought hit me as humorous, maybe you just think it is dumb, but I thought it was funny.
Recently we were given this toy for our baby that is a sphere shaped rattle on one side and a sphere with cloth flower petals on the other side and then they are connected by a curved bar that twists in the middle. Anyway, I gave him this toy to play with and it was so funny to watch. The bar is to big for him to get a hold of easily, so he would clasp it to his body with his arm, and then he would try to shove the rattle end into his mouth. It is too big to fit however and he would lay there and try over and over to get this thing into his mouth, it was funny to watch.
I'm realizing as I am writing these episodes that maybe you have to be there to get the humor out of some things.
Tell me what funny things have happened to you lately?