Suggestions and Books for 18 Month Old Tantrums

4 Jun Toddler Tantrums start at 18 months

Toddler Tantrums start at 18 months

The “T’s”.  Here they are – and in HIGH GEAR. Saturday morning, 11 AM, count: 4 Tantrums.  18 1/2 months – the month that will live in infamy.

Apparently we have what is considered a “spirited” child. I’d like to blame my husband, but fortunately or unfortunately, both of us have very “spirited” personalities. While part of me is glad that Lucas won’t potentially be a push-over, it also means that he can’t easily be convinced to change his behavior… at 18 months. Who am I kidding – he was like this from day 1!  My friends that know him are already rolling their eyes and laughing… Spirited indeed.

After this morning’s 20 minute tantrum over not being able to climb into the kitchen sink after asking nicely (he signed “please” excessively and mommy wouldn’t bend), we put him in his crib and he finally knocked himself out after another 10 minutes of crying!  I ran to my friend Google “toddler tantrum solutions”.  Here are the articles that I found useful (I hate fake landing pages!) and the books that folks are recommending.

Toddler Tantrum Solutions – Articles

I do not think this advice would work for our spirited child, but I love most of Dr. Sear’s stuff, and every kid is different so make up your own mind!

  • KidsHealth.org – Page 3 had some good tips on handling a toddler tantrum depending on the reason for it, which is a great point.
  • Toddler Tantrums article on BabyZone.  “When Things Get Physical” on part 3 was very useful.  “If you’re at home, create a safe space where your child can let out some steam in these moments.”  Mmmm – can mommy use the ‘crazy person’ room too?

Today’s Lesson: we are going to teach him the sign for “angry” to see if we can get him to start expressing it before he loses control.  Wishful thinking?  Maybe, but we have to start somewhere.

Toddler Tantrum Books – Toddler Behavior Books

First, thank you to “virtual friend” Shelley, whom I met at SocialMoms, for her blog post on Established Ways in response to my post “Toddler Mom Seeking Help – What Books Do You Recommend For…”  Other moms made great recommendations on different books and ideas on different topics there.  You should check it out.

As far as behavior goes, here is the short list I plan to read based on recommendations.  I’ll review or respond to any key points in the books that I think apply to “spirited” children in particular, or any other good thoughts they might have.

1.  Baby Whisperer’s Book for Toddler Behavior

I was a fan of some portions of the Baby Whisperer when Lucas was a baby.   It didn’t all work for us, but at least got me on the right track for sleep training.  Hoping it does the same with tantrums!

2. Happiest Toddler on the Block

3.  Parenting with Love and Logic

4.  1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for…

5.  Happy Child Guide

Holy crap Batman… this book is $50!  Looks like I”ll be calling my library to see if they have this one!  Actually, the only one I will probably buy right away for my Kindle is the Whisperer’s.  I”ll see what I can find used or at the library from there.

So, any other ideas, articles or books that you want to recommend?  Please share them in our comments!

My First Blog Hop in Honor of Mom’s Day

5 May

Well, here I go.  First “Blog Hop“!  I am doing it to see who else is out there journaling and sharing in this great journey.  It’ll be my 2nd Mother’s Day.  This holiday has very quickly become my favorite.  It represents everything that I am, and has helped me understand everything my own mom and grandmother ever felt and did for their own children.  What an amazing journey.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all of my friends – on and offline – that are lucky enough to walk life’s journey through the eyes of motherhood.

BLOG HOP LIST AT ORIGINAL ‘PARTY’ LOCATION!
I couldn’t get WordPress.com to accept the script that the Hop required, so here is a link to everyone that is on the list at its original source, My Adventure in Mommyhood!

What If Bed Bugs Could Fly? About Toddler Safety

17 Apr

I thought about this title last week when I realized that sometimes we are powerless in protecting our children from everything, and that we can’t sit around thinking about “what if’s” all day.  Not a fun realization as a mama superhero!  No, Lucas didn’t get bit by a bed bug.  He went springing off the couch while I was standing two feet away and landed on his head.  It was the first fall that was “my fault”.  If my sister-in-law or sister are reading this they are cracking up. They both have 2 year old boys.  They’ve seen more bumps and bruises than I’d know what to do with.

As I realized he was fine and checked every inch of his head, neck and back, (no bruising, no horns!) I couldn’t help but wonder, what if his neck had snapped?  Broken leg? Brain damage?  A wave of horror and fear trampled over me and I started crying!  Didn’t I realize that parenthood could be this scary (Uh, yes!)?  Was I really prepared to fight the evil monster of … what?  Chance?  Bad luck?  Just living? There is a villain lurking and my child is my kryptonite!  I think I was hyperventilating at one point.  Hold on, hold on – I’ve already started to fight this villain…

After Lucas went to bed that night I made sure I had really taken every precaution to keep him safe.  Action was the only thing that could help me feel like a superhero again.  The baby proofing had been done.  But what about toddler proofing?  I found a list from Dr. Sears about how to toddler-proof your house.  It’s VERY different than the easier task of baby proofing for a little one that can’t climb, jump or turn knobs.  I had covered most of the things on his list. I had to:

  • Remove the crib guard because Lucas is trying to climb out of his crib in the mornings
  • Made sure that there was nothing on either side of the couch that could harm him
  • Am going to buy a walking child safety harness.  Lucas wants to walk independently outside, and he isn’t steady enough to avoid a bad fall quite yet.

Dr. Sears does mention using mesh for guard rails to make sure the kids can’t squeeze through them.  We had an extra challenge because ours were designed stacked, and a baby could easily climb them or slip underneath (see pictures below).  We installed this clear banister guard when Lucas started rolling over to protect him, and it remains my favorite safety product in the marketplace.  Also stops a lot of toys from getting thrown down stairs!

I know that we can’t stop every accident from happening.  No, I am not going to cushion my entire living room with pillows in case he falls. And no, bedbugs can’t fly (I looked it up).  But even if bed bugs flew, would it stop me from doing normal things, like going into New York?  Probably not.  I’d find an amazing, organic bug spray and shield my family as best as possible.  That’s all that’s expected of us… and really all that we can do.

I Met Clark Kent… And We Talked Black History Month

13 Mar

 

Clark Kent to SuperMan (or woman) Image

Image Courtesy of RatherObvious.com

I met Clark Kent. Well, okay, it was a “Clark Kent” moment. Replace phone booth with bus stop. “Is this the way to New York or is yours?”, she asked. I pointed to mine. A young lady grabbed her suitcase and crossed the street. She wasn’t wearing couture or jazzed up in any way. But there was more to her than met the eye… We sat next to each other on the bus.

It took me about 2 minutes to start seeing the “S” (for Super WOMAN of course) shine through. Adrina is a performance artist. She writes and acts. But her hobby, yes, HOBBY, is teaching diversity to children. She wants to start a program in New York City about heritage month. Not just Black Heritage or Hispanic Heritage month – but every heritage. Because that’s America, and that’s what children need to understand.

I hope she’ll write on our blog and tell you more. But in the meantime, here’s some of her written word… Welcome to my list of superheroes Adrina. It goes to show that you don’t have to be a parent to influence our children, and become a superhero to them and their parents!  This piece is an excerpt (my favorite part, which was really hard to pull out).

About “Black History Month”…

Because our history books take rich color, and culture, and depth and texture
And bleach it.
Bleach it
until it’s too foreign to reach it
Too hackneyed to preach it
Too dull for our speech
Bleached
until it’s boring enough for teachers to teach.
Which is why black history month gets repeatedly thrown aside
Black students indifferent to exhibiting pride
And white students feeling like their on the oppresor’s side
And red, yellow and brown kids have been misguided
into thinking that it doesn’t pertain to them
And all students thinking it’s a game to them
This is not a game
Our freedom came at a price
The price of our ancestors hopes and their fears
of their blood sweat and tears
Of unspoken years
where our rivers contained more blood than water
This month is set aside so we can remember
Remember that, unless you’re American Indian,
your an immigrant.

Monetizing Your Mom Blog – For Love, Fame or Money?

16 Feb

As I spend more time obsessing over blogs and jealously enjoying hundreds of amazing sites (that’s good envy ladies, I promise!), I can’t help but wonder what drives all of us to do this.  Money?  Friendship?  Belonging?  Self-promotion?  Child obsession?  Networking? It’s probably a bit of all of those – and more.  Lord knows it’s not because we have extra time on our hands!

This entry is a follow-up to a question I was asked in an interview on the Sassy Ladies Radio Talk Show on BlogTalkRadio, where we talked about mommy blogger business models.  Here are the highlights on the business side of mommy blogging.  I hope that through comments we can get more ideas and explore this further.  I’d like to write about the emotional aspects of this later!

The Business Side of Mommy Blogging – “Making It Rain”

First, and completely OFF TOPIC, I have to say that I love the expression “making it rain”.   You know… meaning “money being thrown in the air”.  If you don’t know where this originated from, see Scrooge McDuck (that’s my version of it).  If you want to know how it’s really being used today, ask your husband.   Very politically incorrect – but I still love it.  ANYWAY…

Back to the business side of mommy blogging.  Many moms have decided that staying home doesn’t necessarily mean not finding a way to make money, and some working moms are supplementing their income through blogging.  They have successfully monetized their blogs in different ways, here are some we discussed:

Monetizing your Blog

1. Product Reviews - for cash payment, in exchange for the product, or gift cards.  I’d tell you everything we talked about, but then you wouldn’t listen to the show!  One quick point however:

“I’ve very careful with hyper reviewers. There are some mommy blogging Web sites that will review for review’s sake and you never see a negative review on their site. You do have to tread carefully on some folks’ that are getting into it just for the sake of volume, so that’s my only warning, because I have seen that happen.” - Quote from the interview

2.  Affiliate Marketing Programs

Definition: A way for a company to sell its products by signing up individuals or companies (“affiliates”) who market the company’s products for a commission. Read More at Entrepreneurs.com

“I’ll give you the non- official version of this. If you love a product and you use their website all the time, do a search for affiliate program. Most of them have an easy registration form. They give you a special link and every time you mention their product, if someone uses that link, you’ll get a percentage of sales.  It could be pennies on the dollar, but if over time you build a following over something, you can end up making money on this and you’re talking about it anyway.” - Quote from the interview

3.  Paid Guest Blogging or Article Writing Opportunities

I haven’t had any experience doing this yet, but when done tastefully this can also be a good way to monetize your blog.  I’ve seen it done on some of the blogs I follow, and find the articles or reviews to be very in-depth and useful, even if I know the blogger is being paid to do it.  Most bloggers are transparent about the fact that they’ve been hired to write the entry, which is also admirable.  Many businesses are engaging bloggers this way to get inbound links (for SEO juice) but hey – we are all trying to find ways to win against the Google machine.

I recommend that mom bloggers interested in this program check out Business2Blogger.com.  It was set up by mommy bloggers just like us, and is a very well run program.  I plan to use it for both my blog and on the corporate side as well.

I’d love to hear from companies that offer mommy bloggers other opportunities for monetization and we will add you to our blogroll!  Please share any other ways that you might be monetizing your blog so that we can learn from each other’s experiences.

I want to thank Wendy and the ladies from TheSassyLadies.com for helping women entrepreneurs attain success through their advice and mentorship.  Also, check out the new book by The Sassy Ladies titled: The Sassy Ladies Toolkit for Start-up Businesses, a great resource for new and experienced business owners.

Pulling Together That New Year’s Resolution

26 Jan

New Years Resolutions Ah yes, the infamous New Year’s Resolutions. You had too much champagne and promised yourself all sorts of things didn’t you?  And now that the champagne hangover is gone (aren’t they just terrible?!?), can you piece together what you said?

I decided a long time ago to give up the “Resolution” practice.  And that decision was reinforced last year after I had the baby.  I couldn’t keep my socks on for the first six months – imagine remembering a resolution?!?  Instead, I try to set one or two projects that are attainable and as early as possible in January, set a plan for them.  Simple monthly  pieces of the puzzle so that it all (hopefully) comes together before the next year begins.  One of my projects is a bit more confidential, but I’ll share my second one… I plan to digitize all of my old pictures because I need the room in that storage closet!  I plan to share the plan, and the details on how to make this happen in a later entry.

So how do you piece together your New Year’s plan?  I have to give credit to my Super Heroine of the day, the Sassy Ladies’ Michelle,  because her most recent blog entry actually inspired me to finally get this entry written.  I highly recommend this as a “kick-starter” for everyone…

Be honest. Have you said it?  I get it. Most of us rarely have enough time or money to do all the stuff we WANT to do.  But, what if? Ask yourself:

What if you had all the time and the money you could ever want, what would you DO?

Personally and/or in your business? What is important to you?  Take a minute and think about and/or write down 2 or 3 things that would really make a positive difference in your life.

From TheSassyLadies.com

PS: I never ever ever ever, make my New Year’s project about my weight.  Have you seen what you have to eat to get over a hangover?  It just never starts well!  ;-)

I Wish You Wrinkles – A Dedication

21 Dec

I’m proud to announce that I’ve started guest blogging for Jersey Moms Blog and my first entry titled “I Wish You Wrinkles – A Perspective on Aging” published today.  I hope it serves as a reminder that time, all time, is a blessing.  And though she’s going to be annoyed with me for this because she hates attention, I dedicate that entry to one of my super heroines, my mother-in-law.  I’ll explain of course…

Our family recently lost our top, top superhero.  It’s still hard to believe that my father-in-law lost his battle against cancer.  After all, we never expect that our heroes won’t be around to fight the next battle.   He held on longer than any doctor expected, and I believe that he drew all that energy and will from his special sources of life – his wife, and the sons they raised together.   It’s hard to recognize our own strengths sometimes.   But through all of this my mom-in-law’s superpower emerged – amazing bravery.  She got her family through its darkest time quietly, selflessly and with great courage. like a true superhero.

And so I dedicate this article on Jersey Moms Blog  to her.  I know, mothers-in-law are supposed to be our villains, but that isn’t the case in my family.  At least not unless she’s disguising herself as a nice mom-in-law… now THAT would be a villain power many would envy even more than her bravery!

 

getting-older-perspective-on-aging

Grandpa & Lucas

Car Seat Safety & Winter Coats Warning

18 Dec

Accidents.com posted an important warning about winter coats and child car seat safety today.  What was most surprising to me when reporting on this was that child car seat accessories are NOT government regulated, and could therefore cancel any warranty from your car seat manufacturer.  Parents, read this article, and the original article on About.com for a SIMPLE TEST that will help keep your child safe.

Holiday Craft Markets in New York – Unique Shopping

1 Dec

Ready for a big shocker? I absolutely hate clothes shopping. I consider it the mortal enemy of my superhuman existence. I make exception for one reason – to support local vendors and artisans. I super heart shopping on Etsy. And I love, love holiday craft fairs in New York City. It makes shopping special because I get to meet the people behind the products, which in turn makes me appreciate where my hard-earned dollars are being spent. It’s also eco-friendly to shop local and feels great to give a unique handmade gift.

All of this does remind me that this time last year I discovered my ‘kryptonite': Mommy guilt! I was a new mom and just couldn’t bring myself to leave the baby to go shopping. I also needed my rest to recharge for the work week. As one of those people that likes to fit it all in, it was hard to admit that this new supermom had a weakness!

Well this year the kryptonite can stay in its lead box because Lucas gets to spend Saturday hitting some of these great spots with mama!

Following is a list of my favorite places to support local vendors and artists, starting with the Martha Stewart Craft Fair where my good friend Dani Fiori will be featuring SweetDaniB cookies (warning: shameless unpaid plug for the best cookie designer in our local area!).

This Weekend:

Saturday, December 4th – Martha Stewart Craft Fair
BRING CASH!
Starrett-Lehigh Building

601 West 26th Street (between Eleventh and Twelfth avenues)
9th Floor
New York, NY 10001 

Read more at Marthastewart.com:
Martha Stewart Holiday Craft Sale – Martha Stewart Crafts

Sunday, December 5th – Holiday Handmade Cavalcade featuring Etsy vendors.

Ongoing Fairs (usually until Dec. 24th):

#1 Union Square Holiday Market

#2 Bryant Park Holiday Market
Plus they have ice skating!

#3 Columbus Circle Holiday Market
Plus you get to pop into Central Park for a nice walk with the kids!

#4 Grand Central Holiday Market
I find this one has the less unique vendors because many just resell mass produced products, but there are a few gems in the mix.

If you want to visit Brooklyn and Queens, here’s a great article about local shopping in those areas from the Mommy Poppins NYC blog.

A Sweeter Halloween for St. Jude’s Hospital

23 Nov

I can’t believe a month has almost passed since Halloween! Families everywhere are preparing for Thanksgiving. I love turkey day but I don’t cook so tend to just show up for this event, which is very unlike me. Maybe I was trying to make up for this at Halloween. Actually, this post may seem a bit late, but it’s an important time of year to think about giving, and how we are going to teach our children to do that. And so a bit late, but here’s the story of our Halloween…

See, we decided to host a “small” party. The idea came to me as I was over-thinking my son’s costume. Was I really going to prepare for a month so that I could walk my 11 month-old down the street for 5 minutes? NAH!

I figured my friends would want to show off their kids just as much and I was right.We had over fifteen kids under the age of 2 in an apartment! And you can multiply that by two for the rest of the guest list! It was very cute and not as hectic as you’d expect. It was a perfect age. If many of the kids had been much older it would probably have been nuts!

To make the showing off even better, I distributed a flier in our neighborhood and promised a very cute Little Monsters Halloween Parade! I also asked our neighbors to make Halloween even sweeter by donating $1.00 (or whatever they could) to my son”s Trick-or-Treat bag on behalf of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. We asked party attendees to do the same.

We had a blast and raised money for a good cause. We did the same at Lucas’ baptism, and will make a small personal donation in honor of his first birthday. See, I consider it our responsibility to teach Lucas to do as much as he can for others in need. I hope that makes him appreciate how lucky he is in so many ways. If we make this a normal part of his celebrations, he’ll never ask “why” but hopefully wonder “why not”.

We choose St. Jude’s because being a parent is the best thing I’ll ever be, and having a child has been life’s biggest blessing. I don’t dare imagine having to fight for the life of a child. St. Jude’s does amazing things for their families. We have also had our own battle with a family member’s cancer (an adult), and we want Lucas to always honor that person and his bravery.

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