Friday, May 31, 2013

Father's Day Book

Just a little post to let you know that Amazon has The Night Before Father's Day on sale for 2.44$ right now.  (Have I mentioned how much I love Amazon and Amazon mom with free Prime and everything you can order from it?  Now if only they could have dinner delivered, it would be perfect!)

We read the Mother's Day version and my little girl still asks to read it each night.  This one is a cute story about a mom and her children who surprise their dad with cleaning his car and garage and bringing him breakfast in bed.  My husband enjoys reading it now and is looking forward to his special day :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Talking to Your Kids About Natural Disasters

To help with the Oklahoma victims, the Vintage Pearl is donating 100% of the proceeds for the flag necklace above to the Red Cross.  This charming state flag is 48$ and you can order it here.

It seems like just the other day I was blogging about how to talk to your kids about neighborhood crime, the Boston bombings, then it was how to talk to your kids about school shootings and now it's about Natural Disasters.  Sigh.  The past few months have been super hard as a parent in this world and dealing with tragedies.

I looked and found a few good articles online.  Katie Couric posted an article about it here as well as Huffington Post here.

It also goes without saying to keep your child's age in consideration and limit the information you give if they are too young.

Tip #1 for me is to keep the TV off.   Children are being exposed to too much violence and tragedy on TV and when they see it, they imagine far worse than it really is (even when reality is bad!).  They say that young children often confuse facts with fantasy and may not realize that the same images are shown over and over again on television. They think that the disasters are happening over and over again.

Here are some basic tips I gathered from the sources above, (and mostly for a school aged child):
  1. Encourage ongoing dialogue. The more communication the better. One conversation is not enough. Children are better able to take in and cope with small amounts of information at a time.
  2. Use developmentally appropriate words and concepts that children can understand.
  3. Encourage children to ask questions. Make sure that you listen to the questions being asked and and concerns being expressed. Don't assume and please don't project your fears onto your children. Answer the questions that children ask. Keep it to that. Do not volunteer more information than asked because children may not be ready to handle that information. Unconsciously, they know what they can handle and when.
  4. Know the facts. Be able to explain what a natural disaster is as well as how and why they happen. Use simple, clear facts and avoid opinions.
  5. Normalize feelings - especially fear. It is important that a child not be left with distressing feelings. A child may demonstrate their distressing feelings by throwing temper tantrums, an inability to sleep or having meltdowns. Pay attention to unusual behavior and address behaviors head-on.
  6. Turn OFF the television. Watching the devastation over and over and over again only heightens a child's worry and fear. Research has shown that watching media coverage, especially repeated viewing, can create stress for children even when they are not directly exposed to disaster. Television viewing for young children needs to be limited. If they see some television that reports on disaster, it is best for parents to watch with their children in order to deal with their reactions and correct misinformation.
  7. Reassure children that they will be taken care of and that you will do everything that you can do to protect them. DO NOT tell them that "this will never happen to you" because as we know all too well, a natural disaster can happen anytime, anywhere.
  8. Use the conversation as an opportunity for learning. Talk about what you and your family would do in the event of a natural disaster. Make a plan. The reassurance will provide comfort.
  9. Encourage children to relax. Some options include: coloring, reading poetry, singing songs.
  10. Maintain a consistent routine because children equate a routine with stability and security.

New Siblings, Take 2

Several readers out there have asked me, "Now that you've had your second child, did any of your new baby sibling tips work?" from my post here.  And I have to say YES, absolutely, from the reading the new sibling books tips, to introducing her to the new baby in the hospital (or at birth center/home) tips.

But for some specifics, here are the main things that really helped my older child.  And again, every child is different, some tips may be more effective or less depending on your child and their temperament:

1) Reading I'm A Big Sister really helped our daughter and reading it for almost the past year since our baby was born has been a huge help!  I always inserted my daughter's name in place of the big sister in the book, and she thought it was so fun and made it personable to her.

2) Showing tons of pictures of my daughter as a baby to her before her sister came helped as well, and showing my pregnant tummy.  I had some maternity photos done, and took some together with my daughter.  I got them developed and framed them in her room.  She loved seeing pictures of herself with me and my pregnant belly!

3) Having our daughter help put the baby clothes up in the new nursery and decorating it also helped her look forward to meeting her new baby sister.  And using her baby doll to try on the baby clothes :)

4) When our baby was born, we had her in a birth center, so we were going home in 6 hours after she was born.  I didn't have the time look all fresh and take a nap while I was there, so when my older child came in to meet her sister, I was looking kind of worn out.  I still made sure my husband (or someone else) was holding the baby, but when she saw me in a foreign bed and looking tired, she started crying!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

On Becoming A Mom

Happy Saturday!  So as I was working on a new post about how to survive after baby #2 comes along, I came across an essay on 'becoming a mother for the first time'.  And I just had to re-post it (author unknown) on here.  It reminded me of the new feelings I had in my Mom Empathy post awhile back. Get out the kleenex and happy reading!

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there!  May you have a nice, relaxing day spent with your sweet angels and remember how amazing you are having the best job on Earth :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is fast approaching and am I the only one that still thinks, "oh yeah, that's me!?  I'm a mom!"  I still sometimes can't believe I am a mother now.  Plus I have to admit that it's been a big busy year adjusting to 2 children under 3 years old, and I am secretly celebrating that I have survived :)  I also still celebrate the holiday with my mom and my grandmother, so it's a big day in our family!

I also selfishly look forward to the 'letting-mommy-sleep-in' alone time.  Afterall, my full time job is getting up early every morning with my girls and taking care of them all day long, which I wouldn't trade for the world, but it's nice to have a little 'me' time too :)

But seriously, this holiday is one I cherish so much and makes me so unbelievably grateful to have such wonderful little girls. One of them is about to turn 3 on May 13th and the other will be 1 on May 23rd. I get super sentimental around them getting so big... sigh... To really relish in the moment of being a mom at this time of year, I love to read books about mommies and babies to them.

One of my all time faves is called Mommy's Best Kisses (6.99$)

It's a super sweet book to read before bedtime about mommy animals kissing their babies to sleep from their heads to their toes, and then at the end a human mommy kissing her little one to sleep.  It's so precious and fun to read to my girls!

I also ordered off Amazon last week, The Night Before Mother's Day (2.26$)

It's a really cute story about 2 kids getting ready for mother's day with their dad, making her a cake, bringing her flowers and it rhymes with the real Night Before Christmas story.  My 3 year old asks to read it each night and begs me to let her take it to bed with her!

And of course there's the classic,  Love You Forever (4.99$)