Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Fostering Independence in Your Toddler - 4 Ways to Encourage Your Kiddo to be Independent

This post is sponsored by Earth's Best Peanut Butter Puffs but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d
Raising an independent child is something I'm truly striving to do. This may be hard to believe, since I mean, I've openly admitted I have an issue, at times, with being a helicopter parent... but it's something I'm working on, I swear. The thing is, even though it's taxing and sometimes down right maddening debating with a toddler - I'm always excited to hear her speak her truth and that is why it's all worth it. Every hissy fit over a tiny misunderstanding, every crocodile tear shed over a mishap, every little ounce of drama she creates... it's all tough to deal with at times, but it's all a great reminder that she's this amazing, magnificent, overwhelmingly awesome little person and she's just expressing herself.

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Now don't get me wrong, we don't encourage her to throw fits at the store after we tell her "no". But hey, it happens and instead of spanking her or abandoning ship and heading out to the car, I've learned that reasoning with her and discussing why she feels upset truly does help. I mean, it may not have a year ago, but now that she's so much more vocal - it only makes sense to discuss her feelings with her.

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I mean, Delainey isn't a perfect child, by any means... She's extremely emotional about 99% of the time so we are constantly having discussions, but with encouraging her independence I'm seeing some major changes in her behavior and well, that just warms my heart. Maybe I'm doing something right, after all? I think we all know that warm, endearing feeling.

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So I guess you're probably wondering what types of changes we made to fight the toddler struggles of terrible twos and terrifying threes?



How exactly have we encouraged Delainey to be more independent lately...? Here's the scoop:

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The first step we took toward independence was encouraging her love of mysteries. She's really been into the idea of "vestigating" [see also investigating] all kinds of things lately and I'm 100 on-board with it.


From being curious about where electricity comes from to asking me to uncover a stone with her in the backyard, I've been going full force and encouraging her curious behavior in a healthy and productive way. Wanting her to solve the mysteries herself, I set her up for success and sit back and help when asked. I love watching her make discoveries and analyze situations and I've also seen her use those same problem solving skills in situations with her peers and sometimes even when she's negotiating with me.

Plus, we've learned new things and we've also solved some mysteries! Being a "detective" with my little firecracker is truly helping her come out of her shell and she's "blossomed", if I can humbly brag for a bit.


https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d


The next step we've taken on this path to independence is allowing her to call the shots. 

 

Well, sometimes we let her take the lead, anyways. She doesn't "rule the roost", but she is often in charge of decisions that effect her, as we see fit.

https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d

One of the first decisions I noticed she LOVED making was what to have for snack time. From fruit to crunchy munchies, she's always looking for something new to try and she's always excited to shop the organic section at Walmart. So when she saw the delicious Earth's Best Organic Peanut Butter Puffs (with Elmo on the front), I already knew it was game over and she had found a snack she loved.


As soon as she saw it, she grabbed the package and told me "dis one, mama, I want dissss"! I was curious about what she had picked, but once I saw it's an ideal snack for toddlers and made of only 5 ingredients, I knew that we 100% we had found a snack we could agree on and she was thrilled to grab a couple of bags!

https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d

This a great "starter snack" for her. These delicious, dissolve in your mouth treats are something we both can enjoy and appreciate... but the best part is, it's so easy just to grab a pack and go!

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Want to give these yummy Peanut Butter Puffs a try? Hit up Walmart or get more information on the delicious, toddler friendly snack here!
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I promise, you and your toddler will be huge fans of this easy, delicious snack!

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Another step we took to foster independence in our wild girl was letting her learn new things on her own.

We've struggled through worksheets in the past and I've tried coaching her on how to properly get a toy to work, but allowing her to completely learn to do something on her own has been life changing for us both. Instead of tears of frustration, we now spend our time peacefully waiting as she has decided she will be the one to feed herself, brush her own teeth, dress herself, etc. It may be time consuming and sometimes I have to redo her work, but seeing her satisfied with herself after accomplishing a great "feat", I'm not changing this for the world. That look of success and her absolutely beaming pride as she's accomplished a new task, there's nothing like it in the world.

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The last step but possibly the most important step since it relates to all the other steps, is CONSTANTLY reminding myself to let go and let her live.

I mean, I'm still fully involved since she's a tiny little nugget in the scheme of things, but I try to let her do her thing more often than not, as I nervously watch every step from a far. With growing her independence, she's become truly her own person and I've had to let go even more recently and it's been such an amazing, bittersweet feeling. One of the many recent ways I've really had to "let it go" was allowing her to choose activities she wanted to do and watching her form her own friendships. It's been amazing to see who she is becoming, but man, no one warned me this all would happen so quickly. She went from a baby to this strong, capable little kiddo in the blink of an eye.

https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d


While it may sound crazy, the independence seems to help her in so many ways, from gaining confidence in herself to better listening skills - we are really in a good spot. I''m curious, do you have a toddler as well - if so, how do you foster their independence? If your little one is in a different stage in life, I'd still love your input, after all - we're all on this journey together and hey, as they say, "it takes a village".

https://ooh.li/5c9ea6d

For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age. FDA has determined, however, that the evidence supporting this claim is limited to one study.



Fall Food Essentials You NEED This Season!


This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx, 
regardless all opinions expressed below are completely my own.


It's officially fall, in most areas of the country, anyways... We've been lucky enough to have a few cool days here in Florida and I'm fully embracing it. We've busted out our sweaters and boots and we're READY for it. With the weather slightly changing and the days getting shorter, this has to be one of my all-time favorite seasons of the year - even if we don't necessarily get the freezing cold.


I love to bust out the pumpkin spice and pull out recipes that leave me feeling full and ready to hibernate. This year, I'm embracing the change in seasons and spoiling my family with a box of goodies from Babbleboxx that make me love this season even more than I already did.


Want to hear what came in this fantastic fall Babbleboxx? I'm sure you do... it's all so good!


We'll start with the Organic Herbal Flavored Waters from Trader Joe's. With Organic Lemon Ginger and Organic Lemongrass Spearmint, made from organic herbal extracts, it's easy to see why I've become a big fan and will be adding these hydrating forms of h2o to our regular shopping list.


The subtle flavors are just enough to add some zing, making these easy to drink and quenching my thirst. I'm also ready to guzzle these down because they are so incredibly CLEAN! With zero calories, zero sugar, and zero sweeteners added and being USDA certified organic, I can drink all the flavored water I want without worrying about ruining my diet. Grab a couple of these Lemon Ginger and Lemongrass Spearment flavored waters the next time you stop into Trader Joe's.

http://www.neggmaker.com/?utm_source=babbleboxx&utm_mediu m=sponsored_posts&utm_campaign=babbleboxx_fall2019

On the same token of having to worry less, the Negg has eased my worries and it is a complete lifesaver. Instead of taking forever to peel hard boiled eggs for recipes, I'm able to quickly complete the task with my Negg. Peeling eggs with this gadget seriously couldn't be easier, just add water and shake... and your egg is naked! So who wants Deviled Eggs?

http://www.neggmaker.com/?utm_source=babbleboxx&utm_mediu m=sponsored_posts&utm_campaign=babbleboxx_fall2019

I'm swimming in peeled eggs now that I have this epic peeler and I'm guaranteeing you this is one of those devices you'll love and want to use again and again!

https://www.runningpress.com/titles/michele-humes/the-noodle-soup-oracle/9780762464579/

Speaking of wanting to use something again and again, Babbleboxx sent a recipe book over that I'll obviously be using repeatedly. The Noodle Soup Oracle: Hundreds of Possibilities for the World's Favorite Comfort Food, is full of delicious recipes that involve so many different amazing toppings, but more specifically you'll have a couple of AMAZING ways to use the naked eggs.

https://www.runningpress.com/titles/michele-humes/the-noodle-soup-oracle/9780762464579/

This isn't a typical soup cookbook though, it's a lot more mix-and-match, first you choose your noodles, next your soup, then add your proteins and choose your veggies and any other toppings you may want as well. This book walks you through it all and helps you find the perfect pairings. Whether you're looking for a hearty, homey meal or something charming to find your sweetie, I promise this book has you covered and you'll find a delicious recipe within!

http://bit.ly/AlfredoCauliflower

Speaking of having you covered regarding a recipe, this meal I whipped up for D and myself is definitely one I'm proud of. We both love cuddling up with a good bowl of pasta and I love sneaking veggies in her diet, so making this recipe with Ragu Creamy Alfredo with Cauliflower was a no-brainer.

http://bit.ly/AlfredoCauliflower

She LOVED her "cheesy noodles" and scarfed it down quicker than most meals, unknowingly eating cauliflower! I loved the ease of just opening up the jar of delicious Ragu, making noodles, chopping up bacon, and adding sun-dried tomatoes. I mean, I made a truly gourmet meal in just a few minutes - that's a real win in this house!

http://bit.ly/AlfredoCauliflower

Want to give this yummy sauce a try and maybe squeeze more veggies into your diet? It's apparently only available at Walmart, so grab a jar of the New Ragu Creamy Alfredo with Cauliflower on your next trip!

https://www.trainafoods.com/

Last but certainly not least, the fruitons! I'm a huge fan of fruitons now because they are a super easy (and delicious) way to add real fruit to your diet. Flavorful, nutritious, and convenient. Whether I'm adding the cherries to salads, ice cream, and granola, it's always a hit in this house. With Tomatoes being a fruit, you better believe I was stoked to add Sun-dried tomatoes to everything, but our favorite way to use the sun-dried tomatoes is inside pasta and salads, these add the perfect flavor to every dish though. Looking for a simple way to eat healthier? Start with fruitons!

Fall is "here" and I am READY for it... check out this list of amazing items you definitely need this season!

Who else is fall OBSESSED? Tell me your favorite way to indulge in the season... or share your favorite fall-inspired recipe in the comments below!

My "Meal Planning" Secret During This Busy Season!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Boston Market


Meal time, made easy and DELICIOUS with Boston Market!

This time of year is seriously the busiest for us - just like most families. It's time to start heading back to school, we're all working and busy with something going on all the time, and with non-stop activities to participate in all week long... and if we're being real - the holidays are literally right around the corner.

Meal time, made easy and DELICIOUS with Boston Market!

Fall is the hustlin', bustlin' season for many families... we all know this. But in our house, it's extra crazy. Sometimes I'm just too busy to even consider planning out a menu for our meals... and if I'm being real, that's most days during the fall. Like today - we're in the midst of preparing for D's birthday party tomorrow and in such a frenzy with daily life and the added stress of taking care of every detail of a tutu party that I totally forgot to make lunch - or plan for dinner! It's one of those days when I would "forget my head if it wasn't attached".

Luckily, I've found the best way to feed us a quality, wholesome meal quickly and easily... and it doesn't involve me cooking a thing! Nor do I have to do dishes or even plan for sides.

https://www.bostonmarket.com/

It's not magic - it's Boston Market! It was so easy to grab & go, I literally swung by on my way home from the party store after ordering for curbside pick up online! I was able to get all of us the most delicious lunch for a steal of a deal! Plus, with the $1.99 Whole Rotisserie Chicken add on, I was also able to get dinner for my fam-bam too - you can't beat that!

https://www.bostonmarket.com/

What's the best part about all of this? I learned I can also have my favorite simple meal delivered now too! Boston Market has officially made my life easier and for that I'm thankful, but now that they offer an online delivery option - I'm hooked and we'll be ordering again soon and I'll definitely be calling in our order & having it delivered right to my door!

https://www.bostonmarket.com/

https://www.bostonmarket.com/
https://www.bostonmarket.com/

We all were so pleased with our meal that it was easy to say that we'll definitely be ordering delivery soon. But for now, I'll get back to party planning for this little gal and the hustle and the bustle of our daily grind - but I just had to share how we "meal prep" when things get hectic in this house. If you're a busy little bee too, be sure to head on over to your local Boston Market and get lunch - and dinner - on the table quickly & easily!



How to Encourage Your Toddler to Help with Daily Chores & How We Quickly Clean the House Together!

This post is sponsored by Bona but the content and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

https://ooh.li/e707200

If you're a parent, you know having a toddler in your home is super rewarding but absolutely chaotic. From meal times, to leaving the house, to just daily activities, everything is a production. Whether she's sassing me telling me "I do this", throwing a fit because I'm not letting her have her way immediately, or running out of the room and then back in again, because the sound of our food processor scares her - she's always ready to learn about life and always adding her own little twist to things to make them interesting.

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While her interference may be considered a foul in my game plan for each day, I'm learning life really is about those moments. Being a parent has taught me it's okay to take a time out and teach her what I'm doing, dare I even say it's important for me to do this?

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The dishes can wait until she's in bed and maybe her helping "fold the laundry" with crumbs all over her hands from snack isn't the most productive thing, but it's fun watching her curious mind learn. She is so intrigued and curious about how to do things that seem so mundane to us. So instead of getting frustrated with her wanting to help, I've learned that she's capable and willing to do chores if I encourage her to do them in her own way.

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On that note, today I'm sharing how we make cleaning fun for Delainey and how you can encourage your toddler to help around the house as well!


1. Bona-fide Fun with our Bona Quick-Clean kit - We'll start with the chore Delainey loves doing the most - dusting & mopping with our Bona! It's a quick way to get our floors clean, so I tend to do a quick swoop through the house dancing with my girl, then I lower the adjustable handle and allow my little dancing queen to take over.

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She loves running around the room with the Bona® Microfiber Mop, sliding around and dancing like she's in Risky Business... and our floors look superb afterwards so it's a win-win! If you want to encourage your toddler to do the same, make this chore look fun while you're doing it. Pull out all the Tom Cruise moves and dance around to that good time rock n' roll, I guarantee it's a behavior your sassy little sidekick will definitely want to imitate.


2. Make it a competition - We often make things into a game, because I mean... why not? Life is all about having fun, after all! So, whether we're putting away her blocks or stacking her library books before bedtime, I like to encourage Delainey's competitive side while also getting things accomplished a little faster. We race from the kitchen to her bedroom to put on pjs, we spend just seconds organizing her doll house since we're both moving at lightning speed, and she thinks it's hilarious and so much fun. The best way to encourage your toddler to get speedy is again, to exhibit the behavior yourself. Show Junior how fast you can stack his blocks or put away books, then challenge him to do the same. Whether or not he's super fast the first time or not, ENCOURAGE him and I bet he's ready to race you (and maybe win) the next day!


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3. Everything has a place - While this may be obvious to some, I didn't live with this mindset until maybe my mid-twenties. I've always been a whimsical (ahem... lazy) person and never really enjoyed cleaning, but after years of being forced to "adult", I'll be the first to admit - I have definitely grown to appreciate a cleaner home... and in that cleaner home, I adore organization (more than I could have ever thought possible). While I'm not sure if she's going to keep a tidy house in the future or not, for now I'm encouraging her to put things away as she plays. It's not a demand, it's more of a gentle reminder that "if we take out our blocks from the closet, it's time to put away our dollhouse next to her toy box". She may not always put things where I want, but I figure it doesn't hurt to encourage and her remind her where things go... and well, if she's helping put things away and she gets close to the right spot, I'll consider that a win in my tidiness book! While we're still working on this, my suggestion to help your toddler learn that everything has a place is to show them and then remind them about where things go until they start remembering on their own!




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4. Allow your toddler to lead - Last but not least, never force your toddler to do any household chores they can't handle or absolutely despise... but also, on that same token, encourage your toddler to try doing new activities that help around the house daily. One day she may not be able to climb up and rinse off her plate, but kids grow quick and she may be tall enough tomorrow!

One thing Delainey has recently started doing that blows me away, is requesting to take out our trash and recycling... and while she's not big enough to carry the heavy loads, I sincerely appreciate her willingness. I mean, I just love it when she takes my office trash and is all excited to throw it away. It's funny, because who would have thought... the key to a toddler's heart and the easiest way to make her smile is by letting her do a task that most people don't enjoy doing.


But that... that's why I encourage her to do these things. It not only brings her joy, it helps spread joy in our house. It may sound trivial but these simple tasks and the giggles, love, and sweetness she shares while doing them - it's a reminder of what parenting is all about... and well, really... what life is all about.


Want some extra awesome news? Bona and I have teamed up and one lucky winner will get a FREE Quick Clean Set just for leaving a comment below! Tell me your favorite quick clean tip for your chance to win! You'll also have the opportunity to enter on my facebook tomorrow!

The "Quick Clean Kit" will include:   The Bona® Premium Microfiber Mop for Hard-Surface Floors, The Dusting Solution – Bona® Disposable Dusting Cloths, and The Cleaning Solution – Bona® Wet Cleaning Pads!

Back to School Favorites for My "Big Kid" with Babbleboxx

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

It's that time of year, autumn is hinting it's near with fashion trends changing, the temperatures slipping a little bit lower, and kids heading back to school. While my toddler isn't going to "school" this year, she is going to start a few educational classes so I figured we better allow her the royal treatment with school supplies, a new "school year" routine, and all... I mean, after all she thinks she's a "big kid" now, so we may as well start getting her into the routine of a big kid.


While she's still not sure what big kids do, Delainey loves the idea of getting on a school bus and heading off to learn.  It may partially be because she's seen episodes of The Magic School Bus, but she is obsessed with the idea. I mean, not just obsessed, this girl WANTS to learn. You can hear it in her voice when she squeals every time she sees something new and educational or when a bus drives by. It's so amusing to me the way she pays attention to anyone trying to teach her, it just proves to me that I have a little learner on my hands and I will always embrace that curiosity and encourage her to follow it.


So, if you're like me, trying to find ways to ease your kids into the idea of a new school year routine, I think you'll be interested to find out what Babbleboxx sent me this month. These Back to School goodies are too amazing not to share with you, so let's get this party started!


https://www.zennioptical.com/kids-glasses

First, we'll discuss the cuteness of these Zenni Optical glasses. I mean, seriously?! We pair them with everything from our favorite play clothes to our boutique brands. Not only are these adorable, they're GOOD for her eyes too. That's right, they aren't just a costume addition to her wardrobe, these babies block harmful light with UV+ Blue Blockers! The best part is, she loves wearing them and looks like a total mini-hipster in them, which is too precious in my book.

https://www.zennioptical.com/kids-glasses

If your babe happens to need a prescription, Zenni Optical has you covered there too! Check out their kids eyewear line and be sure to stock up on all the order pairs of specs your heart desires.

https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/4593C3BE-184D-427D-AD9C-DCA33C432C48?ingress=2&visitId=68ebc31d-473f-4304-abf1-731a567a5d03&ref=ast_p_ei

Speaking of desire, my mini me has an odd obsession with scissors. Not in an unhealthy way, of course. I think she's so obsessed because mama's always holding a pair - after all, between making blooms and crafts for the blog she sees mama using scissors all the time.

https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/4593C3BE-184D-427D-AD9C-DCA33C432C48?ingress=2&visitId=68ebc31d-473f-4304-abf1-731a567a5d03&ref=ast_p_ei

Luckily, I finally found a pair that I trust her to use as I'm crafting up some goodness. Westcott's line of scissors are the best. I actually use the Carbo Titanium pair daily to help create pretties and they slice through felt like butter... and D has used her kid scissors to rock out some amazing snowflakes lately and she's in love with cutting up her playdoh (and anything else I let her chop up)! Interested in learning more about the World's favorite scissors brand? Check them out here.

http://blotsupplies.com/products/blot-mini-gel-coloring-pens-assorted-colors-24-ct.html

One part of my childhood that I absolutely couldn't wait to share with Delainey when we heard she was a girl, was actually gel pens. Gel coloring pens were the most coveted, respected part of any girl's back to school supplies when I was little... so when D and I opened the box and saw the all of the BLOT School Supply gel pens we both squealed like little school girls to get our hands on so many new pretty pens!

http://blotsupplies.com/products/blot-mini-gel-coloring-pens-assorted-colors-24-ct.html

Not only did BLOT spoil her with the Mini Gel Pens in every color, they also sent over Ombre Pastel Gel Pens, Signature Retractable Ballpoint Pens, Mini Highlighters, and Mechanical Pencils... so she's pretty much the coolest little toddler on the block now. I'm not gonna lie, I'm likely going to be scribbling right along with her using the gel pens - because sometimes it's fun to act like I'm a kid again.

http://OshKosh.com

Speaking of being a kid again, another part of my childhood that was included in this month's Babbleboxx was the ADORABLE Osh Kosh Kitty outfit! This is a company I remember wearing since, well... forever! So as you can imagine, I was tickled to see the brand had sent her such an adorable outfit. Osh Kosh is one of those brands that everyone knows and trusts, but the way they design clothes is fresh and fun - which makes them one of our favorites. Delainey especially LOVED the kitty design and I'm pretty sure the tutu leggings will be a staple in her wardrobe until they are bursting at the seams.

Visit OshKosh.com to get your hands on this adorable outfit and more and use these codes to help you save a bit on your next purchase (in store code - [038222] or online code - [OKBG3549]) - Codes only valid through September 30, 2018 & exclusions do apply.

https://www.snipits.com/

Another item in the box that I adore is actually something I didn't have in my childhood, but I feel so blessed that I'm able to share with Delainey is the Snip-Its hair prodcuts! This miracle styling spray and wax pomade are life changing.

https://www.snipits.com/

I had a wild head of curls all my entire life and hated it until I learned how to properly manage it... so teaching Delainey how to manage and take care of her curly mop is a priority on my list of lessons to teach her. Luckily this should be a simple lesson to teach now that we found Snip-Its. The styling spray is pretty much the answer to any curly girly mama's head and the pomade allows me to create texture without a heavy, wet look. It's safe to say we're both fans of these kids natural hair products and she LOVES getting to help do her hair now.

https://amzn.to/2LIsHlb

Last but not least in our Babblebox was the Sprout Organic Crispy Chews and Curlz! Two new snacks that D is super fond of! The Crispy chews are the perfect mixture of sweet and crunch and D is always asking for more of these - which is a-okay since they're pure ingredients (like fruits & veggies) which are certified organic & non-gmo! The Curlz are chickpeas and lentils in disguise, coated with a delicious blend of white cheddar cheese... and they leave Delainey saying "CHEESE" everytime.

https://amzn.to/2LIsHlb

Want to supply your kiddos with a wholesome, organic kid snack filled with plant powered protein? Get your hands on some Curlz & Crispy Chews now!

https://amzn.to/2LIsHlb

So tell me, which item in this month's Babbleboxx sparked your interest the most? I'd love to hear how you prepare your kids for the school year or your kids that are just starting classes (like Miss D) in the comments below!