All in Toddlers

They refuse everything you give them. You long for the days of old when a boob would suffice and you knew they were getting all the nutrients they needed. You worry that they aren't getting enough calcium or potassium. Oh crap! What about iron? Do you think they are getting enough iron? 

Before having kids, you promised you wouldn't give your offspring Mac & Cheese every night. Instead, they'd be "cultured" and would like things like curry and sushi (at least the unauthentic cooked kind). Now you *actually* have kids and they don't eat squat.

Bedtime and Naptime have been a major struggle at our house the past couple of weeks. In that everyone is refusing to do it.

I don't know what it is about these times of day that is so draining, but they are. By the end of the day, the grace has run out. The prospect of sitting with a glass of wine, watching a show without any educational value is just around the corner, but these little people won't let you! They know life goes on after they are in bed and they are struggling with major #FOMO 

I once was a mom of #2under2. That had it's many challenges. It's like having 2 babies, but babies who have different needs and are in two totally different developmental stages. In that first 6 months of having two under two, we all cried every single day. Then once my little one turned 1, it started to get easier and every day after that got easier and easier.

My kids are now 2 and 3 and they are BFFs, except when they are not.

I hated working for other people. Nearly every job I had came with a boss who micromanaged. Anyone who ever had a micromanaging boss, knows how suffocating and ineffective that management strategy can be. I always felt like I was on the brink of getting in trouble, which in turn made me so anxious that I would mess up and get in trouble. Or sometimes I would just say eff it and do things the way I thought they should be done because I knew I'd get in trouble no matter what. It was a never-ending cycle.

I recently realized the same thing was happening with my threenager.

"I see those moms who are bending down to their kid's level, speaking in a soft tone as their child quietly does what they say. How come that doesn't work for me?" I shared with my mom the other day as I was lamenting over the fact that I'm not the quiet, gentle-spirited mother I always dreamt I'd be.

"Those moms are just different than you." My mom explained that softer quieter souls breed softer quieter (aka more submissive) children. "Your home will always be a little more volatile than other homes, because you are...spirited."

Potty training may be one of the most dreaded parts of parenting. Everyone and their mother (especially their mothers) have an opinion about potty training. There are countless books and "experts" claiming to have the secret. I call bull. There are a lot of expectations we put on potty training and now I'm sharing 6 things I wish someone had told me before I started potty training my kids:

"She laughs without fear of the future."

I say that verse over and over but I have yet to take it on as my own identity. Maybe I need to say it in first person? Who knows.

It was like as soon as my first child was placed in my womb, I was also given a ball of anxiety that sits in my gut or my chest or somewhere in my body that is super annoying. My fears are a hearty mix of practical and totally irrational.

Potty training update. I am so proud of this girl. Yesterday she made it the entire day with dry underpants. She still needs to learn to tell me when she needs to go, but at least she goes when I ask her (after a couple minutes of fighting it...It's a process, people). As parents, or just as people for that matter, we work hard and long towards our goals. In the midst of it, it seems as though there is no progress. Everything we do is met with resistance, but we keep pressing forward, trusting that all of our efforts are going to pay off someday. This was a much needed reminder that it is so worth it. Have we completely arrived yet?! Absolutely not! We have weeks (probably months) to go before she is fully trained, but yesterday was a much needed glimmer of hope.

Day 3 potty training. In short, it's a challenge. I'm not child development specialist by any means, but I'm a mom and I can tell you that tantrums increase anytime a child (at least my kids) is learning a new skill. I get it! It's so frustrating when you are trying to learn something and aren't good at it yet. It must be even more frustrating when you are being told you have to do it by someone else. 

For a long time, it was really hard to get out and go on adventures (and by "adventures" I mean leave the house in general) with our kids because they were so little and curious and literally always went in different directions. My friends would invite me to go to the park with them and I would hesitate because I knew it would be exhausting and not fun at all. It would not be the play date they imagined because I'd spend the entire time wrangling my free-range children. Ultimately they would convince me it would be easy, after all they would be there too. Then about 30 minutes into our park date, we'd all be exhausted and it would take every thing we had just to bribe them with a granola bar to get in their car seats. 

The best children's books every little boy needs to own

My college roommate just had her first baby boy and it has me dreaming of dinosaurs and monsters. She is going to be the most amazing boy mom ever and I giddy with excitement over getting to meet him later this week.

We're a big book family over here and I am totally that aunt/family friend who will always give books instead of toys, but I don't care. To quote Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail, "When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.” I don't think there is any greater gift we can give our children than the love of reading, so today I want to share with you my all-time favorite books to gift little boys

My Guide to Living In Your House With Kids While Selling Your House

I've mentioned what I'm like when I am pregnant, right? Totally nutballs crazy. Okay, so me with the house on the market may just top that. There is so much to stress about. We are not made of that thing...what's it called? It's green and has faces on it. Yes, Money. Right. That's it. We are NOT MADE OF MONEY, so we had to sell our house before we could buy another one, which means we had to live in our house while it's on the market. 

My Experience transitioning my Toddler to a Big Kid Bed

Like pretty much every big transition, I was dreading the transition to a big boy bed because I knew it would interrupt my sleep. Sleep is very important to me. Like super important. One night of poor sleep will turn me into a bat shiz psycho lady who can't finish her sentences. So I put it off and put it off - the same way I'm still putting off potty training (is it Karma that made me pee a little while sneezing in the middle of typing that sentence?). For the first month, we had him sleep in his pack and play mostly because with the Holidays we knew we'd be putting him down at other people's homes a lot and didn't want him to get too confused.

The Terribly Fun Twos

Last Sunday, our family graduated from the "Two Under Two" Club. At the stroke of 12:15am, Titus turned two. Now, my husband and I just look at each other in shock and awe and we wonder how the heck we ended up with a two year old! What the what? You mean those passing days actually make time change?

A Letter to my Tantrumming Toddler

Dear Toddler of Mine,

I hear your screams and I see you on your back flailing your limbs because you want another cupcake (yes, readers, I sometimes give my toddler cupcakes - sue me)You are too young to understand that tantrums will not fly in our house, but for now I will let you learn on your own that tantrums are an ineffective way to get what you want. 

The first 3 months of having 2 under 2

In September 2013, my husband and I had our first baby. He won our hearts immediately. Seven months later, we had a seven month old and were pregnant again. OH SNAP! In 9-ish months or so, we would have two babies under two. From the get-go we were like, let's just get this done with. We knew we wanted two kids so we figured we might as well just have them close in age and get out of this "having babies" stage of life. Yes, we planned this insanity.