The Motherhood Journey: 2016

The Motherhood Journey 2016

It’s a new year and I am looking forward to a new year of blogging consistently and growing as a mom. I can’t believe my son turns three this year.

This last year was not an easy year for me but there some good things that happened. this past year I started several new jobs including working at a home for teen moms. This last year I found community through church and through mom groups. This year I started a business with Trades of Hope. Through all the hard times I’ve held onto hope.

This is what the year looked like in my motherhood journey.

The Motherhood Journey 2016

The Motherhood Journey 2016

Babywearing: My son is getting older so I haven’t worn him much lately but babywearing (or toddler wearing) was necessary in so many situations. For example, stores that don’t have carts, long hikes, the zoo, and when he wanted to be held but I was cooking.Check out our photos from the photo shoot fundraiser for the local babywearing library. I encourage you to join your local babywearing group for help with carriers and to try the different types.

Bravery: As a mom going through big life changes and uncertain times, God helped me be brave. Read about how I went from fear to pursuing my dreams.

Flourish: I learned how to flourish and what things are important and necessary for feeding the soul. I love that this is an area where we can continually grow. As moms, it is so important that we take care of ourselves as we take care of our little ones.

Fun: As a mom including fun times for your children is so important, especially if you work from home. I have greatly improved with my time management but also need to make sure my son is having a good time. One of the ways I did this was by creating a quiet time basket to keep him occupied while I did work or had my own “quiet time”.

Top 4 posts on the blog this year

  1. Why I chose The Tiny Potty Training Book to Potty Train My 18 Month Old

It has been almost a year since I potty trained Hezekiah and to be honest he still has accidents occasionally. I don’t regret potty training him “early” though. We saved a lot of diapers and my son gained a lot of independence. Potty training is not easy and I don’t know how I would have done it without this book and the support I had.

2. Tips for helping your child adjust to a sibling

I still only have one child but most of my friends have at least two kids so I had lots of sources. In the future, these tips will be very helpful.

3. How to have dates after baby

Going on a date when you have a new baby can seem impossible for some couples. In this post I give some ideas to make it happen.

4. The truth about postpartum depression, anxiety and baby blues

This was a guest post but I am glad that it was so popular since this is an important topic.

What four words described your year as a mom?

How a nightly blessing can benefit your family

Alysa from Alysalovely.com is sharing about a special nighttime routine that her family does with her daughter. This blessing has many benefits for babies and families with children of all ages. Our family has had similar traditions but I love how Alysa and her husband incorporated this blessing into their daughter’s bedtime routine.

How a nightly blessing can benefit your family

How a nightly blessing can benefit your family

When my daughter was born, we received a book from one of our friends called The Family Blessing by Rolf Garborg.  In The Family Blessing, Garborg describes the benefits of saying a blessing over your children every night before bed.  We received the book when our daughter was less than a month old, and I devoured it. I couldn’t wait to get started!

A few months later, when we were actually giving her a specific bedtime, we decided to add a blessing to her bedtime routine.  At four months old, her routine was looking like a diaper change, a massage, putting on pajamas, then a story, breastfeeding her on both sides (if she took it), her blessing and then bed.  The nightly blessing we read to her is the same one they use in the book:

May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord shine his face on you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.

We then add “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”  Tell her we love her, and put her in her crib.  

Putting a baby to sleep in her crib in her own room by herself isn’t easy when she’s not used to it.  The first few nights were pretty hard.  There were even nights where she recognized the words we were saying to her, and got upset as we were saying her blessing because she knew that the next thing to happen was going to be putting her in her bed.  Luckily, that didn’t last very long.

We have been saying her nightly blessing to her for over a year now, and I have to say that it is one of the most valuable things that we do for our daughter.  Here is why this nightly tradition has come to be so important to me:

It gives the very end of the bedtime routine a sense of calm
After my daughter got over the feeling of betrayal when we’d get to the blessing just before putting her in her crib, I believe that it has become something that calms her down for bedtime.  More often than not, when we put her down, she rolls into a comfortable position and goes right to sleep.  It’s a great part of her bedtime routine because it helps create a real sense of calm in the room, which is perfect for someone who is right about to sleep.

It reminds her of the love of her Father in heaven
Above all, these are God’s promises to us, which is what makes this particular Bible verse so perfect for our nightly blessing.  We want our daughter to grow up knowing exactly how loved she is, both by us and by God.

It reminds us of God’s grace, especially when we’ve all had a bad day
Parenting is really hard, and sometimes we finish the day thinking back on the things we wish we didn’t do, or the things we wish we hadn’t said.  It’s so easy to get caught up in all of that and go to bed upset.  Doing a blessing like this one also tells us that there is the grace of God, and whatever we did that we felt was wrong is forgiven. May the Lord be gracious to you.  It helps remind all of us of God’s grace for her, and for us.

It’s something we can do as a family
At this point in time, my husband and I do bedtimes together.  Well, to be more specific, he does most of bedtime, and then I nurse her and he does the blessing.  We’re all together for when I nurse her and when we do the blessing and put her to bed.  It has come to mean a lot to me that I get to be part of the blessing as well.  I love that we can spend that time together every night as a family.

It’s something that is just for our daughter
Part of the blessing is inserting our daughter’s name into the verse.  This way, we are speaking the blessing directly to her as well as over her.  We want her to know that this is something we’re doing just for her.  We hope that as she gets older, she’ll be able to go to sleep knowing God’s love, his graciousness, and his peace.

guest post bio from AlysaLovely.com

What I am most looking forward to with baby #2 Guest post

What I'm excited about baby #2

Lisa from Naptime Chai is featured today writing about her excitement for the arrival of her second child. Soon she will have a newborn and toddler to care for. I’m excited for her get to watch her toddler become a sibling and for her whole family to fall in love with this new baby.

What I am most looking forward to with baby #2

What I'm excited about baby #2

Originally, I thought I wanted kids that were close in age. 18 months apart, to be exact. I had it all planned out, as people often do before they actually become parents.

Actually, I thought I would have kids close in age even after Clara was born… but that changed as soon as she became mobile. Then I realized that having two toddlers sounded really, really awful.

And right when I had this realization is when I got pregnant for the second time. God has quite the sense of humor!

So, now I’m expecting kids 21 months apart and, if I’m being honest, I’ve managed to live in a steady state of denial so far. I did the same with my first baby, though, so baby #2 shouldn’t take it personally. I’m trying my hardest to enjoy pregnancy and to not think too far into the future, since I have absolutely no idea what we’ve gotten ourselves into and trying to envision what life might be like will only bring unrealistic expectations. At least that’s my view on it.

But, even though it wasn’t necessarily in my plans to have two babies so close together, I couldn’t be more excited about our expanding family, and I say that with my whole heart. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I knew that God’s plan was bigger than my own, and I felt an instant sense of peace. I can handle this, because it’s His will for me and our family.

Here’s what I’m most excited for this time around:

– Clara becoming a big sister. Clara is obsessed with babies. She cannot handle a baby being in the room if she’s not within inches of him/her. She carries her baby dolls around everywhere and continuously tells me that they need to eat or have a diaper change. (It’s very frustrating that I need to change her doll’s diaper more than hers, but such is life.) I actually don’t know where she got this nurturing instinct, but it is so sweet and I cannot wait to see her in action. Although, I know it’s going to be exhausting because she is very bossy when it comes to how to care for a baby!

– Finding out whether Baby Beni is a boy or a girl. We don’t know the gender, and I’m excited for the big moment!

– Experiencing labor and delivery. Weird that I’m excited for this, right?! We had a terrible time at Clara’s birth, and I’m hoping Baby Beni’s birth is a redemptive story, of sorts. I would love to have a natural birth experience, but I’m open-minded that anything can happen.

– Watching my husband (Tim) with two babies. I am fortunate enough to be married to a man who loves babies. He was so excited to become a dad the first time and he’s extra-excited this time, now that he knows what to expect! I know that our marriage is going to go through some rough patches in the adjustment, but I have no doubt that he will be the most devoted dad to our two little ones.

– Snuggling a newborn. I’m one of those women who love newborns. I love everything about them. I loved Clara’s entire newborn stage. I realize it’s going to be a different experience now that I won’t be able to lounge around all day with a newborn (it turns out that toddlers have a lot of demands), but I’m so excited to snuggle a little body to sleep.

– Introducing another baby to our family and friends. It’s always so special to see my loved ones instantly fall in love with a new little person. It makes my heart melt just thinking about it. Isn’t it awesome how we all have such an infinite capacity of love, and meeting a new person just creates more room in our heart?

– Beginning a new chapter. I fully embrace life changes and transitions, and my life has been full of them lately! in 2012 I got engaged and married and moved to a new apartment, in 2013 I got a new job and got pregnant, in 2014 I had a baby, in 2015 we moved across the country, and in 2016 we’re having another baby! I’m ready for this new chapter to begin, and to see where we’ll go from here.

Even though this baby isn’t coming at my most ideal time, and I’m a little worried about my ability to handle a newborn and a toddler and eventually two toddlers, I’m also excited for everything that is to come. Our friends who have kids with similar age differences have admitted that the first few months are hard, but that it does get a lot easier. And then way further down the line, everyone has said that it’s really nice when the kids start playing together. It is my biggest hope that our family only grows closer with this new person in it.

Do you have kids that are close in age?! I would love to connect with you at my blog or through social media!

 

Lisa Benroeck bio photoLisa is a lifestyle blogger at ‘Naptime Chai’, where she writes about embracing life and its simple moments from one naptime to the next! She loves writing about a little bit of everything, but the topics closest to her heart are marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Through her writing, she hopes to encourage other women and mothers in whatever stage of life they’re in. She resides in the PNW with her laid-back husband, a very-fast-moving toddler, a high-strung dog, and the soon-to-be newest member of the family who is due to arrive in April!

You can connect with Lisa via her blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Related Posts from The Motherhood Journey

Thai tomato soup

Thai tomato soup

Last week, I posted my meal plan for the week. I was left with some tomato paste and coconut milk. I was having such a hard time figuring out what to make using those two things (besides the exact meal I made last week). My husband suggested this Thai tomato soup. We were unsure if it would be good but I decided to go for it and was pleased with the results. It’s easy, quick, healthy, and kid friendly.

Thai Tomato Soup

Thai tomato soup

I love to make soup because it is so easy and healthy. Soup is the perfect side to a sandwich for the nights when you don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking. All of the quantities below are approximate because you can just use what you have.

Thai Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger (about 1 inch of fresh ginger)
  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 red bell peppers

Directions

Step 1
Pour coconut milk into pot.
Step 2
Add tomato paste, curry and ginger to taste.
Step 3
Stir over medium heat until smooth.
Step 4
Chop the tomatoes and peppers.
Step 5
Blend the tomatoes and peppers until pureed.
Step 6
Add puree to pot and cook until desired temperature.

 

I told you it was simple (like most things I post on this blog :). The best part is that my toddler loved this soup. This is a big deal because he refuses most foods.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any ideas to make this soup even better.

Tips for helping your child adjust to a new sibling

tips for helping child adjust to new sibling

There are many things that parents can do to help their child adjust to the new baby making the transition easier for the whole family. I am looking forward to trying out most of these ideas when the time comes for my family to have another baby. Getting the older child involved helps make this a positive transition for the family.

Tips for helping your child adjust to a new sibling

tips for helping child adjust to new sibling

I don’t yet have experience with having a second child of my own but exactly 25 years ago yesterday my younger sister was born when I was 21 months old. I know it wasn’t easy having to share my mom’s attention with a newborn. I was extremely jealous of my sister and threw a lot of tantrums, just like the tantrums that my son Hezekiah has when I hold other babies.

Be aware of the possibility of regression. A lot of toddlers regress with potty training after the new baby is born.

Involve your older child

One way to prevent some of these unwanted behaviors is to keep the older child involved in preparations, pregnancy, and caring for the baby after he is born. Find simple tasks that the older sibling can easily help with. Some examples include fetching supplies, picking out the baby’s clothes and singing to the baby. Having a way for the older child to help makes them feel important and that they are a vital part of the family.

One on one time is so important now that they are having to share you. It won’t be easy but you can do something special with your older child while the baby is taking a nap.

Communicate about expectations, changes, and babies needs

Talk to your child ahead of time about what to expect and what things are going to be different. Explain what will happen when you go into labor. Will somebody babysit your child while you are at the hospital?

Will your child be present during the birth? One of my friends had her son present during her home birth. To prepare him, she showed him home birth videos and talked about the sounds she might be making. I think having your child present during the birth (especially at home) is a good way to start the sibling relationship.

Explain what babies can and cannot do. Talk about what babies need (the book suggested below is perfect for this). If they have not been around a lot of babies, try exposing them to more babies or practice being gentle with a doll. If your child’s friends have siblings, you can use that as a conversation starter.

When talking about the baby (before and after birth) make sure to be positive and never blame the baby for not being able to do things.

Big brother/ big sister gifts

New siblings want to feel special and these gifts will help occupy your toddler/ preschooler while the parents are occupied with the newborn. Some suggest having this be a gift from the baby.

  • sticker books
  • audio books
  • childrens camera— I have heard many parents say that this is a great way for the new older sibling to bond with the baby and it gives the older child a job in welcoming the new baby.
  • activity/ busy bags for toddler
  • coloring books
  • baby doll
  • big sibling baby book
  • Big Sister bag this can be adapted for a big brother
  • A favorite toy that they have been wanting

Here’s some free printable “big sis” and “big bro”  tags for the gifts.

Gift from older sibling to new baby

  • Let the older child help pick out a special gift (have them wrap it) or have the child help make something like a blanket.
  • stuffed animals– my son and I both have sheep stuffed animals and already have one for the future baby (that does not exist yet).
  • A book or toy that the older child no longer plays with.

Books that help prepare children for a sibling

When I was a nanny there were two books about welcoming a new baby that I loved. These books can be adapted to different ages and have suggested activities to help prepare a child for a new sibling. Both books are from the Sears Children’s Library

Other books that are highly suggested by parents:

Basket of special things for nursing sessions 

Some of the gifts listed above can be put in a basket for the older child to use while mom is nursing the baby. Quiet toys like crayons or play dough are perfect for this. Check out When at Home’s post for more ideas.

Rainy Day Mum’s post describes the kind of items that you want to include in your nusring basket/ box.

What are your biggest concerns for adding another child to your family?

What tips would you add to this list?

 

Follow my Pinterest board for more resources.
Follow The Motherhood Journey’s board Transitioning to two (or more) kids on Pinterest.

How to Have Dates After Baby

How to have dates after baby title photo

Since it is almost Valentines Day, I wanted to give you some ideas for having fun with your husband. It wasn’t until recently that my husband and I have been able to go on dates without our son, Hezekiah who is now 19 months. For the first year of being new parents, most of our dates included baby. When he was younger (especially as a newborn), we could walk around with him in the Ergo and it was almost like he wasn’t there because he was either content being worn or or sleeping. It was so nice when he could sleep anytime anywhere (while being worn in the Ergo).

How to Have Dates After Baby

How to have dates after baby title photo
Since Hezekiah was born in the beginning of the summer we had planned on taking advantage of the Shakespeare in the parks performances as well as movies in the park. We ended up being too tired and busy for those activities but we still got out a lot.

Here are some more date ideas that are baby friendly:

  • Farmers Market Shop for your produce and eat lunch together (either a picnic lunch from home or food from one of the stands.) Seattle has several farmer’s markets including some that are open year round
  • Walk on beach and dinner at a restaurant nearby This is perfect for babywearing because babies love to move. (The sound of the water is probably calming too.) If you are in Seattle, I suggest Alki beach and The Cactus for dinner. In the Spokane area, there is Lake Couer d’ Alene and restaurants in the adjacent downtown area.
  • Burritos See photos below. Seattle has a delicious burrito restaurant called Gorditos. If you bring in your newborn baby, you get a free baby sized burrito. The decor at Gorditos is photos of all of those babies. I love it! Even if you don’t have a burrito place like this in your town bring your baby and order a gigantic burrito. Please show me pictures if you do this.
    burrito baby
    burrito baby with mom
    burrito baby with dad

    At home after baby is in bed 

    Babies usually go to bed early which gives you plenty of time for at home fun.

  • Drinks and a show Recently, my husband went and picked up some hot chocolate from Chocolati (a hot chocolate place in Seattle) then we watched the newest episode of Call the Midwife (you’re probably jealous).
  • two player game that you both like playing. For us it’s Carcassone.
  • Give each other massages. Who doesn’t need a massage? Light the candles. I used our Burts Bees baby oil and Burts Bees leg lotion for the legs.
  • 21 Stay at Home Date Night Ideas from Fulfilling Your Vows
  • The Best Date Night I’ve Ever Found from The Busy Budgeter
  • 25 Ideas for At-Home Date Nights from from Babble
  • Date Night Ideas When You Can’t Get a Sitter from Skinny Mom
  • 45 At Home Date Night Ideas from The Dating Divas
  • 10 Stay at Home Date Nights from Together with Family
  • 8 Creative at Home Date Nights from Unveiled Wife

    Going out without baby

    Our first date without baby was when Hezekiah was eight months last Valentines Day. We did the usual– dinner at a fancy restaurant. York (my husband) wanted us to take a walk before dinner so we parked on the Magnolia side of the locks and walked over to our favorite restaurant India Bistro in Ballard. It was my first attempt at pumping and having somebody give H a bottle. I suggest trying this before your big date. It worked out though (he didn’t drink any of my milk but he didn’t starve).

Need more help making date night happen?

4 Ways to Make Time for Your Husband When You Are Busy from Mom Wife Busy Life

Great Ideas for Making Date Night Happen from The Dating Divas

Top 5 Marriage posts for new parents from The Motherhood Journey

Where did you go on your first date after baby was born?

5 marriage posts for new parents

five marriage posts for new parents title photo

Children change your marriage. If you already have good habits (like regular date nights) then keep it up. If not, now that you have children your marriage should not be put on the backburner but nurtured because children benefit from having happily married parents. Parenting will be so much easier if you and your husband have a good relationship.

5 Marriage posts for new parents

 

five marriage posts for new parents title photo

My marriage took a big hit after my son was born. Roles changed and I had a hard time getting much done while taking care of a baby. We felt so busy and tired. I don’t have much advice for you but here are are five posts that I found to be helpful.
1. Four easy steps to making your marriage a priority from Unveiled Wife

2. Five ways to cultivate intimacy in your marriage from Unveiled Wife

3. Seven Marriage practices worth perfecting from The Happy Wives Club

4. How to Balance Marriage and Motherhood from Joy in the Home

5. Making time for your marriage when you have little ones from The Art of Domesticity

Bonus: How to Have Dates After Baby from The Motherhood Journey

How do you balance marriage and motherhood?

5 Goals for Mothers of Toddlers

5 Goals for Mothers of Toddlers

At the beginning  of each year, I make a list of all of my goals, wishes and prayers for the year. This year, my list includes continuing to take steps to strengthen my marriage, getting certified as a postpartum doula, potty training Hezekiah, and getting him to sleep in his own bed.

5 goals for parenting a toddler

As a parent of a toddler, it can be difficult to have many goals other than– get more sleep (that’s my goal for life). Last month I posted 7 goals for parenting an 18 month old. This month’s goals are ones that will benefit moms of toddlers of all ages.

 

  • Do something to make yourself feel good.

Many cities have beauty schools where you can get manicures, pedicures, and haircuts for a low cost. I am planning on getting my haircut this month. When I lived in Seattle, I would get free haircuts by volunteering to be a “hair model” for students who were getting tested.

 

  • Take child to the dentist.

My son had his first dentist appointment when he was around 12 months so he is due for his next appointment this month. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check up every six months for children.

 

  • Get outside (and be active)!

Hike it Baby is having their Hike it Baby 30 challenge this month (January). The challenge is to hike (walk, run, snowshoe…) 30 miles outside with your child or spend 30 minutes outside, 3 days a week all month. So far, my family has done 6.5 miles. I’m hoping that this challenge will motivate me to be active outdoors even though it is tempting to hibernate indoors and avoid the cold snow. If you haven’t joined your local Hike it Baby group, I encourage you to do it.

get outside and be active

 

 

  • Potty train

I was originally planning on potty training Hezekiah last month but the holidays have kept us busy so I will do it this month. I am going to buy The Tiny Potty Training Book from my friend, Helen this week so I will be ready to start ASAP!

 

  • Host play date (Socialize with other moms)

Due to the holidays, this did not happen last month as planned. I am an administrator for the under 2 playgroup for MOPS so I need to set a date then invite the group over to let the babies play and give us some time to be with other adults. I still want to try the Nutella hot chocolate recipe in my crock pot (yum!)

What are your goals, wishes and prayers for this year?

goals for mothers of toddlers

 

Parent group resources

Parent Group resources

Parent group resources

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

More than 3900 MOPs groups meet worldwide. The purpose of MOPs is for moms of children newborn through kindergarten to gather for encouragement, mentorship and fun. The large group is broken up into small groups (tables) with discussion time after a speaker. Tables take turns bringing breakfast.
Listening Mothers (Seattle area/ Victoria BC)

Listening Mothers is a eight week parenting course got moms and their babies through six months. This group is a program of the Community of Mindful Parenting and covers topics such as communication, attachment, and baby’s emotional development.
PEPS Program for Early Parent Support

PEPS is a program for early parenting support where parents come together to connect, share, and learn about becoming a good parent. PEPS promotes the belief that parents who are confident, informed and connected to supportive friends and resources will enjoy their children and help them reach their highest potential.

Postpartum Support International The mission of Postpartum Support International is to promote awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide.

Mom Life at Faith Bible Church (Spokane)

A group for mothers of preschoolers (birth through kindergarten) that meets the second Wednesday of each month with the purpose of encouraging and trading women for their important job as mothers.
Mamas Assisting Mamas Around Spokane

Meets Thursday’s 11-12 at the Eastside community center with a different topic each week to discuss. Recent topics include birth stories, intimacy and parenthood, and pregnancy and birth after loss.
La Leche League Mothering Class  at Mother’s Haven (Coeur D Alene)

This class takes place on the secind Thursday of each month. Class topics include: gentle discipline methods that work, night time parenting, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning, improving your family’s diet, potty-mastery, adjusting to being a new mother, family/siblings adjusting to a new baby, siblings without rivalry, raising your spirited child, being an advocate for your child, handling unsolicited advice, green housecleaning, etc. Classes are helpful and appropriate for pregnant women, mothers with new babies, and mothers with toddlers and preschoolers. Learn a Loving way of life with your children.

Young Lives 

Young Lives is a Young Life group for Teen Moms. The regular meetings include childcare. Mentors build relationships with teen moms, offering guidance in matters of faith, parenting and self-worth.

Hike it Baby

Hike it Baby is a new parents group in over 150 cities around the country dedicated to getting families together and out into nature with newborns and little ones. We have a wide variety of hikes and urban strolls and the best part is all of our hikes are FREE!

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is a useful website for starting and finding groups based in any interest. I have found several mom groups through this website.

 

7 Goals for Parenting an 18 month old

I don’t know why but for some reason 18 months seems like a huge milestone. Maybe it’s because it means he is halfway to 2 or maybe it is because it is the next big milestone after the first birthday. Hezekiah is getting more independent, more opinionated, and more talkative everyday.

7 goals for parenting an 18 month old

  1. 1. No TV or electronics during meals (for me)

As a blogger (and a human mom), this is really hard for me. Sometimes meals feel like my only chance to catch up on emails. But this is also a good time to interact with my child, set a good example, and prevent bad habits. At 18 months, my son still likes to throw his eating utensils on the floor. If I am distracted, I don’t have the chance to quickly correct him by showing him the correct way to let me know he is done

2. Make a dentist appointment for my son

If you took your child to the dentist when they turned a year old, they are probably due for their next appointment soon. I’ve been putting this off because we recently moved and I need to find my son a new dentist.

3. Invite Hezekiah to help out more

Hezekiah is already pretty good at helping out but now that he is getting older I know there is so much more he can do. Here are some examples of things we are going to start working on:

  • Take his dishes to the kitchen (put in sink)
  • Fetch diaper for diaper changes (I recently moved his diapers to the floor so that he can reach them
  • Put dirty clothes in basket
  • Take off socks (He still needs help but he knows how to do this)
  • Brush teeth. He loves brushing his teeth but still needs help to ensure that he gets all of his teeth.
  • Put away toys (including bath toys). He has been pretty good at putting away his toys but he usually throws his bath toys out o the tub at the end of the bath.
  • Throw away garbage. He knows where the garbage can is so if we ask him to throw something away he will.

4. Eat six meals a day and make sure he is getting food from each food group.

According to Gil Rapley, author of Baby Led Weaning, at 18 months babies should be eating six meals a day and getting food from each food group. She says that a serving size is a handful which is a good visual way for me to remember how big a serving is. We already have been eating snacks throughout the day but now they are a little more planned. I try to make a smoothie everyday with spinach and fruit to guarantee that we get some green veggies everyday.

5. More play dates

Depending on our schedule, I would like to do at least one play date a week. I realize that people have different definitions of the word “play date” but to me it just means that the parents are present while the children play. I volunteered to administrate the 0-2 playgroup at MOPs so that I will be more likely to do this more often. I invited the mom’s in that group to come over this Tuesday morning. The only plan is to drink Nutella hot chocolate and let the babies play and socialize.

6. Be more intentional about having a day of rest each week

Rest is so important yet so difficult for moms. I recently decided to have a day of rest each week. The day that works best for me is Saturday. For me, rest means no chores or errands and making restful activities a priority.

7. Start potty training

18 months is a great time to start potty training. I’m planning on waiting until after Christmas because my son is getting underwear for Christmas and I am hoping to get the Tiny Potty Training book for Christmas. Then we are going to be out of town for two weeks so this might not happen until next month.

P.S. I didn’t want to wait to start reading the book so I downloaded the first two chapters for free at godiaperfree.com.

 

What are your goals for this month?