Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Children (+ Why it’s Important)

My blog post was originally posted on Red Tricycle last year. 

Celebrate Valentine's Day with your Children (+ Why it's Important)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This day seems to stir up conflicting emotions for many people. I’ve always looked at the day as an excuse to bake treats and exchange meaningful words with friends and family.

I began thinking about why I don’t struggle with this day (and it’s not because I am married). It’s because my mom made it fun not at all about significant other’s. I wrote a blog post for Red Tricycle about Why You Should Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Kids. My mother taught my brother’s and I life is too short to be cynical about a day where you have an extra reason to spread love around.

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Day Dates + How to Find Babysitters

Day Dates + How to Find Babysitters

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Saturday morning Jordan and I went on a day date. I had scheduled a babysitter, but instead of canceling when my work scheduled changed Jordan and I went out! Day dates, as parents, are far superior to evening dates. For one thing Phoenix is awake the entire time so it’s a legit break, but also I’m not nearly as tired.

We had a gift card to a coffee shop, so we grabbed coffee and breakfast and pursued several antique stores nearby. We arrived home just in time to put Phoenix down for a nap. Saturday morning dates are where it’s at!

Speaking of dates, the parenting question I get asked the most is “how do you find your babysitters?”

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Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

Motherhood Right Now / / Seventeen Months

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

It’s been several months since I’ve written an update on Phoenix. He is seventeen months, growing quickly — too quickly — and the joy of our lives. He’s sweet and particular. When he’s ready to sleep he is R E A D Y, just like his mama. He loves BB-8 and can say several words including: book, car, baby (or BB), bye bye, mama, dada, woof (for puppy), hi, girl and nana (for banana). He still doesn’t like long car rides, but is doing better when we’re out running errands. I think supplying endless snacks helps.

His favorite song is “The Wheels on the Bus” (which keeps him happy in the car!). His two favorite books are Zingy and The Little Blue Truck. He asks, “What’s That?” all day long. Transitioning to one nap a day hasn’t been as seamless as I hoped. Around 16 months (maybe due to traveling?) he started waking up at 5 am with a dirty diaper! Thankfully, it’s settled out again and Phoenix is back to sleeping 12-13 hrs a night. I wonder if we hit the 18 month sleep regression early?

I do enjoy the flexibility of doing activities in the morning. We go to Story Time at least once a week (sometimes twice!). Jordan and I are doing our best to encourage independent play. Per what I’ve read, we keep a limited amount of toys out at a time.

Phoenix will now somewhat pay attention to a show or a movie. He usually watches a little Star Wars on Saturday mornings with Jordan. His favorite show is Peg + Cat on PBS. He caught a cold in December and shows were a great use in keeping him from running around and coughing.

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Raising Children in a Scary World

On Raising Children in a Scary World

“Why would you bring a child in to this scary world?”

I’m sure you are familiar with the above comment, an argument many use as reason to not have children. Before Phoenix was born, I didn’t ask myself that question but as I emerged from the newborn fog (and took a look at the world around me through my newfound mom perspective) I was scared.

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Two Tips for Extended Breastfeeding

Two Tips for Extended Breastfeeding

I didn’t have a particular need for my birth to go a specific way, but I wanted to breastfeed. I don’t glorify breastfeeding or put it on a pedestal, but it was important to me to give breastfeeding my best.

There is a lot of information available on breastfeeding a newborn. Lactation consultants are available at most hospitals, but ongoing breastfeeding offers unique challenges. I had a difficult time finding information on breastfeeding past the newborn stage, into what is called extended breastfeeding. The breastfeeding community can be extreme and some “advice” I read wasn’t practical or helpful (cue: it’s possible to breastfeed and not co-sleep)!

I’m sharing two concepts which greatly helped influence a positive extended breastfeeding experience. These two tips are the reason I’m still breastfeeding today!

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Eleven Months | Smoothie Face

Eleven Months | Smoothie Face

Phoenix and Jordan shared a blueberry smoothie on July 4th. We snapped several photos most of which I didn’t intend to share, but I couldn’t resist. I loved Phoenix instantly, but my obsession for him grows with each passing day. His toothy grin. The way his hair curls when it’s wet. His babbling and even the little tantrums (get back to me in a few years on that one!). I miss him more now than I did when I first went back to work when he was 16 weeks old. Did you find that to be true?

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Phoenix at Eleven Months

Eleven Months Update

This was the month Phoenix began to act more like a toddler than a baby. He slowly replaced bottles with table food. When I am home he nurses several times throughout the day, but when I’m not home he loves the food! Phoenix continues to regularly sleep 12 hours a night, waking once or none at all! Sleep was an early struggle for us, but we are in a good place.

I went away for a night and I think it was harder for me than Phoenix! I was telling my friends I wasn’t sad about being away from Phoenix because I was concerned for him, but because I enjoy his company. He is at such a fun age. His playful and silly personality cracks me up daily.

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Phoenix at 10 Months

Phoenix 10 Months Update

Phoenix turned 10 months on Saturday. We attended a birthday party at the zoo on Saturday and it’s hard to believe Phoenix’s first birthday is in two months! And I have planned zero things for it. Well, that’s not totally true. We have a few ideas in mind, but emphasis on the in mind portion.

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My First Mother’s Day

First Mother's Day

I never want Phoenix to feel like he “completes me.” My conversations with God (when we were trying to get pregnant) often were me confessing   my feeling that I wasn’t sure a childless life would be enough for me. A spouse or child will never fulfill anyone, but coming to that realization isn’t easy.

All of this plays into my first Mother’s Day.

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Phoenix at Nine Months

Phoenix at Nine Months an Update

This post contains affiliate links. You can see my full disclosure here.

Nine months. How are we here already? Phoenix’s month eight update left off right before our five-hour road trip to St. Louis. This was Phoenix’s third road trip, but my first solo drive. How was it you ask? Well, Phoenix cried for most of the drive but we managed. Nap training has been a saving grace for us, but this always means Phoenix doesn’t nap on the go anymore.

Phoenix had his well-visit today so I have updated stats. He is 28 inches tall (40th percentile) and weighs 15.15 lbs (4th percentile). We love our petite little guy.

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