Eating Challenged Children? Here are some Fab Tips..

Eveyone has challenges in life. For my daughter it is eating. For me, it is cooking! So here are some tested tips that WORK for both of us!

1) Create a weekly eating menu. Mondays is spaghetti, Tuesdays is burgers, and so on and so forth. The plates are made and served at the table. This takes all the thinking and guesswork out of it, and hopefully the frantic ‘help its 5 PM what shall I make for dinner!’ So I will look at her weekly schedule and Tuesday says Burgers and take them out of the freezer or start cooking, without having to wonder… Naturally I shop accordingly with this menu in mind. I know you agree this helps. Then, hand in hand with this TIP – if your child isn’t interested in your lunch/dinner, there is ONE alternative that they can choose… Yogurt. Cereal. The alternative has to be something that does not require preparation.

2) Each night on their plate will be a veggie… cooked or raw. Like cucumbers, avocado, peppers, lettuce, brocolli, etc. It is a worthwhile investment even if you think they will NEVER eat them. This creates an expectation for them to include vegetables in their life, that it is part of a complete meal, and one time, when you are not looking, they may try them, and start eating them. My son eats almost all of them now! I know my Mom says that she didn’t give them us since we never ate them, and it took me years to start eating these most basic of foods. I am trying to not repeat this problem. It is not easy. Often times I don’t have them available in the house and I am too lazy.. but its part of my plan so it’s a start.

3) Mealtime needs to include YOU. Here are some extra fun ways to make mealtimes enjoyable:

a) We buy plates that are shaped like animal faces. We put food in each ear, and the main dish in the middle. Sometimes they fight over the plates, but in the long run, it is worth it.. since they are definitely more interested in eating.

b) Stick a magnetic whiteboard on your refrigerator and draw a picture of the plates including the food on the plates. Each bite that is eaten allows either you or the child to erase the food on the plate, until the entire contents of the plate are erased. This definitely encourages extra bites.

c) My stick figures leave much to be desired, yet when I offer to draw a picture of practically anything they are so excited! The deal is that for each bite, I will draw a little more.. I try to have the picture ALMOST finished when they hit their usual limit, so just a few extra bites will have the complete illustration!

What works for you?

Who has the last Laugh??

So…my Husband went out of town.

Dont tell anyone, but I am excited about having the place to myself. I think about just having some ME time. No extra dirty dishes, dirty underwear, and frankly no ‘how are you today’ conversations that sometimes I could do without.

I know many of you are nodding your heads in agreement. If you are one of those women at the park who cant sleep well at night if your husband isnt home, just click off this page right now.

Meanwhile….

I am nursing the baby, get up to get the kids off to school, working/watching baby during the day, taking care of the kids when they come home, policing all day when they fight, do lunch, park, dinner, storytime, 2 kids to bed, then me and the baby hang out with my older son when he comes home, we talk, feed both, bathe baby, have some obligatory phone calls thrown in there, clean up after everyone, do a load of laundry, wonder if my 4 year old who has forgotten he is potty trained, and my daughter who complains of burning urine need doctors, put the baby to sleep, that lasts 20 minutes and he decides he is up to PLAY. It is now 11:30 PM. I am nodding off in front of the computer, before realizing my baby puts everything in sight in his mouth and must be watched. I get up to grab something to eat, since I dont usually fall asleep with food in my mouth, watch/ignore him until he tires out, get him to bed, sit back down to finish up my today HAVE-TO’s, only to nod off again, crawl into bed, and wake up to hear the baby crying and start the day all over again.

Taking care of kids/life from sun up to sundown, there is no time to enjoy his absence. Yet he will get to fly back overseas and ‘rest off’ his jet lag with a delicious afternoon nap, while I continue with the same above mentioned schedule.

I swear my whole life is jet lag.

Spoiled Spoiled Child

They say (“they say” = my mom) that there is no such thing as spoiling a baby. They also say that I was allowed to cry back when I was young since people believed something different. It is convenient for my mother to say this, since as a Grandmother, she does not want my babies crying for one second.

Ariella is receiving a first hand insight into what it means to spoil a child and is concerned for what happens when you remove all the attention. Has your child then become ‘dependent’ on being entertained and will be unable to play alone from now on?

From Ariella:

I walk into my parents living room after a nap (a word that does not exist in my vocabulary..I am spoiled too!) and I see Joseph, surrounded by 15 ( literally) adults all applauding and grinning at him in response to something he has just done. He laughs out loud and then knocks down the tower he just built. They all applaud again. He builds the tower. . . they all applaud again .. .

We have this big fat Joseph party EVERYDAY so far of our trip. Joseph is continually being introduced to new visitors- because we don’t live in the same country as my parents or my in-laws, everyone is super excited to meet him and give him presents and generally spoil him rotten!

Don’t get me wrong- I love the presents and the attention (and my NAPS!! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

It’s just that I worry.

There’s been a few times I have been left alone with my son and guess what? Joseph- who before we got here was SO excellent at playing alone for half an hour or so . . . ( which allowed me time when he was up to return a phone call or read a book or just collapse on the couch) NOW he needs to be constantly entertained and applauded.

I love doing that for him but NOT 24/7.

So- What happens when we get home? How long to ‘detox’ my son and turn him back into the super independent and easy-going boy I remember?

Planes, Trains, Automobiles + 1 toddler

As promised, Ariella is writing to us from the nest..

We are on the road (and in the air!!!) We travelled overseas to visit both my parents and my-inlaws. In a little over 3 weeks,we will be staying in my parents house, my in-laws house, my uncles cottage, our friends ‘shack on a lake’, a hotel, back to my in-laws, back to my parents, staying with friends in a few different cities and back on a plane AGAIN (!)

This means that Joseph will have slept in over 7 different beds, ride in 5 different cars and car seats and travel in 4 airplanes, be held by over 30 ‘strangers’, meet 3 new pet dogs and 1 cat, and cross four different countries borders.

Upon our return to home sweet home, we MOVE the next day. We are either sadistic, crazy, and without a doubt pushing our luck. Icing on the cake? Joseph is starting a new nursery program the day after that.

Without being biased, which I am, Joseph has really proven his flexibility this trip and is, as always, growing up daily. On this trip he has learned how to put together lego pieces, drink from a ‘big boy’ cup all by himself, let all his grandparents ( and his GREAT grandparents! ) hold him, learn a few first words, pet his first dog (s), got his walking skills down!, ‘swim’ in a pool and generally laugh and giggle up a storm.

In general Joseph is throwing crazy joy all around him- where ever he goes.And he’s only been cranky twice.

maybe three or four times – but whose counting?

Toddler + Airplane = ADHD

Ariella just flew with her son overseas, and will be sharing her traveling experience with us shortly. It reminded me about one (of many!) flight with my toddler at the time..

A few years ago, we found ourselves sitting in the airplane. PARKED. for several hours. It was 5 PM. Our 2 year old daughter was legitimitely antsy, and she appropriately expressed herself by standing on the seat, occassionally hollering, babbling, chanting ‘I wants’. You get the picture.

A stewardess came over to request that we ‘shut our child up’.

She proceeded to share with us her insights.

“I believe your daughter has ADHD. You should get that checked out. When we went to Hawaii, I told my 2 year old that if you want to go with us, you had better sit down and keep quiet”

As I was 8 months pregnant at the time and more selfish about my NEEDS – such as being served my meals over the next 12 hours without getting ‘punished’ by telling this stewardess what I REALLY felt about her and Hawaii, I kept quiet about her sage advice.

She did manage to suck it up at the end of the flight when we were leaving and it suddenly dawned on her that she had not heard a peep from my daughter in the last 11 hours.

Threatening a 2 year old with Hawaii?? Gee whiz.

Diaper Rash No More!

Yes,we admit.

We are one of those rare unique Moms, always looking for ways to help our sons have the most fun-filled, no-tears day!

 

What?? You say you are like that too?? ๐Ÿ™‚

 

This is not easy with an infant who wants to be held all the time, and another on the verge of toddler hood – tantrums are slowly becoming part of his ‘charm’!

When diaper changing time occurs – we want to get in and out as QUICK as possible, with little mess and fuss and tears. Somehow they got to this age, where changing their diapers requires literally BRUTE strength on our parts, as they twist and turn looking for entertainment. I (Andrea) find myself laying across his legs to keep him down long enough to get the job done.

 

Unfortunately, in anticipation of another struggle, if we wait too long, we WILL be faced with a nasty diaper rash! So sorry my young child!!

Again we look towards the awesome Healthology for their on target advice! Preventing Diaper Rash has some good common sense tips. We found that once followed, we cut down on the diaper rashes to an extremely rare occurence. When our babies are feeling comfortable- so are we!

Andrea & Ariella

AJ & Joseph

 

I Have Saved My Son’s life several times today!

**We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring something very important to your attention** ๐Ÿ™‚

Everyone knows that parents are responsible for much more than our child’s well being.. They count on us for their entire survival every moment of every day.

However, since that is just the nature of being a MOM to a young baby, you dont always pay attention to it. It is just a fact and taken for granted.. well our babies take everything for granted!

Our homes are full of imminent danger and potential accidents and it is our JOB as the parent to seek these dangers out, and remove them! I had a socket come off the wall, exposing a bare outlet. The electrician was aghast that I even waited a day to call him. He kept tsk tsking and shaking his head back and forth..ย  ๐Ÿ™

The inspiration for this post comes from my delicious little AJ who has managed to change my life overnight. Not only has he learned to crawl, but he sprints when he crawls, and it is with purpose. He seeks out the smallest piece of lint and is off! All day long is a series of ‘whats in your mouth?’, squeezing his cheeks, and sweeping his mouth to make certain nothing entered.

I was stunned to actually find myself removing several dangerous objects, and literally SAVING HIS LIFE.ย  I am too embarrased to share with you the particular items, but I am shaken up enough to know that the next few months in my life are not going to bring the ‘freedom’ I expected that a 7 month old baby would bring.

Let your babies explore, touch, smell, taste… but PLEASE.. Please watch them welll!!

~~andrea & AJ

He’s . . . ALMOST . ..walking!

… from our Regular Guest Blogger, Ariella – mother of 13 month old Joseph!

Get out the camera, the video recorder, the cellphone! My son is ALMOST walking!It’s really exciting isn’t it- when they start to take there first steps?! I’ve spent most of the past week holding my breath, because every time my son takes a few steps, he also falls VERY quickly after! He’s normally a good sport but I’m a bit overprotective. I want him to learn how to walk and NEVER fall down- not going to happen right?? I was at my friends house and she has this really good toy- her son is at the same developmental stage and was all over the place in this:Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Learning Walker Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Stride to Ride Learning Walker It’s great fun because they can ride AND walk AND play all these great games. The smiling dashboard is filled with learn-and-play activities including learning numbers, opposites, and ABC’s with flashing lights and music PLUS a shape shorter. Talk about ‘bang-for-your-buck!’ Ariella

A side note added from Andrea: For you lovers of old fashioned toys and ebay… I know there is a saying that ‘they dont make things’ like they used to’… well, sometimes this is a good thing! It is very well known that the walkers from a few decades back were responsible for a lot of accidental deaths in young children. If you are considering a purchase, stick with the well known brands and buy something current!

DO Your Kids Snore? My Son Sure Does!!

By featured Guest Blogger Ariella – mother of 1 year old Joseph!

What’s Up with That? I took Andrea’s advice and was playing around with the new Healthology articles on THIS awesome website and guess what?

On my first search I found something that TOTALY relates to my son!

My (now) 13 month old son snores very regularly and ALWAYS seems to have a stuffed up nose. I’ve taken him to doctors and ear, nose, throat specialists and they always tell me the same thing: “He’s too young to diagnose allergies, its a simple swelling in the nose and its nothing to worry about.”

Well that MAY be right but this article gives me some information to take back to the doctors and see if there really is any cause for concern. ( I certainly hope NOT!) Do Your Kids Snore? Allergies may be the reason. A snoring child may be cute to some people, but it could very well be a sign of allergies and allergic diseases, according to a new study.

We want to help our kids be as healthy as possible and educating ourselves is a good way to start on accomplishing this goal!

Go Healthology!

Nice talking with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ariellaย