Mommy Guilt and Smocked Clothes

One day at lunch, I jokingly told my coworkers that Maddox does not even like me that much. We were all discussing how kids responded when dropping them off at their schools or daycares. At that point, he basically did not care and would just keep on playing as I left. The next morning, when I left him at school, he screamed like a wild man. He has done that every morning for the past four weeks. When I leave the room to do, well, anything, he fusses. Enter Mommy guilt.

I know this is a normal phase that children go through at different stages. I stand outside of the classroom after I leave the room and he stops crying within a minute.  I just wish it did not have to be so incredibly dramatic. How long did it take your littles to get over this phase?

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What I See When I Leave Every Day

On another note, I think I have developed a small obsession with children’s smocked clothing. Recently, Maddox became a brand enthusiast for Sugar Plum Smocks. They are creating some of the most adorable little outfits imaginable. We feel so lucky to be able to share these sweet outfits. Maddox even gets his own coupon code for 10% off to share with friends and family (MADDOX10 in case you were wondering). I also love the classic Glorimont and Bailey Boys. They usually have reversible outfits that end up being a really good deal!

How old is too old to continue our smock trend? I think never, but I’m sure there is a cutoff! It is just fun to find cute outfits for boys. I think the big box clothes stores focus more on female clothing (girl power!) and forget that not all mommas want to look at ninja turtles all day.

So, to conclude the randomness, what gives you mommy guilt and do you like smocked clothing for babies?? Let. Me. Know!

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Well, Who Raised Them?

I recently read an article that was all about raising your child in the “Age of Entitlement”.

Cue the vomiting.

I personally believe that every generation thinks the next generation is so much worse than they were. I kind of want to buy a billboard that says “Well, Who Raised Them?”. For example, my generation was told that when you grow up you can be whatever you want to be. Fast forward twenty years. We are now mocked for the student loan debt acquired while trying to achieve those dreams.  I do not think it should be considered entitlement if we are doing what it takes to get ahead. Sorry Ethel, I know it cost fifty dollars and a bushel of snap beans for your degree, but it does not work that way anymore.

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Vintage Currency

So, this whole “Age of Entitlement” is a lazy way to blame the younger generation for the previous generation’s faults.  Is it really so terrible that every kid gets a trophy? I feel like childhood sports should be about exercise and camaraderie rather than domination. Sure, it is good to learn the value in winning and losing but maybe some of that energy and focus should be on academics. At the medical office I work at, parents will refuse to schedule an appointment during a baseball tournament but are not worried about scheduling appointments on holidays. How does that make sense? When did extracurricular activities become more important than hitting the books. School should always be first. Then perhaps, our country really could improve and become great again. (I do not ever believe our country was bad in my lifetime, I’m just using that phrase because it is known. I do not support any political party and will never reveal my political opinions.)(Also, I hate political rhetoric.)

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What is the actual issue?

I suppose nostalgia plays a part in the continuous “when I was a kid” commentary. It is wonderful to look back and fondly remember your childhood. The issue, in my mind, is when you discount someone else’s because it is different. Okay Debra, y’all went to segregated schools but it’s so terrible to have a fidget spinner. You get my point? Different does not equal bad. Let’s all repeat that over and over again until we believe it.

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Quite honestly, when I look at my son, I feel like I would do whatever I could to give him everything that his heart desires. I do not think that makes me less of a person. I do not think that makes him entitled to anything. Spoiled, but not entitled. The most important thing to me is that he have an attitude of gratitude towards all of his blessings.

I’m not sure if any of this even makes sense. But I sure feel better getting it off my mind!
Until next time,

The mom of a spoiled toddler.

 

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Nope, no spoiling here.

 

Over the Competition

This afternoon, I scrolled through my Facebook news feed and noticed a post about the solar eclipse that is coming up in August. One of the local school systems is allowing students to be out during that time, which I think is pretty cool. For most people, a solar eclipse will not occur again in their lifetime. As I clicked on the comments, what I read really bothered me. There was a little discussion about what the other local districts were doing  and how one district is not letting students out. Whatever. Do whatever you think is best. My issue is the attitude one particular person had about their district’s superiority over the other.

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Yes, Yes it Does.
I can not begin to roll my eyes hard enough to express how annoying the continuous “rat race” mentality is to me. Who exactly are we supposed to be in competition with? I’ve never been assigned an opponent in life. Who told these people they were superior to another person? Is it an assumption made on their part because of their socioeconomic status? Did Jesus himself appear to them to say “XYZ is trash and everything you do is awesome”? I think not. So what gives? Why are people like this?

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Accurate Portrayal of What People Think Life is Like
Becoming a mom has introduced me to a whole new level of this stupid, imaginary competition. How you feed your child, how you diaper your child, how you carry your child are all up for scrutiny and discussion. WHY?? Feed your kids, bathe your kids and love your kids. Life is hard and the constant pushback and overall nastiness does not make it easier. It is my personal opinion that if we stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing or what everyone else had, we would all have a much happier life.

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Proof formula fed babies get baths too.

Recipe Trial and Error

In the summer heat, my goal is to cook as little as possible. Turning the oven on for half an hour seems to heat our house up a degree or two. Add that to the 98 degree temperature, and the chasing of a toddler and you need a shower before your meal starts. Since going out every meal is very unhealthy and economically unreasonable, I have been trying to make meals that we can eat on for a few days. This weekend, I tried two different recipes that I found on Pinterest.

The first was baked spaghetti. Seems easy enough, right? NO. It was terrible. On any given night, we eat ALL of the spaghetti and meatballs. Friday night, we all had one portion and passed on leftovers. I am not sure what happened. The recipe called for cream cheese and I think that may have confused our taste buds. This would be considered a Pinterest FAIL. I am not sharing the link to this disaster, because I do not want anyone else to waste their time or effort.

However, Sunday we hit the jackpot! I made Chicken Pot Pie Casserole and it was amazing! Instead of a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken, I made the chicken in our crockpot with a little chicken broth. It was delicious and mixed well with the veggies.

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Action Shot

It took probably about 20 minutes of prep and active cooking. The best part of this recipe is that it can feed you for days. We can probably eat three to four meals from one casserole. Maddox also enjoyed his meal and ate almost a whole cup of it himself. I would consider this a Pinterest WIN.

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Finished Product

I think we are going to try to do more crock pot meals in the next few weeks. What are you cooking up in this heat? Any suggestions?

Travel Bug Bites

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Windsor Castle, England

Now that Maddox is in his own room, sleeping through the night and is all around an easy-going little dude, I have been daydreaming about travel. Over the past eight years, my husband and I have been very fortunate to travel and experience great vacations. Whether they have been stateside, Disney World or abroad, we have been able to just pack up and go.

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Husband and Me, Cinderella’s Castle, Disney World
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Me, Palace of Versailles, France
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Me, The Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Since Maddox has been born, we have gone on a few trips within a few hours of home. We have experienced the beach and gone to visit with family in Alabama.  In October, our family is going on the ultimate kid adventure – Disney World! We are ecstatic to experience this with him and our family. However, my travel daydreaming takes us a little further. I am wondering at what age we could enjoy taking our boy abroad. My husband and I have been to a few European cities and have loved each one. We enjoy immersing ourselves in other cultures and learning their histories. We hope to instill this in our son.

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Accurate depiction of me and my husband daydreaming of vacation.

My next five on the “To Visit List” are:

  1. Ireland
  2. Greek Islands
  3. Spain
  4. Germany
  5. The Netherlands
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He looks ready to go to me….

My greatest concern with taking Maddox on a cross Atlantic adventure is the plane ride. It sounds a little tortuous to make him sit still for 8 hours. What do you do if they throw a tantrum at 39,000 feet? I think within the next 4 or so years we can take a family trip abroad. After all, the comfort and happiness of all members of my family is the most important thing. Meanwhile, we will enjoy all the many tourist destinations the US of A has to offer.

Does it also strike a little fear in your heart? Do you have any tips on traveling with kids?

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Family, Charleston, SC

Beach Baby Tips

This summer, we have been lucky enough to have two great beach trips. In May, we spent the week in Kiawah Island, SC and a few weeks ago we spent the weekend in Isle of Palms, SC. My husband and I were a little nervous about all of the things we would need to do with a baby on the beach. Although at times it seemed a little less than relaxing, we were able to do several things in order to enjoy our beach time.  Here are a few things we did to make sure baby Maddox had an easy time on the coast.

A Shade Source

Let’s face it – no one wants their precious babies to get a sunburn. We used two different types and both worked! They are easy to put up, take down and will save you the misery of a sunburned family.

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A Laundry Basket

Okay – stay with me here. It may seem a little silly to drag around your best laundry buddy, but they are very versatile. We used ours as a makeshift toy box, makeshift bathtub and it can easily be used as a place for your kiddo to sit in the surf. You will not regret throwing this in the car!

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(It can also be used as a vehicle to drag your baby and Scout around in!)

A Kiddie Pool

A baby or small toddler can not do too much at the beach. We found that by taking a small kiddie pool, he could splash and play without the risk of floating out to sea. We got ours from Babies R’ Us and it was the inflatable type. If you have good lung power, I would recommend it. It is also a good shade source!

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Beach Toys, Sunscreen, Snacks and Other Necessities. 

This kind of goes without saying. We had our bags loaded down with sunscreen, swim diapers, snacks, more toys than he knew how to play with and water. My mother-in-law brought baby powder which was a LIFE SAVER when it came to all the sand that Maddox managed to get everywhere. A large beach blanket was also great for him to roll around on.

While planning a beach trip with littles can seem like a daunting task, just remember it is supposed to be fun! Just keep them safe and everything will be fine. If you are really lucky, you will go with other family members or friends who will lighten the load!

What are your beach tips?

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The One Year Old Transition

There is a lot of pressure surrounding a baby’s first birthday. Pictures, cakes and parties are part of it, but those seem trivial when compared to the other big events that come with turning one. From moving to your own room, to kicking the bottle and starting whole milk, the new transitions are enough to make a parent’s head spin. How are/did you handle these big milestones? I feel like they are all coming at us and coming at us fast.

Just two Sundays ago, we moved Maddox to his own room. A couple of weeks after Maddox was born, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended room sharing for the first year. Cool. No worries. We just watched a lot of the iPad in the dark. We could handle it for a year. It personally helped calm a lot of my (admittedly paranoid) fears. I could hear him breathing all night. I could easily pop his pacifier back in at 3 AM. But as the time to move him to his room got closer and closer, I could tell my husband was ready to reclaim our bedroom. Although I was really reluctant and pretty emotional about moving him, I will admit that it has been nice to have our space back. We use our iPhone flashlights a lot less. Maddox is actually sleeping better in his own room. He takes LOOOONG naps and does not stir as much. We nailed our first big one year old transition.

We are still working on all of the other big changes. Maddox uses a sippy cup instead of a bottle all day, but we are still weaning him off his night time bottle. We are gradually reducing the amount of milk each night until he does not want it anymore. This seemed to work well with the middle of the night feeding that he dropped around seven months old. Keep your fingers crossed. Speaking of milk, we have been transitioning over to whole milk this week. That has also been relatively easy, although I believe he would prefer warm milk.

I used to say that at age one, we were throwing away the pacifier. Age one comes around, and our baby is cutting two molars. The only thing that makes him feel better is the pacifier. We are not throwing the pacifier away. He can have it another week. It will be fine. The amount of pressure surrounding having your baby off the pacifier and the bottle is a little daunting. I ultimately think that you have to trust your gut when it comes to your babies.

Did/Do you feel a little overwhelmed as your baby grew into a toddler?

If you have any tips on transitioning to toddlerhood, please comment and let me know!

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Let him eat cake!!

 

Photos by Tanya Marie Photography