Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poll Discussion: Night Wakings


This topic was requested on Facebook. 

How did your baby stop night wakings?
  1. Did you wait until baby stopped on own? If so, what age did baby stop on own? Was it pretty gradual or pretty sudden?
  2. Did you do some CIO? If so, can you describe the process?
  3. Did you do weaning of feedings? If so, can you elaborate?
  4. Did you help baby get back to sleep? If so, how, and for how long did you do this before baby slept on own?
  5. Did you do wake to sleep as described by the Baby Whisperer? If so, please elaborate.
  6. OTHER. Please explain.
When answering, so I can compile data easily, it would be helpful if you started your comment with which number you did.

Here are my answers.

BRAYDEN
1.

He was 6 months old when he stopped waking at all in the night on his own. It was pretty sudden.

KAITLYN
1 and 3?

My mind is not working right now. I know I did some of 3 with Kaitlyn, but I can't remember if that was for night wakings AND the dreamfeed, or just the dreamfeed? I think it was for those early morning feedings when baby wakes around 5-6 AM. She was about four months old when she stopped night wakings at all.

MCKENNA
1.

I believe McKenna was around 3 months old when no night wakings happened at all. She was sleeping 7-8 hours before that, but still had those early morning feedings. Hers was more gradual, with moving closer and closer to the morning waktime, and then some nights more in the night, then closer to morning waktime.

BRINLEY
1.

She was two months old when she started sleeping through the entire night. She had been moving her night feeding later into the night, but then really suddenly started sleeping through the night until morning waketime. I didn't see it coming that early.

YOUR TURN!
Share your experiences! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Brinley Summary: Week 12

It is so bright outside!
This is a summary for Brinley's 12th week--she was 11 weeks old. This was really a perfect week. In my experience, I knew this was the "calm before the storm" kind of deal before the next wonder week came along. Even though it was a nice, calm week, there are some points of interest.

EATING
All normal. Still six feedings a day. She took her bottle again this week just fine.

SLEEPING
Sleep was all good and perfect. I still love the Merino Sleep Sack. I haven't decided if I am getting a second one or not. She did fine for her one nap without it last week on laundry day. However, she is a child who obviously likes her stuff clean. I have never had a child be like this. I change her swaddle blanket every other day and her sheets three times a week. So I do think she would be happy with two just so she could have it cleaned more than once a week...but I don't know. Yes, I know. She is my youngest child alright? Allow me to do some spoiling here. 

Brinley is still in her bassinet in her crib for all naps and night. I did a couple of naps in the crib, and for one she slept as usual but seemed to take FOREVER to fall asleep. Then the next day, she didn't fall asleep at all. I think she still likes the incline. I am sticking with the bassinet for now and will try the crib again at a later date. We still have months before it will be too small for her.

I also changed the light in her room this week.She has always napped with the blinds fully open, but after watching her on the monitor, I thought the sunlight streaming in the window might be making it difficult for her to get into a nice deep sleep. So I now close her blinds half way. I think that is better. Every child is very individual on what kind of light they can have, and Brinley has even changed through her life, so always keep that in mind when troubleshooting sleep.

WITCHING HOUR
Witching hour is definitely on the way out. It is often not even around.

SUNDAY DISRUPTION
The church disruption can be killer. I think being at church is important, so we push through it. This week, though, I did leave 20 minutes early because she just wasn't sleeping.

This week I also skipped a feeding in the evening. She gets so tired that it is hard to wake her up to eat, and then she ends up snacking. So I skipped a feeding in an effort to get her hungry enough to just eat. I still had to wake her up to eat, but she did eat well and we had no night issues that night.

COCONUT OIL
At the risk of sounding trendy, I know coconut oil is all the rage these days, coconut oil really is fantastic. My sister-in-law gave me some when I was pregnant with Brinley. She had a dry forehead, and I had tried the various lotions. I finally decided to go with the coconut oil and one nap later she looked 100% better. The rest of her skin does great with the Aveeno, but her face does best with coconut oil.

TIME CHANGE
I have been shifting her schedule in preparation for the time change. The only thing I haven't shifted is the dreamfeed.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Newborn Products: What we used month 2

Another month has come and gone. I shared what we used in the first month, so now what did we use in the second month?

EATING
We used all of the same things we used in month one and didn't add anything new to the mix. I don't see anything really being added until we start solids...

...except for Lilly Padz. I already own them and plan to use them. I just think I want my milk very regulated...I guess I could start now. Maybe I will...

Oh, and of course now that I have published about it, we used the Book of Logs for tacking eating.

OH! It helps to write this all out. We also attempted to use Philips Avent 4oz Bottles. But she is not a great bottle taker. Yet. Hopefully that is a yet. Do you have a favorite bottle?




PLAYING
We used all of the same things. We started going for walks this month. Because I have two children to push in a stroller, we used the double stroller we have had since Kaitlyn was born.

I know there are much fancier strollers out there, but you can't get one much cheaper than the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather Stroller. We don't use it a ton, so this has always worked well. One side reclines some. I put the baby in that side. I also used the Kiddopotamus Snuzzler to help support her. And I used the stroller blanket to help keep her out of the sun.



CLEANING
We used all of the same things...plus...
  • Diapers: We  have always used the Kroger store brand diapers for all of our children once they were out of the newborn diapers. The problem is that I don't regularly shop at the Kroger store, and to go there for diapers is a 15-20 minute special trip one way. So I decided to try the generic brand at the store I do shop at regularly. This is Western Family. Western Family, when not on sale, is half of what Huggies is on sale. So...it is worth the try right? Overall, they work well. The velcro is not perfect. There have been a couple of times it has come undone and led to a leak. But I think that $20-30 dollars a month is probably worth a couple of leaks. Before that, we were using Huggies Snug and Dry Diapers. What is your favorite diaper brand?

SLEEPING
We used all of the same things as I listed last month. We also used a swing. 
  • Swing: Sometimes, the swing is so great for naps. It is great for witching hour. It is also great for when baby was kept up too long and/or is overstimulated. They don't make the exact swing we have, but this is the updated model. Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, Luv U Zoo
I know many people have also loved the Fisher-Price Papasan Cradle Swing. Do you have a favorite swing?





GEAR and SAFETY
Once again, it was all the same this month. I have to mention that I am loving my Skip Hop Studio Diaper Bag Tote Bag, Pewter Dot. I get many compliments and it is great quality.

Something a lot of people will have used by now is a sling or baby carrier. The Ergo Baby Carrier is one of the most popular. There are also many kinds of slings. These can be great for being out and about with baby--especially if you have other children. I almost used my sling, but my mom and my mother-in-law were with me, and there was no way that baby was getting put in a sling when they were around to hold her :)


CLOTHING
No new clothes. The weather has not significantly changed and she is still in the same size. Well, last month she was really a newborn size and this month she is into her 0-3 month size. 

Here are some socks like I was talking about that look like shoes: Trumpette Mary Jane. And they make some for boys: Trumpette Johnny's Sneaker




MEDICATIONS
We used the exact same medications. On the last day, we also added Pedia Care Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, Infants in response to her vaccinations. This is a great brand because of how they make the dispenser. You just stick the tip in and tip the bottle upside down to get the medicine out (like they do vaccines). It is so easy and less messy than sticking the entire dropper in there. I love it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Denture Cleanser Tablets {Giveaway--huh?}

Yeah. When I first got an email from Tower Labs, the leading manufacturer of the "generic" store branded effervescent denture cleansers, I thought, "They obviously have not really looked at my blog. Totally not relevant!" 

But I was wrong! There is something very fabulously interesting about dentures. They easily remove gunk that forms on baby tub toys -- with little or no scrubbing.  It also works great for cleaning small plastic toys with hard to reach crevices -- and even toothbrushes, retainers and moms’ makeup brushes! Very relevant! Anything that safely cleans bath toys is a win in my book. Do you know that I have been known to sit for hours with the bath toys, a toothbrush, a rag, and some vinegar? This is much easier. See more here: http://www.towerlabs.com/

Today you are entering to win a box of 84 effervescent denture cleanser tablets. You can try this little trick out on your own toys and other stuff!


For Your First Entry: 
Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following), comment telling me so.

Sample Entry
I am a follower!


For Your Second Entry:
Like Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook. Already do? Tell me so. Comment saying you like it. 

Sample Entry
I like Chronicles of a Babywise Mom on Facebook! 


For Your Third Entry:
Go to http://www.towerlabs.com/. Read about the different uses for these tablets. Share what you will do with it. 

Sample Entry
Cleaning bath toys. Enough said.


For Your Fourth Entry:
Free Entry! But you must enter.

Sample Entry
Entering for free!


For Your Fifth Entry:
Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

Sample Entry
I tweeted! @valplowman


For Your Sixth Entry:

Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

Sample Entry
I updated my status!


For Your Seventh Entry:
Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

Sample Entry
I blogged! valscreatsions.blogspot.com 

Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good. Plus, it makes sure I don't miss an entry.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow this blog, you can just do entry one.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until I choose the winner sometime November 2.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at random.org
  • The winner will be announced Friday November 2.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!
  • US shipping addresses only please.

Absolutely Organize...WINNER

The winner of the Absolutely Organize Your Family book is...

Ariana!

Congrats! Please email me at valplowman@gmail.com with your mailing address. You have one week or another winner will be chosen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Implementing You Parenting Plan

Back in June, we talked about the steps to creating a parenting plan (and why you want to do so). This time, we will talk about implementing the plan. These ideas are taken from the book The Parenting Breakthrough by Merrilee Boyack.

Step One: No guilt (page 31).

Boyack's first requirement is that you Dump the Guilt. No matter the age of your child, if the child is still living with you, you can implement this plan.

Step Two: Time it right (page 43)

You want to start implementing the plan at a good time of year. For school-aged children, this is often around New Years or the beginning of summer. September can be bad because there is a lot of "new" already happening.

For younger children, it doesn't matter too much when you start.

Step Three: Family meeting (page 31)

With babies and toddlers, the family meeting can be just with your spouse. This will just be a way of life for your children if you start young.

If you have preschoolers or older, you will want the entire family involved. First, tell the children what you will be doing. 

Next, talk about why you are doing this plan. Why is always helpful with the children. "It is interesting that when you explain to your children the why of things, you can get tremendous buy-in" (page 32). Keep the description on the child's level of understanding.

Next, go through the list. For older children, you can point out what they already know and have accomplished. 

Finally, get the children's input, if old enough, on what they want to learn to do and work on. Add it to their list. 

Step Four: Create a time table (page 43)

Write down on your calendar when you plan to start training the child to do the tasks. Create a routine in when you will train (you need to train the child to do the task before you hand the task over and expect the child to do it alone). 

Step Five: Vary who does the training (page 43)

Your child will need to be trained. It can be mom, dad, neighbor, grandma, older sibling...it is fun for kids to get training from various people. 

Step Six: Vary the tracking methods (page 43)

You might track progress on the computer, sticker chart, a list you cross off, your phone...just like with chore charts, tracking charts will be best used when you mix it up over time.

Step Seven: Increase freedoms/privileges as tasks are passed off (page 44)

This is especially true for the older children like teenagers. Boyack points out that if your child wants to do a task like start babysitting, you can require skills like basic first aid, making phone calls, knowing how to contact authorities, CPR, and fix simple meals. Once the necessary skills are passed off for a certain freedom your child wants, that freedom can then be available to the child. Does your younger child want a dog? What sorts of skills does your child need to demonstrate first? 

But be careful--"...don't push this so far that they give up altogether" (page 44)--don't put so many requirements in the way that the child decides it isn't worth the effort.

Step Eight: Use rewards appropriately (page 45)

You can offer certain rewards to work toward for passing off a certain number of goals. A date out for ice cream, a trip to the pool...or maybe you tell them they can have their own apron when they learn to do XYZ in the kitchen.

Points to Remember
1- "...kids want to be taken seriously...They want their lives and their abilities to be respected." (page 46)
2- "...implementing The Plan is harder and more work for Mom and Dad." (page 46)
3- "Just keep that end goal in mind" (page 46)

John Rosemond said, in Daily Guide to Parenting, "Self-sufficiency is the yardstick of self-esteem. The road to self-sufficiency is paved with frustration, disappointment, failure, falling flat on one's face, and other equally 'unhappy' experiences. We cannot afford to deny children these things."

This is a broad view on how to implement. I think one of the most crucial parts to implementing is the actual training, so next time we will look in depth on how your help your child achieve these goals.

Related Posts/Blog Labels:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poll Discussion Results: Breastfeeding


Time to look at results from the discussion on breastfeeding! This was a very interesting group of information to read. With my minor in college, I did a lot of studies and love analyzing and looking at data.

This analysis might not be perfect--it likely isn't. I have only gone through it one time, and ideally I would like to check the numbers at least five times, but let's be real--I have a newborn and I just can't spend that time there. You are more than welcome to go through the data yourself. It is all there in the post I linked above. I have made a comment (comment number 64) where I collected the data up to. 

I have 94 responses. I think I might have missed one or two twins, so there could have been 96 maybe.

Here are the questions I asked:

  1. Did you intend/want to breastfeed when your baby was born?
  2. Did you breastfeed for any length of time?
  3. If yes, for how long did you breastfeed (until what age)?
  4. When you stopped breastfeeding, what was the reason (your choice, baby's choice, lack of milk...)?
  5. Share any other thoughts you think might be of interest.
Here are the answers:

Did you intend/want to breastfeed when your baby was born?

90 of the 94 said "yes" to this question. It should be noted that two that said no were parents of twins who are a dad/dad family, so yes was not even an option. So for the 92 that had it as an option, 90 said yes and 2 said no.  

That puts 98% of parents responding to this survey who had the ability to breastfeed intending to breastfeed.


Did you breastfeed for any length of time?

We had the same numbers here. 90 out of 94 times, the mother breastfed for some amount of time. Once again, we have the twins with dad/dad family, so 90 of the 92 who were able, breastfed for an amount of time. And one interesting tidbit is the two that didn't intend are not the exact two who did not; one mom intended but was unable due to a NICU stay. One mom who didn't intend to did after all.

We once again have 98%. 98% breastfed for an amount of time. According to this study, statistically about 74% started off breastfeeding. So already, we are ahead of the norm. 

If yes, for how long did you breastfeed (until what age)?

We are now at 90 people who started off breastfeeding their baby.

7 breastfed until sometime in the 0-6 week range. (8%)
2 breastfed up until 6 weeks-3 months old. (2%)
8 breastfed up until 4-6 months old. (9%)
10 breastfed up until 7-9 months old.  (11%)
10 breastfed up until 10-11 months old. (11%)
9 breastfed until 12 months old. (10%)
13 breastfed until 13-15 months old. (14%)
3 breastfed until 16-18 months old. (3%)
3 breastfed until 18-24 months old. (3%)
0 breastfed beyond two years old. (0%)
25 were still breastfeeding, ranging from the newborn months to beyond 15 months old. (28%)

Now, if you take the 65 responses of people who had finished breastfeeding at some point, 74% of them breastfed 7 months or longer. The study I referred to earlier found that 43% of the people who started breastfeeding were still breastfeeding at 6 months. Here we have 74% at 7 months and older--this isn't including those that stopped at 6 months (there were quite a few). I would say that is a significant increase over the national average.

Of the 65 responses who had stopped breastfeeding, 43% of babies were breastfed at some point as a one year old. Compare that to the same study, only 23% got any breast milk as a one year old. Again, a significant difference.

Another interesting note is that some of the babies were weaned at a certain age from breastfeeding, but the moms still pumped milk and fed in a bottle. For those babies, the stats are that they were weaned at the age they literally stopped breastfeeding. So the number of babies getting breastmilk is higher than what is shown.


When you stopped breastfeeding, what was the reason (your choice, baby's choice, lack of milk...)?

Remember, we have 65 who have weaned.

33 (51%) weaned because mom chose to. 
7 (11%) weaned because baby chose to. For some, baby showed lack of interest so mom decided it was time to stop.
9 (14%) stopped due to milk issues. For four of the 9, milk never came in. For two, milk tanked after returnign to work. Only three had milk issues after having started breastfeeding with no other reason stated other than milk supply was the reason. That is 5%.
12 (18%) stopped for a medical reason. For one, it was no latch. For some, it was medication mom was taking. Most were due to pregnancy.
4 (6%) had a different reason (other). One was because the family was on vacation and breastfeeding was stressful. Two were because mom would be away from baby on vacation. The fourth was due to a move.

So with all of these moms, 5% stopped breastfeeding due to an unexplained milk supply issue. That is a pretty small number when you consider the rounds of "Babywise causes milk supply to drop" you hear from Babywise haters. I don't have numbers, but I would very easily say that 5% is not any higher than the national average of moms who stop breastfeeding due to supply issues that can't be explained by some obvious reasons. Even 14% I would guess is easily in line with what is typical, if not below, the national average. 

Conclusions
For anyone concerned about what Babywise does to milk supply, I hope this simple survey can shed some light on the reality of the situation. Babywise moms can be successful breastfeeders--just like any other parenting philosphy mom. Babywise moms have higher success rates than the national average. Can you breastfeed while following Babywise? Absolutely yes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brinley Summary: Week 11

Isn't she sweet? This is her, giving me big smiles, at my cousin's wedding reception. She was  so tired and still happy as can be.

This is a summary for Brinley's 11th week; she was 10 weeks old. You know, babies are just the best. I know in the past I have said newborn phase is not my favorite, but I have loved it with Brinley. In a couple of weeks she won't be a newborn anymore! I think when you have older kids, you really appreciate baby's. For one thing, they make life slow down. You have to slow down for the baby. For another, your concerns over a baby are so trivial in comparison to concerns over older children. Not to say they aren't important, sleeping and eating are important, but I don't find that as stressful as making sure life's moral lessons are all happening at the right time. And they never talk back. You have to appreciate that about a baby :) They also stay put. You know exactly what they are doing and where they are.

EATING
Eating returned to normal this week. 

BOTTLE
She took a bottle as usual again this week, which was a relief to me. 

WAKETIME
Waketime was fun this week. She really enjoyed her gym. She would slowly grab the toys and hold on briefly, then slowly grab. I just love sitting and watching her learn these skills. 

She is getting much better hand control. She started to suck on her hands briefly at times when awake.

SLEEPING
Naps were normal. 

Night was different. She had three nights in a row where she woke up. Every week after church, she has woken in the night. This week, after church she just slept and slept all day. It was so hard to get her to wake up and so hard to get her to eat when I did wake her up. That night, she woke at 3:15 in the night. The other two nights when she woke in the night it was closer to 5 AM, so not a huge disruption and not way off of normal. I figured she woke at 3:15 because she was hungry from not eating the evening before. I thought it would have been better to skip a feeding to let her get some sleep and to build up an appetite.

I also wondered if she was getting cold at night. I really think that was part of it. The last night of the week, I had a new sleeper sent to me to review. Here is a link: http://www.shoppingmoa.com/Merino-Kids-Baby-Sleep-Bag-Natural/M/B005OU5QEG.htm

Here is a picture from their website:

Just a normal looking sleeper. But it isn't--it is made from Merino wool. What is Merino wool? Here is a description:

Merino wool is nature's smart fiber and the fabric of our times. Soft as silk, yet durable. Warm yet breathable.
Merino has the remarkable ability to regulate body temperature. It captures and circulates air to insulate baby when the room temperature falls, and releases excess body heat and moisture as the room temperature rises. Baby stays warm and dry through night and day without overheating. 
Research shows merino is the ideal fabric for baby sleep sacks. A 2010 AgResearch study determined that babies sleeping in Merino Kids' newborn merino sleep sack are less likely to overheat or to become damp or chilled compared with synthetic polar fleece sleep sacks.

It is pricey. Spendy. It normally runs up to $150.00 but is on sale for $99.99 right now. But it is worth it. It really works. I put Brinley in it in her swaddle blanket--so she is all swaddled up inside. She has slept perfectly ever since. I think she was cold at night. This blanket is so great because it keeps baby at the perfect temperature without you having to guess exactly how to dress baby each night. And it is a blanket that can't be pulled over baby's head. I told my husband after trying it I would totally buy it. I don't get anything for saying it--and I wouldn't recommend a product that is so expensive, especially in this economy, unless I really believed in it. I think I might buy a second for laundry day...I am about to have her take a nap without it so I can wash it :) I am honestly nervous! Ha ha! 

It is sized up to 2T, so you can get two years of wear out of it. Definitely a product that I recommend.

WITCHING HOUR
I wanted to make a witching hour note. For Brinley's 7:30ish feeding, I do things differently in order to help avoid any witching hour sleep aversion. 

I nurse the first side as usual. Once she is done, I take her to her room, change her diaper, put her in her PJs, swaddle her, and then nurse the second side. Then when I put her in bed, she isn't asleep, but she is very contentedly drowsy.  If she was asleep, I really wouldn't see anything wrong with that. She just isn't. She pulls off, is done nursing, and I burp her and put her in bed. 

So if you have witching hour going on, don't feel like you can't do what it takes to help it to go away. Nursing to sleep, swing sleeping, rocking to sleep--whatever it takes. It is one or two feedings a day typically and it is only a few weeks. It is okay to do what it takes to help baby peacefully sleep.

AS FOR ME
I had a night of insomnia again--the night she woke at 3:15. I guess I got used to not waking in the night and I was up for the day at that point. I stayed in bed after I had fed Brinely and put her back in bed. I tried to sleep, but to no avail. I was awake. As annoying as insomnia is, I am really grateful that it is only once a week and not several days in a row like it has been for me in the past.

I wanted to update exercise for me. I started off exercise with pilates. About three weeks ago I upped it to Lindsay Brin's Boot Camp. I do that three days a week. Next week, I plan to add in cardio on my elliptical two days a week. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Encouragement as Discipline

source
Huh? Encouragement as discipline? But encouragement is positive, and discipline is negative, right?

Nope! Discipline is teaching and guiding. It doesn't mean being angry, upset, or even disappointed. It means you are guiding your children in the direction they should go. Remember last week when we talked about your example as a tool of preventative discipline? Encouragement is another tool of prevention.

On Becoming Pre-Toddlerwise states, "...there is also the encouragement side of training which is always positive, affirming and serves to motivate" (page 117).

What are some ways we can be encouraging?

Thank for Obedience
Thank your children for being obedient. Tell your child she did a great job at coming to you when you called her. Offer encouraging words when your child decides to be obedient.

Do this even when you have had to remind her several times and when she is doing it begrudgingly. When my children are obeying in this manner, I often thank them with a twinkle in my eye and I exaggerate the thanks. This often makes them giggle and snap out of the bad mood and into a good one.

Catch Good Deeds
Your child will often do kind things or right things without you having to instruct her to do so. Recognize these moments. Offer her encouraging words, give her hugs, thank her, and/or talk about how that makes her feel inside. Help your child to recognize that choosing correct behavior leads to her feeling happy inside.

Recognize the Effort
Whether your child tried to control her temper but failed, or worked really hard to sweep the floor (and did a great job or a job you might expect from three year old capabilities), recognize the effort that was put into it. 

"I could tell that you really tried to not yell. That was good work." Then you can talk about ways she can be more successful next time. 

"Thank you for all of your work in sweeping the floor. You worked really hard." And don't go on behind her and pick up all that she missed.

Results
When you are encouraging and focus on the positive, your children will want to be even better. They will work harder and put more effort into doing the right thing. That is why I will often thank for obedience even when it is not with the best attitude. They are children after all--adults get grumpy and stomp around  why would a child be any different? A way a child is different is in the ability to snap out of a bad mood quickly, and focusing on the positive helps them do that. Once the attitude is improved, you can sometimes point out, "Isn't it much nicer to be in a happy mood than a grumpy mood?" Most of the time, however, let experience do the teaching. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Absolutely Organize Your Family {Giveaway}



Today's giveaway is for a copy of the book Absolutely Organize Your Family, Simple Solutions to Control Clutter, Schedules and Spaces.

The author, Debbie Lillard, a professional organizer, a frequent visitor on the hit show Mission Organization, and, of course, a mom, shares her most successful organizing strategies for the whole family.  These are strategies that she has put to work in her own home and in countless client's homes again and again with tremendous success.  Absolutely Organize Your Family is the resource you have been waiting for.  Each chapter defines a specific organizing "problem," a practical story related by the author, and a step by step action plan to solve the issue.  From time schedules, to desk organization, to how to efficiently clear out a closet, to what in the world to do with all of those pictures, to scheduling chore time, homework time, and down time, this book covers it all.  It is filled with illustrative pictures in full color and is the perfect size to pop in your purse, ready for any-time reference. The fool-proof strategies in the book are endless!  Discover for yourself, for example:
  • The secret for reducing the size of "THE PILE"– that awful stack of paperwork that we all have cluttering up our kitchen counter or desk!
  • The one simple trick to maintaining an effective Family Calendar!
  • A dependable strategy for introducing your children to Chores!
She has some fun little tips throughout the book. One I liked was the idea to let kids "take the day off." She said she had a friend who let her kids spend the first week of summer vacation in their PJs. As we are enjoying Fall Break right now, I thought I would let the kids do that if they wanted. I asked them if they wanted to get dressed or stay in their PJs for the day, and they all excitedly exclaimed "PJs!"

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Become a follower of this blog. Then leave a comment. If you are already a follower (the thing where your cute face pops up with all the other cute faces of people following), comment telling me so.

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Share what you most need help with organizing. 

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I want a better system for organizing my children's school papers.  


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Free Entry! But you must enter.

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Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

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I tweeted! @valplowman


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Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

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Blog or tweet about this giveaway. Then comment saying you did so and which you did. 

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Entry Rules
  • You must leave a comment in order to have an entry.
  • You must leave a separate comment for each entry. This is not so I can get lots of comments--it is because it makes it a million times easier to choose a winner. It takes less time, and less time is good. Plus, it makes sure I don't miss an entry.
  • You don't have to do all seven entries...for example, if you just want to follow this blog, you can just do entry one.
  • One entry per comment.
  • Up to seven entries per person.
  • You must fulfill the rules of each entry for each entry to count. If I see the entry is not valid (did not meet entry requirements), I will disqualify your entry. Trust me, I check.
  • Entries will be accepted until I choose the winner sometime October 26.
  • The winner will be randomly selected at random.org
  • The winner will be announced Friday October 26.
  • If you would like, you can add your email address to your entry. If you are the winner, I will email you to let you know. You do not need to add your email address in order to win. I understand not everyone wants to share their email addresses with the world. I will announce the winner on the blog, so you can check the blog Saturday to find out if you won.
  • Once the winner is announced, you will have one week to contact me or another winner will be chosen. Be sure to check back. The only thing worse than not winning is to win but not realize it in time!
  • US shipping addresses only please.

ANOTHER Sleep Training WINNER!

Due to the great interest in the giveaway,  Natalie  as generously decided to giveaway another package! Thanks Natalie!

So we have an additional winner (isn't this great? You think you didn't win but then you did...)


Congrats! Email me at valplowman@gmail.com to claim your prize. You have one week or another winner will be chosen.

Sleep Trainer Consultation WINNER

The winner of the giveaway from Natalie is...


Tara!

Congrats! Please email me at valplowman@gmail.com to claim your prize. You have one week or another winner will be chosen.

Claradolly NEW Winner

We have a new winner for the Claradolly giveaway...

Kristin!

Please email me at valplowman@gmail.com with your mailing address. You have one week or another winner will be chosen. Congrats!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Love and Logic Magic: Share the Thinking

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Principle number four in  Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood  is to share the thinking. This means you have your child sit and think through options--no matter what the question is--rather than just deliver the answer.

This is applied to discipline very well. I have found that when I ask my children what they think should happen when they do something wrong, they come up with a much harsher punishment than I would deliver myself. I sometimes go with their consequence, but most often I suggest something I think is more appropriate for the crime and the child is then very happy to accept whatever it is that is coming. 

Having the child think through things like this helps them really process it and evaluate it. Was it wrong? Why was it wrong? What should happen because it was wrong? 

This helps the child to learn from the mistake and also helps the child to not get angry at the consequence giver. Love and Logic Magic states "Successful people never fail; they turn failures into wisdom." Thinking through the scenario and what should be done about it helps the child to turn that mistake or failure into wisdom. They really learn from it. 

What age can you try this? I would say in certain situations, a three year old can handle this. Three is the age most children start to understand morals, so moral thinking can happen in a three year old. Judge for yourself what age your child is ready. I would start analyzing it at age three.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Brinley Summary: Week 10



This is a summary for Brinley's 10th week; she was nine weeks old.

EATING: GROWTH SPURT
Brinley had a growth spurt this week. This was her first growth spurt of her life that made for shorter naps all around. I had a couple of days where it felt like all I did was sit on the couch and feed her. Feeding every two hour will do that. 

Growth spurts can last from a few days to a week or so. Brinley's was about four days. And by the end, she was very noticeably bigger. 

BOTTLES
I like to give Brinley a bottle once a week. I did this with Brayden and Kaitlyn. I switched bottle brands with McKenna to a brand that leaked like crazy. It drove me crazy so I didn't use the bottle and she eventually just wouldn't take it (I know! I didn't follow my own advice!). I want to avoid repeating that mistake. 

We had parent/teacher conferences during this week. My mom came over and stayed with Brinley and McKenna while the rest of us went. Now, on Brinley's normal schedule, she would have been asleep the whole time I was gone. But I made the appointment two weeks ago, and this day happened to land on the last day of the growth spurt. So she was way off. 

My mom got her up. Four days earlier, my mom had given her a bottle with no problem. Well, this time she refused. Absolutely refused. My mom tried and tried. Brinley just cried and then fell asleep in her arms. When I got home, she was sleeping still.

Oh! And when we left the school, our battery was dead. So we had to jump it and were home about 30 minutes later than we would have been.

We got home 30 minutes after she woke up initially. That battery! It's okay--she survived just fine.

WAKETIME
This week, I started wondering if I should change waketime length. I tried going longer and it was a no go. I read through McKenna's summary for this age and saw I did the same thing with her at this age! There must be something about the age--must be a bit fitful or something. 

SLEEPING
She woke a couple of nights in the night during the growth spurt. After her growth spurt, she went back to sleeping through the night again. 

MILESTONES
Am I not funny? Brinley laughed this week for the first time--but for my mom. Not for me. She will smile at me like crazy. She is a little chatterbox who stops nursing to tell me stories. But I am apparently not funny to her :). I tried. I guess I am not comedian. I know, I know. My sense of humor is dry. At least Brayden finds me very funny--now that he is seven and can understand my sense of humor. I can have him rolling. Some day Brinley, some day.

AS FOR ME
I am losing my brain. I am forgetting everything. I gave my husband a haircut...I cut it at a half inch instead of one inch. Woops. I did the same thing--same thing--when McKenna was this age. I was helping in Kaitlyn's class. I totally read the instructions wrong and had them do the activity wrong (but what I had them do was super fun!). I had Brinley's baby quilt at a quilter's house. I brought it to her before Brinley was born, but she had a million orders. She called to tell me it was done. I told her I would go pick it up that day. Four days later I remembered that...oh my! My brain is gone. It will come back.


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