Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jetty Island

Today I headed out to Jetty Island with Isabel to meet up with a mommy play group.  Jetty Island is a long strip of land in the bay off the coast of Everett, WA.  I've heard from a few co-workers that it was a great place to bring your kids but I never made the journey before.  For one, it would have been just Izzy and I and it's not as fun without other kids to join in.  Since The North shore mommy play group planned to met there it was the perfect opportunity to check it out.

There is a short ferry ride to and from the island which is free.  There is limited seating so I would suggest getting there early to get a ticket.  There also isn't a fee for parking except Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  So there is even more incentive to go during the week.  Once you get to the island pick up your tickets right away they go fast and you don't want to get stuck there until the late afternoon.

I packed spare clothes for warm and cool weather, light lunch, snacks, towel, water bottle, sunscreen, first aid stuff, bathing suit for Iz, water/sand toys, a kite and a empty bag.  The sun came out during our stay and there wasn't any place to get out of the sun.  Fortunately, there was a breeze or the sun would have been unbearable.  Next time I'll bring a umbrella or sun shade.  The kite was a hit with all the kids there and with the constant breeze I was able to tie it up to my water bottle and just let it fly.  There is only one bathroom but it's more of a porta potty so the sanitizing hand gel and extra baby wipes helped with cleaning up.

Iz had a blast with the shallow pools and I didn't have to worry about having to fish her out of the water.  We have a great time and this is definitely a place I would come back to again.

Pros - location, no cost, great place for water and sand activities
Cons - only one bathroom, no shade, distance to carry stuff from the ferry dock

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cheese with that Whine?

I don't know what changed.  Whatever it was it started 2-3 weeks ago.  My two almost three year old has a consta-whine.  She can turn it on at the drop of a hat for no reason at all.  It's almost as if the more her vocabulary grows the less she uses it and just whines for what she wants.  There aren't even words mixed in, it's just a low level "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........."  The more I ask her to use her words or try to guess what she wants the more she mumbles and whines.

Has this happened to any other parent out there?  Has your toddler taken a step forward in development just to jump back down the cliff?  Let me tell you that at times it have to just remove myself to scream.  No it's not that bad.  The whine to me is like nails on a chalk board and can get frustrating because I know very well that she has the vocabulary to ask for what she wants and she just doesn't.

What is your experience?  Does this stage last long?  Will it end?  Please say it will end, gah!

Monday, July 23, 2012


I tend to start hobbies that get neglected when life gets in the way.  Some of the hobbies I picked up last year were very beneficial to my family and our bank account.  Last year I started to coupon.  This "hobby" saved my family huge amounts of money that I meant to keep up.  As most of my hobbies I keep putting it off and off again until I wasn't sure where to pick up again.

Today, I decided to tackle my coupon hobby.  Why?  Even for the few months I was seriously trying to use coupons I couldn't argue with the money I saved on the things my family needs every day.  I was able to slow down my trips to the grocery store to once every 3 weeks or so for the very fact that I had a freezer and pantry full of food and I only would go when there was a good deal on an item.  Even months later I still have a box full of dish washing soap, laundry detergent, tooth paste and shampoo that I don't have to run to the store for.  I remember during the winter snow storm this year that I didn't have to brave the roads for anything.  We were covered.

Ever since we moved to our new house in March, I let that slide.  I have noticed that I do have to run to the store more often and I end up spend at least $100 for a few days worth of groceries.  Before I was able to take home 3-4 times the amount of items for the same price.  Why in the world have I been putting it off?

Today, I went through the pile Sunday papers and threw out all the expired coupons.  Tomorrow is my first shopping trip so stay tuned for the update.  If you're interested in couponing?  I would suggest you start out with The Coupon Project there's lot of information there that helped me get started.  Do you have a HUGE haul you want to share?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mini Bully

I picked my daughter up from day care yesterday and was my daughter crying.  One of the girls had just pushed her at the playground before I walk in.  A few days before I was called at work and told my daughter fell off a bridge onto the concrete face first.  Today I watched the same girl push her down.  I know they are toddlers and they can be prone to hitting and pushing from their raging emotions. (rolls eyes)

When is it too far?  Last night and today when I picked her up Izzy has been saying more and more often that Brooke pushed her and she fell down.  Today she even told me in a full sentence "Brooke pushed me and I fell down. It hurts."  During the ride home I asked her if Brooke pushes her a lot and she said yes.  "Brooke pushed me... bridge... I fell down, it hurt."  Is my almost 3 year old really telling me that she's being frequently pushed from one particular girl?  I don't know if I should be concerned at this point.  When should you really take the "message" a 3 year old tells you as what it sounds like?

Have you experienced a "mini bully" at that age?  How much of it is a true personality trait and how much is toddlers with raging emotions?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mommy's Bed

My child knows that every night she has to go to sleep in her bed.  If she wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare she can climb into mommy's bed for some cuddling and to chase away the monsters.  Most nights when the bed routine starts she asks nonstop to sleep in mommy's bed.  Well, she doesn't say it in a full sentence she just repeats "mommy's bed?" over and over and over again.  On rare occasions when I just want her to fall asleep right away or I want some extra cuddling time she can sleep in my bed.

Tonight was one of those nights.  Bad mommy pushed back bed time too far.  For some reason I was in a cleaning kick and decided to tackle a few more moving boxes from the mountain that was known as my garage.  When I finally looked at the time it was close to 7:30pm and I still had to get her dinner and a bath.  This time when she started in on mommy's bed I said okay.  This girl was so excited and scared I would change my mind that she wouldn't take to step pass the doorway into her room to take her pillow and dolly to my bed.

I didn't have to do anything extra before she knocked out either.  I just plopped her in my bed, kissed her good night and gave the dolly to her and left the room.  I was walking in and out picking up toys, cleaning up a little and setting out clothes for tomorrow.  Not one peep the whole time.  I love nights that bed time isn't a fight, it's a breath of fresh air.  I even had the time to write this post before I have to go to bed myself.  I guess mommy's bed is a special place after all.

Parenting Compliments

As a parent you question how you are raising your child and you hope at the end of this journey your child grows up to be a well adjusted, contributing member of society.  My child didn't arrive with an instruction booklet or a pair of glasses the see into the future.  So I don't know if what I'm doing now will result in a positive thing or negative thing.  My daughter is going to turn 2 in two months and she is a Toddler with a capital "T".   There are days that she makes me so frustrated that I need to take a moment to myself to regroup.  While other days my eye get misty and my heart skips a beat because I feel so thankful I'm her mommy.

Since the "terrible twos" and the "toddler tantrums" have made an appearance in our household I've tried different tactics to see what works best with my toddler.  I definitely did not want my daughter to think it was okay to scream, whine, or throw a tantrum to get what she wanted.  I made it a point from the very beginning, that she had to say "please mommy" if she wanted something.  As her vocabulary increased I helped her through simple sentences to ask for what she wanted.  For example, "More milk please mommy." 

These days she's been using the whine/scream/tantrum tactic first and it's been tough to shake her from that bad habit.  Now in the face of all that screaming I keep saying, "You have to use your words, mommy doesn't understand you when you scream like that" until she gives me enough hints to figure out what she's screaming at.  Once I figure out what she wants and she starts to calm down then I prompted her to stand in front of me, cross her arms and use her words to ask mommy nicely for what she wants.  I tell her "It's NOT okay to scream at mommy like that, when you want something you need to use your words and ask mommy nicely."

I really think whatever I'm doing is really working.  We were at that vet today and she started whining.  We went through the steps, stand in front of me, cross her arms, ask nicely, and follow up with thank you.  The vet gave me the BIGGEST COMPLIMENT on my parenting.  She said she's never seen a child with such good manners.  She really liked how I handled it and even said she wants to use that when she has children.   How awesome is that! Toddlers are tough and I'm sure I have more white hair from the stress but that little pat on the back gave me the validation that I just might be doing the right thing after all.  :)

Have you received any comments that made you feel the same?  What were they?  Have you given anyone else positive parenting comments?  What did you see to make you share that compliment?

Friday, July 13, 2012


A little someone got to try pudding for the first time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dare Devil

Toddlers are climbers, jumpers, runners and miniature daredevils.  Fortunately, they approach each new adventure with a fearless attitude.  How else will our mini me's master all the things their bodies can do.  On the other hand that fearless attitude can put our hearts in our throats each and every time we see where their antics leads them.

My little climbing, jumping, running daredevil is no exception.  In the past two days she has fallen on her head at least three times.  Once was from jumping on the couch while spinning and she ended up flipping off it.  Another was from dancing right off the coffee table right onto her shoulder and head.  This time she decided to body slam the dog from off the couch and he moved just in time to save himself.  Izzy wasn't so lucky.

I don't know about you but I could talk until I turned blue and it wouldn't make a difference to my crazy kid. Actually, I feel like an old fuddy duddy for telling her she can't jump on the couch.  I LOVED jumping on the couch and my bed when I was a kid.  Sigh, what to do?  I'll probably just try to relax until the crying starts.  All bets are off if she starts running around with a knife or attempts something that will land her in the hospital. What has your kind done recently that your heart practically stopped when you saw them?

Wordless Wednesday: Owies

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


My daughter is going on three in two months.  Holy cow where did the time go!  Meal time up until this point has always but a struggle.  She was a very picky eater.  Yes, I just said WAS!  I don't know what changed but she eats almost everything I put down in front of her.  There are some things I still need to be creative with like vegetables.  It just hit me tonight how good her appetite has become.  Not only are her portion sizes getting larger but she's also asking for more snacks in between.  Case in point, she had a full bowl of noodles  with chicken pieces and a half glass of milk for dinner.  Then she asked for raspberries and finished off a new package by herself. (Minus a handful that went bad.)  Now she's eating three large strawberries by herself.

Our pediatrician always told us that she would grow out of being a picky eater.  When you're living the frustration it's hard to see the end of the tunnel.  Ladies and gentlemen we are finally at the end of the tunnel! My little girl is growing up so fast.  Not only is her appetite better but the problem with the constipation is also gone.  We're at everyday or every other day folks!  You're looking at a relieved mommy on your hands.  Now if only we can cure her of the attitude...


There are times when nothing I do seems to work with my toddler.  It's as though as her confidence grows so does her willingness to talk back.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert at discipline.  I just try my best to reinforce consequences for bad behavior.  Izzy can throw a tantrum like the best of them with the tears, the screaming and even flailing legs for an added affect.  That said I still think that generally Izzy is pretty well behaved.

We had another play date today with our neighbor and her two year old.  It seems a little harsh to say but I think she is out of control.  The first two times I could chalk it up to her being overly tired.  At this point I want to say it's just her behavior.  I watched as she repeatedly did things against her mother's wishes when the consequences weren't enforced.  At one point she came to whisper to me a request that her mother just told her she couldn't do.

I felt for the mother, she genuinely seemed frustrated at her child's behavior. I only reinforced what the mother already told her.  I smiled and inwardly cringed at the havoc she was doing to my house.  I still want the two girls to become friends but I don't' want Bella's bad behavior to rub off on Izzy. Have you ever been in the position where you wanted to jump in but didn't think you should?  Did you ever stop going to a play date in the chance the behavior would rub off on your child?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Little Girl Bike

I can't decide when to purchase Izzy her first bike/trike.  Once in awhile we make a trip out to Toys R US to play.  It gives her the opportunity to play.  We make a two hours of it just to window shop and try things out.  The last time we were there was the first time she wanted to sit on a trike and was able to pedal around the store with it.  I'm sure there are some at her Day Care but until that day I didn't even know she knew how to use one.  She had a little problems steering but I'm sure she'd get better the more she played with it.

So I'm left with the question of when I should get her one.  The one she rode was the smallest Radio Flyer which only last up to age 3 for the weight limit.  She's still a little on the small side but I wouldn't make any sense to get her something she could out grow in the next year.  The store didn't carry the next size up tricycle and the smallest bicycle with training wheels was too big.  Her legs didn't even come close to the petals.

 I've been looking at some reviews online and I've decided on the Radio Flyer Girls Classic Dual Deck Tricycle in Pink.  It's not too expensive I just don't know if she's tall enough for it yet.  WA is only blessed with a few months without consistent rain so I want something she can use right away.

Any other moms buy a tricycle for their little one?  Any recommendations?  Izzy is about 26 lbs and 35 inches.

Potty Time

Potty training isn't easy.  You might be nodding your head or thinking "duh".  Now that my daughter's a semi pro at the potty training business I wanted to share with you what worked the best for us.  I tried two different portable potties and two different toilet seats.  I first tried using a gimmick. My daughter loves everything pink, Dora or princess themed and I thought it would help the process.  Initially, the gimmick worked whether it was from the color or the decorations she wanted to sit on them but not for long.  Those potties weren't comfortable and even with padding the shape left indentations on her skin.  Who would want to sit on something painful and scary?

What worked the best were the products from BabyBjorn.  I started out with the potty chair and added the toilet trainer.  There are no edges to cut in her bottom.  The opening was small enough for her bottom to be supported and not falling out in the middle.  I also love the splash guard for male guests to use too. Which potty does your toddler use?  Did you go through a few before finding one that worked the best?

Life Time Friends

Ever since we moved into our new neighborhood I've been keeping an eye out for another little girl my daughter's age.  I plan to live in this house for awhile and one of my mini dreams for Izzy to grow up with her own BFF.  I met a grandmother and granddaughter walking the neighborhood last week that I'm hoping she could become friends with Izzy.  It turns out that this little girl has the same name except for an added "A" at the end and has the same birth month.

We've already had one play date at the local playground and they seemed to play well together.  We have a have some more play dates planned so we see how it goes.  How great would that be for Izzy to grow up with another girl her age, go to the same schools, and become life long friends?  It makes me smile thinking about it.  Does your child already have a "bestie"?  What age did that friendship start?


I'm all for my child eating a healthy meal.  I encourage lots of fruits and sneak in as many vegetables as possible.  Breakfast is another meal that can turn into a fight.  Think about typical breakfast items, eggs, toast, bacon, pancakes, cereal, milk, and orange juice.  The main part of the meal is a carbohydrate.

So would you fight with your toddler to make them eat cereal and milk instead of crackers and milk?  I did until I really thought about it.  Why start the day with a tantrum when my child will still eat a carbohydrate made from whole grain wheat with less sugar than the cereal?  Shrug.  Some days I figure as long as she's still eating relatively healthy than I'm happy.  What do you think?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting My Groove Back

No, this isn't about finding some hot young thing to corrupt like the movie.  I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of juggling all the things that need my attention these days.  Last year when I started this blog I was a stay at home mother.  I cherished the entire time I was able to be there 24/7 for my first born.  I am blessed to have a supportive husband that enabled me to do so.

This year I've come across a whole new set of challenges.  In the past 8 months we've relocated to a new state.  I now call WA my home.  I started working full time again.  We also bought a new home in an area I want to settle down in.

The newest challenge is that I'm currently a single parent.  That's right, as a military spouse it's more common for the spouse to hold down the fort while the other one is away.  It's been a tough time so far but I'm looking at this as preparation for the bigger deployment later.  There were things I relied on my husband before that I didn't factor in.  All the "guy" stuff like mowing the grass, keeping the car maintenance, washing the car, taking out the trash, or being Mrs. Fix It.

Here's to all the mommies out there that wear multiple hats and still wear a smile!
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