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Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.

New year, new you!

New year new you!

So with all the New Years resolutions, a lot of people will have some resolution to do with fitness or training or the gym.

So this isn’t a blog about working out, instead it’s a wardrobe re vamp on your work out clothes!

A lot of us fall victim to monochrome of basics black, white, navy and sometimes grey. Be gone with that and add some colour!

We all know colour can enhance our mood so why not help get us motivated also? It is understood that bright colours evoke energy so why not try to add some bright colours into your workout wardrobe?

I understand some of us like to wear dark clothes especially on our bottom half to ‘cover’ or not enhance our assets however that doesn’t mean plain boring black!

I’ve recently purchased a pair of black tights but with a leopard print on them which is a shiny black. Imagine Matt black tights with a shiny print! I love them, not boring and yet still black!

Why not also add a bright sports bra under your top? I think it’s cute having a little peak of colour from under your clothing.

Or if you dare, wear a complete brighter / coloured outfit.

Don’t be scared to clash prints either, it’s the gym, or fitness training – not a fashion parade. Just be comfortable and remember your not there to impress with your outfit, however I do know it’s nice to look the part and wear nice / cute / sexy / impressive workout gear.

Workout gear also doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve purchased many work out clothing from cotton on body, target, k-mart, forever 21 and other stores that are not exclusively targeted at workout gear or are ‘labels’. These clothes are durable, comfortable, wearable and long lasting.

Working out can be as expensive or as budget friendly as you like, just remember to have fun with it and add colour, you will be surprised how good you feel when your wearing colour and it has been proven to be a mood enhancer!

I’ve listed some colours and the moods that they enhance, hopefully they help you to choose a brighter happier workout wardrobe!

Red = anger, determination, ambition, energy, passion, action.

Pink = unconditional love, nurturing, success, passion.

Yellow = strong mind, intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful.

Orange = social communication, optimism.

Blue = trust, peace, loyalty, integrity.

Green = balance, growth, self-resilient,

Good luck and enjoy!

Mummy guilt.

Mummy guilt…

Let’s face it, being a mummy doesn’t come with a manual or handbook and nothing can prepare you for the unknown.

When I say unknown I mean, we all know that a baby cries, drinks milk and sleeps right? Yes we lean that from family, friends and pre natal classes. What we don’t lean is what each cry means and why they are constantly waking when they have a clean nappy, have a full tummy and are at perfect temperature.

If like me you have tried control crying, tried the shhh method, patting, night lights, baby monitors, white noise etc etc but sometimes after 2hrs of continuous toddler waking – for no apparent reason other than he calls out my name and thinks I should be sleeping in his room along side him. You snap…

Well last night I did. I had reached my teather of shhh, patting, white noise, coving in blankets and every other method known to mummy’s all over the world. I raised my voice at my 20 month old little man. The love of my life, my world. I told him ‘just go to sleep mummy is cold and tired and I’m over the constant waking’. He didn’t listen though and as soon as I left his room he started to stream and call out ‘mamma, mamma, mamma’. I eventually gave in as I often get ‘mummy guilt’ and feel bad for raising my voice at such an innocent little delight (delight when he isn’t awake at 2am!).

I gave in at 4am after 2 hours of back and forth from his room to my bed and put him in bed with me. He then slept until 8am. I know this is a terrible bad habit but I suffer ‘mummy guilt’ and this morning I feel terrible for many reasons.

1. I raised my voice at him
2. I ended up giving in to him and allowing him to sleep with me
3. I was to tired to get up and see my hubby off to work
4. It’s 8am when I’m usually up at 6:30am
5. His routine is now out by a couple hours all because ‘I gave in’

Does anyone else suffer from ‘mummy guilt’?

I’ve read all the sleep books, saving our sanity books, taming toddler books, healthy eating books but none of these methods seem to help my little one.

Perhaps he just has it over me?

I look at him with overwhelming love and stare into his beautiful brown eyes and feel besotted with love and adoration. Why am I yelling at him to sleep? Perhaps he is just ready to start his day? He did go down at 7pm. That’s 7hrs sleep, adults survive on that, is it enough? Then the little voice of reason kicks in, I hear it telling me – ‘no all the books say toddlers needs 14 hours of sleep’. So I’m confused and feeling ‘mummy guilt’ again.

It’s not only with his sleep I feel guilt, it’s also with his eating. We all want our children to grow up healthy and as my father used to say ‘big and strong’ and we were drummed in that vegetables and meat made us this way. ‘Eat your veg then your meat’ my dad used to say every night at the dinner table and it was a ceremony of us all sitting down to eat together. So I feel guilty that my little one eats alone at 5pm as to keep to his nightly routine of dinner, bath, bottle, story and bed.

I feel guilty about what if he isn’t getting enough nutrients or fruit and vegetables? I still do purée veg for him to endure he eats veg every night and I do them in weekly batches and freeze then in Snap lock bags, mixing up the veg so that it’s not boring and ensuring he eats a variety of different things. I know a few children who are almost teenagers who still don’t eat veg and I think it’s because it wasn’t encouraged as toddlers.

Your taste buds and also habits evolve on a 30 day cycle so you can either beat a habit or learn to enjoy something if you stick to it for 30 days. Now I’m not saying eat the same veg for 30 days straight but encourage healthy eating from a young age and when ten reach 8, 9 or 10 even older they will enjoy certain veg. Don’t get me wrong we don’t have to love all veg but at least like 1 of every colour. He eats meat every night and I ensure he is having enough dairy such as cheese, yogurt, custards, milk etc. I don’t allow too much excess or un necessary sugars and although I allow treats, I try to minimise chocolate, chips, lollies and biscuits to a special occasion.

I’ve listed some veggie and fruit colours below that I try to have at least one veg from each colour in his weekly cook up. I freeze these in 1 cup lots then thaw for the day and cook fresh meat each evening.

Orange / Yellow = pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, corn, squash, rockmelon, oranges, lemon, mango, pineapple.

Green = broccoli, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, green capsicum, spinach, asparagus, avocado, green apple, green grapes, limes, kiwi fruit, pear.

Red = tomato, red capsicum, radish, cherries, rhubarb, red grapes, raspberries, strawberries.

Purple / Blue = beetroot, purple asparagus, red cabbage, eggplant, blue berries, mulberries, black berries.

White / Brown = cauliflower, mushroom, onion, peaches, nectarines, garlic, banana, potato, ginger, brown pears, dates.
I know I’m not the perfect mother, I wish I was but what is ‘perfect’? I try my best to raise my child to be the best person he can be. Encouraging him to try new things, be brave, show leadership skills, be kind and caring, fun and happy, help others but most of all I encourage him to be himself. Strive for what he wants rather than what I want him to be.

Perhaps I just have too high of expectations on what is being a good mummy?