Sunday, August 18, 2013

Creating Toddler Friendly Dinners

When your little one starts eating table food, its important to make sure its healthy choices! Remember "Monkey see, Monkey do" so if this hasn't been you lifestyle, you may want to look at adapting new healthy meals. This will encourage your child to eat their whole grains, protein, fruits and veggies! We had always ate fairly healthy - of course we ate McDonalds! but that didn't stop us from cooking real meals. We don't buy much junk food (i.e. chocolate chip cookies are a treat, chips are limited, freezies when required). Adriana's deserts consist of fruit and/or 1 chocolate chip cookie if she's good. Its not like we don't give her candy, we teach her moderation. I kept track of her meals for 1 week to give you an idea of balanced meals. We do have a pizza night which consists of meat and mushrooms as toppings.

SUNDAY - 1/2 striploin steak (medium rare), Asian medley mix (baby corn, peppers, zucchini, and snow peas), roasted potatoes. For desert: a bowl of strawberries and pineapples
MONDAY - 3/4 chicken breast (boneless, skinless), Italian medley (broccoli, carrots), cucumber slices. For desert: blueberries and raspberries
TUESDAY - Smart KD (veggie), Italian medley (broccoli, carrots), celery pieces. For desert: strawberries and pineapple
WEDNESDAY - sliced beef cooked in butter with pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. For desert: blueberries
THURSDAY - Pizza night. bacon, pepperoni and mushrooms with drinkable yogurt. For desert: sliced Grapefruit (a first for Adriana!)
FRIDAY -Smart Catelli pasta with meat sauce. I use Extra Lean ground beef and Ragu sauce (good serving of veggies!). For desert: 1 chocolate chip cookie with drinkable yogurt.

We make sure to give Adriana what we have for dinner. She is more inclined to eating it if she sees we all have the same thing. This includes all her veggies! Actually on Thursday night, I gave her a chocolate chip cookie after her grapefruit but she didn't even take one bite. It was a treat but she didn't want it so I will use that treat for the next night. She's a pretty good eater so when she doesn't want to finish her entire meal - that's ok. We do NOT give her something else!! This is a common mistake parents make but it really does more harm than good. This will only teach the child that if they don't want something they can refuse it and be given something they do want - this is how you create a picky eater! Adriana will have choices but more like would you want more veggies or more meat!

She is at the perfect age to start figuring out what she does and does not like. That's perfectly okay too! Adriana has pushed away her plate but I just put it to the side and wait. Sometimes she just needs some time to realize this is dinner and you're not getting anything else. We don't believe in catering to their every needs - Who's the boss anyways? The Parents should be. So teach them to be thankful for the food they have and enjoy a different variety of foods too!

Although, I don't like certain foods - I still make a point to give them to Adriana. For example, I absolutely despise cucumber, seafood, and grapefruit. However, Adriana loves all of them! We never made a big deal of what she was eating, just gave it to her and acted like it was a normal meal. After she ate it I would explain what it was and asked if she liked it. So far so good with everything! There are things she just doesn't care for too, like melons (cantaloupe, honey dew and watermelon) or bananas.....seriously - bananas. I am going to try a different way of giving them to her though. I found a recipe to fry the bananas in honey and add cinnamon. They make them crunchy and a bit sweet!

I hope Adriana stays a good eater for awhile. Not for the nutritional value but the experience. The ability to explore new foods is a talent in my eyes. I wish I was adventurous but where I lack the boyfriend makes up for it! He has a great appetite for new foods and I envy that. Clearly, Adriana is on the same path as him - Good Job!

We also had our family pictures done over the weekend. I can't wait to share them with you!! Adriana is such a photogenic little girl which makes our family pictures turn out amazing!! Thank you Sears Canada :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Toddler Hair Craze, Learn to Relax

Its been a week since our trip and we're both still adjusting. I find that Adriana and I are sleeping more in order to get back on the same schedule. I need to sleep for a week straight if I could - I know Adriana could!

An update on Adriana's Toddler bed: So far she's been doing amazing!! We found her on the floor next to her bed with Cookie Monster twice. Both times she climbed out (not fall!) and laid down on the floor instead of back in the bed. No big deal - she loves her "big girl bed". She will tell people about her bed if they ask her about it. She seems proud to be at this stage :D I am a Happy Mommy.

OK. Am I the only Mommy that has some serious problems with their daughter's hair? I'm not just talking first thing in the morning either. Adriana has beautiful curls and sometimes they're just insane to tame! I've tried hair clips but she pulls them out, pony tails - pulls out, headbands - pulls off! I really don't want to cut her hair just yet. If I do, she will lose her curls for sure!! Any suggestions???

 Example of a good hair day for Adriana! She was taking pictures for Auntie Kim again
 Sliced Steak cooked in butter with pepper, sitting on a bed of lettuce and tomato with Ranch Dressing over top - DELICIOUS!!
 Adriana wearing her flower belt - she loved it!!
 $1 drinks at Mc Donald's - she was really thirsty!! ps. its iced tea NOT pop
She's all geared up for the Zoo in a few weeks! I got her this zoo hat last year when we took her and she never wore it until now - she must be excited lol

Sometimes you need to just sit back and Relax. Breathe. Think. Being a Mommy (or Daddy) can be a hard job. Probably the hardest job out there! But at the same time it can be the most rewarding. Throughout all my babysitting jobs, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. There wasn't anything that could change my mind. No matter the amount of dirty diapers, tantrums, tears, throw up, etc. I knew in my heart it was definitely something for me.

I have a lot of love for children, and now that I have one of my very own I really could not ask for anything more. I believe this was my calling all along. Adriana was planned but we never expected her personality to woo us over the way that it has. I still agree that babies change you: either for the better or for the worst. It is what you make it. Of course its not easy but you don't give up the first time he/she spits up on you, or cries, or throws a tantrum. That's all part of being a parent. It is just the not so glamorous part!

Take your time and remember they are learning too. Learn to have an abundance of patience stored away for those less appealing times and enjoy the good times as is. Learn to laugh more with your child, join in the goofiness of their ways, encourage independence and more importantly - LOVE. Love not just your child but your spouse and yourself. These are the people who make your day real. Don't worry about work - its work. Don't worry about society - its overrated anyways!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crib to Toddler Bed Transition

So we are trying this new thing with Adriana where she sleeps in a big girl bed. Yup! its that time! Last week she was sleeping in a single bed by herself and she did really well. She was able to stay on the bed and when she did wake up she just sat up. This was a good test to see how she would react to the change. We told her it was a Surprise for her after daycare. She came home and ran to her bedroom. The first thing she did was sit on the edge of her "new" bed. After a few minutes she was jumping on her bed!! I explained this was her new big girl bed and she was going to sleep here just like every other night. She nodded her head and said "Big bed"....a sign she actually understands? Love it.

We didn't change any routine with her either. We always had let her walk to her bed when it was bedtime. The only difference is she could climb in herself. So after her bath, brushing teeth, pajamas, and bottle, she was off to bed. At first she couldn't settle into this "new" bed but once I picked her up, gave her a hug and laid her down, she was good.

Now the real test will be tonight. I'm not usually a fan of sneaking in after she's fallen asleep but I will have to. I mean I don't have a choice. My curiosity will definitely take over every ounce of will power I have. Therefore, no choice. I was so happy she didn't give us a hard time! I like using the word "surprise" because it gets her excited to new changes that most kids have a hard time with. I also show my excitement so she knows its a good thing! I encouraged her to lay down in her bed and I knew it was good when she asked for her blankie!

Sometimes parents are not so lucky with the transition. This could be for a number of reasons. A few recommendations I have are:
  • Purchase a Convertible Crib if possible. This seems like less of a transition for your toddler and may make it easier when the time comes.
  • Be excited about it! Put your worries aside and BELIEVE this is a good thing. Kids know when you fake recite all the reasons this is good for your little one.
  • Try naps in a different place like your bed or a single mattress on the floor or even a sleeping bag!
  • Show them the bed - Don't just put them in it! Its a new thing and they need time to adjust too. A bit of play time in their room with the "new" bed set up will help. They see the bed there and realize its not much different than their crib was.
Taking your time really does help the situation. Adriana showed signs she was ready for a big girl bed and I watched for those signs. That really helped us decide when it was a good time for us and for her. She's fairly good with adjusting and this was a big milestone! We will have to watch how the next few days go for her in her "new" bed. I think this was the perfect time for the change. A key point to know whether your child is ready for the transition is if they climb out of their crib - not just once but several times. This becomes a safety hazard and necessary to change to a toddler bed. It also means you might have the challenge of keeping them in their bed at night. You may find yourself repeatedly going in their room to take the toys away and put them back into bed. Remember to keep your patience as much as you can!

There's no set time when you have to replace your child's crib with a regular or toddler bed, although most children make the switch sometime between ages 1 1/2 and 3 1/2

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Newfoundland at its Best

 Adriana walking around Logy Bay, NL
 Holyrood Harbour, NL - Boardwalk

 Sitting at the top of Signal Hill

 Salmonier Nature Park

 Adriana eating fresh wild blueberries!

 Fort Amherst, NL
 Topsoil Beach Sunset
 Sunnyside, NL
 Swimming at Jacks Pond