30 Day


Parenting 101

A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting

(no subject)
My one son is now beginning to get invited to playdates to be held at the homes of his classmates (typically).
Since both of my children go to an elementary school outside of the zoned school boundaries, these are not children that live in our neighborhood. So it's not like we've had a lot of organic opportunities to make these playdates happen without rides/coordination,etc.
I've not met the parents of the latest playdate request. We've been at parties together but we are usually just casually friendly and chasing our kids around. There have been no formal introductions.
I do feel fine allowing my son to be picked up my his classmates mom and then two hours later I'll be picking him up from their house.

Here's my question: Since I don't know these people really, is it appropriate for me to inquire about firearms kept in the house? Is there a tactful way to do this?
Is it possible to offend someone by asking?

Have you ever asked?
How would you recommend I go about doing this, in order to put myself at ease, but also respect other people's choices and their capabilities in being responsible gun owners.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!

Better safe than sorry...
Wake Up

I just made an appointment for tonight but...All last week I was out of town and so was my MIL who normally watches my kid. My 10 month old daughter spent her first week in a daycare with 1 other child.

Saturday she threw up twice after eating solid food so my husband decided to stick just to formula.

She didn't throw up again but had a low grade fever all weekend. Acting perfectly normal, happy, laughing, crawling and standing up all over.

Sunday night I gave her some cheerios, she was fine.

Yesterday at lunch I gave her some solids, she was fine.

Last night just before bed she threw up. I only fed solids at lunch.

This morning she's had 2 bottles of formula, one with some cheerios and no issues. But I hear her tummy rumbling and she's still got diarrhea which she has also had since Saturday. Still low grade fever.

Should I give it another day or take her in? Now my husband is feeling stomach sick and me too so I imagine it's just a bug.

Can I feed her water at this age?  To keep her hydrated?

Normal feeding schedule:
630am: 6 ounces and half jar food
930am: 6 ounces
1230pm: 6 ounces and half jar food
330pm: 6 ounces
630pm: 6 ounces and half jar
7pm bed

Sometimes she gets a small handful of cheerios at the 930 or 330 feedings.

Shes still sleeping 10-12 hours a night but napping a lot more during the day.

Eta: I'm sicker than her at this point. Lol....I realized is not diarrhea, just "formula poop"when not eating solids. Will try solids again tomorrow. Thanks everyone!

Dawdling in the morning
We have an ongoing issue with getting our 5 year old DD ready and out the door in a timely fashion every morning. Often times, it ends up with all of us frustrated and yelling, which I hate. Plus, it's causing DH to be late for work (we live 20 miles out of town and ride in together, he has to be to work earlier than I do.) any tips on making mornings easier? TIA!

Nighttime potty
My little boy is 3, turning 4 on NYE.  He has been fully potty trained since age 2.5.  He's had accidents since then, but what little kid doesn't, right?

However, he has suddenly started peeing his bed EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.  I'm at a loss.  I just purchased those goodnight pads because I was sick of washing his sheets every day.  He does fine with potty during the day.  Some nights he wakes up crying because his bed is "wet", other nights he just runs into my room and gets into bed with me and when I ask why, he casually mentions wetting the bed.  My husband thinks he is just being lazy and doesn't want to get up to pee because tired/cold/whatever but I'm thinking he is not even really awake EXCEPT that when he is in bed with us, he will sit there and "wiggle" when he has to pee.   He will also whine on occasion.  He seems to *know* even if he is not fully awake.

Question is : What in the heck do I do?  I realize that bed wetting at this age is still perfectly normal but am I to put him back into trainers for overnight?  Wake him up and make him go in the middle of the night?  When he peed last night, he told me he thought it was ok because I put a pad down for him.  I don't want to punish or shame him of course but shouldn't there be a consequence for just not getting up to go even when he is clearly getting the sensation/urge to pee ?

I also wonder if he is doing it because he just wants to get out of his bed and sleep with me or some other emotional thing.  Things have been rough lately.  He broke his arm 3 weeks ago and had to stop a lot of his activities and also his sister is getting a lot of attention over her 1st birthday and also being very mobile and INTO everything so its been really hard to give him full attention. I'm grasping at straws here, I think, but emotional stuff affects it, right?

Sleep issues with a 3 year old.
My son has been throwing HUGE temper tantrums regarding bedtime for the last three weeks or so. We have the same routine we have ALWAYS had. We cool down with a bath, put on PJs, brush teeth & hair, read a bedtime story, and go to bed. We have ALWAYS had this routine. However, now suddenly, bedtime is a major issue. He slams his door, opens it back up, and continually keeps slamming it. He screams, throws gigantic tantrums, lays on his back on the floor and kicks the dickens out of his walls. You name it. Constant tantrums... and this can go on for HOURS. Last night he threw his temper tantrum for OVER FOUR hours, before he passed out from exhaustion on the floor by the baby gate on his bedroom door. Tonight: we are closing in on the two hour mark and he is STILL throwing a huge fit. My husband and I have tried EVERYTHING. We have had no major life issues, changes, nothing that would trigger this short of reaction. Any suggestions would be hugely helpful.

He's not getting enough sleep at night, obviously, and this has been translating into issues during the day. Anything to help get his butt into his bed and keep it there so he sleeps would be hugely helpful.

Let's talk about sunscreen...

Sorry, I should have included this in my last entry but I'm packing now and just realized.

ALSO, thank you to everyone who did respond on my last entry. I got some fabulous advice and ideas!!! THANK YOU!

Okay so...we're going to Florida for Thanksgiving and I purchased on of those kid tents. Then I read that sunscreen is bad for babies? Gah. We plan to spend at least one full day at the beach and I was hoping that the small kiddie pool, the tent, the umbrella and the sunscreen would keep her cool and hydrated.

Can I have some tips and advice? She's 10 months old currently. I bought Coppertone water babies SPF 50.

ETA: Death in the family so husband and baby aren't coming down to meet me after my company convention. Thanks anyway though! 

Let's talk about play mats...
Our basement has a playroom and I love it. She loves it...BUT our basement is cement with a very thin layer of carpet over top and oh boy...when she hit her head on that it was not a pleasant 10 minutes. She's learning to walk and currently we have this:


I like green! Plus the walls are a tree/bird/sky thing so I thought this would be cute for grass. BUT IT FALLS APART.

So on to the question...where can I get a solid, thick play mat for my kids play room? I've been reading reviews like crazy but everything is so conflicting and I honestly have a weird trust issue with reviews lol. I don't want letters in it or anything that contains smaller pieces. I'm not worried about her chewing on them because she gnaws on them all the time and they're very sturdy...they just come up a lot and I'm constantly re-positioning them. If any adult goes in there...it's over. DONE. Because adult weight is different than a babies and we're in there a LOT so....yeah. There are pieces missing now...how? I have no idea. The D is completely gone. LOL. I'm guessing it's hidden in the backyard and the dog took it but we also have a fence down here so IDK. Anyway...

At this point I'm all about comfort and easy-ness so I honestly don't give a crap what it looks like. Should I go for a thick rug? Or do any of you use a similar product that is far more sturdy? And perhaps larger pieces so they don't come apart so easily?

Here is a picture so you get an idea of the size of the spaceCollapse )

(no subject)
Lindsey Buckingham
How do you stop a 21 month old from screaming/squealing? I work in the infant/toddler room at a childcare center. We have one boy who will scream bloody murder when he isn't getting his way. As an example, sometimes he is not listening when he's in the carpeted area. We will give him a warning, "If you do [action] again, you will go to the wood floor." He does the action again, obviously testing boundaries, so we're consistent and send him to the wood floor. He will stand at the gate, shaking it back and forth, and letting out very shrill, ear piercing, room-echoing screams. He's pretty verbal, and knows some signs as well (all done, more, please, eat - the important ones!). When he starts to scream, we always remind him to use his words and also give him the words to say.

We've tried ignoring it. We've tried removing him from the area and having him sit on the back rug until he's calmed down. We've tried going "shhh!" and having him repeat the gesture back to us. We've tried time-ins, where someone holds him for a minute until he's calm. We've tried firmly stating, "ALL DONE/that's enough/stop/etc." It seems like the more you talk to him, the more he carries on, so telling him things like, "I can't hear you when you cry. Please use your words and talk to me" doesn't work either. His parents say it doesn't really happen at home.

Today was the worst it's been yet, and we're kind of at a loss. Please help?

lost lovey
killed helicopter
okay, i need some inspiration on this. where's the weirdest place you've found your kid's toys? mine once "lost" her lovey because she put it inside a cup in the cupboard and forgot.

now she's lost the mini version of her lovey and i'm 99.9% sure it's somewhere in the house. she's not too stressed about it since it's not her actual lovey (she's got 3 different sizes of one of those little dalmations, the medium one is "the" toy and the little one is missing), but it's driving me bananas. i've checked the cups in the cupboards, in and under all the beds, her drawers, my drawers, under most of the furniture but not "in" all of the furniture, and then obvious places like her toy boxes and treasure chests. nada. weeeeeeee!

Help! Food for 4-month-old?

Mayyyybe I read too much P101, but I always thought food other than formula/BM was for fun until age 1. I planned some time around six months to start letting my kid experiment with pureed foods that we're eating but otherwise haven't thought much about it.

His daycare asked at 3 mos if we wanted them to start giving him rice cereal, to which we said no. Today (four months today) we asked our doctor what he needed and she said he could need rice cereal for iron. But I know his Enfamil has it! I realllly don't want to start shoving my kid full of processed carb mix with a ton of chemicals I can't pronounce (I already feel bad enough that donated breast milk didn't take [we adopted and I did not induce lactation]) if it isn't useful.

There is just SO much competing information on this. You all aren't doctors but any links or help you might be able to give me that really outlines what we need to do vs. what's just old school BS would be awesome.

And in case it's worth noting.. our kid definitely does NOT have any trouble gaining weight or eating. He's massive. (19lb3oz at 4 months.)

[massive baby under cut]10393864_10102106732927376_9060463509549625437_n

How did you tell your first child about your pregnancy?
SW: Leia Beautiful
My son is four years old and we are expecting our second (due date: July 1st). I'm planning on waiting to tell him until I'm out of the first trimester, but of course, I'm already obsessing trying to think about how I'm going to tell him. (On one hand, he's been asking for a baby sister for the past year, on the other hand he gets jealous of the cats when they sit on my lap. He'll probably have mixed feelings.)

So, lj moms: how did you tell your little ones about their new siblings? What did you think worked or didn't work? What advice do you have to give?

(no subject)
I super apologize for the long windedness and formatting of this post. A friend writes a parenting blog and has been having guest writers a couple of times a month and I thought that since I have over a decade of babysitting under my belt, I could write up some things that parents and babysitters might not think about before hand. (Several of these are on here because I realized it was good information to have AFTER the fact).

I just thought if any of you were getting ready to hire a new babysitter or if you hadn't left baby with anyone but family yet (and a lot of this would be good for family too!) that these might be some things you wouldn't have thought of.


Formula-Feeding Class
hi everyone.
so, here's the thing: I'm writing a college paper. if anyone is interested, it's a proposal to a college committee... that will never be read by the committee, but I need a good grade anyway. I need to propose a college class. my choice among such gems as "alien sex" and "how to win a beauty pageant" (yes, those are real college courses) fell on formula-feeding. there is a bunch of breastfeeding classes out there, and I found none that would talk about bottle- and/or formula-feeding. so that was something new to write a paper on.

anyway, I just wanted to conduct a survey here among parents to see if anyone would be even remotely interested in taking a class like that. I don't really need to know who you are or why you chose the answer you chose. I just need to get the answers.

Would you be interested in taking a college course on bottle-feeding infants using commercial baby formula?


to anyone participating, thank you.

to moderators, I hope I didn't break any rules (I did read them very carefully twice before posting).

School issues
up down pooh
My 8 year old, 3rd grade, daughter has always had an easy time in school. She picks up on everything easily, and has breezed through everything, until recently. She has always had issues with being a social butterfly and not paying attention, but they have never affected her grades.

Towards the end of last school year I started getting emails about her "fact fluency" which is simply doing simple math facts, fast. She was not picking up speed as they required. It wasn't that she didn't know her facts, or how to come up with the answers, her brain was on overload and she could not just simply commit the fact to memory and spew them out on paper when tested. I was annoyed that such a huge deal was being made about this, but I worked on it with her, to little avail. She ended the school year with a "below grade average" on her report card for fact fluency and above grade average in all other math areas.

They also started giving her extra help in reading.... because she was reading to slow. Her comprehension was fine, her reading level was a whole grade and a half ahead of her grade level. She was just reading too slow. This special attention took her out of class at reading time and caused her to not meet her reading goal for the semester, which required her to bust her butt at home and read several chapter books in a weeks time to meet her goal at the last minute.

So this year, right after school started, I got a letter stating that she was eligible for Title I (special education) services for math. I was shocked, how is a child that performs above average in most ares a special education candidate? I called and talked to the title I teacher (who was her Kindergarten teacher) and she informed me that it was based on her fact fluency scores from last year, as well as a 65% on a math assessment test she had taken in the spring. We decided that we should decline the services because she is performing at grade level without a problem. I discussed this with the teacher and she agreed that it wasn't needed, but did express her concern about her Fact Fluency difficulties and her attention and focus. We agreed to keep in touch about her performance.

A couple weeks later I get a letter that she is on the Title I "watch list" for Math. I talked to the teacher she said it wasn't anything to worry about, and it was because of fact fluency.

The next week I got a letter saying she was on the "watch list" for reading. Again, because of her speed.

Why are the so concerned with speed!? I am the slowest reader, and I managed, I did quite well in school. And I understand doing fact fast is beneficial when you get into harder math, but if a kid can tell you "8+6... take 2 from 6 to make the 8 a ten, and then add the 4 left from the 6 after you take the 2 from it to the 10... it's 14" she obviously is not struggling with her facts!

So my annoyance with the schools focus on speed is one part of concern...

The next concern is that a lot of these problems could be stemming from possible ADD/ADHD. I started wondering if she had ADD or ADHD in first grade. Comments from her teacher like "she never pays attention, but she's learning everything, I don't know how, because every time I look at her she's distracted" or her forgetfulness, inability to ever bring papers home and/or return them to school, and other crazy impulsive things she does. I haven't addressed it because, until now it hasn't affected her schooling. But now I'm starting to wonder if this is an underlying issue that is affecting her performance and testing in school.

I'm really not looking to have her pop a pill and be healed. I'm wondering if a diagnosis would lead the school to make better accommodations for her, or work with us on the testing issues... or something...anything other than sticking her in Title I classes. I'm just at my wits end for what to do for her. She obviously isn't testing as well as she can, and her speed.... I'm just beyond caring about her speed, but apparently the school is quite concerned about it.

I should add that I have absolutely no opposition to special education services. If I had a child that was struggling, I would welcome them with open arms.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome!

(no subject)
The little girl I nanny for will be 2 next month. I've been with her since she was almost 10 months. I want to get her something she will love, plus an outfit for the cooler months (We're San Diego, so by cooler I mean high 50s/low 60s). I've spent a few hours on Amazon and nothing is really jumping out as a WOW or that would hold her attention for more then a handful of uses.

She loves cell phones (What a surprise, right?), and can work her parents cells pretty well, as far as tapping and swiping. She already has a lot of the kid style electronic ones though. Plus a few baby type electronic gadgets, featuring Violet. As well as a kid style TV remote. She is well covered on books, crayons, and crayola color wonder products. She loves gadgets, music and dancing. She is not really talking much at this point. She can repeat back a lot of things to you, but rarely initiates on her own. Well, aside from "no" and "more" which she uses rather well, all day long.

I'd love to find something that engages her, as well as helps with development/education. That she can enjoy alone, when I need to do dishes, etc, but that possibly her parents and I can also interact with her using it as well. A volume control would be lovely! :P Puzzles don't do much for her, aside from things she can scatter all over the house. She has two sets of blocks, a baby doll and some accessories for the doll, plus all the usual small toys they seem to collect over time.

what does/did your newly 2 year old love? Please point me to your fave toy sites. :) As well as sites I can find a cute outfit, that won't force me to sell my cats to buy.


ETA - My budget is $50, but less is always better. :)

Swaddle or not to swaddle?
`So my little dude is almost 4mo and I'm genuinely curious when I should probably stop swaddling while he sleeps. Biggest issues with him is he is the WIGGLIEST baby I have ever met. He jerks himself awake so easily I think the swaddle really helps him stay asleep longer. Also when he is inconsolable swaddling really helps to calm him down as well. Lately he has been busting out of his swaddle. I actually had to double swaddle him but now he is just growing right out of the top of it.
Should I stop swaddling soon or is it still ok for a while and anyone has a suggestion of larger swaddles for older babies?
I'd hate to swaddle him the entire first year of his life haha.
Also he sleeps through the night in his swing. Laying in his crib/bassinet doesn't keep him down long. Does anyone have any ideas for helping to transition babies out of a swing? I just feel like I have a few bad habits to help keep him asleep so I don't go insane for lack of my own sleep.

Thanks guys.

Nail problems
Girl Umbrella
Hi team,

Sorry this isn't a parenting specific post but since it relates to my daughter (19months) and Google isn't telling me much, I thought someone here might have some insight.

When my daughter was born I noticed that her nails scooped up, like a spoon at the top. I asked the Dr's about it, they just shrugged and said no major issue, she's a newborn, it'll go away. She's 19months and I keep her finger nails quite short but I can tell they are still a bit strange in formation. Basically, her nails curve the opposite way to most nails: there is a slight dip in the middle (of the tip) but the edges sit up like a spoon.
I've mentioned this at her health check ups but haven't been given any insight.

Earlier this week I noticed that her thumb nails (both) have now broken/torn just above the cuticle and the moon has bubbled (for lack of a better word). This is such a strange place, right? It doesn't appear to be hurting her but it looks uncomfortable and certainly abnormal. I don't recall her getting her fingers stuck in anything (and even if she did, surely this wouldn't happen to both thumbs and no other fingers)

Does anyone have any ideas what this could be?
October011014 (4)

Car Seat with widely spaced shoulder straps?
My daughter is 4.5, 43" tall and 42 lbs. She's currently in a Safety 1st Alpha Elite, which she fits in fine, except the shoulder straps are too close together. With the chest clip, they dig into her neck very badly, even when she's perfectly positioned. Are there any seats out there that have more widely spaced straps?

Car seat question
I am traveling with my 90 percentile big 7.5 month old and 3.5 year old from London to Arizona. We will be staying for 6 weeks. Currently the baby is still in a resurfacing bucket seat but he is soon to outgrow it and my 3.5 year old is in a stage 2 seat that she is soon to outgrow for a highbacked booster.

I need to arrange for car seats to be there before we arrive so my dad can pick us up from the airport. I'm not flying with my husband so I really don't want to lug car seats there and back so I'm thinking buying a safe, but not too expensive set of seats there would be best. Can anyone recommend a good seat that isn't too expensive but has a good safety rating? Maybe even a convertible isn't a bad idea so we can get use out of next time we travel to the US too? Sorry I'm not really familiar with any American car seat brands so hoping you all can help me out. Thanks in advance!

My mama said...

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. I wish all kids "argued" like this. haha.

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