I recently wrote a post on what a struggle meal time is with my daughter, Maximara. What’s funny is she will eat while we are out, pretty much anything we give her. But when we are home she knows she has the pantry and refrigerator to raid and pretty much refuses to eat anything I want to give her, you know the nutritional stuff. We have been on a diet of cheese, bananas, homemade muffins (I’ll take!) and pouches as of late. This week I told myself I’m going to do better to try and get her to actually eat meals and not have it be an all day snack-a-thon. I put together a list of “meals” I’d prepare:
- Pizza – her favorite! I hid green veggies in the homemade pizza sauce and used small(er) whole wheat pitas as the crust.
- Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese with black bean noodles – have you guys seen these noodles? They are amazing. Literally the only ingredient listed is adzuki beans and they taste like NOODLES!
- Homemade GF vegan muffins with carrots, apples and spinach.
- GF vegan Blueberry Lemon protein pancakes with hemp seeds.
Day one I made the pancakes for breakfast and they were a hit. This was absolutely no surprise though. This girl is going to turn in to a pancake she eats so many of them. For dinner I whipped up the butternut squash mac + cheese and she ate two noodles -TWO! I was thrilled. Seriously. LOL. And then she told me she was “all done.” Today she ate only the bottoms of the muffins – aren’t the tops usually where it’s at? Regardless at least she ate some. And then wouldn’t come close to the pizza. My husband will be excited about this though, leftovers.
We were doing the obvious, smoothies, to get those greens in for awhile but lately she tells me they are all gross, haha! Girl’s got an opinion that’s for f’n sure.
Just like all things with babies/toddlers I know this too will pass and it is just a phase so I take it a day at a time and don’t get overly worked up about it. *Side note* I was talking to a GF yesterday who literally just found out she was preggo like that AM. As we were talking Maximara was whining to get in the fridge so I lifted her up and let her pick out whatever she wanted – the $8 thing of organic cultured cottage cheese is what she wanted, of course. I sit her down at the counter with a spoon and the container and keep chatting with my GF. I turn around a couple minutes later and she has decided cottage cheese is not a spoon food, it’s a hand food. Of the entire container I think 3 crumbles actually made it in to her mouth. The rest…on her and the floor. All I could do was laugh. Sure I had a ridiculous mess I needed to clean up ahead of me but having a sense of humor is what keeps us moms sane. And I took the mess as a teaching moment for my newly preggo friend. Instead of scaring her with a “just wait” which so many moms do, I told her to always laugh. Laugh when the spill, laugh when they write on the couch, laugh when you wake up to a crib full of literal shit.
Ok, back on track! What do you mamas do to get your kids to get in them greens? Do you struggle with meal times or did I just make a monster out of my toddler. <—- This, I know I did. LOL. You don’t need to tell me. Girl loves the fridge, so so so much. I hope her future husband looks at her the way she looks at an open fridge. I don’t lie.
When I was pregnant with Maximara my husband and I read all of the books on French parenting and were like determined to raise our kid to be the best eater of all time. We started her on solids early, 4 months, and made sure to always give her a bite of what we were eating after we were sure there were no food allergies. All was going well, really well. Maxi was eating a lot (I mean have you seen her belly?!) and a variety of foods. This kid would request kimchi – KIMCHI! – for breakfast. I felt like I was really winning at this parenting thing…….and then toddler life begun. She wanted to use her words and tell us what she wanted but she couldn’t yet so I decided to let her “show me” in the fridge. This is amazing, I thought to myself. She can pick out her own food meaning she will eat it, too! This fun game lasted for a few weeks. And then the nightmare of mealtime began. Maximara decided it was a really fun game to say “show me” all throughout the day. I’d lift her up to show her the fridge and she would point at every single thing and when I would ask her if she wanted it she would say yes. And of course, I’d give it to her, and then she wouldn’t want it anymore. I am slowly trying to undue the monster I created by sticking to a strict eating schedule. And when I put a plate full of delicious homemade food in front of her and she says “show me” and screams we spend some time in timeout until she is ready to eat. Today is day 5 and things are getting better, slowly. Part of me knows it is my fault for opening pandora’s box but I also know this is typical of a toddler. They are very opinionated and most time for no good reason other than to be an asshole ; ) We haven’t gotten to requests for certain color cups yet but I know it is coming soon.
I have started and stopped this post more times than I care to share due to a toddler pulling at me, work calling my name or a hungry husband patiently waiting for dinner. Life…this is life as a ‘working’ mother, right? Sigh.
As a parent for a mere 19 months I have just learned how to say no. Like ‘just’ as in two weeks ago. And shit do I wish I learned this earlier. A little back story. I started a creative company, CRE8, that combined all of my previous work experience in to one role. It was a genius idea, so I thought, that would allow me to work while Maximara was in school 2 days a week. I wanted the time I had with her (MWF) to focus on her and to truly soak in those precious moments that you can never get back: the funny faces, the messes she creates, the artwork she throws together. I wanted to see and feel all of it. But then while she was away at school (TR) I also wanted something that I could focus on that wasn’t just about being a mom. I wanted to keep a part of me alive and I wanted a place to execute my creativity. So CRE8 was born and within a week of launching the jobs started coming in left and right. Holy shit, I thought. This is amazing! I could not say no to any of the jobs. That’s just who I am. I hustle and I thrive at juggling as many balls in the air as possible (or so I thought). Turns out there is such a thing as taking on way too much at once. Who knew?! By taking on too much and not saying no I ended up giving up more of myself than I was gaining by saying yes. Even while my daughter was screaming for attention (literally and figuratively) I would never turn down an opportunity to help a friend if they needed it or take time out of my day (for free) to give advice to other women entrepreneurs (I like to try and pay-it-forward as much as I can). I literally couldn’t utter the word no to anything or anyone. While in an effort to do what I thought was best for me (more jobs = more money, helping friends and fellow entrepreneurs, etc.) I turned in to a person I didn’t want to be and it actually made life as a parent that much harder. After a 4 day wedding event I planned via CRE8 it became crystal clear what is most important to me. It isn’t the money, it isn’t being the top dog in the creative field, it isn’t being known as the girl that is known for always hustling. It is about being a good mother, friend and wife. It is about enjoying the present moments and just living my best life. So from here on out I will be saying no……..and saying it a lot ; )
Let me first just get this out there, I am NOT a doctor. If you are concerned about your child’s fever and/or symptoms call your doctor immediately.
OK, phew. Glad we got that out of the way.
My daugher, Maximara, had her first sick visit (at 18 months, go us!) with our doctor on Tuesday. I got a phone call from school around 3:45pm that Max had a temperature of 104 in both armpits – 104. 104? I thought to myself. Holy shit that’s like brain damaging. So in a mad rush and mild state of panic I ran out of the house to pick her up, didn’t even look back to see if I left the stove on or candle burning. Oops. On my 3 minute walk, maybe run, to pick her up I came back to reality (slightly) about her temperature. I thought to myself I won’t panic about the number let’s just see how she is acting and take it from there. As soon as I walked through those doors I knew something was wrong. She was acting like a girl who drank too much tequilla on her 21st birthday – head bobbing trying to stay up so she doesn’t miss a beat but her body really wants to shut down. I don’t even think I got a smirk when she saw me. And the teachers had her wrapped in a blanket because she was shivering, which is what any normal person would do when someone is shivering. <More on this later> As I carried her home in my arms and pushed the stroller with one hand I called the doctor to ask if this warrants an ER visit, doctor visit – what does a worried mom do? Tell me! The nurse on the phone said….first stay calm. OK, I dig it. I’m the first person to tell you that your children sense your fear and then they, too, will also become scared (or more even more scared). So I took a deep breath. She said listen, we don’t really worry about the temperature until it hits 106, 107. So I thought to myself ok, we’re good there. At least for now. Another deep breath. And then she said if she isn’t acting like herself or is unresponsive you may want to bring her in just to get checked out. So checked out we did.
We got to the doctor’s office about 30 minute before close and saw a doctor we had never seen before. He was probably the oldest doctor in the practice (dinosaurs is what they call them, right?) – I immediately felt safe, like I was with one of my super experienced parents who knew everything. As soon as we sat down he basically gave us fevers 101 and it was amazing. A few takeaways I thought were valuable? He informed us you always treat the symptoms, not the number on the thermometer. A temperature of 101 or 102 and your child is acting fine, let their body do it’s job and fight off the nasties on its own. That’s what a fever is, your body fighting. Shivering? That is actually your body working to get your body temperature up to fight even harder. It does not symbolize being cold. (This was definitely an ‘aha’ moment for us). A temperature of 106/107 is when it gets dangerous so don’t freak out when you see a 102. And, if needed, you can always piggyback Tylenol and Motrin to fight a high-grade fever.
So here we are day 3, she is still sleeping so I don’t know where fever stands, but I’m hoping there was some progress over night. I will continue to learn as a mother as Maximara and I continue on this journey called life. But this first ‘sickness’ definitely taught me a few things. Never panic, it doesn’t do anyone good. Fevers. Everyone is fearful of them. 101 – where’s the Tylenol? 102 – call the ER! But it turns out it’s better to look for the symptoms than the number. Our bodies are strong little suckers, let me do their jobs. And when those symptoms start to get weird, call your doctor and break out the drug reserves. That’s what they are there for.
One of these days I’ll put together my complete registry must-haves list so someone else can benefit from my OCD behavior of researching and planning but in the mean time I’m going to share a few of my favorite items Maximara couldn’t live without.
Truth be told I read all of these books before Maximara was born that talked in depth about the “4th trimester” and how at some point we went from carrying the baby for a year to 9 months. Knowing this information, and that Maxi was a couple weeks early, I tried to make her early days as “womb-like” as possible. I mean we are talking I googled can swaddling stunt your baby’s growth, womb-like. I had that baby swaddled up like a little nugget legit 23 hours a day, at least for the first couple weeks up until her due date. Then I began to worry her legs wouldn’t grow so I slowly transitioned from obsessively swaddling to only at night time, which she loved. Fast forward to present day, Maxi is just about 18 months and her swaddles have become her blankies. They go every where with her. Whether its wrapped around her like a cape, draped over her head like a ghost or she is laying down on the street to take a quick break, she literally lives for her blankies.
We were introduced to the brand Buttermilk Babies and haven’t turned back since. They are the perfect size for newborn swaddling (great for tucking in those ends) and are ridiculously soft. Ridiculously. If you are anything like me I only wanted to wrap my babe in something smooth to the touch so she would be extra comfortable. They can’t, after all, tell us if the blanket is irritating them. Whether you are in the market for newborn swaddles or blankets for your toddler, do yourself a favor and check out this brand. I seriously love them so much.
While I feel like everything I write on here causes some sort of controversy (so many opinions/ right and wrongs in parenting) I am actually writing today, ok tonight, to purposefully start a discussion.
I read an article about Blake Lively this week that discussed how she doesn’t quite understand the “humble brag” or showcasing with obvious excitement your a-week-after-birth hot bod. Like showing all of social media you popped out a baby and have a six pack the next day kind of humble brag. While I didn’t quite have a six pack (still don’t, sadly) I absolutely posted pictures of my post baby bod. I was fucking proud of the work I put in while I was pregnant. It was like a part-time job nourishing my body with only the best foods and getting my fitness on on the regular. There was a period of time I was doing 300 squats a day – I wanted to keep my ass tight and right but I also did it to get that baby out faster during labor (side note, it WORKS!). While I was posting those post-baby bod images my intentions were never (still aren’t) to make others feel bad about themselves if they didn’t bounce back as quickly. I was posting to 1) remind myself what I had been through and how I came out of it and 2) provide inspiration to others. I think for people that enjoy fitness would appreciate that. I know I personally like seeing super fit betches on Instagram. It always pushes me to work harder at the gym the next day.
On a somewhat related note I saw a feed on facebook this week about breastfeeding. One mom posted in a facebook mama group that she didn’t appreciate other moms bragging about how long they had breastfed for (like go me! I breastfed 13 months) because it made her feel bad about herself for only breastfeeding a few months – not by choice, her milk dried up.
So are we now living in a society that we can’t post our accomplishments for fear of upsetting someone for not achieving the same accomplishment? Has this always been an issue but now that social media is so popular it has made it harder for individuals? I don’t really know what the right answer is here but I thought it was interesting it came up twice in a fairly short amount of time – both times related to motherhood. What are your thoughts?