The Truth about Toddlers & Night Terrors

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When my daughter was two we went through this horrible phase of night terrors. She would wake up screaming, but she was still mostly asleep. It was such a helpless feeling as a parent, to sit there and watch her and not be able to do anything to make her better.

What a night terror looked like for her

When her night terrors started, they were pretty regular. We would be woken up to her screaming and at first, we would try to hold her and talk to her to try to get her calm. Soon we realized that when we did this she would get louder and more upset. She was mostly asleep when she had a night terror and she never remembered them the next day. After a while, she started to sleepwalk during her night terrors. She would always walk to the same spot, our back door. She would just stand there and scream.

After the night terror

Once the night terror is over then it is important to make them as comfortable as possible. My daughter was still pretty out of it after an episode but she would make requests like wanting milk, her blanket, and her monkey. We tried to have these things ready for her so that she could go right back to sleep and get some rest.

Look for patterns

I read online that night terrors can happen from stress or exhaustion. I looked back at anything stressful that could have caused her to start having night terrors. The only thing that we could think of was trying to wean her off her pacifier. After one night terror, we gave the pacifier back to her, but she was still having the night terrors after that. The night terrors started to fade after several months. She would still have them but they were less often. We noticed that the days that we had a lot going on were usually the days that were followed by a night terror. So we connected her night terrors to being overtired. We tried to make sure that she was getting plenty of sleep and if she was tired we made sure she was able to rest. She is five now and she hasn’t had a night terror in over a year.

How we coped as parents

It was very hard but all we could do was stand there, close to her, and make sure that she did not get hurt when she had an episode. I remember one night when she had a really bad episode and she was flinging herself all over the place she hit her arms and legs on the bed and the walls. I ended up moving her to the floor away from everything just so that she didn’t get hurt. It made me feel better knowing that she didn’t remember any of it and that after she was done with an episode it was over for her. I didn’t have to worry about her being upset the next day or worrying about having another one, because she had no idea what was going on. That was the thing that comforted me the most because it is honestly one of the hardest things to watch as a parent. They look so scared and upset and all you want to do is hold them and comfort them and make it all better, but you can’t.

Remember moms, this is just one phase of their childhood. It will come and it will pass and then there will be a new phase. I hope this post helps you get through those episodes that feel like they go on for hours and to let you know that you are not alone. Being a mom is the best superpower there is.

I would love to hear about your stories and how you got through the night terrors with your toddler. What things did you do to help and what things made their episodes worse?

4 Unique Gift Ideas for Kids

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Have you ever dreaded the clutter that comes after Christmas? Do you feel like your kids have too many toys and you have now where to put them? I have come up with a list of gift ideas for your kids that will help make Christmas less stressful and the rest of your year more enjoyable.

1.Seasonal Passes

If you buy a seasonal pass to anything, STOP!!! This is a great gift for grandparents, aunts/uncles, and even Santa. We put a zoo pass on the kids’ Christmas list from one of their grandparents and a Children’s Museum pass from their other grandparents. They are pretty big presents but both grandparents spend way too much on our kids for toys so this way they can get them something we can all enjoy all year.

2.Subscriptions

My kids enjoy reading and we use their tablet to store their books. I have put on their Christmas lists subscriptions to book apps and other educational apps that we use. I even added in a book list for my oldest, of books that she wants on the Kindle. It is something that is used more than all the toys and let’s admit it “junk” that they get for gifts.

3.Event Tickets

There are always events going on that are great for kids. Get the kids tickets to Disney on Ice or any other character live show. The memories that are made when they go to these events will last forever. They will get new experiences and you won’t have another toy to through away a week after Christmas because it got broke.

4.Activity Fees/Supplies

If you have kids in sports, activities, and clubs this is a great opportunity to get supplies for them. When my daughter started karate it was around the time of her birthday so my dad got her uniform as a birthday present. This year she wants a punching bag like they have at karate so that she can practice her punches and kicks. Christmas and birthdays are a great time to get these things. If your kid needs cleats for soccer, costumes for dance or supplies for a 4-H project, take advantage of holidays to stock up.

I hope these give you some good ideas to help you out this Christmas. Comment if you have any more ideas that other moms can use.

8 Ways to manage that crazy mom schedule!!!

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Let’s be real here. One of our superpowers as a mom is being able to manage everybody’s schedules. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure that your kids are where they need to be and collaborate with your spouse to prevent needing a sitter. You feel like you are constantly problem-solving. Here are some tips to stay organized and help you tame the chaos.

1.Paper vs. Digital

The first step is to decide if you want to use a paper planner or if you want to keep it all digital. I have personally tried both and I have found it easier to use digital so that I can sync everything together and I can sync it with my husband’s phone.

There are paper planners for monthly, weekly, and dailies. You can even personalize planners to meet your own needs. If you can’t find a planner that you like there is always the option of creating a bullet journal that focuses more on the to-do list but it is completely unique to your needs.

Digital calendars are just as varied. There are a large number of apps out there for you to choose from. I personally use google calendars and the Keep app to sync all my calendars and to-do lists together. I like the portability of having it all in the palm of my hands and being able to check it at any time.

2.Color Code

I have found it so much easier to color code all of our events and tasks on my digital calendar vs my paper planner. I did not like the idea of carrying a bunch of pens or highlighters around every time I needed to add an event or task.

I have a color for each person in the family and a family color for when we have an event for the whole family. I also have our bills on our monthly calendar, so that has a color of its own as well.

By color coding, it makes it easier for me to go in and see who has what going on. My husband and I look at the calendar at the beginning of the week and decide who is going to karate and who is picking up kids from daycare based on our own schedules. By having the color coding it is easier to see who is free during the kids’ events and who is busy.

3.Keep Everything in One Place

I have found that it is much easier to keep everything together. If you use a paper planner it is much easier to keep your schedule and to-do list together in your planner then to have a planner for your schedule and a notebook for your to-do list.

If you use digital I recommend finding one that you can merge your calendar and your to-do list together. It makes it difficult when you have to go into several apps to find what you are looking for and things can easily get overlooked.

4.Check Schedule Twice a Day

A good habit to get into is to check your calendar regularly. Figure out a time that works for you each day and go through your calendar and to-do list on a regular basis. This will help to keep you from accidentally forgetting something.

I have found that if I check my calendar in the morning and in the evening I overlook things less. I am able to see what my day looks like in the morning then double check my to-do list in the evening to make sure I did not forget anything.

5.Don’t Wait to Put Things in Your Calendar

A mistake that I always make is not putting things in my calendar right away. If I do not put it in my calendar right away then something comes up and I totally forget. This is where having a digital calendar helps out because it let’s face it most of us have our phone on us over 90% of the time.

6.Keep a To-Do List & Notes

My husband makes fun of me for all the lists I make. But, if it is not on my list it does not get done. When you are trying to manage your schedule, your spouse’s schedule, and your kids’ schedule it can be difficult to keep all those tasks straight. So when you think of something that needs to get done just jot it down.

7.Plan Meals Ahead of Time

I like to look at my schedule at the beginning of the week and see which days we are really busy. Then I try to plan meals that I can prep ahead of time or plan a day that we eat out. This helps us so that we aren’t spending a bunch of money on eating out and we know what we are making ahead of time so we have the groceries and we aren’t stressing after a long day trying to figure out what to make.

8.Schedule Time for You!

This one is very important. We focus so much on everybody else and making sure they are where they need to be. As moms, we need to make sure that we are getting some TLC too. Take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy. This will help you relax and be ready to tackle your crazy schedule the next week.

If you have any more ideas or tips comment below. Let me know what works for you and what doesn’t work.

5 Ways Technology is Beneficial for Children

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Many parents question whether their child should be allowed to use technology at a young age. It is a very touchy topic with a number of parents. Some believe that screen time should not be allowed at all. There are some great things that technology can provide for a family and it is important to keep it controlled and in moderation.

1.Communication

When we were kids we had home phones. Today, most people do not have a home phone. Cellphones have replaced the home phone for the most part. This means when there is an emergency you can’t have your children go to the nearest house and ask to use their home phone. Many parents let their older children ride the bus home, and they are alone for a short time. It is important to have a way to get ahold of an adult incase of an emergency, no matter what age the child is. That doesn’t mean they need a cell phone. There are options like a smartwatch. This would allow your child to contact a small number of people that you choose. I have started researching smartwatches for my 5-year-old.

2.Books

How many moms out there have a child who loves it when you read books to them? I have a child who could sit and listen to me read to her for hours. Working full-time and being a full-time student, it can be hard to find the time to read to her as much as she would like. I get to read at most 2 books a day. With her tablet, she is able to have books read to her and she can follow along as it highlights the words. She can take her library anywhere she goes. I am also able to download books at her level as she learns to read. It makes it easy to keep her interest in books and reading. Being interested in reading is very important for any child.

3.Track Progress

During the summer I wanted my daughters to stay on top of her academics. I downloaded an app that allows her to do lessons and I am able to track her progress as she works. I can see what she understands and what she could use more work on. Her reading app lets me track how many books she has read and how many minutes she has read for. As parents we want our kids to continually learn new things and to be challenged. So this makes it easy for us to stay on top of their progress.

4.Extra Practice

Sometimes we notice that our children are struggling and they could use some extra practice. There are a large number of apps out there that are can help your child practice an area they struggle with.

5.Responsibility

When a child gets a new phone, tablet, or smartwatch they have to learn to be responsible. You just shelled out a good chunk of money to get them their new device and they need to know how to treat it. They will learn that they have to be careful not to break it, not lose it, and know what they are supposed to use it for.

Technology is a great tool for children to use but there should be restrictions set up to keep your child safe. It is still important for your child to learn through daily activities and for them to get plenty of time to be creative. Technology should not be used to replace this, but instead as a tool in addition to creativity and authentic learning opportunities.

Please comment if you have other examples of the benefits of technology for children. Also, comment with any thoughts and concerns about the topic.

Sick baby making you feel defeated???

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I know that every mom has gone through this feeling. Having a baby that can’t tell you where it hurts or how they feel can make a mom feel like they are defeated. My son has been sick this weekend. He woke up yesterday morning with a fever and was fussy all day. Yes, I am the mom who gives their kid Tylenol when they are not feeling good. I know that there are some great home remedies out there but I have never had the time to research them and I just want to make my babies feel better and fast. I gave him some Tylenol yesterday to try and help comfort him and this morning he woke up with a rash all over his body. I ended up taking him into the doctors, thinking it was probably hand foot and mouth, but I wanted to get him checked out since he wasn’t eating or drinking and I was concerned about dehydration. They tested him for chicken pox and we should get the results in one to two days. If it is not chicken pox then it is hand foot and mouth.

I have spent the last two days holding him or putting him down and picking him right back up. It is the hardest thing as a mom to watch your little baby feel so miserable and feel like there is nothing you can do to help them. I want to remind every mom who is going through this to take a deep breath and relax. I know that is easier said than done, but babies can tell when you are stressed out and it only stresses them out more. They want to be comforted when they are sick and when they can’t relax because you are stressed it is not good for them. I know it is exhausting to constantly hold your baby when they are sick and won’t let you put them down, but remember in a few years you will wish you had more time to snuggle with them. So, take in every snuggle they offer to you when they are little because very soon they will not offer them anymore and you will have to beg.

Another thing that many mothers become stressed with when their baby gets sick is timing. Babies never get sick at a good time. If anything, they get sick at the worst possible time. I am currently student teaching and I have used up my only sick time that I was given so I cannot miss any more days. Of course, Sonny gets sick on the last week of my first placement. So, if I were to miss a day this week I would have to make it up and since I am starting my second placement right after this one I would either have to make it up now and start my next placement late or go back after my second placement and make it up at the end. Either way, it would be a huge hassle and very stressful. Since I am student teaching, I am not making any money. My husband has decided to take on side jobs to help make some extra cash. This means that if my kids get sick I have to stay home with them or find someone who can care for them. I can’t imagine how mothers do it without any help. I have been blessed to have my parents who live close by. They both have pretty flexible schedules and have made it possible for me to get my education and still take care of my children. Sonny will have to stay home from daycare tomorrow and my dad has offered to take care of him so that I can do my student teaching and my husband does not have to take off work. For new mothers out there, I have a piece of advice. Work hard to build a strong support system. I know that there are mothers, single or married, who do not have family or they don’t have family who is close by. That doesn’t have to stop you from building a support system out of friends. Sometimes the best support systems are made up of some really great friends. But, that support system will make a huge difference in your life.

So, remember to stay relaxed, enjoy the snuggles, and lean on your support system. Taking care of a sick baby is exhausting, stressful, and can make you feel defeated, but the only way we can take care of them is to take care of ourselves. You are mommy wonder woman and you can do this!