Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Current Topics of Conversation at Our Home

What’s with talking about genitals, pee and poo?! I remember my nephew doing it a few months back. I saw my friend’s 4-year-old son doing it. Now it’s our turn to listen to our child talk about bums, boobies, etc. She will tell you who has what. She will point to you and say things like "that's your bum!" She finds ways to mention pee and poo in random conversations.

Developmentally appropriate, I get it. It will pass, I know that too. I'm just curious as to why kids do this. And I'm really hoping that she doesn't decide to talk or sing about it in a big place full of people, just like my sister did when she was three!

Picture this! All of us, a family of five, were at my mother's postpartum checkup after my little brother was born. Out of the blue, my sister started singing about how men have penuses! Yeah, that's what kids do!

I decided to not make a big deal out of it, but to address in a matter-of-fact way. I talked to Ari about it and said that we can talk about body parts at home. She got it. How do I know? Because today, while we were walking in downtown Amherst, she said "mommy, I need to tell you a secret. I love your boobies!"

Here is to hoping that our preschool age children can talk about bums at home!

Carseat Update

Short version: we ended up keeping the Graco Nautilus.

One complaint I have about this carseat, this model, anyways, is that it has the cover and a separate piece of fabric that serves as padding. It has holes to put the shoulder straps through, but only for shorter kids. So I took it off. Well, that is when Ari began saying it wasn't comfortable. I put it back on the car seat, but it is annoying because it is not attached to the seat in any way. It's not a big deal or anything. It's just an inconvenience when you are in a rush and you have to take an extra second to make sure the padding isn't bunched up.

One pro about the padding: if the child has an accident, you remove and wash only the pad. No need to remove the seat cover, which would be a pain because you would need to uninstall and reinstall the seat.

Other than my one complaint, I am happy with the seat. Now she is comfortable. The seat has excellent safety ratings. It has the infamous cup holder. It cost us only $150. And it was easy to install it. So the Graco Nautilus will be our child's seat until she is done with carseats, me thinks!

Bed time is the perfect time to reconnect with our cute kiddos!

I really shouldn’t be blogging right now. A big consulting project dropped on my lap a week ago. I have been working every day since then. We are going on vacation in three days. Nothing is ready! The house is a mess. Haven’t done laundry. Packing? I’ll do that on Friday night for a 7:10 a.m. flight on Saturday!

See why I shouldn’t be blogging? But I have to because I just read an awesome article that I felt was very moving and accurate. I felt the need to share it with you. I figure these articles have had a very positive impact on my family. If any of them help great things happen for your family also, then, this is definitely worth my time!

The article proposes that bedtime is moved up a bit so that there is time for the parent and the child to talk about the day. Why? What is the big deal? When we wine down and relax, it is easier to talk about what is in our minds, whether it is positive thoughts, a concern, a fear, frustration, etc.

Go read her article. It is beautifully written.

Ari and I usually spend the first 15 or 20 minutes of our day in bed together, snuggling and talking. I won’t tell you what she primarily talks about. Ok, I will. What the hell! She is obsessed with boobies! She loves them. She tells me that she loves them. Sometimes, she says she wants to hug them. I guess that is one of those things that kids who do extended breastfeeding do. Whatever.

We spend a bit of time with Daddy in the morning too. Starting the day off like that is priceless. I don’t know if we will be able to keep doing that when school starts, but we will sure try. I am thinking I will move bedtime up a bit so we can get a bit of time to chat with our chatty child at night and a bit of time first thing in the morning too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Article: What if five minutes of play could change your life?

I know I've said this 30 times, but I have to say it again. This woman's articles are priceless.

Check this out:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Article: The Old Parenting Paradigm

Great read on discipline and parenting:

"We need to commit to our children and to ourselves. Resolve to enjoy the journey and not focus solely on the demands of the outside world. We must promise to be present for our children and to give them our full attention and not our total frustration."

Easier said than done, I know. But it is doable! We don't need to strive to be perfect. We just need to keep trying and to say "I made a mistake; I am sorry." when we lose our cool.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's all about the cup holder!

We got Ari’s new carseat, the Graco Nautilus, installed the other day.

Ari was looking forward to trying out her new carseat. But now she is saying it is uncomfortable. “My back and bum are not comfortable”!

I told her we would try it for a few more days and if it is still uncomfortable, we will get a different seat. I am thinking Britax Frontier:

I am not happy about this. We’re talking another $100! But I need to make sure she is comfortable because her little bum will be on that seat until she is 57 inches tall!

Back to Ari’s feelings on this whole ordeal. I showed her a photo of the Britax Frontier. Her response: does it have a cup holder?

The kid has had a cup holder for all of about 72 hours and she already can’t live without it?! Silly child!

Here is to hoping that that little bum gets used to the new carseat!

By the way, have I mentioned lately that having a kid that can talk and verbalize how she feels about things is so incredibly awesome?!

UV protecting clothes rock!

UV protecting clothes are clothes that protect you from UV rays. Duh! Why do I love them? Because it means we spend less time putting goopy stuff all over ourselves.

You will see that these stores carry ¾ and even long sleeve shirts. Don’t let that scare you off. It’s like wearing a swimsuit, but you don’t get a sunburn! No, you will not be hot or uncomfortable.

Here is my current go-to store:

I got a shirt and shorts for Ari and they are great. Excellent quality. Just got her outfit for next summer and a shirt and shorts for myself from the clearance section!

Yes, UV protecting clothes are pricy, but this is the case wherever you go. It is worth it to spend the money. Skin cancer sucks.

At UV Skinz, you can check out the clearance section, Deep End Discounts, and you may find what you are looking for. I just got Ari a shirt, shorts, and a sun hat for $29, for example. My shirt and shorts were $41. I could have spent that much on a swimsuit, but, this way, I won’t get a sunburn!

If you or your kids are in need of UV protecting clothes, check them out! Here is a code that will get you 20% off your order: EOS2011.

No, I am not getting paid to post about this or getting free clothes for my child! I just like to share anything I have found to be helpful.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Bit of Carseat Knowledge

Today we had Ari's new carseat installed by a professional.

Here is what I learned today:
Most cars' latch systems support a child up to 48 pounds. Once your child reaches 48 pounds, reinstall the carseat using a seatbelt. Or use the seatbelt the first time around if that is your preference.

We opted to use the latch system for as long as we can because people accidentally undo the seatbelt. It happened so many times with our infant seat! Reinstalling a carseat using the seatbelt is so much more time-consuming than using the latches!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our trip to Boston

Ari and I went on a little trip this weekend. She was very much looking forward to having a sleepover at her friend N’s place in Boston!

We took a bus to Boston yesterday. Crayons, paper, the Scribble and Write and DVD’s came with us, just in case. Turns out the crayons, paper, looking out the window and talking to mommy were enough!

I will take a minute here to share just how sweet and helpful my Amor Chiquito is. South Station in Boston, to me, is a bit of a maze and is quite dark. Given my very limited eyesight, it is hard for me to navigate. As soon as we got off the bus, Ari went to where the driver had piled up luggage and grabbed her car seat. She then started walking. I asked where she was going. “Walking to the door, mama.” Once we got inside I asked her if she saw any benches. She found us chairs. Once we were settled in, she went back to being her almost-4-year-old self, playing, spinning and all that fun stuff.

Traveling with Ari was more than a breeze. It was an opportunity to see the type of little person she is becoming. I am incredibly grateful for that silly and sweet child! The fact that she is, voluntarily, so helpful is very touching for me.

Back to our fun trip, we had a delicious lunch with my friend Yaminette and her not-so-little guy. Ari decided that she loves rice with mango curry sauce. How could you not?! It has been nice to see her try and like new, often spicy foods.

The kids got to play lots – trains, painting, the park, writing with chalk, you name it!

Today we went to the aquarium. Ari had not been before. She was very excited about seeing sharks and sea turtles! She told Daddy all about it on the ride home from the bus station, in fact.

She got to pick something at the store at the aquarium and she went for the pink octopus. I could have sworn she would go for the shark puppet given her many shark games, but she was all about the octopus today.

Thank you, Yaminette, for an awesome weekend! Ari is already wondering when we will have another sleepover. She was asking me five minutes after she got on the bus!

Oh, if you are wondering what went wrong I’d say that my personal, living alarm going off around 5:00 a.m. was it! "Mommy, I have energy. Look, it’s daytime!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

If your pitcher isn't full, there's no way you can fill your child's cup.

I know I have said it before and I'll say it again. This woman is amazing and very inspiring! Check out this article. It is not about parenting. It is about the importance of self care and how to squeeze it in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 it is!

After doing some research last night and this morning, I decided on the Graco Nautilus. Here are some of the reasons why:

It has the highest rating on Consumer Reports in the convertible/booster seat category.

Ari can use the harness system until she is 52 inches tall or 65 pounds. Then she can use it as a booster seat until she is 57 inches tall or 100 pounds. In other words, this is our last car seat for her!

It is super easy to buckle and unbuckle. It does not seem to get stuck like the Evenflo in Abuela’s car does.

Possible cons:

It looks like adjusting the shoulder straps may be a bit time-consuming.

It is bulky and on the heavy side (20 pounds).

I decided to go ahead and get it because we won’t need to adjust the straps often. Also, we have one kid, maybe two, at most, some day! Even if we have another child, we can accommodate two seats in the Corolla easily. No room for the grandmas, but that is ok!

I lucked out! I went to a store to look at a few car seats. It turns out they were giving out 20% off coupons! Yay!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let's talk car seats!

Parents of older toddlers/preschoolers, what car seat is your child in? Or what car seat are you thinking of getting when your child outgrows the one s/he is in at the moment? Tell me about the pros and cons, please!

Ari is, and has been for the past three years, in the Britax Roundabout 40. We love all about it. It has excellent safety ratings. It is easy to buckle and unbuckle, which is not always the case. The Evenflo I got for Abuela’s car often gets stuck, for example. The seat is not bulky. We drive a Corolla, so these things matter a bit! Lastly, Ari finds her car seat comfortable. She never complains about it.

My one and only complaint about the Britax Roundabout is the price tag, but what are you going to do?! We have been using it for three years and putting her in and out of it every day is always a breeze. That is worth something!

Oh, one more thing I would change about the Britax Roundabout 40… It would be nice if I did not need to uninstall the seat to adjust the shoulder straps when Ari grows a few inches. We’re pretty picky about car seat installation around here, so every time the car seat is uninstalled, it is reinstalled by a professional. In other words, schedule an appointment, wait a few days, a half an hour drive, wait and watch for about another half an hour, etc., etc. Not complaining at all, by the way. I am beyond grateful that local hospitals and police departments do this free of charge.

All in all, I am very happy with my choice way back when she was about 11 months old.

Anyways, I noticed today that when she sits down her head is taller than the car seat. Time to look at the booklet attached to the car seat to see what the maximum height is. 40 inches. Want to guess what my child’s height is? Yup, 40 inches!

It turns out that the guidelines are that either the child is up to 40 inches tall or the top of the child’s ears cannot be taller than the seat. There is a bit of head sticking out, but not the ears! Yay!

Technically, I have a few months. But I opted to begin my research sooner rather than later. This way I do not make a rushed decision and I can take my time bargain hunting. Some of the seats with the best safety ratings are close to $300, so you better believe I will be bargain hunting!

So far, after about 20 minutes of research, I am looking at Britax and Sunshine seats. Don’t know which seats, specifically, yet.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Article: Pre-empt Whining

Another awesome article from Dr. Laura Markham at