Motherhood Series: Toddler Tantrums

We’ve hit the inevitable stage of tantrums. Finn’s a good kid, he’s always been pretty mild mannered and even a little shy. Like any baby, he has his fussy moments, mostly brought on by needing food or lack of sleep.

In the past few months, Finn’s tantrums have been brought on by the simplest things. Frankly, I knew this stage was coming, but like every other stage and milestone we’ve reached with Finn, I was completely caught off guard. Granted, these fits don’t happen regularly, and when they do, they usually end with a sweet smile or hug. But when we are in full blown tantrum mode, the world might as well end be
cause we are all hanging on for dear life.

Here are some things that set Finn off:

  • Washing his hands
  • Not washing his hands long enough
  • Wanting to blow bubbles, but not being able to figure out the contraption
  • Eating breakfast
  • Putting on a shirt
  • Taking off a shirt
  • Eating lunch
  • Getting in a carseat
  • Being picked up by Mom instead of Dad
  • Turning the television down
  • Reading the train book instead of the Elmo book
  • Being picked up by Dad instead of Mom
  • Juneau sniffing his head
  • Going inside after being outside
  • Putting on pants
  • Changing a diaper
  • Not putting a diaper on fast enough
  • Combing his hair
  • Setting him down when my arms are full
  • Being in a grocery cart too long
  • Not being able to get past the lock screen on a phone
  • Watching Moana instead of Thomas the Train
  • When no one wants to play choo-choo for the hundredth time
  • Eating dinner

You get the picture. Hey, at the end of the day, the majority of this just makes me laugh, which makes disciplining a whole other story. Mamas, what little things do your kids throw a fit over?

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5 Ways to Battle Seasonal Depression

This weekend was unseasonably warm and the sun was shiny for most of it! The warm-up arrived at the perfect time. The previous few weeks had been freezing. The type of weather where the snot in your nose freezes and you throw an extra blanket or two on your bed. Just downright cold.

January is always a tough month. The holidays are over, there’s a lot of pressure to start the new year with a fresh perspective, the days are short it starts getting dark as soon as you leave work, and the weather just adds another layer of miserable. It’s not in your head. Science shows that seasonal depression or the winter blues are real. The lack of sunshine can affect your mood and get you feeling down in the dumps. It’s been an issue for me since college. I used to associate feeling down this time of year with my birthday and thinking I was just stressed out about turning a year older. Nowadays, I realize that it’s truly a chemical thing and that I have to make every effort to actively fight the winter blues.

I’ve put together a list of things that are helpful for me. I’ve also found that simply being intentional about doing things is helpful. Instead of thinking something is a chore, look at it as an opportunity. For instance, walking the dog in this weather is painful, but I’ve started to bundle up, turn on a podcast and track my steps. Juneau deserves to get outside whether it’s freezing or not, so I’ve started using that time as ‘me time’. Here are some other tricks I use to fight the winter blues:

1. Get up and get dressed.

Cozy days on the couch are the best, but overdoing it can get to you. I’ve found that there is no better medicine than a shower and some makeup. Feeling like a human being goes a long way! So, sure, take it easy and relax on those snowy mornings. But make sure you get yourself put together before too long. Even if you just throw on yoga pants, it’ll do wonders for your mind.

2. Talk to someone about it.

I’m an open book about my depression because not only does it help me to talk about it, but I want you to know that it’s totally normal and others are feeling it, too. Habitually, I like to hibernate and be alone when I’m feeling down, but the moment I talk about it I start feeling better.

 3. Book a vacation!

Give yourself something to look forward to! There’s nothing better than getting out of town and changing the scenery when you’re feeling down. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – a day trip or a weekend getaway will do the trick just fine.

4. Exercise.

There’s literally nothing better than a good sweat session when you’re feeling down. The hardest part is getting to the gym, but once you’re there, you won’t regret it. I’ve started taking a pre-workout before my gym time and it’s made all the difference in the world. I like to workout in the evening, and it’s tough to find the energy some days. A few swigs of the pre-workout and I’m ready to go! Exercise makes you happy, it’s science.

5. Take advantage. In a few months you’ll be so busy you;ll be wanting some down time.

Just remember, in a few months, your summer evenings and weekends will be filled up with endless plans. Take advantage of the downtime now, you’re gonna miss it!

What do you do to fight the winter blues?

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Who Will Finn Grow Up To Be?

Finn will be 20 months old next week! As he gets older, I find myself stopping to take it all in a little more often. There was something hectic and chaotic about the first year that didn’t allow much time for reflection. Now that he’s essentially a little boy, I am astonished at how much he changes each and every day. David was away last weekend, and after just four days away, he came home in complete denial at just how much he has changed! Can any other mamas relate?

Finn has long since grown out of his baby face and now I can start to picture what he will look like as he gets older. (Pretty much he’ll be David’s twin with a little mix of my dad… is that weird? HA! But I totally see my dad in his face 🙂 ) As I start to picture what he will look like, I can’t help but wonder what type of person he will be. Will he be athletic? I hope so! Will he be rebellious like his dad, or a goody-two-shoes like his mom? (At least in relation to David, I was definitely a goody-goody!) Will he want to follow in his dad’s footsteps and join the military or will he want to go to college? What will interest him? Will he like reading books or playing video games?

shop the post: finn’s shirt – old navy // finn’s jeans – old navy // finn’s kicks – nike // david’s sweatshirt – patagonia


It’s so fun to get lost in thought about all of these things. I imagine him being a pretty good mix of David and me. I mean, he kind of already is! HA! But in all honesty, I know that it’s up to us to help shape him and guide him to make good decisions. That’s a lot of pressure, if I’m being frank. Above all else, I hope Finn grows up to be kind and accepting of all different types of people. The most important thing I want to teach him is to be understanding, patient and open-minded about the differences that make this world go round. My parents instilled in us the importance of acceptance, to never ostracize people because of their beliefs or backgrounds, especially if they are different from our own. There is always something to learn from one another, and I hope to be able to pass this along to my children.

Secondly, I hope to teach him the importance of family. I’m so, so, so beyond grateful for the love and support of my family and David’s family and I feel so lucky to be able to raise Finn with the help of all of his grandparents. My sisters and I make it a priority to talk every single day and to see each other more than just a few times a year. Family is everything to David and me, and I hope Finn grows up to feel the same way. I hope he never has a second thought about where he belongs and never takes for granted the amazing people he is lucky enough to be related to!

I wonder if there are other parents out there who do this type of daydreaming, too? What do you picture your kids to be? Do you see yourself in them? Is there one lesson above all else that you hope to instill in them? Let me know!

 

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The Intrigue of Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom

 

finn-18-months

Being a woman in the workforce is tough. I feel fortunate that I am a part of a generation where it was never a question – I could freely go to college and allow my qualifications to help get me a great job. As much as that was a given, I try my best to not take that granted. I appreciate that I can go to work and be valued for my thoughts and ideas, be asked my opinion, be given responsibility, and feel fulfilled. I realize that as recently as my mom’s generation that wasn’t necessarily the case.

But then you start thinking about having a family. That’s the tough part. Bigger brains than mine have discussed this topic at length. It’s a super emotional topic, and something that didn’t hit home until, of course, I was in the midst of starting our family. I don’t want to get into the difficulties of maternity leave, returning to work afterwards, and the work-life balance that takes a toll on every parent, but just know that I have thoughts – a lot of thoughts – about how ridiculous the current situations are.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was adament about being a working mom. Long before Finn was even a thought, I told anyone who would listen that I didn’t spend over five years in college and grad school to work for a few years and then quit my career. Even after Finn was born, I looked forward to going back to work and feeling like an adult. I craved constructive conversation and problem solving. I needed to be needed for more than just survival.

However, recently, I’ve given more and more thought to the idea of being a stay-at-home mom. The idea of being able to spend more time with Finn – to be the one teaching him nursery rhymes, to take him to the park, to go grocery shopping in the middle of a week – those thoughts put a smile on my face. Right now, we are living for the weekends. We try to cram it all into two days, and that’s an exhausting way to live.

After work, I’m hardly my best self. Finn gets two hours with Mom and Dad before bedtime, and we are both exhausted from a long day at the office. More often than not, I’m looking forward to his bedtime so we can unwind. If for whatever reason we have to be out past seven, we may not even see Finn before he falls asleep. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

Of course, being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t come with it’s own problems. Being a mom is exhausting, period, and at least now I get a break. I am able to cherish those few hours before bedtime and the weekend days because they are are dedicated ‘mom time’. If I were to stay at home full-time, I would probably crave the adult interaction. The grass is always greener, amiright?

These thoughts have been on my heart lately and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it. It’s a conversation worth having and I’m intrigued at why and how other moms in similar situations made that decision. I’m not ready to give up my job. just yet, but I’m wondering if there is a sort-of hybrid option that would allow for more Finn time and not having to fully sacrifice my career. It’s definitely got me thinking…

 

Ladies – I’d love to hear your insight on this topic!

 

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Finn at 18 Months Old

The sweetest boy in the world is officially 18 months old. I blinked, and all of a sudden, here we are. We are at that point where I can look back at photos from a year ago and think, wow! was he ever that little?! Finn has such a great personality. Very sweet, with just the right amount of his daddy’s stubbornness 😉 He is learning quickly and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t say geez, kid you’re a smart cookie!

Parenting

We are now in the part of parenting where it’s less about changing diapers and more about regiment, discipline and keeping Finn engaged and busy. No longer can we set him on his playmat with a spinning mobile to keep him entertained for hours. Finn loves to read, so we do a lot of that. But we also like to make sure he is getting outside as well as playing with other kids. This is where I really pat myself on the back about putting him in daycare. It was tough in those early months, but now he thrives there and rarely wants to leave. He comes home learning new songs that we have to learn, which has been a fun adjustment.

I think as a parent I’m always second-guessing myself. There are days where I swear Finn understands what I’m saying when I’m disciplining him, but logic says he truly doesn’t understand reason quite yet. David and I try to stay consistent with everything, but it’s tough when sometimes, I just want to laugh because he is just too cute!

Physical Growth

Finn is weighing in around 30 pounds. He is and always had been a pretty solid kid. He climbs on everything, loves to run, and is currently trying to master the idea of a spoon and a fork.

Mental Growth

Finn’s vocabulary is becoming pretty robust. He knows mama, dada, ‘brudder’, bird, water, nana (for banana), and a new favorite, stop! among others. I’m sure others moms are laughing at my pure fascination at the simplest things, but watching him learn new things has been the best!

He’s also catching onto some sign language which is pretty cool. Another benefit of daycare! He knows all done and more. 

Sleep

Still, my great sleeper. Finn goes down at 7pm and wakes up like clockwork at 7am. He currently gets about a 2-3 hour nap starting at noon.

Eating

Finn will try anything once, but if he doesn’t like it, he will let you know. His current favorites are chicken nuggets (or really any chicken), green beans, applesauce, fruit yogurt, bananas, pears, carrots, and Goldfish. A healthy and very predictable diet for a toddler!

Things I Don’t Want to Forget

  • His little finger pointing at me when he says stop!
  • The way he slithers his tongue when showing us what a lizard does
  • The way he bends over and puckers his lips to give his brother (Juneau) kisses
  • The way he snuggles in at night by pushing his butt straight into the air and tucking his hands beneath his belly
  • The way he proudly shows off his belly and gives it a big pat when we ask where it is

finn-18-months

finn-18-months

finn-18-months

finn-18-months

finn-18-months

 

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