My personality type is pretty type A and motivated by to-do lists, not about feelings and emotions. I was going through the motions of parenting, checking off what I thought I needed to in order to be “successful” at it. This book has helped me shift my mindset about my relationship with my child and what my ultimate goal is.
Love Centered Parenting is on the very short list of books I’ve already bought multiple copies and versions of to give to friends and to keep to re-read myself. I know I will be referring to it in the years to come.
I am not one to get behind many “food trends”. I don’t believe that it’s necessary to eliminate any major food groups unless there is an allergy or sensitivity to them. I’ve been a big believer in everything moderation when it comes to food. Ok, that’s a lie when it comes to chocolate. With that, it’s more is better! And cheese. Oh my, I adore cheese. Obviously, I’m a little hungry while writing this but my point is that I love pretty much all food groups. But….my family has gone (for the most part) crazy healthy; eating primarily fruits, veggies and meat. Did we go Paleo? Nope, my daughter was diagnosed with a yeast allergy.
If I’m being honest, she was diagnosed months before we made any major diet changes. We were always pretty healthy eaters. At least when it came to dinner. We occasionally had our junk food nights because, well, I’m a grown up now and I can do that if I want.
Let me back up a little bit to the events leading up to her diagnose. For months, I noticed she was suffering from allergies. I assumed that they were seasonal related and first gave her Benadryl and hoped for the best. It didn’t get better. She was also very crabby most of the time. Which, if you knew her, you’d realize how abnormal that was. She is typically a very happy little girl. We also noticed that she was waking up several times through the night, coughing badly I took her to her doctor, who gave the first clue that we might be dealing with something more than just seasonal allergies. My daughter was put on allergy medicine and referred for allergy testing. She was also being suspected of having asthma, but we weren’t sure at that point.
Looking back, I’m not sure how I didn’t put two and two together earlier. She suffered from really frequent (4+ a month!) ear infections before she had surgery to place tubes in her ears. After talking with the doctors, I learned how common it is for allergies, ear problems, eczema (which she’s had she was an infant) and asthma to coexist.
It just so happened that her Ear’s, Nose and Throat Specialist also does allergy testing, so I set up an appointment with the office. I wasn’t surprised by some of the allergies that popped up like mold and fungus. I knew she couldn’t handle being around mold (one of the main reasons we moved!). I was, however, shocked by the yeast allergy. We were given the advice to make what changes we could, give the medicine time to kick in and to start thinking about eliminating yeast from her diet.
We didn’t go straight for the elimination diet. Instead, we tried to cut back on the amount of junk she was consuming. I also began tracking her symptoms vs. what she ate. My attention towards her diet shifted a bit once she suffered her first true asthma attack. We also found noticed mold in and around where we were living. My focus at that point was getting her away from any mold. That was the priority. We found a new house and began the moving process.
I did notice a huge difference in her once we moved. Many of her symptoms decreased. But, several were still there. It became apparent that just cutting back yeast wasn’t going to help. So, we’re now in the middle of a total elimination diet. After a month, she’s able to try certain things (some cheeses for example) and wait a week to see if there’s any interaction. And repeat. Yes, it’s going to take several months before we have a good handle on what she can and cannot eat.
Before I did a lot of research, I figured yeast was only in breads and baked goods. It’s not. It’s in practically everything. Things that I wouldn’t expect it to be, has yeast in it. Like cheese. She also has to avoid sugar during this process. It’s a bit of a challenge figuring out what to feed her. I have to meal plan every single meal, snack and drink she consumes. Brandon and I are mostly following the same diet as she is. Not because we have to but because it’s easier to eat the same thing(s). I do have to admit to hiding a bag of Hershey Kisses in my nightstand because sometimes, I NEED chocolate. It’s dark chocolate though. So, it’s practically a carrot, right?
A few weeks into this, I must say that it is helping her a lot. Her digestive issues are pretty much gone, she’s sleeping great all night long, she’s happy, her “allergic shiners” diminished a ton, and her eczema is decreased a lot as well (which also has to do with switching laundry soap!). I’m hoping that not having her exposed to yeast helps her asthma too. So far, it’s been under control.
You will notice me sharing some things about our journey with this particular food allergy. I will occasionally share my menu plans because I want to help any people I can dealing with this. Most of the meal plans will be yeast-free, sugar-free, gluten-free (because it just comes naturally with this), and largely dairy-free (she is still able to have yogurt and such).
Have you ever had to deal with a yeast allergy before? Share your favorite recipes and tips! I need all the help I can get.
Summer is here! What is on your summertime bucket list this year? We have quite a few things on our list this year. Luckily, most of these options are pretty frugal!
1. Catch fireflies in a jar.
2. Learn to play a new board game.
3. Go on a scavenger hunt
4. Camp out (even in the back yard!).
5. Eat ice cream before dinner.
6. Go on a bike ride with the entire family.
7. Climb a tree.
8. Make a sidewalk chalk masterpiece.
9. Go on a nature walk.
10. Build a pillow and blanket fort.
11. Learn how to make grass a whistle.
12. Go to a county fair.
13. Make homemade ice cream.
14. Take photos to document the summer.
15. Spend a whole day fishing.
16. Play a game of volleyball.
17. Pick blackberries or strawberries. Either make a pie or eat them as is.
18. Go swimming.
19. Wake up early to go to yard sales.
20. Paint rocks.
21. Play night time hide and go seek.
22. Stay up late watching movies.
23. Have a picnic.
24. Eat a new vegetable.
25. Fly a kite.
26. Go on a boat ride.
27. Pose for pictures with sparklers.
28. Start (or continue!) a garden.
29. Interview an elderly family member or neighbor.
30. Make a volcano out of vinegar and baking soda.
31. Have a water balloon fight.
32. Build a sandcastle.
33. Go to an amusement park.
34. Write a letter to an out of town relative.
35. Start a nature collection of rocks and leaves.
36. Read a classic book.
37. Go to a museum.
38. Have a yard sale or lemonade stand.
39. Write a short story.
40. Wash a car.
- Coloring Books
- Water Guns
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Dress Up Stuff
- Doll Babies
- Pretend Food
- Musical Instruments
- Nerf Guns
- Matchbox Cars
- Sport Balls
- Sewing Kit
- Army Men
- Pretend Cleaning Supplies
- Rubber Ducks
- Board Games
- Play Dough
- Lincoln Logs
- Mr. Potato Head
- Easy Bake Oven
- Little People
- Magnetic Letters
- Paper Dolls
- Magnetic Dolls
- Gardening Tools
- Dump Trucks
- Remote Control Cars
- Construction Paper
- Card Games
- Velvet Posters
- Bounce Balls
- Stuffed Animals
- Silly Putty
- Small Furniture
- Pretend Tattoos
- Cd Player
- Yak Back
- Cardboard Box
- Science Kits
- Shopping Cart
Does the word “Lice” strike fear in you? I bet your head is already itching just thinking about it. Most parents will come across lice at some point. It seems that a few times each year, the dreaded “lice outbreak” letter makes the rounds around schools.
Do you know what to do?
It’s impossible to fully prevent lice unless you keep your child in a bubble. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the likelihood of your child coming down with a case.
This is one time you should teach your children not to share. Teach your kids that hats, hair brushes and hair accessories shouldn’t be shared.
Put Up Hair
Especially when there’s an active outbreak, try to put your child’s hair in a braid to minimize exposure.
There are several over the counter sprays and shampoos that are designed to deter lice.
Using disinfectant wipes, wipe down backpacks or toys that could have come into contact with lice.
When there is an active outbreak (or anytime if you’re paranoid like me!), begin frequent inspections. You can inspect as often as you like. I suggest doing a quick inspection daily and a full one at least once per week. Inspect by looking through the hair for eggs or nits. For a full inspection, run a lice comb through every strand of hair.
So, you found the dreaded louse. Don’t panic! You can do this. Below, I’ve listed the common treatments for lice. You will have to pick more than one to fully get rid of an infestation. I suggest starting with the more gentler remedies and working your way up to the harsher ones. Some remedies work better for adult louses and others work better for nits. Choosing a combination approach is the best.
This is the most common treatment. Most over the counter treatments work but they are full of chemicals that are very harsh on hair and can cause scalp irritation.
Did you know there are professional lice pickers? This is a great option if you have the money. The success rate is high with professional pickers. This is really only an option if you live in a large area. However, I considered driving to one 6 hours away when my daughter got lice!
The electric comb works great. It electrocutes the louses, killing them on contact or stunning them long enough to be able to pick them out. I personally love the electric comb. I am a bit paranoid, so I run it through my family’s hair once every few days as part of my inspection routine.
Using a picking comb, you pick out each and every egg and louse you can see. This is a time consuming but effective option.
Using a hair dryer or a straightener on the high setting may kill lice. However, this is also bad for the hair.
Slather the hair with mayonnaise and cover it with a shower cap overnight. This reportedly kills lice by smothering them. This will only work for adult louses.
You do not have to go crazy and throw away everything in your home to get rid of an infestation. Lice can only survive a short time without a human head! You should, however, take a few precautions to ensure your hard work treating lice is not in vain.
- Wash all bedding, clothes or stuffed animals that were exposed in hot water. Dry with high heat.
- Soak all hair accessories in hot water with a few drops of tea tree oil overnight.
- Spray mattresses with vinegar and few drops of tea tree oil.
- It’s not really necessary but I also suggest spraying down the carpet with the tea tree oil and vinegar mixture as well. It gives me peace of mind.
- Take everything that cannot be washed (stuffed animals) and seal up in a plastic bag for at least two weeks.
Lice is a scary word to many parents. I hope you never have to suffer through an infestation. But, if you do, I hope this information helps you!
Have you ever had to deal with an infestation? How long did it take you to get rid of it?
Waiting. What child likes that word? For that matter, what adult likes to wait? While I don’t particularly like waiting, I can entertain myself thanks to my Kindle. Small children are a little bit harder to please than that. After spending over 8 hours in a waiting room with my 5 year old waiting for her step father to be done with surgery, I’ve learned a thing or two about entertaining a child.
Keeping a deck of cards or a game of UNO in your purse is a great idea to keep your child busy. They don’t take up a lot of space but provides tons of entertainment.
You can have your child go on a “Scavenger Hunt” by hunting for different letters in the waiting room magazines. This works out for when you have to fill out paperwork! You can also do this in grocery stores by looking for the letters on different products. As kids get a little older, try having them find their initials or other small words!
What kid doesn’t like I Spy? It requires no planning ahead of time or any supplies. It’s the perfect game to play while passing the time while waiting anywhere.
Make Up Silly Stories
Sometimes, adults just need to let loose and remember how to be a kid. Make up a silly story with your child while waiting.
Keep a small notebook in your bag with a pen to entertain your little one while waiting. Most of us carry a small notebook anyways. If you don’t allow your children to use pens often, this is a special treat!
Take the time while waiting and simply talk to your child. Ask them about their day or what they want to be when they want to grow up. I am often amazed at the stuff I learn about my daughter when I simply talk to her.
Do you remember playing hand games with your friends at recess? Do you still remember them? Have fun teaching your child the classics. Miss. Mary Mack, Patty Cake, Rock Paper Scissors and secret handshakes are all hand games that are a fun way to pass the time.
When all else fail, your phone always works for entertainment. Download one or two kid friendly educational apps to entertain your child while you are busy talking to the doctor or updating relatives.
To a child, every day is an adventure. Us adults should learn to have that same mindset. It’s hard to wait when there’s so much you want to do. Once you learn how to turn waiting into an adventure for your child, it will turn from an annoyance into something fun. Stop wasting the time you spend waiting in doctor’s offices, in traffic or in line at the grocery store!
What were the things that entertained you while waiting as a child? Do you find that your children like the same things or not?
There was yelling, screaming, doors slamming and objects whirling by. Was it a tornado? A hurricane? Surely, there must have been a natural disaster to account for the reasons why my home was a disastor zone.
There wasn’t. The cause for the yelling and screaming was no other than my sweet four year old daughter.
I told her to clean her room and her angry switch got turned on. In the midst of her anger, she took her (month old) glasses off of her face and snapped them in half!!!!
Now, it wasn’t just her who was really angry. I was there myself.
If you are looking for a Christ centered book for children about anger, this is it.
I’ve seen the future and I know what’s in store for you. I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase “the days are long but the years are short”. That is a great phrase isn’t it. But, it’s not that helpful when you are floundering in the little years. I am you, only years later. That baby inside your pregnant belly is now almost five years old. A lot has changed in the past few years.
I know that you’ve read all of the pregnancy and parenting books. It’s great to be prepared. Truthfully, you have no idea what is in store for you.
Once you give birth, your entire life is going to change. (So is your body, stop hanging onto those size zero jeans…never going to happen again). Being pregnant has already changed you. Being a mother is going to change you in ways you couldn’t begin to understand. It’s a magical process but it’s a hard one.
You need to prepare yourself: You can’t be prepared for everything. If you learn this while pregnant, you’ll have a much easier time.
Being a mom is hard work. There are the good days that make you want to have ten more kids. And then, there are the days where you wonder what business you ever had having children. Yes, I’ll admit it. I’ve sometimes wondered why I had a child when I know nothing about parenting. There isn’t a book, movie, podcast or blog that can adequately prepare you for the trials that you’ll face as a mom.
Sometimes, it sucks to be a mom. Yes, I can’t pretend cleaning up vomit or macaroni and cheese off the ceiling is fun. It’s not. Waking up early is not fun. Going to bed late is not fun.
You may have given birth to an alien. Or a hormonal gremlin. There’s really no difference between them or your child throwing a tantrum.
You will worry about everything. You’ll worry about being pregnant. You’ll worry about giving birth. You’ll worry about your baby. It’s normal.
It’s hard to imagine that the child growing inside could ever be anything but sweet. However, your child WILL be a jerk. Hopefully, it won’t happen too often. But it will happen. The first time your child says “I hate you” or “You’re a bad mom” will break your heart. Don’t worry though, by the 1,000,000,000 time it’s said, it’ll only hurt a little bit. Like a knife in your back. This is when you know you’re doing the parenting thing right.
It’s ok to buy earphones in bulk and tune out your kid sometimes. Bonus points if you hide in your closet with a candy bar.
Becoming a mom will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
You don’t have to pretend to like everything about your kid. Like if they eat their boogers. That’s just not cool no matter cute they are.
Comparison doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t matter if Mrs. Perfect feeds her kids organic food, sews their clothes and reads them a bedtime story every night. If you’ve managed to make a PBJ and put on an audiobook, you’re doing this mom thing all right.
You will be amazed at how much you can love one single person.
You will also be amazed at how frustrated you can get at one single person.
Take lots of pictures. Go ahead and label them before you forget why you took them. Mommy brain is a real problem.
Don’t start co-sleeping. Just don’t do it. It’s impossible to stop.
No matter what the trials you face with your child, there are brighter days to come. You will not look back and miss the tantrums though. It’s the good times you will miss but you’ll also celebrate your child getting older. It’s a little bittersweet to realize you won’t change her diaper again. But…NO MORE DIAPERS!!!!!
Oh, and that whole thing about your kid never watching TV…forget it. It’s going to be the only way you’re going to accomplish cleaning the house. A little TV is ok.
Your Future Self
P.S. Don’t be in such a hurry to give birth. It hurts. A lot.
What advice would you give to past pregnant self if you could?
Do your children do chores?
All too often, I hear parents complain about how hard it is to keep their house clean with children running around.
The common theme I’ve found is the parents were trying to do everything themselves.
Let me tell you a secret:
Kid’s can (and want) to help you!
Think about it, they make the mess, they can help you clean it up. Leaving you with more time to play or pursue other interests.
There are many great, helpful lists I’ve found (Mostly on Pinterest!) about children and chores.
I began compiling a list of what my 4 year old daughter does to help me around the house.
20 Chores A 4 Year Old Can Do:
- Gathering laundry
- Folding and putting away clean clothes
- Feed and water animals
- Clean sinks (With a vinegar solution so there’s no harsh chemicals)
- Wipe down cabinets
- Clean shower (Once again, a vinegar solution)
- Remove trash from car
- Wipe down baseboards
- Sort laundry
- Clean Windows
- Watering Flowers
- Clean own room (This one is a bit of a fight!)
- Make bed
- Put away silverware/dishes
- Mop (Steam mops are awesome!)
- Wiping off tables/counters
- Clearing off tables/counters
- Removing the junk that collects under furniture
And yes, sometimes I have to fight the urge not to re-do it when it’s not perfect.
Being the list maker I am, I’m intrigued by this chore chart idea:
Do you have any other ideas?