Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2016

Getting Real: Parenting a Child with a Speech Delay

After a roller-coaster week of Summer Kindergarten Transition, I decided to finally write down some thoughts I've been having all school year long. I'm adding this to my series of "getting real".
Clayton will be 5 in July & we've know for almost 2 years that he's been speech delayed.  He was tested through the state and started in pre-school and let me tell you- we were blessed with an amazing team from his teacher, his aides, and his therapists.  He came so far from being in pre-school with specialists around him. But there's still room for improvement...and that's where the frustration and disheartenment creeps in.  Let me preface this by saying, Clayton is the sweetest most loving boy I've ever known, and I'm not saying that just because I'm his Mom!  He will compliment you, thank you, call or sir or ma'am and hug you goodbye all meeting you for the first time.  He makes me so extremely happy every single day.  
Having a child who is delayed, in whatever area it may be, can pull at your motherly emotions whenever you you think about where they should be.  After Clayton was first analyzed/observed, I remember crying feeling like I had failed as a mother.  Here was the only job I had to do, and I hadn't even done it correctly and needed other's help.  Lots of help.  Help with things I don't know how to do.  And honestly, the feelings have never really disappeared. They're just now accompanied by hope, motivation and pride.  
Does it sound like a roller coaster? Probably because it is.  Sometimes it's a daily one, other times I can stay at a the high point for days or weeks. One of the things that most often makes my heart ache is hearing other kids Clayton's age having conversations with their parents or trying to have conversations with him. Because they're normal conversations, and complete sentences versus Clayton needing prompting to "fill in" words between his main idea words.
But you know what?  He is so happy.  He is full of life and energy.  He is social and active and has no physical limitations.  Sometimes things beyond our capabilities happen with no fault of our own.  Clayton loves with a fierceness, and I instilled that in him.  I have helped him develop so many other incredible qualities.  So for now, I try to focus on those high points of this roller coaster.  Because, "this too shall pass".  There IS so much constant improvement and development that I need to remind myself that many others aren't doing.  
And so to you mothers, who maybe feel like you didn't or aren't doing it are because you are loving them with a strong, fierce love that is irreplaceable.  You may shed some tears after you put them to bed, or sneak a piece of chocolate to help get you through your day, and that's okay.  Without the lows, we wouldn't appreciate the highs.  And boy, are there so many amazing high points!!  They will never stop needing you, and being there for them is the greatest challenge we may ever be blessed with.

image sources: one // two // three

Monday, April 13, 2015

Toddlers are HARD

Believe it or not, I actually had a completely different post written and scheduled to post today.
But I just finished ugly crying while trying to get Clayton (my 3 1/2 year old) to sleep.  I wasn't crying because getting him to sleep is least not any more. But Sundays have suddenly become that day of the week I dread. And I hate that. Sundays were so relaxing, full of spiritual uplift at church, finally having a child old enough to be entertained during sacrament meeting and obsessed with nursery. That all changed this year.
I don't frequently talk about my church on this blog, but those who have been "long-time readers" or instagram followers, will know that I am LDS or Mormon.  If you're unfamiliar with my religion, I encourage you to ask me questions or go: here.
At the beginning of this year I was pulled from being a teacher in the Relief Society to teaching Nursery, to teaching the 4 year-olds. Quite a big jump, and I honestly had to humble myself immensely to really enjoy and love teaching the little class of 4 year olds.
Also at the beginning of the year, Clayton was old enough to move from Nursery into his "big boy class" in Primary. And this is the thing that brings the anxiety to me every. single. sunday.
Clayton is very active and not used to sitting still, and as a toddler has a hard time just sitting and listening to someone teach without actively engaging him. The past few days I bribed him with a new Thomas the Train toy IF he behaved and stayed in his chair during Primary. I repeated this promise to him so many times it made my head spin. I tried this tactic because so many others haven't worked. (Serious talks, practicing at home, reminding all week, taking "rewards" away...)
We went into Primary I sat him in his class RIGHT in front of my class and he already lost it. He begged for his snack. Then he turned around and sat on his knees while eating his snack, he whined loudly, he sprawled across the chair next to him, he fell on the floor to whine. While we and his teachers are kindly talking to him to get him to sit on his bum. We took him out twice and on the second time he made his way outside with his dad I had to hold back tears.
"Is the the reason I got put in this calling, as punishment?"
"Why can't he just sit still for 15 minutes?"
"He behaves so well during Sacrament meeting!"
"Do they think I'm an awful parent?"
"What can I do to help him?"
Guys, toddlers are hard. I'm at my wit's end. As I laid him to bed tonight and he sweetly asked me for a cuddling, the emotions from earlier today rose up and I sobbed in the dark. Parenting is an absolute roller-coaster ride...feelings of such complete happiness with nights of feeling like the worst mother ever.
So I come to you. Please, I beg of you, give me some tips, tricks, advice! Thank you. And from the bottom of my crazy toddler-mother heart, thank you to Sunbeam teachers everywhere.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting Real: Parenting a Toddler

In July my son turned 3.  And if you've ever been around a lot of children you can attest to the fact that the "terrible twos" really start before they're even two and last far past it. If there were ever a situation where the term "rollercoaster" would be perfect- it's parenting a toddler.  There are incredible highs and proud moments as they're constantly learning and growing and then suddenly they're having a screaming meltdown in Trader Joe's because he doesn't want to be done pushing his little cart. Yes....I apologize that was my son.

Every so often I get compliments on how well-behaved my son is and in my mind I'm rolling my eyes because "this stranger has no idea what I deal with every single day" and then one day as I was told this I had an epiphany.  He's a toddler and the fact that someone noticed enough even after watching him for an hour felt the need to mention it, should make me proud not only of my son but of myself! Parenting is hard work and I only have when someone pays us a compliment, let's pat ourselves on the back!
print via // Tied Ribbon

If you follow me on instagram, I mention my son hitting some milestones lately.  This past year alone has been full of milestones and accomplishments!  Transitioning out of a crib, potty training, overcoming the fear of pooping in a toilet (something about that was TERRIFYING to him), wearing undies all night, learning to talk, counting, and abc's.  Guys- that's a LOT considering he was completely helpless just 3 years ago!  And it has to do with us- parents. Teaching them, being patient, getting down on our knees to talk and often pick our screaming child up off the floor of Target. (My apologies....again)

I recently found the words, "Clayton, you're so perfect!" escape from my lips before the inevitable tantrum ensued, but really- the good times are AMAZING and though the bad times are often terrible and humiliating, I gladly suffer those for the times of pride, overwhelming happiness and bliss of my 3 year old.
print via // brim papery

So as I often remind myself, I share this reminder with you parents...breathe & enjoy the good times.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Travelling with Toddlers Guest Post by Jess.

Hey Tied Ribbon readers, my name is Jess and I blog over at Sounds Like Life!

I am so excited to share some of my traveling with a toddler tips that I have learned over the past four years with my little guy Bradley. 

When choosing your flight be aware of your little ones sleep schedule. If you know that your little needs his afternoon nap or else he wont sleep that night, try choosing a flight in the morning or one scheduled after his nap. A new environment like a plane may over stimulate or excited them and sleeping won’t normally happen on a plane. We have learned morning flights are best for us. He has had good nights sleep and we can always get a good afternoon nap in when we arrive. So his schedule is not thrown off too much while on vacation. 

Now on to packing. Try to keep a few things in mind while packing. “Do I need it?” “Can I barrow/rent it?” Keep it simple and convenient. I hate going through security with a stroller, we choose to rent them from locations we visit or borrow them from friends when we arrive. The same goes for cribs. We do however bring his car seat. Whether it was his infant seat or now his actual car seat. We checked it. The less you have to carry through security and the airport the better. However, the car seat and stroller can both be check at the gate if you choose. Try to check your luggage as well and limit yourself to one bag/carry on for you and baby. Keep the absolute essentials and take out everything you don't need. The less stuff you have the easier it will be to find what you need when you are crammed on an airplane with a wiggly toddler on your lap. 

In your carry on pack the essentials nothing more. An extra outfit and socks. A few diapers and wipes. Include some snacks, bottle/sippy cup. Toys or books, something you know they would enjoy and could easily distracts them when needed. Try and pick things that could link to the baby clip rings and clip it to my seatbelt Just in case it drops you don't have to try and squeeze down to find it. His favorite blanket or whatever he "needs" for sleep. Pack your wallet/purse everything else with you suitcase. Leave out your ID, ticket, money or debit card and if needed your child’s birth certificate or shot records. Keep those all in one easily accessible pocket. Being able to one handedly grab your ticket and ID when at the gate will make you feel like a champion and will make going through security that much easier. Try and make sure everything is as easy to access as possible. 

Now to dress the little one for your flight. Trust me on this, layers and skip the shoes. Nothing is worse then trying to find a missing shoe somewhere between security and your gate. Our travel outfit consists of basic socks, soft pants, t-shirt and a zip up jacket. If I lose a sock its no big deal they are quickly replaced. Keep the same idea for yourself when getting dressed. Comfort and light layers are important when you have a little one on your lap. When picking shoes think about taking them off and putting them on while in a line at security. Will it be easy? Can you do it with one hand?
While you are waiting to board try to avoid going into the diaper bag or carry on for treats and snacks. Save them for the plane so they are new and exciting. Change diapers right before you start boarding. The airplane bathrooms are tiny and a pain to change babies in. Hold off on giving him any snacks/food/drink until the flight is taking off. Give him the bottle as your "lifting off' the sucking will help relieve the pressure in his ears. 

Each flight will always be different, but these are just some tips I have learned that generally work for us. My biggest piece of advice is stay as relaxed as possible. So if you little one is fussing the entire time, just breathe and relax. The plane ride will end and 95% of those other passengers have been in the exact position you are in. If not, the other 5% will get over it. Most of all enjoy your trip!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

on being a young mom.

read the first part of the story here.

(print available at end of post)

The day Clayton was born I was 8 days away from turning 21...and yes- even my husband has a birthday in July!  Needless to say, I was the first one in my circles of friends to be married & have a baby.  I was so nervous & anxious my whole pregnancy about if I'd be able to be a good mom.

I remember being pregnant and although I was excited I was sure I'd still need a "real job" & so I went on maternity leave rather than quitting out right.  We didn't need the money, but I thought I'd need the time away.  
But the week before I was supposed to return to work- I knew I couldn't.  Even a few days a week was too much away from my new favorite person.  I'm pretty sure my boss saw it coming, though.  And so here I am 19 months later- still infatuated with a little boy whole stole my heart.

I get asked by my friends how I like being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, and I tell them I love it.  Somedays are harder than others, but I believe there is nothing more precious than being able to raise our little ones.  I am so grateful that my husband is blessed with a great job that allows me to not have to work.  And I wish every mom could do the same.  He teaches me to be patient, to find joy in the little things, to slow down, to explore, to laugh and to not be so serious.

So am I a good mom? I like to think so.  Am I a perfect mom?  Far from it, but everyday I try my best to love & care for Clayton as our Heavenly Father would.
I didn't know I'd love being a full-time mom as much as I do or as young as I am.  But I do. And it's just as simple as that.

photography by Wendy Larson of Stem & Leaf

Monday, July 23, 2012

"It's a good thing he's cute..."

Yes, I did say this to my husband about our son.  
Ah...child rearing- the only calling in life where you can be completely agitated & perfectly content all at the same time.
Lately our little love bug has been completely fussy because his teeth take FOREVER to come it.  He finally cut one a few days ago (total count: 9) & he still has 3 other swollen ones torturing him.  It has often made him unbearable...i.e. when we went out to dinner with Robert's family to celebrate our birthdays & at church where all he wants to do is everything he's not allowed to.  Awesome.  
And so after a particularly long day yesterday, I said to my husband after bedtime..."It's a good thing he's cute..."  Because let's face it, at the end of the day, it's hard to get mad at a face this cute:

picture c/o Wendy Larson of Stem & Leaf