I Swore I’d Never Do That

I’m sure you’ve said it before children and I know you’ve heard it many, many times from people without children or those expecting their first baby.

“I’ll never let my child do that.”

“I’ll never give my baby/child that.”

“I’ll never do that with my baby/child.”

The “nevers” are endless before you have kids. It’s entirely way too easy to judge someone and to say you’d never do something with your child or let your child have or do something. I’ve done it and I can guarantee every parent-to-be has, too. But once baby is here and baby gets older, your whole perspective changes. Those “nevers” turn into “okay, just this once” then they turn into “sure, whatever it takes to shut you up”. Here is a list that I swore I would never let my kids do or have but instead are now regular occurrences in our house.

  1. Co-sleeping. I said I would never ever co-sleep with my children. My motto used to be “my baby sleeps in her crib and only in her crib”. With my oldest, she only ever slept in her crib. Baby number two changed everything. She started sleeping in our bed around 2-3 weeks old, when we learned she slept much better with me. My husband Baby in Bed with Mom and Dadhas been sleeping on the couch for the past 3 months but as long as we’re all able to sleep, we’re totally fine with her in our bed with me. **The AAP does not recommend co-sleeping with baby. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website for the recommended sleeping guidelines to prevent the risk of SIDS.
  1. Formula. Nothing is wrong with formula, as both of my girls have strictly been formula fed. However, when I was pregnant, I was hell bent on breastfeeding my first. It would have saved us a ton of money which was another reason I was determined to breastfeed. Fast forward to my emergency c-section and pneumonia after my surgery, I didn’t care how baby was fed as long as she was fed. I tried for the first day but it was just too hard for me so we immediately went with formula. My now almost four year old is a 40 pound, perfectly healthy little monster. With my second, I tried breastfeeding for two days but ultimately switched to formula as it was extremely painful. Kudos to all of those who kick ass at breastfeeding!
  1. Pacifiers. I never wanted my babies to use pacifiers. I hated (still do) seeing older kids using them when they clearly didn’t need them anymore. I’m okay with infants having pacifiers to help sooth them, but I didn’t want to go through the weaning once they were older. So with my first, I chose not to use a pacifier. However, the nurses in the nursery at the hospital gave her one (eye roll) but she gave it up on her own at 3 months old. With my second I gave her a pacifier right away, as I learned with my first that it is a little silicone savior. She’s not crazy hooked on it, but it has saved several meltdowns at naptime and bedtime and I am totally okay with her having one.
  1. iPad/TV. We’ve all heard it, TV rots your brain. So when I was pregnant, I was adamant about not letting my kids watch too much TV, let alone have a tablet or iPad. Fast forward a few years and my oldest can work the iPad better than me. She can navigate through Netflix and Hulu to find her shows so fast, it’s kind of crazy. I swore my kids wouldn’t fill their time just watching TV but when you have a wild toddler to occupy and you’re tired from said toddler being up half the night, yomcdonalds4u cave. You give her the iPad to hopefully get a few more minutes of sleep. It’s happened more times than I like to admit but hey, TV has helped keep this mama sane.
  1. Junk food. Another thing I swore I’d never let my kids have is junk food. McDonald’s, pop, stuff that’s plain bad for you. “I will never let my child have McDonald’s!” is something I know I’ve said quite a few times. And now, my oldest gets a Happy Meal once or twice a month. When we’re out running around at dinner or lunch time or she’s been an especially good girl, she gets one as a reward. The same with pop. We let her have a little bit of Sprite (and only Sprite – no dark pop) for special occasions, like at the movies or sometimes with dinner at a restaurant. It’s not the end of the world but I remember judging other parents for it and I’m sorry for that.
  1. Calling my oldest Sissy. One thing that always irked me (for no real reason) was when older sisters were called “Sissy” by her parents. I would always say to myself that I’d never call my oldest Sissy when she became an older sister. Welp, that’s exactly what I call her when talking to her baby sister. I actually have a million cutesy, probably annoying to them (or they will be annoying in the future), nicknames for each of my girls which I never thought I’d do.
  1. Spanking. This is a huge one. I never thought I’d be the one to spank my child. Growing up, my brother and I were never spanked by our parents. My dad always yelled, which can still make me cry at 28 years old. Our three year old ispinocchionose2 a wild one and sometimes nothing else but a little spanking on her behind works. I don’t do it to hurt her, I do not do it hard enough to leave a mark or when I’m angry. It’s more of a swat to get her attention.
  1. Become a liar. Since becoming a mom, I’ve also became a pretty good liar. I never thought I’d lie to my own children, but it is so necessary to be a liar. Just little, harmless lies like when the ice cream man’s music is playing, it means he’s out of ice cream or their teeth will fall out if they don’t brush them (my personal favorite).

If you’re an expecting parent, you’ve said you won’t do at least one of these things. At the time, it’s nice to think you won’t. But trust me, you will break and you will cave and you will end up doing things you never dreamed you’d do just to make life easier. And an easy life is a good life.

– Casey

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Puddle Jumper {Review}

I can easily say that Summer is my favorite season and as of June 20th, it’s officially Summer! Compared to the other seasons, the summer months are jam-packed with all sorts of fun activities, with the fan favorite being swimming. Who doesn’t love lounging on a raft, floating for hours in the cool water under the hot summer sun? I know I do. But now that I have kids, namely my wild child almost four year old Stella, I have to be super careful IMG_6934around bodies of water with her. She likes to run and jump right off the edge of the pool, which can damn near give a mom a heart attack.

Last year, I began researching the best and safest floaties/vests for toddlers to wear in the water. I came across the Puddle Jumper and I am so glad I did! The Puddle Jumper is a life jacket that can actually help teach little ones how to swim. It has two arm pieces that slide on up to the bicep and a piece that wraps around the chest and an adjustable clip clips in the back. It keeps the child afloat and stays on while in the water without riding upIMG_6945 around the child’s neck. My wild child jumps off the diving board with hers and comes right back up! Of course, you still will not leave your child unattended while in the water, but it gives peace of mind that your child is safe. The best thing is it is comfortable and the fabric allows for less possibility of chafing.

It fits children from 30 to 50 pounds and comes in so many different designs and colors! There are four different types of Puddle Jumpers: The Original is made of nylon, The Deluxe and Deluxe 3D are made of polyester and The Ultra is made of hydroprene. All are approved by the US Coast Guard and made with Crosstech floatation foam. The Deluxe and The Ultra are antimicrobial as well, meaning odor-causing bacteria will not grow on them. All Puddle Jumpers can be used in any pool, lake or the ocean. You will love knowing your little one will be safe around any body of water. The Puddle Jumper will put those blow up arm floaties to shame!

I give the Puddle Jumper a 5 out of 5 stars. I absolutely love it and my daughter does, too. She has no real limits while in the pool with it on. She can swim in the deep end, jump off the diving board or side of the pool and can play with the big kids, even though she can’t touch the bottom of the pool. She’s also learned to swim because of it which is an added bonus. If you frequent pools or lakes during the summer, I highly recommend getting one IMG_6944or two for your little one. They’re priced right from around $20 to about $25, depending on the type and design you chose. You can thank me later when you have the best summer yet (with a toddler)!

Check out Amazon or Walmart to purchase your own!

Sterns Puddle Jumper is part of The Coleman Company, Inc, follow on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook!

– Casey

My Toddler Needs a Leash


This past Sunday, my two daughters, mother-in-law and I celebrated Mother’s Day at our local zoo. My husband works Sundays so it was just us four. It’s a small, quaint zoo 
which is perfect to walk through for a few hours on a beautiful sunny day. While walking up a hill to the black bear exhibit, I noticed a woman “walking” her toddler. Literally, she had her little girl on a leash which seemed appropriate as the little girl was tryingllleash to run away. As her mom yanked her back several times, I got to thinking about my own crazy toddler. Surely she could benefit from being restrained, right? I had witnessed some disturbing behavior from her while on our outing and since a straight jacket in public seems a bit rash, I may have to invest in a leash.

Playing chicken in the parking lot

When we pulled into the zoo parking lot, I got her out of the car while I got her sister’s stroller out of the trunk and packed our stuff into it. Maybe because I’m new at being a mom to two kids and this was our first real outing, but I sort of wasn’t paying attention and there was my daughter, playing in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily for us both the car that was coming toward her (and by coming toward her I mean at least 100 feet from her) was driving very slow. A leash would have been very helpful.

Keep her away from the penguin exhibit

The first exhibit we came upon was the penguins which is equally fun and scary because you can penguin2walk up a set of stairs and look down into their tank. Unbeknownst to me, she had the head of a little Sofia the First figure in her hand from the car. She walked up the stairs to get a better look at the penguins and tossed poor Sofia’s head right down into their tank. She then had the balls to throw a fit when I said she was gone forever. Leash, please.

She prefers eating lunch off of the ground

When it was time for lunch, all she wanted was popcorn. Which is probably the healthiest thing she at that day (popcorn = corn, corn = vegetable, vegetable = healthy). The small box, which was anything but small, of course made its way to the floor and there she sat, eating it off of the floor. At least she was eating, right? She’s a very picky eater, so I consider this a win.

Name Game

In my opinion, you should always like the name you pick for your child. But when theyname hit the toddler years, you better really love it. I probably yelled my daughter’s name 200 times while at the zoo (four hours total). Every two minutes I was asking her not to do this or that and to come here or stop walking ahead of us. By the end of the day I wanted to rename her Jerkface.

The hills have eyes

What’s fun about a hilly landscape is your toddler trying to roll down those hills. Unless they’re very steep and have pools of water and sharp rocks at the bottom of them. I had to stop her from tumbling down a handful of times and then listen to the tantrum that ensued because I wouldn’t let her throw herself down the hills to mangle her pretty little face.

My little kleptomaniac

The zoo is smart. To exit, you have to go through the gift shop. How genius is that? To leave you have to either buy useless shit for your kids or you have to drag them out kicking thiefand screaming because you don’t need anymore useless crap in your house. Because I was tired, I didn’t want to fight her so I told her she could have a little pink octopus stuffed animal and a squishy little frog. That little klepto tried walking out with said toys because she’s impatient and didn’t want to wait in line. If I had a leash I could have yanked her back instead of chasing her thieving self down.

Mother’s Day at the zoo was a blast, don’t get me wrong. Toddlers are nuts so I expected her to be a little wild. But I’m guessing that mom with her little girl on the leash was laughing at me as she saw me chasing my daughter around. I mean she was the smart one, she just had to give a little tug on that leash to bring her daughter back. One should be running for only 3 reasons: someone’s trying to kill you, something is on fire or someone said free food. Not because your child is insane when in public.

– Casey