Olive’s 2 1/2 Year Update

The last time I wrote an update for Olive was over a year ago when she was 20 months old, so I thought an update was due before she turns 3 in October!


After I weaned last December, Mr. Bee took over Olive’s bedtime and we transitioned her out of her crib (at 26 months), we started having a lot of bedtime battles. We actually had similar problems with Charlie at the same age (we transitioned him out of his crib at the same age when he wouldn’t stop climbing out). The same thing that worked for him worked for her — we leave her bedroom door wide open. If she comes out of her room, we close the door. I think being able to hear us outside makes her feel less alone and she’ll play with her toys, sing to herself, and eventually fall asleep by herself. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep in her doorway!

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Private Swimming Lessons for a 3 Year Old

I love swimming and was fortunate to grow up with a swimming pool where my sisters and I spent most of our summer days. I’ve always envisioned having a pool as an adult, but so far this is not a reality. In some respects, I know this is a blessing because watching children around a pool can be a full-time job. But swimming was a really big part of my childhood and is a very big summer activity where we live, so I’ve never questioned that my kids would have to learn to swim.

When Gemma was about 15 months old we enrolled in some mommy and me swim classes. It was a fun activity but I am not sure I’d qualify it as educational for a baby; I can’t say either way if she actually learned anything from it, but at least it was an introduction to water.

This year, at 3 years old, and with daily temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, I made a commitment that I had to get her swimming at least halfway decently. Now that I have baby Summer, I need some assurance that Gemma won’t be in danger if we want to go swimming at my parents’ or sister’s house and I am responsible for them both.

I arranged ten private lessons for her and the experience is something to definitely be shared. This was hard work–for both of us. The teacher was intense; she was congenial but firm and at three Gemma, had never experienced anything of this nature. The first lesson was hard. Gemma has a very stubborn and independent personality and her swim instructor had zero tolerance for her negotiation skills. Oftentimes, when she is feeling fearful, she tries to lesson the blow of something new by thinking outside the box. I think this is a great skill that applies in many situations but in this particular one, her instructor mistook it for defiance and made her swim more and more before moving on in the lesson. This type of negative reinforcement is not something that I practice in my parenting style so I felt very uncomfortable with it. Truth be told, we both wanted to quit after the first lesson.

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My Obsession with the Rock n’ Play

Lately, more and more of my friends are starting to have babies, and whenever I browse through their registries the first thing I look for is to see if they have the Rock n’ Play listed. If they don’t, I’ll tell them about this wonderful contraption and explain why it is all kinds of awesome, then buy it for them!  I’m not normally this vocal about baby items because all babies are so different, and have different preferences, but this is a product I really believe in! Anything that makes the newborn stage a little bit easier gets a thumbs up in my book, and in the case of the Rock n’ Play, I really felt it made the newborn stage a lot easier.

We didn’t use the Rock n’ Play with Noelle because we didn’t know about it, but I’m pretty sure if we had the rock ‘n play we all would’ve slept better in those early weeks, especially since she suffered from reflux, and would not sleep unless held or at an incline.  With Jaren, he was in the Rock n’ Play from the minute we got home!

First day home

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Roadtrip Essentials

In just a few short weeks, we will be embarking on our first family road trip from New Jersey to Florida.  To say I am not daunted at the idea of such a long car ride with a 4 year old and a 1 year old would be a lie; I am terrified. Juliet has recently started hating riding in the car and Drake will probably be better than Juliet, but this is still the longest trip he will ever have taken in the car. We are leaving around bedtime on our way down and I plan on driving straight through the night while Mr. Chocolate sleeps and switch off in the morning hours, so I hope we can get a good chunk of the trip covered there. We do plan on stopping one night on the way down and up, so hopefully that will help ease the kids as well. This is my list of supplies I hope will help with keeping the kids happy and entertained!

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Veggie Monster Muffins

As Kennedy starts eating more and more table food (who am I kidding…she never ate baby food), its’ a real struggle to get vegetables into her. All of our go-to snacks seem to be carb-based; crackers, puffs, MumMums, toast. Its pretty tough to hand a ten-month-old a leaf of lettuce, and she doesn’t seem to like steamed broccoli or any of the standard “baby” vegetables.

So that left me searching for a recipe that 1. she would eat, 2. had lots of vegetables and 3. wasn’t full of sugar. And when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for, I created a recipe of my own. These monster muffins taste like blueberry-banana oatmeal muffins, but they come out bright green (depending on the veggies you add). By labeling them monsters, I circumvented the inevitable “ewwww” that green food usually elicits. They’re monsters… they’re SUPPOSED to be green.

Have fun with these – toss in any combination of fruits and vegetables that you like. Each mini muffin is packed full of goodness…and they taste pretty good, too!

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Calm Down Bottles

At almost five, one might think that Lil’ CB might be past the need for timeouts. But one would be foolishly mistaken in that case. ;) As Lil’ CB has grown older, his outbursts and tantrums have certainly grown fewer and farther between, but we still do see them and we still combat them with some time away to breathe, think, and calm down.

We adhere by the “one minute per year of child’s age” rule when it comes to the length of the timeout. This means that, currently, Lil’ CB’s timeouts last for almost 5 minutes. While I fully believe that is an appropriate length of time for him to sit, decompress and calm down, I also felt like he was having a hard time gauging how long he would be sitting there, which sometimes makes it harder for him to settle down.

I had seen these calm down bottles or jars all over Pinterest and decided to give one a try, especially once I read that you could adjust the “ingredients” so that it acts almost as a timer. Calm down bottles are essentially a type of sensory bottle (see more from Mrs. Deer here), made with glitter, water and glue. The water becomes thickened with the glue and glitter and when shaken up, the glitter slowly settles down to the bottom, much like a snow globe. The more glue you add, the longer it takes the glitter to settle. Not only does it act like a timer, but with the swirling glitter to watch, it becomes a sensory tool and a way to help young children self-regulate (more about that here).

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And Then There Were Four

Yes, you’re reading that right.  The Confetti family is growing!

We made a big wish, and now we couldn’t be happier!

Amazingly, we found out on Colin’s birthday that I was pregnant again.  We have gone through every emotion under the sun while warming up to the idea of being pregnant again (fear, anxiety, relief, tentative excitement).  To the extent that Colin understands, he seems to be open to the prospect of becoming a big brother – at least his repeated requests to read I’m the Big Brother lead me to think that way.

As you’ve patiently listened to me drone on and on about what a paranoia-pants I have become since my miscarriage in January, I don’t need to go into detail about how crazy I have been throughout my first trimester.  But now that we have gotten past the twelve week appointment and the sequential screening, which all came back totally normal, I can finally breathe a heavy sigh of relief.  And tell people other than my husband, my mom and my BFF.  And stop hiding my massively growing bump through the pathetic cloak of baggy and overly flowy shirts.  And, and, and…start to maybe shift from scared to excited.

I am due at the end of January, and I am looking forward to all that 2015 will have in store for us!

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