Early Teething Babies

Baby Pencil had been fussy since… well, since as long as I can remember! The type of fussiness varies. He was a high maintenance sleeper and did not smile a whole lot. I just accepted the fact that I did not have a super smiley, Gerber baby. But there was a period around 3 months when he would have meltdowns. Someone mentioned that since BP was drooling and gnawing on his hand that he could be teething. Teething!? I thought that was supposed to happen at 6 months! But the drooling and gnawing was getting out of control. And then sure enough…

At only 3.5 months out of the womb, this little guy decided to sprout teeth! They fully emerged at 4 months and they are super sharp! I have to admit — it was kind of cute seeing his teeth when he opened his mouth.

You know how they say every baby is different? I wish they wrote that in the first line of every parent book. Baby Pencil did not follow any of the patterns or rules of what teething babies were like. Nor did he like ANY of the suggested remedies!

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Onesie Upcycle

If your toddler is anything like mine, getting them to stand, sit or maintain a position conducive to snapping a onesie closed has become a nearly impossible task. If your dryer is anything like mine (and you have the tendency toward forgetting to snap onesies closed, like I do), you’ve probably lost a few onesie snaps to the machine. And if you have a friend, relative or are yourself anything like my mom, who has bought every adorable onesie ever made for her only granddaughter, you likely find yourself with a closet full of barely worn onesies that you now avoid or can’t use.

When my mom was visiting us this past week, I mentioned to her that Baby Carrot has become too wiley to make putting onesies on her a worthwhile endeavor, and I felt awful because have a ton of adorable onesies that are going unused. I was planning to pass them on to friends or donate them, until my mom offered to turn them into t-shirts instead. The process ended up being so incredibly brilliant and simple that I just had to share it.

1) Grab a onesie or jumper (aka, anything with snaps). It can be one that got damaged, like the one in my picture below (thanks, dryer!) or just one that you no longer plan to use with snaps for whatever reason. Cut a straight line as close to the leg seams as possible (or higher, if you want to make shorter tops), to cut off the snaps.

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Getting Ready for (Pre)School

After we enrolled in the Montessori school and I started to get an idea of what the children will be learning to do, I began to work at home with the cubs to get them ready for this new shift in our daily life. At first I was afraid that we would have to introduce too many new things, but after observing what we do around the house, I found that it probably wouldn’t be that much of a leap for the kids after all!

Things We’re Already Doing:

* Making Books and Toys Easily Accessible, Enticing Play

All of our shelves are at toddler eye level or lower. Nearly all of our toys are either laid out on the shelf in a pleasing manner (I do this at night, after the kids are asleep) and invite toddlers to interact with them. Since we have two main play areas, the living room and the play room, it gives each toddler a space where they can work, but they tend to play together and with similar toys at the same time. Books are made available and enticing by displaying them on a forward facing bookshelves instead of in boxes or by their spine, since my tots can’t read yet.

* Chairs and Tables at Their Height

While our main dining table isn’t at their height, we do have boosters so that they are at table level. We also have two blue plastic chairs that the children often pull up to the toy chest that’s being used as a coffee table/work area in our living room. Sometimes we’ll eat snacks there. There’s also a new addition to our playroom that I scored from a Mother’s Day Out program that was going out of business – a classroom table with old school chairs. This gives the cubs a large work area that they can bring their toys and projects to and keeps them away from my desk!

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Peach + Basil Salad Dressing

Peach + Basil Salad Dressing l Hellobee

Before this year, when it came to salads of the lettuce variety I was pretty dedicated to my mustard vinaigrette. Although I never received any complaints I started feeling like it was time to make our salads more interesting, and there’s no easier way to do that than to change up the dressing. My most recent creation is inspired by this magic nectarine dressing recipe, which relies on pureed stone fruit for a subtle sweetness and creaminess. I changed around the ingredients, including swapping out the cider vinegar in favor of red wine vinegar and adding our favorite finishing oil – a spicy extra virgin olive oil. Think of the recipe below as a great starting point for all kinds of fruit-based dressings and feel free to change up the herbs or play with additions like Dijon mustard and fresh garlic.

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Animal Shows

I recently discovered a PBS show called Wild Kratts that is just right for Drake’s love of animals, and my desire for him to learn more about animals. Wild Kratts is a PBS show based on 2 real life brothers who go on adventures to rescue animals. Like most PBS shows, Wild Kratts has a short informational piece at the end of each show to review the animals they learned and to show real videos clips of them. We discovered Wild Kratts through the little girl I watch who is also a fan of the show, and since then Drake has been hooked asking for it whenever he is allowed TV time. I love that he learns more about animals, their strengths and abilities, their habitats, and the need for conservation and protection of the world and its animals.

Besides Wild Kratts, here are a few other animal related shows and movies that Drake either enjoys currently, or that I plan to introduce to him.

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Baking For Babies: Very Berry Oatmeal Cookies

I received a bunch of samples in the mail this week of Enfagrow A+, which is labelled as a ‘toddler nutritional drink.’ Since my kiddo won’t drink anything except water or breastmilk (not even juice! Crazy kid!), I didn’t want these samples to go to waste. I’ve heard only good things about the importance of DHA and other Omega 3 fatty acids in a toddler’s diet, so I really wanted to incorporate a potentially beneficial source of nutrients into something I knew would get eaten.

Little Oats is a huge fan of cookies. Arrowroot, animal crackers, the Oreos she’s stolen from her grandpa on occasion. But rather than buy store-bought ones all the time, or feed her the sugar-laden chocolate chip cookies I prefer, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I used up the DHA-rich Enfagrow, and made some great-tasting kid-friendly cookies! Give them a try and let me know what you (or your kiddos) think!

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Solo-Parenting: When Days Aren’t Full of Rainbows and Unicorns

Parenting is a tough job. Some even say it’s the toughest job in the world. Last week I had a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day that literally brought me to my knees. A month into my solo-parenting gig and I was ready to throw in the towel. One thing after the other went wrong and everything piled up on each other. Bunny is/was teething (two molars—top and bottom—and two other top teeth), so she wasn’t eating, wasn’t napping, and was throwing tantrums every 2.5 seconds.

The night before resulted in restless sleep. I could hear her over the monitor, which meant neither of us got much rest, so we were both exhausted in the morning—not an ideal way to start the day. Despite trying all the teething tricks in the book, Bunny refused to eat or drink anything because it hurt, so she just cried instead…or flung herself on the ground.

We got out of the house long enough for a distraction, but it didn’t do either of us any good. Once nap time eventually rolled around, it resulted in screaming instead of sleeping. After an hour of me trying to drown out the sound blaring through the walls, I realized a nap was hopeless, so I got her out of her crib and we played some more. I was running on fumes at this point and it was only 11 am.

The rest of the day was similar to our morning. She was in pain, the meds weren’t helping, cold foods, ice, and pops weren’t helping. She was just miserable and there was nothing I could do to soothe her, especially since I was very quickly losing steam. I knew she was exhausted, so her next nap time was my only hope for some sanity and clarity. Only that nap didn’t happen either. Cue more screaming.

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