Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Lose a Pacifier in Just 3 Days!

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Each toddler has that one thing that they love more than anything in the entire world!
For some it’s their blanket, for others it’s a favorite stuffed animal, and then there are those kids that love a certain toy…

I wish my daughter loved one of these things that I wouldn’t mind her always having with her, but it wasn’t… My daughters favorite thing just happened to be her PACIFIER!

To  say her pacifier was her favorite thing  is a huge understatement! I think she would choose her pacifier over food if she had too; in fact there were times when she would take her pacifier out just long enough to stick a piece of food in her mouth and then she would shove her pacifier right back in. We could not go anywhere without making sure she had a pacifier as well as me having two spares just in case she lost one. It was bad! My 2 ½ year old was addicted to a pacifier and I had NO IDEA what to do about it, until one Wednesday at our Wandering Wednesday link party, where bloggers come and share great blog posts, I found an idea from Have Twins First on how to ditch the pacifiers in just three days! It was an idea she found here called Bye Bye Binkie: Ending the Pacifier Habit. I read her post and sort of laughed because I thought to myself, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA JUST HOW ADDICTED MY TODDLER IS… I mean that thing is in her mouth for at least 20 hours a day,” but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try it out!

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How You Lose the Pacifier in 3 Days

Step 1

From what I read from Have Twins First and Bye Bye Binkie, the process starts three days before you actually take the pacifiers away. You do this by starting the conversation about the pacifiers going away.

So 3 days before, I prepped my daughter telling her how big she was getting and how she could do such fun things. She of course agreed that she was so big. I then said there were babies that really needed her pacifiers because they were little and that they really needed those pacifiers… She happily agreed (Yes, I was still laughing inside thinking this will never work). We had this conversation 5-6 times a day for the next three days. Each conversation lasted less than 30 seconds.

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Step 2

It was the big day, Day 3, the day I had been dreading… I went through the whole house and found all the pacifiers because I knew if she had to find them she would have a major meltdown when it was time to give them away.,Then  I only needed to get the one she had in her mouth! I distracted her with some candy and took the last pacifier and shoved them in the bottom of a drawer in a dresser so she would never be able to find them.

Then it happened, she asked for her pacifier! I told her that we gave them to the babies. This satisfied her! What?! Was this working? Throughout the day she continued to ask for her pacifier and I continued to tell her that we gave them to the babies.

No Pacifier at Bedtime? Send Help!

We made it through the day without any major meltdowns because we didn’t have a pacifier and I was relieved! We got ready for bed with our normal routine. We sang and gave kisses, and then it happened… She asked for her pacifier. I reminded her that the babies had it and she lost it… There was no comforting herShe sobbed…I told her the babies were so happy and she made the babies happy and I kissed her again and left. She cried herself to sleep that night and my heart was breaking… I was so tempted to go give her a pacifier, but I didn’t!  

The next morning she woke up and sadly asked me for her pacifier, I reminded her that the babies had them now. Throughout the day she continued to ask, but less frequently than the day before at bedtime it was similar to the day before, but not as bad or for as long. After a few days she was no longer asking for it during the day, unless she got hurt doing something. Nap time and nights became easier too, and got to the point where she was laying down without crying.

It’s been one month of no pacifiers and our life is so much better without pacifiers! Our toddler is happier (I never thought that would happen!), she talks more, and plays more. Honestly taking her pacifier away was the hardest thing I have had to do as a mom with her. There were many times where I thought, “this isn’t worth it”, or “if I gave it to her she would just stop crying”, and many other tempting thoughts, but I am SO glad that I was strong enough to stick to the plan because we are so much better off without Pacifiers!

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I know that it is heartbreaking to take their pacifier away for them and for you, but I promise if you stick to the plan you will be pacifier free and you will no longer be searching for the lost pacifiers under the bed at two o’clock in the morning!

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Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

How to Transition from Homeschool to Public School

I am that parent who never envisioned sending my kids to public school. Let’s be honest, we were having so much fun learning at home and getting to go on vacation whenever we felt like it, why would we ever choose to go to a “real school”?  I had homeschooled for 10 years 2 months and 15 days when my 15-year old son decided to issue these words, “Mom, I want to go to highschool!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but I wanted my son to experience high school if that’s what he really wanted to do, so off we went into an unknown territory for our family.   

#1 Vaccinations

The first step into entering public school is making sure all your child’s vaccinations are up to date. If you choose to not vaccinate then you will be required to sign a waiver and get it  notarized.  I currently live in Texas which has a few more required vaccinations then where we previously lived, so you want to make sure you check your state’s vaccination requirements.  You cannot assume, like I did, that all of the state laws are the same.  Get to know what vaccinations are required in your state for your children to attend school so there is no delay.

One important option for those parents who do not vaccinate is that some states have waivers that you can request to opt out of certain vaccinations so check into that if you choose to not vaccinate.

#2 Current Report Card

While homeschooling it’s important to keep track of any grades you give your children on assignments and tests.  This information will be helpful to the school so they know what your child knows and he/she will not have to repeat courses you have already taught.  I did not use an online homeschooling program so this made things a little tricky and held up the admission process. So you want to be sure to keep great records while homeschooling just in case they will ever attend public school.   

#3 Testing

One thing I made sure to do each year was to give my kids a national standardized test.  I went through Abeka. This was required where we lived, even though we only had to submit the results every other year. Each state is different though. Texas, for example, has a state test as well as national tests that all students must pass in order to move to the next grade level.  Therefore, to satisfy the state, and prove my child’s grade level, he was required to take the state test for the previous grade level.

My son was a little bit nervous about doing this and I thought he might change his mind, but his desire to attend high school was greater than the anxiety he felt about taking the exam.  (Of course he passed with flying colors…. Yep, teacher of the year right here, just saying!)

#4 Adjustment Period

Being homeschooled allows for parents to remove the negative effects of peer pressure that can be present in public schools.  During the first month of attending high school my son realized that being the “class clown” was not the smartest way to go.  He also quickly understood that teachers were not like parents and they did not accept late work.  This was the hardest part of the transition! It took patients as I watched him struggle through the adjustment.

How I Dealt with the Adjustment Period?

No parent wants to see their kids struggle, so I searched for the right thing to say or to do. I learned through this adjustment period that teenagers need guidance without it appearing to be lectures. So what I chose to do was offer a few soft words each day help him find his way.

#5 Other Ways to Bond

Now that my kids go to public school, I no longer get to spend as much time with them like the old days.  So everyday after school we all sit down at the kitchen table and they work on homework and I work on other projects to be able to spend time with them. Since my kids started public school it gave me a chance to go back to college and take some classes, which has been fun because we have shared each other’s successes (good grades on test) and cry with each other during discouraging times (usually when I feel overwhelmed my kids are there to help encourage me to continue).  We have bonded in new ways, which I would  never have imagined prior to them going to public school.

Transitioning from homeschool to public school has been a journey that I did not think we would ever take as a family, but our family has now done it twice and been successful both times we have done it!  As I look  back I think the transition was the hardest for me!  I used to look forward to waking up everyday and spending it with my kids teaching them, but now I look forward to them coming home and telling me about their adventures at school.  I still work closely with all of their teachers (love that the school has everything online for parents to see each day) to make sure my kids are on track.  Making the move to public school was the right choice for our family.

What were some of the most difficult things you encountered transitioning from homeschool to public school?

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5-things-to-remember-when-transitioning-from-Homeschool-to-Public-School (5 Things) - JY

 

~Written by Jennifer

Kids, Mom Life, My Life, parenting, Parenting is hard

One Day This Will All Be Gone and You’re Going to Miss This

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Yesterday I got nothing done because we were on a two hour delay from school.

Today I had to drive everyone to school because it was simply “too cold” they said to get on the bus.

But one day I won’t have any kids at home anymore to help get ready in the morning.

 

Yesterday I did 5 loads of loads of laundry and it still didn’t look like I had done any.

Today I have washed, dried, and folded 4 loads of laundry and have three more to do.

But one day my washer and dryer will be empty and there won’t be folded piles all over the table.

 

Yesterday I slept all day because I had mastitis.

Today I fed a child 9 times taking up approximately 4 hours of my day.  

But one day my kids will be grown and I won’t get those precious moments with them anymore.

 

Yesterday I listened to my baby “cry it out” until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

Today I was greeted by my 2 year old at 10 o’clock at night who was scared and didn’t want to sleep alone.

But one day my bed will only be filled of the snores of my husband.

 

Yesterday I picked up a gazillion toys around the house.

Today Today I picked up a gazillion and one toys, 19 pairs of shoes, 5 winter jackets, and 13 socks.

But one day I will have a perfectly clean house, but will be missing the kids who made the mess because they will be grown and have their own kids making messes in their house.

 

Yesterday I said “uh huh” about 30 times to the kids when I wasn’t really listening because I was trying to get something done.

Today I let the kids play video games and watch TV so I could get something done.

But one day I will wish there was someone to talk to and someone to do something with.

 

Yesterday I rolled my eyes when Colby slid into home plate when he really didn’t have to just to get his pants dirty.

Today Tony got sweet potato puree all over his brand new shirt.

But one day I will no longer stand in the laundry room for hours trying to remove stains thinking of the memories of how they got there.

 

Yesterday I ran kids to sports practices, choir concerts, band performances, church activities, and got to eat PB and J for dinner in the car because it’s all I had time for.

Today it will be spent doing pretty much the same thing minus help from Ty because he’s out of town.

But one day I will wish I had these days back spending time watching the kids do things that they love.

 

Yesterday I was the worst mom in the world because I made the kids clean their room.

Today I will again be the worst mom in the world when I make them clean the playroom and put their laundry away.

But one day they will thank me for teaching them to be organized and clean.

 

Yesterday I felt like a failure as a parent.

Today I don’t feel much better about that.

But one day I will look back and realize that I did something right because my kids turned out pretty good!

 

So with that being said, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I will keep making plans and to do lists that need changing when something comes up with the kids. I’ll keep doing laundry day after day so the kids have their favorite shirt to wear the next day. I will treasure the moments of feeding my baby rather than dwelling on what else I “could be doing”. I will snuggle my baby until he learns to fall asleep on his own and welcome our daughter into our bed at any hour. I will listen more when my kids talk. I will cheer louder when Colby slides into home and praise Tony for actually eating real food after trying for a month to get him to eat. I will happily treasure the time in the car of having time with the kids while on the way to their activities. I will treasure the words as “worst mom in the world” because that usually means you’re doing something right. Because one day all these things will just be distant memories we wish we still had when our kids are grown.

 

Parenting is hard. There are days where I wonder if I am making a difference. There are days when I feel like I am failing. There are days that I wish I could go to the bathroom by myself or take more than a two minute shower, but then I look at my kids and realize how have you grown up so fast? Where have all my little babies gone? And then I think, one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!one day this will all be gone, and I’m going to miss this!

 

What are you going to miss most when your kids aren’t so little anymore?

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One Day This Will all Be Gone

 

Kids, parenting, Parenting is hard

The 6th Grade Curse and How to Get Through It

Two years ago when Colby entered the sixth grade along came a horrendous attitude. I thought to myself where did this come from and where is my child? The attitude came along with the back talking, the refusal to help, and a list and mile long of other things that we got to deal with. We felt at the time the best thing to do was to be more strict and show him that we were in charge and that he needed to be respectful to us… Needless to say this technique did not work. We thought to ourselves this must just be our child going through a rough patch and that we obviously were failing as parents… But now two years later we are faced with the exact same challenges with Chase. We now refer to this stage as the “sixth grade curse”.

In our house we refer to this as the sixth grade curse because as soon as the kids hit sixth grade no becomes their favorite word again and listening becomes optional. Along with that the back talking begins, the refusing to help, and the blatant disrespect. We all think that something is wrong with our child, but it is not; this is caused by our child’s development. You see our kids are growing faster than the brains can develop which causes these types of behaviors because they are unable to adapt to the growing body and mind. There development is telling them they are older, but they are not capable of dealing with all the changes. Will kids overcome this? Yes. And we have discovered things that word to help us all deal with the situation a little bit better.

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Kids, Marriage, My Life, Parenting is hard, the struggle is real

Working as a Team

The Art of Working Together in Marriage
Growing up I always listened to my mom and dad. They guided my choices and taught me right from wrong. They allowed me to make mistakes, but helped me learn from them. They were the ones I always turned to when I needed help. I remember when I first got married and had a decision to make I quickly called my mom on the phone so that she could help me analyze it. I remember the words she said that day; she said, “I am no longer your person… I will always be here for you, but you need to talk to your husband and cleave unto him. I love you and by you doing this your marriage will be successful.” I heeded her advice and from that day forward I have consulted my husband in all things. I attribute our successful marriage to us working together.
As we work together as a team we must do so as parents and partners. Below are some ideas to make our marriage continue to flourish as we work together.

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Marriage, My Life, Parenting is hard, the struggle is real

Let Charity Shine Through

Let Charity shine through
For our Savior, Jesus Christ, love and charity went hand in hand. He not only served those he was close to, but served all those who came in contact with him. As we look at Jesus Christ’s ministry on the Earth we realize that there was not a single person that he was not charitable to. On one occasion the Pharisees brought a woman to him who had committed adultery. The law in Jesus’ time was for her to be stoned and they asked him what he thought they should do to her. There he knelt in the dirt and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) The accusers began to leave and Jesus asked the woman if any accusers remain.  She said that there were not. Jesus then warned her not to sin again. This in my opinion is such a powerful example of charity and the pure love of Christ. He saved this woman from humiliation and death.
 
The story of the love that Christ has for us does not stop with this example of Charity. In Christ’s final days upon the Earth we learn of his greatest act of love and Charity when he took upon all of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and suffered for each and every mistake we will ever make. He lived a perfect life, but yet suffered more pain than we will ever suffer on this earth. Because of his love for us, we can live with him and our Father in Heaven again.
Do we demonstrate this same Christ like love in our lives especially in our marriages?
When our spouses are moody and had a bad day do we forgive them? If our spouse comes to us with a problem that could potentially break our marriage are we like Jesus and tell them to sin no more and help them through it or are we running for the hills? Are we like Jesus and say, “I forgive you of mistakes, shortcomings, and humanness.”? Or “do we continue to not forgive because we do not understand why they possibly could have done this!” (Goddard)

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