Toddlers and Tantrums

We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of your shopping run, or a quiet day at the library, or maybe trying to get your errands done as quickly as possible, and it strikes: the LOUDEST, and LONGEST tantrum you have ever seen. Bring it on, Toddler. I’ve got this! IMG_8446 2.jpg

As moms, we learn to read our children quite well. I can tell from the moment my toddler wakes up if he’s going to have a good day, or a bad day, just from his morning routine. Today, was one of those days where I said “oh boy” and waited for it to hit.

Have you ever stopped to think about all the new things a toddler is learning on a daily basis? Toddlers have a lot going on in their tiny little brains. Everything from learning the numbers, letters, manners, sharing, a second language if the parents speak more than one. It’s all new to them, and they’re trying to constantly make parents proud by doing their best. They truly have a lot going on in their brains, and sometimes they don’t know how to deal with it. As adults, we get a coffee break, a little “me time”, and if we’re lucky, a little soak in the bath tub to unwind from a crazy day. Since toddlers aren’t able to communicate exactly what is going on in their mind, or how they are feeling, they lose control and have a tantrum in the middle of whatever errand it is you’re trying to get done peacefully.

I try keep these 5 things in mind when it comes to my toddler having his tantrums. And being 2, I know I am nowhere near the end of this phase with him.

  1. Reassure your child that he/she is a good boy/girl.
    • They can’t control their tantrum, they’ve had a long day, and they’re trying to deal with it the best way they can.
  2. Tell your child that you love them.
    • This may be the most important thing to do. After your child has calmed down a bit, remember to tell them you love them more than anything. Children do not want to upset their parents, and they definitely do not want to disappoint them. Since they can’t really control their tantrums, make sure they know they are not disappointing you, and that you will get through this together. Hug them a little tighter, and sneak in an extra kiss or two.
  3. Remove your child from the situation.
    • Since they can’t really control their tantrums, it is the adults responsibility to help ease the moment. By removing your child from the area, whether be it a play yard, a friend’s birthday party, story time at the library, or if you’re in the middle of your shopping trip, it’s the best thing for them. You can’t stop and try to explain the situation because at that very moment, their mind is going a million miles an hour, and are going to continue to cry and scream and toss their bodies around. Simply remove your child so they can calm down and relax themselves. Don’t worry what other people will think; for those who are parents will all understand what you’re going through.
  4. Talk about your child’s tantrum after he is calm.
    • Aside from telling your child you love them, it is important to sit down and talk things through with your toddler. Some people think since their child is only 2, they won’t understand what is being explained to them. Trust me, they understand everything you say. They may not like it, but they will undstand it.
  5. Don’t lose your cool.
    • I know it’s very difficult to keep calm when your child is having a tantrum, but your actions will either fuel or calm the tantrum. If you yell and scold at your child while they’re having a tantrum, you’re only fueling their tantrum more. They will scream louder, hit harder, kick their feet harder, and maybe even hold their breath so long they will turn pale blue (which is a normal tantrum behavior, by the way). However, if you keep your cool, sit down next to your child throwing the tantrum, maybe patting their back, and helping them calm down, you will still be in control of the moment. At the end of the day, you’re still the adult.

Do you have some other tips on handling a temper tantrum? If so, comment below and share with other mamas who may be going through the tantrum stages.

Stay calm mamas. We’ve got this!
Hermine-Jane

Hooked on BUGZ!

I hate bugs! Everything about them creeps me out, and makes my body itchy. So, what do you think I did when I found out there was a Bug Fair coming to our local museum? YUP! You guessed it! I bought us tickets and took my toddler, Michael, to explore the bugs. Now, why would I do such a thing? Because I saw Michael playing with some ants in the yard, and was showing interest in creepy crawlers, and it was the perfect opportunity to expand his curiosity.

I sucked up my fear, got my bug spray, and headed to the museum. I also took my mom just incase I was too creeped out and Michael wanted to touch some bugs. I can honestly say I learned more from Michael that day than I thought I would.

I had forgotten that toddlers are like sponges, and absorb everything. I caught him saying “EEEWWWWW” to the bugs, and realized I had been to vocal about my feelings towards that bugs, and not letting him decide on his own if it really is “eewww” or “coooool”. I had to take a step back and let him explore. I needed to see this Bug Fair through his eyes, and not my own.

These are the top moments from my experience at the bug fair with Michael.

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He called them a “lobster” and made claw fists and was walking about the scorpion zone with claws.
He made the lobster connection since we were learning about sea animals the day before.

 

IMG_4419BUTTERFLIES
It was an endless 30 minutes of “WOOWWW”, “Ooohhhhhhh” and “Aahhhh”.

At First, I thought he was just acting and trying to be cute, but later noticed his excitement as he spent several seconds staring and admiring each butterfly. He signed “butterfly” to me, which made me 100% sure he knew what he was looking at. He”s seen countless butterflies in our yard, but none this huge, and definitely not any that are royal blue, and larger than his face. He clearly appreciated the butterflies and was even able to touch one that was out on display.

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This category was the strangest for him since we rarely see beetles in the city. At first, he was unsure what he was looking at, but slowly was able to distinguish the feet, antenna, and even pointed out some eyes on the larger beetles. He did spend a long time observing and letting it all soak in, but I did hear

IMG_4433him say “eeww” a few times which is fine with me because it is his own opinion about the specific beetles.

 

Although my opinion on bugs has not changed, and I am still creeped out by them, I am so glad I was able to take Michael to the Bug Fair and expand his curiosity on bugs.

This may turn out to be a yearly tradition we do for him, but maybe next year, daddy will take him; I’m getting itchy just writing about the creepy crawlers.

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Stay Hooked,
Hermine-Jane

My Top 7 Life Lessons for New Moms


Becoming a mom has been a never-ending learning experience. With baby #2 coming in 7 very short days, I’ve decided to write a quick list of things I’ve learned since becoming a mom: just so I can remind myself when things get tough in the very near future.

  • LET. IT. GO. 

Whatever happened, whoever said it, for whatever reason it was said, just LET IT GO!
It’s not the end of the world. Life will go on, and your way will not always be the only right way.

  • DO NOT COMPARE CHILDREN

Every child is different, grows differently, and develops at their own pace. If you compare kids, you’re only hurting yourself. After all, are any two adults the same? NO. No, they’re not. So stop wanting kids to be the same. Especially when you compare kids who are not even the same age. That’s just ridiculous.

  • JUNK IS OK (ONCE IN A WHILE)

We do the best we can as moms. We feed our children organic, we cook at home most of the time, we give them healthy and natural snacks with no sugars, no preservatives, and no additives. So every now and then, if they want to snack on some chips, or have some cake, or cookies, it’s ok.

  • GET DIRTY!

Please, child, play outside, fall down, scrape your knees. Be a child.

We have our whole lives to sit in front of the TV, or tablet, or smartphone, but only once to play, laugh, and grow. The more they play and fall, the stronger they will be: both physically and mentally. How else are they going to learn to get back up when they fall down?

  • HE WONT GO TO COLLEGE IN DIAPERS

This actually goes back to not comparing kids. Every child will become potty trained when they are ready. If little Suzy was potty trained by 18 months, then GREAT, you just saved a lot of money on diapers. But if little 3-year old Johnny is still in Pull-Ups, that’s great too. When he’s ready, he will ditch the diapers for the big boy undies. Who are we to judge children, and other moms who are trying their very best, day in and day out.

  • TAKE THE HELP

Yes, we’re all supermoms in our own ways, but even supermoms need help. Does your husband want to cook dinner? Yes!! By all means, go for it. Just clean the dishes after, haha!
Is a family member offering to take the kids out for an hour? Yes! Please take them for two hours, feed them, and then bring them back.
Does your mother-in-law, sister, mom, grandma want to help clean the house? By all means, come on in!

There is NOTHING wrong with accepting help. It doesn’t make you weaker, or vulnerable. It makes you human. We forget that sometimes.  **Note to self** Don’t forget that!

  • I KNOW BEST FOR MY CHILD

Everyone will give your advice whether you like it or not. Some are pretty interesting, and others are just out of this world crazy!

You know your child best. Do what is best for your child, and don’t let what anyone says get to your heart: especially if the advice is coming from someone who isn’t even a parent. Some of those are just plain whack!

My advice is this: Listen to what others have to say, and you decide which advice stays and which you leave at the door. You and your partner can, and will, make the best decisions that work for you, your child, and your family.

The bottom line is this. Everything is going to be alright.

Que…Bob Marley – Everythings Going To Be Alright

Xoxo

Hermine-Jane

Hooked on Ball

In the Armenian culture, children (mainly boys) are exposed mostly to chess, soccer, weightlifting, and boxing, while girls do dance and/or ballet. Living freely in America is such a blessing for us because there is so much more out there that we can expose our children to. Of course Michael already has a chess set, and more soccer balls than I can keep track of, but we love exposing him to different sports and letting him find his niche.

I recently got him a Tee-Ball set, thinking it would be beneficial for his hand-eye coordination, and to my surprise, he used it several times before putting soccer balls on the tee, and trying to bat with the soccer balls. It was pretty funny, but at least he was hitting the ball (which was my main goal to begin with).

My husband wanted to see what Michael’s reaction would be if we took away the tee, and tried to pitch him the ball instead. To both of our surprise, he hit the ball on his very first try. Not only did he hit the ball, he “knocked it out of the park” as my husband likes to say.

My husband and I both believe the more he is exposed to different types of sports, he more well rounded he’ll be: both as an athlete, and as a person. In Armenia, baseball is unheard of, and American Football is not even an option. It’s interesting for us to see what kind of sport he will get into.

I grew up doing competitive gymnastics my whole life, while my husband played basketball, and was captain of our  high school water-polo team. We already know he’s going to participate in those sports because, well, why not?

I wonder, what are your thoughts on different types of sports? Do you believe in having your child stick to one sport, or introduced to a variety of sports? What route have you taken, and what was the outcome?

All the best,
Hermine-Jane

Splish-Splash with Moby

Bath time is always more fun when you know your child is safe. A toddler is like the energizer bunny; they’re constantly on the move, filled with the world’s energy, and never seem to stop. Bath time is not any different.

While my husband was giving Michael a bath one evening, he slipped and fell backwards almost hitting his head on the faucet; luckily, my husband caught him before he fell. At that moment, I knew I had to find a solution to cover the faucet before an incident like that happened again.

I found the SkipHop Moby Bath Spout  and it was just what I was looking for. It’s designed to fit any faucet with adjustable straps so it’s sturdy and won’t fall off. Unlike other faucet covers I came across which are bulky, complicated, splash water around, this one is made of tough rubber that protects the baby, especially if they accidentally bump their head. It also has two straps (the whale’s fins) that are adjustable: simply pull the straps and it will tighten around the faucet so it doesn’t fall off. The cute little tail also acts as a hook incase you decide to hang it when not in use; I personally keep it on the faucet since it’s so darn cute. It is also PVC and Phthalate free, and if you really want to clean it between uses, you can stick it in the dishwasher for a squeaky clean Moby Whale. Yup, the dishwasher.

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At only $13.00 it won’t break the bank, and you know your child is safe while in the tub. I just wish I knew about this sooner.

The SkipHop Moby collection also has other items that are very useful during bath time. I also personally love the Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser which has a rubber tip and makes it easy to rinse baby’s head without getting water in their eyes and ears. Simply, place the rubber tip up against the baby’s hairline and rinse their hair. You’ll be surprised at the amount of water the rinser can hold. At first, I was skeptical about the size, but after using it once during bath time, I realized it was perfect and just what I needed.

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After seeing me use the rinser on him several times, Michael now tries to pour water on himself, which is pretty good since he’s learning to be independent, and maybe try to bathe himself. Sure, he gets the water everywhere, but it’s a learning process which I don’t mind at all. Anything that makes bath time more enjoyable for toddlers is worth the investment; especially if it’s keeping them safe.

Skip Hop also has the bath stopper (which I do not have yet) and a bath mat that has suctions on the bottom to provide a non-slip grip at the bottom of the tub (I do plan on getting eventually). I personally just love the theme of the product line. It’s makes bath time so much more fun for him, and adds character to the bathroom. Everyone who enters the bathroom knows that this is “Michael’s Bathroom”.

Skip-Hop-Whale

Give Moby a try. It won’t let you down, I promise. 🙂

Happy Bath time,
Hermine-Jane

Hooked on Dove

My favorite bath product for adults is now available for babies!! Can you just picture my reaction when I came across Baby Dove for the first time walking the isles at Target? Did I need to get body wash and lotion for Michael? Nope, but you can bet I picked it up, did a little happy dance, and put it in my cart, while another mom looked at me like I was the weirdest character she had seen all day. Without doing any research, or reading other people’s reviews on the product, I immediately trusted the product because it’s from Dove. I knew I needed to try this for my son. Did I make sure he got a bath that night? Oh, you bet! I was very excited, and could not wait until bath time. But first, a picture:

Baby-Dove

Just from the body wash’s creamy texture, and rich density, I knew it was going to be great. My son loved the product (tear free, and gentle). I love how soft and moist it left his skin, and how smooth and oil free his hair was after drying it, which is a “Horrayyy” moment since other baby washes left his hair oily.

The lotion, you ask? WOW! All I can say is WOW! From the subtle smell, to the texture, to the creamy thickness of the cream, everything about this lotion is simply perfection. I’ve never had a lotion leave my son’s skin this soft and moisturized. Michael has eczema that flares up constantly and causes extreme dry, cracked, and itchy skin. Now that I’ve been using the Baby Dove product as a combo for his bath time routine, I have noticed the biggest difference in his skin. His flare ups are less cracked, less itchy, and when he does have a flare up, it’s not as red and irritated as it used to be. Obviously, this is not a cure for his eczema, but it is a one solution that has been keeping it under control, especially with the summer heat we’ve been getting in Los Angeles.

Now, I haven’t used the entire line of products yet for Michael, but I do plan on doing so in the near future. With only 35 days left until Baby #2 arrives, I plan on stocking up on the products and even trying out their baby wipes, shampoo, and even the bar soap. With the body wash and lotion being so amazing, I am sure the other products are just as great. Dove is a name I have trusted for many, many years, and with my very positive experience with the Baby Dove products, I know it will be a brand I trust for many years to come.

Keep your babies moisturized, and give this product a try. You won’t regret it.

All the best,
Hermine-Jane

Hooked on Play

Let’s talk activities. As parents, we’re always on the lookout for something new to do with out kids, so they’re not spending the entire day indoors. Lately, I made a list of all the places I know of and should take Michael, and honesty, when I take out the list, I feel like it’s the same thing over and over again. And even though he’s a toddler, and just being outdoors is exciting for him, let’s face it, I am the one getting bored. So, I caved in, and downloaded the app “City Moms”, and have discovered many new places to take Michael; most within a 10 mile radius.

I love taking Michael to indoor playgrounds because it gives me peace of mind knowing there aren’t any creepers lurking around. Everyone indoors is either a parent or caregiver, and has paid to get in, so it makes me feel safer having him roam around. So, when I found an indoor playground I hadn’t been to yet, I jumped up for joy and decided to give it a shot.

Hello, the COOP.

This is the first, and only, playground we have been to that is an indoor/outdoor playground. Let me tell you, I was AMAZED! First and foremost, the most important thing that caught my eye was the fact that it was bright, open, and very welcoming. We were greeted by very nice employees who took the time to explain all the rules and conditions to us, since it was our first time. I could probably go on and on and on about this place, but let me limit it down to my 3 favorite aspects.

  1. THE BALL PIT!
    Of all the playgrounds, the COOP has the largest ball pit we’ve seen. The best part?! THE ENTIRE PLAYGROUND IS ADULT FRIENDLY!!! Yes, you heard me, BRING OUT YOUR INNER CHILD! Was I in the ball pit with Michael? Ohhh Yesss! You better believe it! Not only was it large, and clean, but the bright yellow, orange, and white balls were very inviting, and made for some great pictures. There is also a slide that slides down into the ball pit, BONUS!
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  2. OUTDOOR LOUNGE
    Now, with a toddler, 1/2 my diaper bag is always filled with different snacks and water, and maybe even a juice box. When we had been playing around for over an hour and a half, we got a little hungry and needed a break time for some munchies. Forgot your snacks, no worries! the COOP has healthy snacks, juices, water, and coffee available for purchase in the lobby. They simply ask that you enjoy your snacks while seated either in the lobby, or the outdoor lounge where they have picnic tables and small chairs for the little ones.
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  3. TOY SHELVES
    This may be a little of my OCD, but unlike other indoor playgrounds where there are toys everywhere, the COOP has shelves where they store the smaller toys. BRILLIANT!
    Michael saw some drums and a xylophone he wanted to play with, so I took them off the shelf (high enough where a toddler cannot knock it over) and gave it to him to play. When he was done, we put the toys back on the shelves for others to enjoy. The shelves made my top 3 favorite aspect of the COOP because it keeps the smaller toys away from the little kids and keeps the place more organized, which means less tripping hazard for the little ones.

Keep up the great work, the COOP! We will definitely be back to check out your other locations.

 

 

 

Hooked on Flashcards

While looking for some new and interactive activities to do with my toddler, I stumbled upon these flashcards on Amazon, and I knew I had to get a set and give them a try. After getting the first set, and seeing my son’s eyes light up as he got to touch and feel the flashcards (with added sound effects from my husband and myself), I went back and got the entire set for him; each sold separately.
My First Interactive Flashcards

Each set includes roughly 10 flashcards. Also included is an instructions/more ideas card for the parent/caregiver; however, I let my toddler explore the cards on his own and try to say the word in our native language: Armenian.

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Some cards from the “Animals” box

Every single card has at least one part that is touch and feel which is great because it really gets his senses working.

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Some cards from the “First Words” box

The cards are all very bright, colorful, and clearly labeled.
Perfect for Bilingual families since you can use these cards in many different ways.

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Some cards from the “Colors and Shapes” box

If you also use these cards, or something similar, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Am I the only mom who is against smartphones and tablets for their toddlers to play with, or are there other moms/parents out there who would rather spend the time actually interacting with their child.

By the way, did I mention that the back of these cards is even more exciting? It has pronunciations of the words in Spanish, German, French, and Chinese? It also has several questions you can use to make the cards come to life more for your child.

Hands down, one of the best finds on Amazon I’ve had.

Happy teaching, parents,

Hermine-Jane