Happy Siblings Day!

When I first heard about today being “Siblings Day,” I was like ‘word?’ I immediately texted my brother and sister, who both had no idea there is such a day. It seems fitting to write this post to not only celebrate being a sibling, but to also my two little munchkins.

Last year Princess was the only child, unless you count the fact that I was preggers with Baby O. Nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment celebrate the connection they’ve already formed. We have many years ahead of us, but I hope that they’ll always remain close.

Check out my tips on how to create a strong sibling bond on my BabyCenter blog.

happy siblings day

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Singing Along to Frozen’s “Let it Go”

I’ve heard of Frozen sing along sessions in some towns. I haven’t been able to find any in my area. But Princess’s school has been holding their own sing alongs at school. Almost every morning when I drop her off at school, her teacher queues up the cd player with the soundtrack. The kids all get excited as they sing and dance around the classroom. It’s not just the girls that are into it, the boys are too. It seems like every kid has seen this movie, including Princess.

Frozen

It wasn’t too long ago that she had our first theater experience. She loved it so much that she didn’t want to leave. Now she watches Frozen almost everyday. When she’s not watching it, she’s singing the songs from the Disney movie. I recorded her latest performance. Check her out!

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I Dress My Baby In a Snowsuit For Nap Time: Crazy or Cool Idea?

I’ve written about the silly things I do to get my baby to go to sleep on my BabyCenter blog. I thought I had it all covered. But, I recently figured out another cool way to get Baby O to nap. I dress him in a snowsuit for nap time!

Every morning when we drop Princess off at school, I dress her brother up nice and snug before strapping him in the car seat. Unlike most parents who unsnap and carry around that bulky car seat, I actually carry him around in my arms. I’m able to maneuver quickly with two kids in tow. I had been doing his all winter long, and realized that I struck gold. All you parents out there know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes we have to come up with silly ways to get our babies to sleep.

Our routine consists of homemade oatmeal and some organic gluten free puffs for breakfast, followed by a sippy cup filled with water. He usually enjoys some play time beforehand. The ride to school involves singing and playing animal clouds. Once we arrive, Princess’s classmates are pretty excited to see the kids, especially Baby O. By the time I load him in the car to return, he’s exhausted.

Baby O wide awake on our way to school.

Baby O wide awake on our way to school.

Fast asleep by the time we arrive home.

Fast asleep by the time we arrive home.

He’s knocked in minutes. I’m able to place him in his crib in his snowsuit, and he usually naps for one to two hours. This method has been working like a charm for the past few months. But with temperatures getting warmer, you’d think I’d lose the snowsuit – NOT! Call me crazy, but I refuse to ditch it right now. We’ve left the house in 40 to 50 degree weather, and Baby has been rockin’ his snowsuit. I see other parents and faculty members looking at me with crazy eyes, but I don’t care. I guess I’ll retire once it reaches 60 and go back to the ‘cry it out method.’ I have to draw the line at some point, otherwise someone may accuse me of child abuse.

How do you get your kids to sleep? Would you consider my snowsuit idea crazy or cool?

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Things Only Parents Will Understand

family

Let’s face it, being a parent is the toughest job ever. I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people who would hate waiting for the mom with her kids in tow and tons of shopping bags to boot. Now that I’m a mom, it looks like karma has bit me in the butt. Now my husband and I have only become those people. I share things only parents will understand in my latest post on BabyCenter. But, this isn’t just for people with kids. Those without children are welcome to give this one a read too.

Here’s a snippet:

1. Being sick all the time. If you’re a parent to small children in daycare, then you know what I’m talking about. Kids can be susceptible to all kinds of germs. I’ve experienced this with both of my children. They would catch a virus, which leaves one of us having to call out from work. Then it becomes a game of tag with each of us taking turns getting sick.
2. No sleep. It took Princess a while to start sleeping through the night. Once we got a routine down, I got pregnant with baby number two. Right now I’m averaging around five hours a night.
3. No privacy. Nowadays I can’t enjoy a 15-minute shower without one of my kids needing me for something. Either my daughter would barge in to ask a random question or her baby brother would need my attention. Sometimes I’ve had to bring him into the bathroom with me.
4. Can’t sit down to enjoy a meal. Having an infant keeps you on your toes. My husband and I have a rule that we don’t eat unless the kids eat first. There’s usually so much going on that we end up taking turns at the dinner table.
5. Can’t get through a movie. Making it through any program is challenging. With two kids around, we can never hear dialogue. It’s way too loud! By the time we get ready to put the kids to bed, my husband usually falls asleep in minutes.

father son

There’s just so many things we go through as parents. I’ve only scratch the service, but the list goes on. You can check out the rest over at BabyCenter. If you have anything you’d like to add, please do. Non-parents can feel free to chime in too. Good bad or indifferent, your comments are welcome.

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Is it possible to be your daughter’s best friend and strict disciplinarian?

Back in the day my friends and I would often plan these extravagant excursions. Okay, I admit our plans were pretty lame. But to us, they were super exciting. It consisted of things like walking to the mall. I know it sounds pretty boring, but it wasn’t to us. Those walks were literally like five hours long each way! But, some of the plans we came up with were put on hold because my strict disciplinarian mom just wouldn’t allow it.

In fact, the thought getting permission from her to do something gave me anxiety. I remember some of my friends planning a slumber party. We’d put together a presentation explaining the reasons and benefits to me attending the sleepover. I’d wait until she was in a good mood, before attempting to lay out my proposal. But before I could finish my sentence, she’d say no.

Then there was the time I wanted to go out on dates. Yeah, those conversations didn’t go over so well either. I remember telling her that a guy wanted to take me to the movies. The look she shot me said it all, and I knew the answer was no. Then there were those conversations about relationships.

I remember telling her, “I’m going out with him.”
With her thick Jamaican accent she’d respond in patois, “A way ya go?” She didn’t understand that the phrase meant ‘dating.’ Going out with someone – to her – meant actually going somewhere.

Having been born in Jamaica and raised in America, I often felt stuck between two cultures. That said, my mom kept me on a tight leash. In retrospect, I totally get it. We were in a foreign land, learning new customs, and some things she really didn’t understand.

I grew up during a time when the Internet wasn’t as popular. The only social media I knew of at the time was Black Planet. Needless to say, our idea of fun mostly involved being outdoors.

My relationship with my mom back then was a struggle. We were far from being best friends. Instead, we were two type A personalities that didn’t mesh well. Now that I’m grown, the tables have turned. We get along great! We talk on the phone everyday and she’s always spending time with my kids.

grandma

Now that I’m a mom of a daughter, I wonder how our relationship will be. Princess is only three, but she’ll one day be a teenager one day. She’s smart, witty, and quick with her words. She’s already negotiating bedtime, treats, and whatnot. I find myself thinking back to when I was a kid and the struggles I had with my mom. Some would call this history repeating itself, and that’s probably right. I’ve definitely met my match with my daughter in more ways that one.

Despite the challenges, I hope that we can talk through them. I want her to feel comfortable talking to me about anything. I know there are going to be things I may not understand, but I’ll try to have an open mind. But let’s not get it twisted, if she gets out of line, there will be consequences.

Like my mom, I just have to do the best I can and hope that everything turns out ok. I guess when it comes down to choosing between being my daughter’s best friend, and a strict disciplinarian, I feel both is possible.

me & a

mommy and daughter

Do you think it’s possible to be your daughter’s best friend and strict disciplinarian?

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5 Reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids

Last summer I accomplished something I never thought I could do. I got on a plane with my newborn. The trip was a success. Baby O and I had a blast. Now, My hubby and I are gearing up for a trip in a few weeks, and I’m going nuts. Here are five reasons why I’m freaking out about traveling with my kids:

1. Baby O is no longer a newborn. Traveling with a two-month-old was a piece of cake. I kept him in the baby carrier most of the time. He was so quiet that people were surprised to learn that I had a baby the entire flight.

baby O
2. The four of us will be getting on the plane, but we won’t be together. My husband will have to take a separate flight, which means that I’ll be traveling with the kids alone. I equate this to zone defense. How the heck am I gonna be able to keep both kids in check.
3. Kids are unpredictable. Baby O is usually no fuss, but get him on the wrong day, fuggetabboutit! Oh, and his big sis too. There’s no telling when or why she’ll have a meltdown.
4. Carrying all this stuff with two kids! My husband said he’ll take some things. But you know how it is traveling with kids. They need a lot of stuff. How am I gonna carry it all?
5. I’ve never done it before. It’s easy to pack your own things. But when you’re responsible for little ones, that’s a whole other story. We’ll need to pack the car seats, diapers, wipes, gadgets, and the list goes on.

I know we’ll get through this. I’m gonna start my having a long conversation with Princess, and make a list. We’ll just have to take baby steps. This trip should be interesting. Stay tuned.

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