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Showing posts with the label Children

Buy Those Toys. Playing is Serious Business!

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"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." Fred Rogers This post is sponsored by The Genius of Play . It turns out play is more than fun and games. It is an  an important teaching tool! Through play, kids learn how to interact with others and develop critical lifelong skills.  When I read the above quote, it did resonate with me and validated all of the money I have spent on toys this holiday season!

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: It was a Wonderful Weekend

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This weekend we got to have family time. And family time is always good! Anybody who has kids understands that it is important to keep them stimulated. One way to do that is find out about interesting events going on and attend those that make sense. Recently, we went shopping for shoes and attended an event. Shopping trips with two children under four are adventures On Saturday, we went to Marshall’s, otherwise known as my second home. Our goal was to buy shoes for the toddler, but we got a few more things too. If you haven’t gone shopping with an infant and a toddler, you haven’t lived! The kids were fairly well behaved for most of the trip and I got cocky. I perused the lingerie, the clothes and the skincare items. I made a rookie mommy mistake and I deserved what I got. This photo isn't from the shopping trip described below, but it does reflect the general personality of my toddler...

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: The Difference Between Mothers and Fathers

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" Most mothers would be exhausted if they had the time to realize it. .."-Chaton Turner I have said many times I love fathers and my husband included. Like he likes to say, he does, more than “90% of the people who have a penis”. The funny thing is, I believe him. He has been known to change diapers, give baths and get our toddler ready for school. He has participated in school projects, attended parent-teacher conferences and has a private language he shares with our daughter. By all accounts, he’s a great dad. That said, he is not me. Sometimes fathers get a break. I have come to believe that the biggest complaint that mothers have with fathers is that they are not us.  Most great dads that I know have times when they just crash. They have been working long hours at work or on a home improvement project and their bodies just give out in an exhausted heap.

A Peek in the Life of a Working Mom: The End of the School Year

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I know that parents have been raising children for centuries. Knowing that makes me no less amazed about our daughter's transformation throughout the past school year . The First Year of Preschool Has Been An Incredible Journey I was anxious last September about sending my daughter to preschool. She had been the apple of our eye, a coddled infant who had the benefit of one-on-one care. Sending her to a place where there were 16 other children and only two staff, having to get her ready every morning, and not receiving multiple reports about her day gave me pause.  Day before preschool started As with most milestones in my life, I chronicled my thoughts and journey about my daughter starting preschool on this blog, My Daughter is Starting Preschool Tomorrow . I was even able to learn enough about my experienced that I wrote a piece to help other parents survive the transition to preschool at  Seven Steps to Surviving the Transition to Preschool .   The Jour

Working Mom Tip: Save BIG on Pampers Easy Ups Trainers

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We are in the throes of potty training. My daughter has good days and days when she smears poopy all over her crib during her naps... It has happened more than once. That's a tale for a another day though. While we are waiting for the potty training thing to stick, we'll rely on Pampers Easy Ups at bedtime and naptime. They are reliable and have Dora the Explorer on them. What's not to like?! In case you also rely on Pampers in your house, here's a great coupon! $1.50 off ONE Pampers Easy Ups Trainers : This is a sponsored post. Related articles 8 Potty Training Tips That Really Work (parentsociety.com) Parental Tips for Common Potty Training Problems (pediatrics.answers.com)

Bet on Your Baby Giveaway! (#giveaway)

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“Bet on Your Baby” is a new show that ABC , in partnership with Luvs, is airing on Saturdays 8/7c! Here’s the premise, every parent thinks they know their baby well, but are they willing to bet on it?  Bet on Your Baby is a new show where parents play fun games with their toddlers, and try to “bet” on what baby will do next! If they guess correctly, the family wins $5,000 in college tuition money, and the chance to play for $50,000! I caught the show a few weeks ago and concluded that it’s pure genius. Who doesn’t like cute kids doing things that frustrate their parents?!   GET FREE DIAPERS

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: Judging Other Mothers…

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As Mother’s Day approaches I find myself thinking about mothers , my own mother, my friends, and myself. Recently, I read an article about Maggie Gyllenhaal who reflected on how judgmental she was of other mothers before she had children and I could relate. Before having children I judged other mothers... Before having children I judged my mother’s parenting ever so critically. She worked during my childhood. Still, I wondered why she couldn’t make homemade Halloween costumes, pick me up from school on time and have dinner ready every night. It never occurred to me that 24 hours is simply not enough time to be a good wife, stellar employee and keep a home like Martha Stewart . Instead, I thought that our lives would be better if only she tried harder. How hard?! As a child, I didn’t quantify such things. I was self absorbed and merely wanted my mom to do more.   Being a working mom has made me humble... Now that I am a working mom, I judge no one. If I see mom with a lit

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: We Are Usually Late to Parties...

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This weekend was fairly typical in the life of a mom who has toddler who is getting older. We attended a birthday party on Saturday and had an outing Sunday.   The birthday party was fabulous. However, because it was me going to the party with my toddler, there is a story... Although it's possible to just get a gift card or some lame gift, I never want to be the mom who gives the forgettable gift to a good friend’s kid. I want to give a gift that the kid will play with until it breaks. Needless to say, that’s a lot of pressure.   Usually, I’m an online shopper. However, most times the birthday presents require an in person inspection.   Because I let this party sneak up on me, the toddler and I went to Wal-Mart the morning of the party to find a gift. I chose Wal-Mart because I also needed to grab some groceries and Wal-Mart was a great way to multi-task. Fortunately, we scored a really cool car that pops wheelies.   It was the kind of toy that would give

A Peek Into the Life of a Working Mom: Selecting the Right Preschool

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On Friday I went on a tour of a reputable preschool. We are considering our childcare options for next year. Although we are generally happy with our current situation everyone tells us that by the time our daughter turns three she “needs to be in school ”. So, I have begun touring preschools trying to find the one that is the right fit for us. I am concerned that we may have some challenges though. During Friday’s tour I inquired about the school’s disciplinary policy and the head master looked at me amazed. Then he commented that “We don’t have significant discipline problems because we’re so careful about the selection of the children at the front end. Children with significant disciplinary problems aren’t right for our school.” He also said that the children have to be potty trained before they join the school. I got nervous. Our daughter is VERY high spirited.   I think that she could use some discipline. She also is not potty trained. Indeed, she is kind of hostile to

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: A Toddler, an Airplane and a Dirty Diaper

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    What good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all." Benjamin Spock   Our trip to Parents Palooza in Atlanta began and ended on a plane . Our toddler is a perfect angel so long as she isn't being told "no" and she's not being confined. So, in some respects, putting her in a confining space like an airplane seat is the equivalent of cruel and unusual punishment .   So, we bribed her with snacks, iPad games and toys on the plane . For the most part, the bribery worked. However, on the way to Atlanta she had problems with her ears and she cried on the descent. Those were the only tears on the entire flight though and they were somewhat subdued. I got off of the plane feeling like a rock star mom. And I was confident that the trip back would go just as well.   Clearly, I forgot the first lesson of motherhood, "enjoy the good times, but take nothing for granted..."  

Good Products for Baby's Skin: Johnson & Johnson Never Goes Out of Style

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Johnson & Johnson sent me a nice package filled with goodies. I was thrilled.   Receiving the package made me feel like I had finally arrived in blogging game.   Also, I love Johnson & Johnson products.   Johnson’s Baby Oil Keeps Moms Silky Soft   Most people associate Johnson & Johnson with babies. However, I have been a fan for years and use their products myself. I have used baby oil on my body after showering for years.   It really helps seal in the moisture and keeps my skin soft. It also makes you legs feel silky and is a great way to look good when you’re not wearing pantyhose. Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion and Wash Works   When I was pregnant, I knew that Johnson & Johnson would be an important part of my child’s life as well.   After having my daughter I began to rely on the Johnson’s Bedtime Lotion and Wash.   They said that it would help my baby sleep soundly.   However, like any new mom I was desperate for every moment of sleep that I could g

Birthdays are special

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“ Birthdays are Special” – Anonymous Last week was the toddler ’s birthday. She turned two years old.   And her birthday was like a national ... We debated how to celebrate her birthday. Last year we got a little carried away.   We hosted an epic Tori Spelling inspired “ Lady Bug ” themed party , replete with a professional photographer and a red carpet .   We REALLY like birthdays !

Working Mom Tales: Another Peek Into My Life

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(Here's a post that I neglected to publish from a couple of weeks ago.) I've been working with a graphic designer to develop a logo. She changed strategies because she felt like our initial version was too busy and chaotic. Upon reflection, that image may be conveying the right image. It seems as if my entire mission in life is to find clarity in the midst of the chaos... It's Saturday morning and I am a presenter at a conference that is focused on effective communication in healthcare . So, while it is the weekend, I woke up at 6:30 AM, got dressed in real clothes and drove to downtown Pittsburgh so that I could educate a crowd of people things that I do in my real job. It went well and people at the conference probably think that I "have it together". My high school drama experience has served me quite well. Here's what they didn’t see...

Toddler Tales: Story Time Ain't Always Easy

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I've been an avid reader nearly my entire life. And it has served me well. Watching the NBA Playoffs has made me marvel at how the players are getting paid to do something that they have loved their entire life.  They also get to use a skill that they began cultivating as children . I was an early reader . As a lawyer, I read a lot. Hmm...perhaps I have more in common with LeBron James than I ever thought!

Toddler Tales: Little People Need Little Things

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One of the best shopping scores I made for my daughter was an arm chair.   I swear that chair is the best money that I have ever spent. Below is the tale of how I found the chair and how much she loves it. Invariably when I shop I am drawn to the children’s section.   Shopping for the baby is sometimes more fun than shopping for me. Who would have thunk it?! As a lifelong shopaholic I had no idea that shopping could get any better. Anybody who’s looking for the ultimate shopping experience, have a kid!  On MLK Day , my mother and I attended a celebration then we did a bit of shopping.   We went to Pittsburgh ’s new Home Goods store. We’re doing our part to stimulate the economy one shopping trip at a time. Many things caught our attention. However, in addition to a few other things, we left with large quantities of Green Tea , some dish towels, a couple of lamps and the cutest pint sized arm chair you have ever seen. My baby loves the chair. As soon as the chair came home i

Save Money on Diapers: $1.50 off ONE Pampers Swaddlers Diapers

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Babies pay HUGE dividends in love and smiles. They make you feel worthwhile and productive and they make your life have more meaning.  But let's be clear, they are messy and they are expensive.  I can't help you with the mess, but I can help save you some money. Here is a coupon for my FAVORITE diapers. From my experience,  Pampers work and they are worth the money.  That being said, I love a chance to save a dollar. So, print out this coupon and save on a product that you will only continue to need more of. For my crunchy granola moms who are exclusively users of cloth diapers, more power to you.  My research indicated that there was no environmental benefit from using a diaper service and I knew that my lifestyle wasn't conducive for washing the diapers myself. So, I succumbed to the lure of the Pampers and I haven't turned back.  I am all about being all natural. I make my daughter's food (more on that later) and I am vigilant about her hygiene.  However, I

Toddler Adventures: Going Out to Dinner

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After work, the baby and I had dinner plans. I left work a little late intending to rush to pick her up and off to dinner. However, I couldn’t rush without gas. So, I stopped for gas. It hadn’t gotten any warmer since I had gone to that meeting. So, I had to pump gas in the cold. I also had to endure the lecherous gaze of a guy in an old El Camino who waved at me like we were friends. I’m not sure what his goal was, but the gaze was creepy not sexy. I was glad that others were at the gas station as well reducing the likelihood that he would approach me. Thankfully, after ignoring him he drove away. When I got home, the baby was a vision of toddler cuteness! The nanny had dressed her for dinner in my favorite dress with matching tights. She also managed to get her hair to form perfect curls and topped it with a bow. As they say, she “should have been in pictures!”   Running: The Secret to Restaurant Success With a Toddler We made it to dinner at the Original Fish Market a

Nap Time and the Toddler...

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Being home on vacation last week taught me some lessons. I realized that even though I am the mom and I am theoretically in charge the baby has me hostage. There are large blocks of time when I am afraid to move becausse it might disrupt her nap time, and she is what they call a "good sleeper". Sometime though naptime is a bit of a game, like today. I had errands to run so I pushed back naptime to fit my schedule. Was I high??? I should plan my day around the baby's schedule not the other way around. But today the sun was shining in Pittssburgh and I had some clothes at the tailor so off we went on our errands. I thought we would be back in a jiffy and her schedule wouldn't be disrupted by much. However, this is Chaton's World and not a fairy tale. So, things have a twist. While we were on our wayhome from the tailor I got a call from work. It was important. So the baby and I had to go to my job. I guess it was an unofficial take your daughter to work

Lessons Learned from my Toddler

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Like most moms I am convinced that my baby is blessed with mystical powers. She has been the most wonderful addition to both of our families.   It is as if we were all waiting for her to be complete and didn’t know it. Even though she does not speak English yet, and we are unable to understand her wonderfully melodic language, she has taught us quite a lot.   Before she arrived I was quite capable of rushing through a day performing tasks without taking the time to have any serious reflection. Now, she makes me pause. It's hard to change a dirty diaper without paying attention!   Also, the wonder with which she greets the world every day reminds me that it can be a magical place. She has also reminded me that every day is an opportunity to experience great joy. On this particular Sunday while she is napping I am reflecting on things she has taught me.   Here are some of the lessons in no particular order. 1.        Banana can be a perfectly acceptable hair pomade. 2.

Wednesday Words: Baby Talk (speaking a language she understands)

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Yesterday I wanted the baby to stop crawling in the direction she was going and come back me. We were in our great room , which is impossible to close in. Baby in living area with talking table and dinosaur toy, great! Baby in kitchen placing her hands all over the stainless steel refrigerator, not so great. So, I called her name in my best mommy-in-charge voice and said, "Come here!" She completely ignored me in her all too frequent you-are-not-the-boss-of-me-despite-what-you-may-think-attitude.  She didn't even flinch! So, half jokingly and half out of frustration. I started whining really loudly.  Don't you know she looked at me, broke stride, turned around and crawled to me! She literally crawled onto my lap and looked up at me.  I am not exaggerating. Was it coincidence or did I stumble upon the secret that has eluded parents for generations?  Is it possible that in that moment, I decoded baby talk and what sounded like gibberish to me really meant, &qu