I'm a yeller. I never really realized it, until J pointed it out one day. I grew up in a house of yellers, so it just seemed normal to me. And, look, I don't think there's a toddler out there who hasn't driven their parent to yelling at least some of the time. But I wanted to yell less.
As our little ones grow, I've been thinking more about what will be the traditions and rituals that help provide structure and stability to our lives. I think back on my childhood and the rituals that marked it; a lot revolve around the holidays (and, apparently, food). The lamb with mint jelly my mom would make for Passover; my aunt Jill's "better than Robert Redford" dessert at Thanksgiving; breakfast burritos on the beach with my sister the day after Thanksgiving; going to Disneyland on my birthday (perks of growing up in Southern California!).
Oh, friends. I am exhausted. I am exhausted, and the floor in my living room is covered in scattered toys (many of which are painfully prickly to a bare foot) and beneath the toys, I am sure, despite my best efforts, is a fine layer of pee.
Happy Labor Day, y'all! Grateful for this extra day off, even as we spend it cooped up inside, potty training a toddler who keeps expressing sadness at losing her diapers. Sigh. Hopefully your plans involved more fun and fewer arguments. If you're still trying to think of what to bring to your potluck/BBQ/picnic, I've rounded up some of our favorites from the archives and around the web. And if you have any potty training tips, please share them in the comments below!
I've always loved books. I was that kid in elementary school who always had a book on the playground, and as an adult, I've yet to live in an apartment with adequate bookshelf space for a collection that never stops growing. Connecting with a new book always elicits a thrill, and if I'm feeling down in the dumps, opening an old favorite can feel like a comforting hug from a good friend.
When I first found out I was pregnant with P1, one of the things I most looked forward to sharing with my future kid was my love of reading. I was eager to share my old favorites (Anne of Green Gables!) and discover new ones.
I asked, and you guys answered! It was great to hear from so many parents with different philosophies, perspectives and experiences. Parents with babies, parents with toddlers, parents with big kids - each stage brings its own challenges and rewards. And it looks like a lot of us, while not in exactly the same boat, have experienced a ride on the sea of sleeplessness.
Sleep is exhausting. Or, rather, teaching kids (specifically, my kids, though I have a sense I'm not alone in this boat) to sleep is exhausting.
I'll preface this by saying: I've read the books. I've read the books, the web sites by sleep experts, the blogs by other moms, the Babycenter boards and every other resource out there. We've tried routines, sleep cues, special sleepwear, and every trick we've encountered. If there's a suggestion, we've tried it. Our kids haven't met a magic sleep trick that one or both of them hasn't been able to best.
Sometimes, it feels like we're under siege. (Is that dramatic? Sleep deprivation is a recognized method of torture.).