How Sign Language Can Keep You (and Your Little One) From Tears

Standing in the store with a screaming, hungry, fussy baby is no fun...Now add a screaming, fussy, "pay attention to me!" toddler to the mix...


Everyone is staring.

Half wondering what you will do and half judging you for the fact that you can't seem to get your act together in the middle of the store.

But how do you even begin to handle this type of thing? How do you communicate with your unconsolable teary eyed toddler, while you are trying to feed or pacify your screaming infant?

The answer may seem strange, but it is American Sign Language.


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You may be wondering why AMERICAN Sign Language and you can read more about that in "What is the difference between American Sign Language and Just Plain Sign Language", but let's get back to those screaming kiddos.

If you have no American Sign Language (ASL) experience, you are stuck trying to do whatever it takes to finish your shopping trip, while pacifying screaming children or to just get up and leave because it is not worth the trouble to try and get through a simple shopping trip with screaming kids.

This is where the beauty of ASL enters! With just a few signs you and your little one can start to understand each other more effectively and efficiently!

For those of you with infants who are not verbal yet ASL allows you to communicate before they can speak and allows your little one to tel you what they need before they can voice it to you.

Now for those of you with older children, ASL is still an important language to learn because if you have ever had a toddler you know that they are not the best at expressing their emotions, but tend to lean towards screaming or the dreaded tantrum in order for you to figure out what they need, or want.

With American Sign Language that grey area is taken out allowing parent and child to communicate better before and during a tantrum to help relinquish the effects and longevity of the tantrum.

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to easily ask your child if they were tired, hungry, thirsty, or mad? Do you think this would make your life easier?

Well let me assure you that it can!

I am so sure that you will be loving the transition in your life when using American Sign Language that I have created a free 2 week Email course that will help you get started and discover all of the wonderful things ASL can offer you and your family! Did I mention that you also get a fun intro into Sensory play?

So what exactly do you get in this 14 day Email Course

You will learn 2 signs every other day, and get a sensory activity to practice those signs on the other days.

This will help your little one and you solidify the signs in your mind by seeing saying and doing. By using all of these learning methods you will actually retain what you learn in this free course instead of having it only hang out in your brain for 72 hours.

Photo Credit of The Peak Performance Center 

This is only the first step to learning American Sign Language though.

Vocabulary is wonderful, but remember how I said you should do it right the first time? Well you are going to want to follow up with more language structure so that you and your child can actually communicate in American Sign Language an not just know a lot of vocabulary. 

Just like teaching your child Spanish instead of Spanglish, Sign Language takes work, but it will be beneficial for years to come for you and your child.

So what are you waiting for!? Get started on this amazing journey to learn all about American Sign Language!

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Joshua: The (Almost Always) Courageous (Featuring The Peculiar Treasures)


I am so excited to introduce this wonderful lady to you all! I started poking around her blog a few months ago and FELL IN LOVE with what she talks about and I think you will too!


So (drumroll please!) Without further ado, Kristin from The Peculiar Treasure!




She has a great post for us talking about Joshua so dig in and tell us what you are thinking!


A photo by Todd Quackenbush.


I’m not going to lie- sometimes I can be a big weenie when it comes to things that scare me. Ask me to go talk to a stranger, invite someone who looks sad to sit at our lunch table, or ask the embarrassing question that no one else is willing to ask, and I’m your girl! But ask me to meet someone for an interview by myself, dance in front of a crowd, or do any sort of public speaking, and you’ll see a totally different woman. The difference? The first set of tasks doesn’t scare me at all. The second set absolutely does!


But this begs the question, what is courage? Because if courage is simply doing things that scare other people, but don’t scare me, then boy am I courageous! But something tells me that isn’t exactly what God had in mind when he told us to be courageous.



Joshua 1:9 is probably the most quoted verse from the book of Joshua- and for good reason! But did you know that within the first chapter of Joshua, God had already said “Be strong and courageous” two other times?


6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”


Sometimes, I fear that people skip over this far too quickly (myself included).


We tend to read it and think, “Ok, I will be courageous and strong today during my presentation. And I will do great”. And while there isn’t anything wrong with drawing courage from this verse, there is a lot more to it- and to all of Joshua- than that.


Courage and Faithfulness

The thing about God telling Joshua to be strong and courageous, is that that’s not all He said. What He really said was, (and I’m paraphrasing): “Be strong and courageous. Cling on to me, and seek me, and trust me. That is where your courage should come from. Keep my commands near, live by them, and trust me for all I’ve promised”.


So when we say, “I’m a Christian. I can have courage and do well on this project”, that’s great and all, but God is asking for far more than us just declaring that we will do well. He is asking us to trust HIM.


Courage has nothing to do with trusting our own abilities. Courage- real courage- is trusting God and knowing that He is in control, leading, and holding us.
Throughout the book of Joshua, Joshua seeks God, listens for God, and obeys God. He trusts God to 1.) do what He has already promised, and 2.) continue leading him all through his life.


There is one incident however, in Joshua 9:14 that Joshua hastily took a deal with some men he met on the outskirts of the city. He did not consult God about this (he was trusting his own wisdom and desires, instead of seeking God first). This resulted in Joshua being tricked by the men he made a deal with.


When I read that passage, I don’t naturally think of Joshua’s sin as a lack of courage. But if we define being courageous as trusting what God has commanded us to do, living by it, and seeking Him in all things (especially when things aren’t black and white), then in this moment, Joshua was not being courageous. He was, in true human fashion, being a weenie.



But you know what? We all have those moments. Joshua did not seek God, and that was a bad thing, but God had mercy on him. And God has mercy on us, too.


He only asks that we work towards being courageous and trusting Him the next time around.


So next time we are afraid, we need to remember that courage is the act of trusting God, no matter how scared we are, and no matter how difficult things look. We are to trust that He will help us accomplish what we need to accomplish, that He will help us in times of trouble, and that He is taking care of every aspect of our lives. That, dear friends, is courage. And that is what God asks of us.


Don’t forget to check out more great content at Kristen’s blog The Peculiar Treasure



Just Keep Swimming: Mess Free Sensory Bin

Sensory comes in all shapes and sizes and as we get towards the end of a beautiful summer, I would like to introduce you to a fun in the sun, or in the living room, sensory bin that is sure to please. With no water needed your little one can go on an under sea adventure to find Nemo and Dory!

My daughter was obsessed with this activity and her friends enjoyed finding the multiple Dory and Nemo figures we placed in the bin.

To get started you will need a long and shallow bin. I love the ones that fit under the bed or crib because I can leave my sensory gear in there or put things like diapers and clothes in them later! Here is the one I like best, and use often.

You will also need a good amount of blue toys. I love the ball pit balls we have for my daughter because I can use them for multiple sensory bins and they are just fun to play with! They are also great for little hands! Think of all the cool stuff you can do with these! I also put all our soft blocks in this bin to give a few textures and they built blue “water” cities with them.

Finally, you will need at least one Nemo and Dory toy. If your child is as obsessed as mine this will be an easy find, which is why we had multiple Nemos and Dorys in our box. You can get a bath toy set (great for real water fun) or this figure set to find even more friends!

Now just have fun under the sea finding all your fishy friends! And don’t forget, “Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming, What do we do we swim, swim.”


Show me some of your sensory bins and interesting things you put in them!


*This post contains affiliate links, which I receive compensation from if you purchase the item(s). You will be redirected to the affiliate page after clicking on the link, which may be highlighted words, pictures, or other format link. Thank you for your support of this site!

Reminders of Victory-Joshua 3-GMG

Remember how when God goes before us good things happen? Well chapter 3 is a great illustration of that! The Ark of the Covenant (God) literally went before the people. Did you catch the part where God was going before them because they hadn’t been that way before? (verse 4)

He was paving the way for them to take the Promise Land and claim victory. They just had to show up and follow God!

God goes a step farther and parts the Jordan so they can walk across on dry land, not muddy ground—dry ground. Water moving and it being dry instantly if a big deal! I think this was really to remind Israel how and by whom they gained their freedom from Egypt, as well as foreshadow victory for the nation.

How are you reminded about God’s victory in your life? Is there something special that reminds you? Is there a moment you will never forget?

For our family it is moving into our house. My husband and I were not sure we would ever be able to own a home with me staying at home with the littles and him working his way up the ladder. It was stressful renting and moving and renting and moving again. We felt like we were stuck! But you know what, God came through in His timing. If it had been my timing of what I thought was right, we would not have found our perfect house, we may have had a roadside baby (crazy right?!), and it may have taken us a lot longer to move.

Thank God, God is God and I am not! I had nothing figured out the whole time, everything happened and there is no way we could say it wasn’t God. I still walk in the door and can’t believe that this place is ours!

But enough about me, I want to hear your story… Comment below and tell me what reminds you of the victories you’ve seen in your life.

Holy Ground Flashbacks-Joshua 5-GMG

Did anyone else do a double take at the end of this chapter!? When I read that Joshua was told to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground, I had a flashback to Moses with the burning bush. Isn’t it cool that God was making Himself so known to the people of Israel!

I find it interesting that He is also the Commander of God’s army (Jesus?). We know Joshua worshipped Him and (at least in my NKJV Bible) every term referring to this Commander is capitalized, which references God, so either God is the Commander of God’s army, OR Joshua is totally meeting Jesus face to face (which is more likely because 1. Joshua calls Him Lord, 2. Joshua worships Him, and 3. Joshua doesn’t die at the sight of His face{Exodus 33:20})

(Humming “I’m in the Lord’s Army)

But, back to the first part of the chapter… Joshua is commanded to circumcise all the men who were born in the wilderness because it had not been done yet. This is part of the new beginning we talked about before, and it was a reminder of the covenant God made with Abraham, which is where the circumcision started.

Another important quick detail is that the manna stopped coming. This was one of the first steps of taking in the land because they were able to eat of the land that whole year.

These last few chapter, in hindsight, are preparation for the people before they take over Jericho.

Playing Together: The Importance of Sensory Play (Guest Post Featured on Rookie Parenting)

As a parent helping your child learn is one of the most important things to you, and sensory play is a fun and engaging way for your child to excel in many different areas. Sensory play encourages scientific processes because problems are solved using the five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. By stimulating your child’s senses, you are helping them develop creatively, socially and emotionally, cognitively, linguistically and physically through simply playing with them.

You have probably seen your child play with the most inexpensive “toys” like a paper towel roll, a pot and a spoon, or straws. Your child is using anything and everything to explore the world around them and encouraging this behavior will benefit you and your child by letting your child explore and create and giving you the opportunity to discuss what is happening in any given project.

boy-958457_1280By stimulating your child’s senses you are helping their brain develop because when a sense is engaged neural pathways are being created to assist with further learning in later years.

Sensory play is not only important for babies and toddlers, who often have the time to play and explore at home, but also for preschoolers and elementary children. When your child is allowed to use multiple senses to accomplish a task, they will learn more from the experience and retain more information. This ideal does not change as you get older, even adults retain more information when multiple senses are engaged! Even you are creating new neural pathways in your brain when engaging in sensory play, which can help negate Alzheimer’s(1), assist in creative thinking, problem solving, and time needed to respond to a catastrophic situation (2). Creating time for your child, of any age, to engage in sensory play is imperative for their long-time learning and health.

Creating time for your child, of any age, to engage in sensory play is imperative for their long-time learning and health. Click To Tweet


So how do you start integrating sensory play into your everyday life? The good news is it is simple! By taking objects that you already have in the house you can create many fun experiences for you and your child. For example, take a colander and spaghetti noodles (or pipe cleaner) and challenge your child to put the noodles in the holes. They will be drawn to this experience and will start to develop basic motor skills as well as problem solving skills when they break IMG_20160824_210528the spaghetti noodles.


For older children play-doh and fondant are great ways to teach sensory play, as well as skills that your child can

use in the future such as baking a cake. Fondant can be used to make beautiful designs, but it takes time and patience to get the results wanted, both are needed skills in everyday decision-making and life.



Don’t be afraid to try something new and make a mess! This is a great time to bond with your child and create fun memories that will last a lifetime!

For tips on handling the mess, more sensory ideas, and using American Sign Language with your child (also great for sensory play!) visit imaginationsigning.comis designReferences:

(1) How to Help the Ones We Love Symptoms and Strategies for:. (2016). Retrieved August 25,
2016, from

(2) Center for Brain Health. (2013, September 9). Retrieved August 25, 2016, from

Other Resources:

Good Habits Make You Feel Like You’re Gonna Die. Published on May 31, 2012 by Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D. in Your Neurochemical Self

Getting Messy: Childs Play, the Mess It Creates, and How to Handle It

What is Sensory Play?

Socially Addicted: Kids and the Media

12809518_10154087273029382_4024219675046577160_nThe weather finally let up long enough for my husband and I to take our toddler to the park and boy was she excited! While she dug in the muddy rocks and climbed up the stairs to the slide, several teenage boys walked into the little gated park. I was worried they would cause some trouble, however, they proceeded to sit on the swings, one next to the other, and pull out their smart phones. I was shocked that the first thing they wanted to do was play on their phones when they were right next to each other and could have played tag, tug of war, or built a fort. I looked over at my husband and said, “I don’t remember doing that as a kid!”. We eventually started back home and even my husband, while pushing the stroller, was on his phone. My head spun with the realization that this was a huge problem, not only for kids, but even adults in every generation. We are so consumed by what this little box can tell us that we are missing the big picture of everyday life! No wonder children get in trouble, marriages are falling apart, and people lack basic communication skills. So, what can you do as a parent with children and maybe even spouses that have the phone, computer, or Ipad glued to their hand?

First off, be the example.

I know sometimes work or that interesting story on Facebook can seem more important, but when your spouse wants to talk or your toddler is tugging on you to come build blocks or play dolls, GO! For the love of all things good, GO! Your spouse will be appreciative that you chose to have some quality time with them and your child will understand that everything has a place and that they ARE MORE IMPORTANT than whatever can wait on your device.

Set time aside for your digital work, especially if you have to do work at home or you work from home.2

Being a blogger, I have to wait until my kids are in bed and my husband is at work to get any good content out. Having a toddler makes it almost impossible to be pressing buttons and not have her right in my lap “helping” bring you this dgjhksdgjndsvk siu fsjdg sdg sjdn. You see what I mean. This makes my life less stressful because I’m not trying to balance spend time with husband before he goes to work and take care of baby who needs me, what seems like, every second. I also have more time to just sit and do instead of being interrupted a million times with snack requests and where something is in the drawer.

Limit your child(ren)s time using media.

This will benefit them in many ways from being able to sleep better, entertain themselves without media, and allow them to learn things media cannot give (such as practicing the piano or reading a book). I understand most things can be done on the internet, but helping your child learn how to function outside the walls of the World Wide Web will help them function in society and communicate better with others.

Set up activities that do not associate media into your child(ren)s schedule as well as your own.

Go swimming, pick up a real book, color, paint, draw, go for a walk, have a picnic, go to a museum, the activities are endless! These activities will help to strengthen problem solving skills (because weird things happen in the real world), and it gives you a chance for a multitude of teachable moments. For example, let’s say you decide to go to the Children’s Museum with your kids and another child falls and gets hurt or finds they are lost? This is a great time to help the child together and to stop for a moment and talk about compassion and how we can help others around us. These hands on lessons will be a much better benefit for teaching than anything Dora, Doc McStuffins, or Barney can teach.

Take a moment to check out the mess free Finding Nemo Inspired Sensory Bin Activity to get you started!

Finally, instead of using media, whether television or an app on your phone, as a babysitter for your kids try giving them small things to do or pre-preparing activities to keep them distracted while you do the dishes.

I am guilty of this one, big time! If I want to take a shower Mickey Mouse Club House is calling my daughters name! And I am by no means saying that the occasional show while you get something done is always bad, but, just like we like to say about food, everything in proportion. If you say your kids can only have two hours of media time, whether it was the babysitter or not, two hours is it. If you bend on this rule, they will figure it out fast, those smart kids! This would be a great time to sign them up for a class or make them practice piano so you can have a few minutes, but they are not engrossed in the latest Bachelor at 5 years old.

Media is by no means a bad thing. It is actually wonderful, if it is used wisely. Don’t worry about trying to keep it away from your kids completely because they will find it, but be aware of how much they are on it as well as what they are watching and playing. What do you do to manage the media in your house? Let us know in the comments below!


Getting Messy: Childs Play, the Mess It Creates, and How to Handle It


I came across an interesting conversation today while visiting Starbucks for my favorite Venti Frappuccino for my birthday. I had my 18 month old in my arms with a “pupaccino” in her hands eating the whip cream out of this adorable little Starbucks cup (because you know the Starbucks addicts start our kids early haha) as I waited for my drink to get done. A young lady mentioned that I was a cool mom for getting my 18 month old daughter a “pupaccino” and not freaking out that she was covered in it. It honestly didn’t even occur to me that she was rubbing it all over her face, hair, and shirt until she mentioned it. I just didn’t have a problem with my child being dirty because baby wipes or baths fix everything! However, in teaching classes over the past year in a small town, I have come to realize that many parents in more affluent families do not want their children getting dirty. It has become a sort of bad word to talk about crafts or sensory play that may make Johnny or Susie’s clothes a mess. I find this to be very sad because some of the best learning is done during play, especially messy play. Do you remember going out and making mud pies and finding worms (and possibly eating said worms?)? Well, congratulations, you made it to adulthood and your children will make it too, but they need the natural stimulation of play to help them develop to the best of their ability. I myself was very intimidated by the mess my house could quickly become with sensory play or digging in the dirt, however, there are ways to make things easier to clean up. Here are a few ideas on how to get started in Sensory and outdoor play without spending hours cleaning up after it. Once you have tried a few, I am certain you will see the benefit as well as how to handle the mess without ruining you carpet.

When introducing your child to having shaving cream, paint, or other messy play start in the bathtub.

-There are so many fun things you can do in the bathtub with and without water present, one of these is shaving cream. My daughter loves to spread it around and draw pictures in it. We write her name and different numbers and shapes as well. This gives me an opportunity to explain shapes and early writing skills as well as gives her a sensory activity to do while we clean her up. It’s a win-win because she gets to play and she gets clean!!! You can do this activity with or without water, we tend to use water so we can watch the shaving cream dissipate as well. You can read more about shaving cream ideas here.

-Homemade paint is a great bathtub activity because you can use many different ingredients (which is wonderful if you or your child has an allergy) and many of these recipes are edible (so if someone wants to take a taste it is not the end of the world!). You can see activities and recipes for homemade paint here. Grab a few cheap paintbrushes and your homemade paint and let your little ones paint with or without water and when you’re all done wash it away!

Try a sensory table you can put outside.

-Many places such as Target and Walmart make water tables that you can put many different sensory items into. Try using rice and beans out on the porch for a fun sensory experience and then when you are done sweep it up and throw it away! No messy kitchen needed!

Use a bucket inside of a bucket to keep items contained.

This is great for sand! Living in Colorado where the weather changes like a woman who is PMSing I never know when I can take the littles outside, but this method keeps everything contained and off my carpet! Just place your sensory bin into a bigger bin that gives you about 2”-3” of space on all sides and set your little one in the small bin. That way if a bit of sand gets thrown out it will still be contained and easily put back where it belongs. Click here to see some great ideas for sand play!

Put paint into a bag

Sometimes getting in any mess is not something that needs to happen like when you have a really little one who sticks EVERYTHING in their mouth. Get a gallon sized Ziplock bag, squirt a few colors that will not turn brown or black into the bag, zip AND tape it shut, and then tape it to your floor or highchair for baby to mush around. The reason I say colors that will not turn brown is because it turns brown fast! Use primary colors such as blue and yellow and then you have a teaching moment to talk about how the colors made green. Look at some other ideas here.

Put a drop cloth or painters plastic down.painting-1067686_1920

Finally, you can always use a drop cloth or painters plastic to cover up the space you need kept clean. My one advise on this, however, is if you have a toddler make sure they are somewhat contained or you are in arms reach because if you have a runner like me, your not so messy, messy project will be all over your house. This will make for a lot of clean up, but you will also see a lot of smiles and giggles as you chase your child around the house. So mess for memories.


Do you have any great photos of a #messformemories with your child? I would love to see them and here your story because life is messy and sometimes you just have to #YOLO

P.S. Want a great Sensory activity you can do right now with no mess (or while you clean the mess)? Check out our Finding Nemo inspired Sensory Bin for those moments when a mess is just too much!




Seven Wonders of the Pregnancy World


*This post contains affiliate links that help me keep bringing you free content.

I have been sitting on this post for awhile because I am crazy busy being a Mommy to a very lively toddler (read about surviving pregnancy the second time here) and trying to run my business before I have to take a break when baby #2 comes along. But, I have been thinking about all the wonderful things pregnancy brings, as well as all the beautiful things people have created to make our lives easier. I compiled this list in no order, but I think you will agree that these seven things are pretty amazing.


1. Zofran


If you have been super nauseous during pregnancy, like me, you have probably been prescribed some form of Zofran. I love, what we call, the puky pill! It was a life saver with my daughter when I had to still get up and go to college and work like an adult and when I have to teach classes now. My Mother-in-Law always says she wishes they would have had a magic pill when she was pregnant. But, she did give really good advice on how to throw-up into your purse with discretion.


2. Tylenol


Back pain anyone? When my weight shifted in both pregnancies I was in a lot of pain the first few weeks and Tylenol was what saved me from laying in bed crying because I couldn’t pick up my screaming toddler.


3. Pregnancy Body Pillow


This is an AWESOME invention that makes sleeping possible! I was skeptical the first time around, but after I wore the pillow in, it was and is wonderful. I love that I can move it in a million different ways to ease pain and that I can lay in almost the same position on either side without flipping the pillow back and forth. This is super convenient for me because I get restless at night sometimes and like to be able to lay on whatever side I choose. Check out the pillow that I bought by clicking on the photo below.



4. Antacids


This pregnancy, I LOVE savory foods like tomatoes and pasta, but I could die from the heartburn that they make for. I live with Tums in my purse because I don’t want to be tasting what I ate for the next several hours and have a puky feeling from it. And if you don’t have heartburn while you are pregnant, count yourself blessed!


5. The Baby Kicking


Being pregnant is not my favorite past time, however, I love feeling the baby move around inside me. It is one of those weird things you have to experience to realize how wonderful and awesome it is. It is really cool when your husband and toddler can start feeling those little movements too. My husband said that is when it really became real that we were having a baby because he could experience it too.




6. Prenatal Vitamins


I know that these don’t seem like a big deal and I will be the first to admit I forget to take them sometimes, but they can make you feel better. During those first few months of feeling sick, or your whole pregnancy, taking them at different times during the day can help ease the nausea. I liked taking mine at night because it made it easier to take them as well as made me feel better in the morning. Taking them in the morning was not an option because I had a version of pregnancy called all day sickness, whoever titled it morning sickness lied! Ask your doctor about good times to take your prenatal based on how you are feeling.


7. Holding your baby for the first time


I was so nervous when I got to see my daughter for the first time. It was like meeting a celebrity that you had talked about for months meeting and it was finally happening! My husband and I both had no idea what to say and kept repeating, “Hi baby! I love you! Hi!” like we were star struck teenagers. But when that little precious face looked up at me and smiled, I was in love forever. I wish I would have had someone taking pictures of that moment because I can remember it, but I would love to see it on my wall in a frame.




What moments or life saving products would you put in your 7 Wonders of the Pregnancy World list? Let me know by commenting below or feel free to give me a shout!

happy mommying




How to be Pregnant with a Toddler Under Two and Survive



Let’s start with the obvious, while you are throwing up and have a little person watching you gibbering things you don’t understand; pregnancy is A LOT harder the second time around.

With your first child, you read the cute advice people blogged about sleeping when you could, having an excuse to not do anything strenuous, and getting to eat whatever you want for two and blaming it on the adorable little human growing inside your belly.

Well, as I am sure you are finding out, sleeping is over rated (even though you could collapse with pregnancy and toddler exhaustion), having a toddler and picking them up or walking them up and down stairs IS strenuous, and whenever you have food in front of you most of it goes to the toddler who acts like you haven’t fed them in a week, even though they ate twenty minutes ago. Being a Mommy now seems more difficult than ever, so how can you survive it?


1. Put your toddler to bed early.

This may sound like obvious advice as well as difficult if your little one enjoys staying up late, but try it. Start by starting bedtime a half hour earlier every three nights until you get to the desired time. Before we were married, my husband and I were being mentored by a couple with three kids. When 7pm rolled around, all three were in bed and we were like, “Man, this is an early bedtime!” We found out though, that it can save your sanity, give you some much needed time alone to rest or go to the bathroom by yourself (THAT NEVER HAPPENS!), and help your marriage. And, guess what? Our little girl is in bed by 6:30pm every night!

2. When you have some alone time, don’t feel like you need to make the house look good.

If you are anything like me, you are reading this blog to find ways to be the most productive you can with the little energy and time you possess. However, you have to remember that you do have a lot less energy right now.

Give yourself a break!

I know there are dishes in the sink and the laundry looks like it may never end, but slow down! When that new bundle of preciousness pops out, you are going to get even less done so learn this lesson now, enjoy the moments with your toddler because the laundry and dishes will always be there.

Write yourself a list of things you want to accomplish, but don’t expect them to get done all in one day. Set a goal to get two reasonably sized tasks done during the day and if you get more done than two give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t stress over it.

Your husband and your toddler love you and, honestly, probably don’t mind the mess they are making anyways. (And if hubby does mind, hand him the list and he can check off a few for you. Give and take right?) TAKE A BREAK and do what helps you relax. You still are carrying another baby, even though you have more to do this time.

3. Give your husband chores.

My husband works A LOT, so when we got pregnant while nursing and on birth control, I didn’t want him to feel like coming home meant more work.

So I did EVERYTHING and if something went by the wayside, like spending enough time with my toddler, I felt like the worst person on the planet.

My house was clean, but my little girl went to bed without having the quality time she needed from Mommy and Daddy didn’t get home until after she was asleep. The honest truth is, you got into this together and you have to work together. That is marriage! Love each other, be there for each other, and help each other with what needs to get done because if you don’t someone is always going to either be bitter because they do everything or upset because the, visible never ending, mess of having a little kid is always there.

After a long conversation on what we both wanted to see or needed done, my husband and I agreed that I focus on dishes and laundry and he takes out the trash and cleans the bathroom while we share vacuuming duty. Let me tell you though, just because your jobs get done doesn’t mean the bathroom will get cleaned every week (or that it got clean once in four months) and you have to let it go and tell your husband when there are no bowls to wash one. ☺

woman-423608_19204. Whether you work or stay home, get out by yourself, even if only for a few minutes.

Being a mostly stay-at-home mom with a part-time (and a half) job, I am right in the middle of both worlds so I understand that there seems to be no time no matter which world you are in.

However, you need a moment where you don’t have to meet a deadline and you don’t have a toddler on your leg. Even if you don’t have a lot of money for pampering (we sure didn’t), treat yourself to coffee or a meal at a restaurant by yourself or with a close friend so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

I have been really bad about this one, so I am preaching to the choir, but I love to go to Starbucks or the craft store and either get myself a coffee/tea or buy some fun craft I want to try during my “I put my baby to sleep early time” (or both).

Pampering yourself with little things doesn’t have to be pricey. Be wise about your budget, but put a little money aside for you and your husband for spending money each month (Read my post on how to have fun on a small budget here). Even if you only get $10 a piece, that is enough for coffee or a meal with a friend.


5. Start teaching your toddler small ways to help and take care of themselves.

I know that sweet toddler was JUST a baby and is still your baby, but this will serve you well now and when you are feeding your new baby ALL THE TIME. We started our daughter off watching Daniel Tiger, which is a blessing from heaven!

They have cute songs about being a big helper and what it is like having a new baby come into the family. (Seriously, watch this clip and buy the DVD about his baby coming here. You can thank me later.)

At first we sang the songs together and when my daughter did a task that we asked like placing a stuffed toy in her toy box or not shutting the door, we praised her. Soon we added in little plastic drawers so that she could learn that everything has a place, and then we showed her where those places were. This does not happen over night and will take months of patients, but when your toddler can put all her dolls in the doll drawer and can find the blocks she is in love with you will be grateful. (If you would like to see our set-up click here.)

If you have been a Mommy to a small toddler while pregnant or are in the swing of it what would you suggest? Did you try any of or all of the suggestions above? Did they work for you? I love hearing what worked and what didn’t and any other opinion or advice you have so always feel free to comment or contact me.


happy mommying


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