Category: childhood

Things You Might Learn About Your First Child, After Having Your Second Child

Hello my beautiful friends! As most of you know by now, we welcomed our sweet baby girl in to the world on March 30, 2017. Frankie Grace is made up of the purest form of sweetness you could ever imagine. We are all so very smitten with her; no one more so than her wonderful big sister, Ayden.

I knew that adding another member to our family would come with some changes and even some growing pains, but all of the anticipation in the world couldn’t have possibly prepared me for the explosion of love that has happened in our family. It’s seriously a beautiful thing. However, and this is an AND statement, bringing a new child in to the mix, definitely came with some fun(ny) discoveries about our first child. Maybe you can relate:

Child #1 Suddenly Has an Instant Growth Spurt

My first born baby-child was a cute little 5 year old the day before I gave birth to #2. But somehow in the span of 24 hours, she became a Giant KID. I am being 100% serious. Her face changed, her eyebrows changed, her hands grew–everything! 2 months later, and I am still staring at her trying to figure out who she is.

Child #1 Becomes Louder than LOUD

Have you always been this loud?! Seriously, child. Why must you YELL when you speak? Why must you speak at such volumes when the itty bitty baby is asleep? In fact, why must you speak at all? Just kidding… sort of.

Child #1 Does Not Know Her Own Strength

Do you remember Lenny from ‘Of Mice and Men’, when he loved the baby mouse so much that he actually squeezed it to death? Yeah… Fortunately my first child loves (and I mean LOVES), the new baby. Unfortunately, she hasn’t quite figured out that she’s got a good 35 pounds on her baby sis. Can you say aggressive hugging?

Child #1 Has an Incredible Capacity For Love

I knew this kid was a lover, but this new baby sister unlocked an entire new world of feelings for our first. It is quite miraculous to see the instant love and care that our oldest had for her baby sis. Cue allllll the feelings.

Child #1 Wants to Help with Everything

And I mean EVERYTHING. Only it’s not exactly helpful to have an extra little body and set of grabby hands, trying to assist in every little task.

Child #1 Becomes a Monkey Gymnast

Suddenly, every baby contraption and piece of furniture in our home has become a potential jungle gym. I honestly don’t remember if my first born was climbing the walls (quite literally) prior to the arrival of numero dos, but I am sure as heck aware of it now.

Child #1 Has Way too Many Dolls

Speaking of baby contraptions… I am pretty sure that my oldest thinks that all of the baby equipment and swag is for her baby dolls. In fact, I did not realize just how many dolls this child even had in her possession. I can tell you that there are enough to occupy every single baby chair, swing, car seat, basket, bassinet, carrier and changing table, simultaneously.

Child #1 is Incredibly Resilient

As with most things in life, no one can really prepare you for monumental changes, like adding another human to your family dynamic. There will be a transitional period, and it will  make you question your life choices. The good news is, it passes. Child number one will not only survive it, but might just knock your socks off with her resilience through it all.

Does any of this ring true for you? I’d love to hear about your experience!

xo, Em

30 Day No-Yell Challenge

Recently, my husband (gently) let me know that I am ‘a yeller’. I don’t like admitting this or sharing it publicly because who wants to be a yeller?! (Not me). But the fact remains that sometimes, when I feel frustrated or unheard or backed in to a corner by my opinionated 5 year old, I raise my voice. It is effective in that she typically submits when I reach that point, however, it is also met with fear. And then her fear is met with my own guilt. Kind of an ugly cycle.

If you struggle with yelling at your children, take on this 30-day, No-Yell Challenge with a community of other mamas. http://chasingayden.com/30-day-no-yell-challenge

I grew up in a loud house. There were 4 of us, and we are all talkers. Things often got loud-very loud. It was almost as if in order to be ‘heard’, you had to be loud. No one is to blame for this, it is just the way things were. After Mike pointed out my yell-y ways, I started reflecting on this. I am not in the business of pointing fingers and placing blame, but I do have a genuine interest in understanding why things are the way they are. I find it to be helpful in breaking less-than-desirable habits or patterns.

At a baby shower on Sunday, I sat with a friend I trust, and admitted to her that I am a yeller, but that I no longer want to be a yeller. To my surprise, she disclosed that she too is a yeller. I was kind of relieved, because this is a fellow mama who I admire and respect. I felt like less of a schmuck to be in such good company. It didn’t change the fact that I still had this character defect to sort out, but it did remind me that I am not alone in this. We pinky-promised that ‘just for today’, we would not yell at our children.

On Monday I realized I hadn’t raised my voice once, on Sunday. It got me thinking about the power of accountability. It also got me thinking about how I was going to potentially break myself of this yelling business. I started thinking of ways I could divert myself from yelling. Here are a few ideas I have come up with:

  • When I feel like yelling, I could actually say “I feel like yelling”. Sometimes labeling the behavior takes the power out of it.
  • I could find ways to be accountable to my family, by letting them know that I don’t want to be a yeller anymore. I could employ them to help me break the habit.
  • I could sing out instead of yelling–like literally sing. (A suggestion from my fellow yeller mama on Sunday).
  • Instead of repeating myself to the point of anger, I could set an immediate consequence for my child, thus averting the need to yell.
  • I could employ other mamas to take on a 30 day, no-yell challenge with me. 😉

So this brings me to that final idea… After learning that a mama who I have often placed on a pedestal, was actually struggling with the same issues as me, it made me realize there are probably a lot of us who don’t like how we feel when we raise our voices in anger. I heavily rely on my mama community for so many other areas of support; why not this too?

‘They’ say it takes 30 days to create a good habit, so I have decided to challenge myself to a 30 day no-yell challenge. And I am inviting anyone who wants to, to join this challenge. My only rule for myself in taking on this challenge, is to forgive myself when I fall short (because it is bound to happen), and to continue with the 30 days no matter what. Awareness leads to willingness, and willingness leads to the ability to change. If this speaks to you at all, I hope you will join me!

See you on the quiet-side!

xo, Em

 

The Most Ridiculous Reasons Kids Throw Tantrums

The other night we gave Ayden a bath, brushed her teeth and her hair, dressed her in pj’s, read her a bedtime story and kissed her goodnight. We then proceeded to lay down and watch Netflix, because that’s how we like to party. About 15 minutes later, she called us in because she was thirsty; this is pretty standard. Then about 15 minutes later she got out of bed to go potty; also pretty standard. Then, silence. She was asleep, (or so we thought). Suddenly we heard crying–hysterical, tantrum-esque crying.

The most ridiculous reasons kids throw tantrums. A collective and hilarious list from real moms, of the most outlandish reasons that their kids have thrown a tantrum. Find the full list at: http://chasingayden.com/the-most-ridiculous-reasons-that-kids-throw-tantrums

What could possibly set off such despair and frustration to this magnitude, you ask? She had taken her braid out, and was beside herself. Never mind that Mike re-braided her hair for her, (yes, he braids–swoon). She was already in full-blow melt-down mode, and had to be soothed and hugged back to calmness and ultimately sleep.

This got me thinking about all of the seemingly minor and ridiculous reasons that babies, toddlers and kids lose their sh*t. I thought of all the times I have had to hold back laughter in the face of an absurd tantrum. So I took to our Facebook Mama Forum, because I knew someone would be able to relate. I was met with such overwhelmingly hilarious examples of fantastic tantrums, that it inspired this blog post.

Reasons why my toddler / kid / baby had a tantrum:

Because she finished her applesauce. ~Courtney E.

Because it was windy. ~Bequi B.

Because she asked me to cut her sandwich — and then I cut her sandwich. ~Krista B.

Because I took him out of his carseat when we got home. ~Amanda H.

Because I wouldn’t let her play in the thorny bushes. ~Grace F.

Because she couldn’t go down the drain with the bath water. ~Mary J.

Because his dad dipped a chicken nugget in his BBQ sauce. ~Mary J.

Because I wouldn’t let her eat a Lego. ~Brenda T.

Because I took away the iPad. ~Samantha P.

Because she took her shoe off. ~Elyse H.

Because I asked her if she wanted a graham cracker, (her favorite). ~Heather C.

He wanted water instead of milk. ~Annika L.

He wanted the dog to sit. ~Annika L.

He wanted the light on, then off. ~Annika L.

 Because he threw his cars on the floor. ~Annika L.

Because I wouldn’t let him play with the vacuum. ~Sofia L.

Because his sister (who is 1) wouldn’t “rescue” him from the couch when he asked her to. ~Elizabeth J.

She wanted the scissors. ~Jonna W.

Because she wanted to eat a rock, and I wouldn’t let her. ~Lindsay G.

Because her Minnie was facing the wrong way in bed. ~Katie M.

Because I got off the couch to pee. ~Tara S.

Because she doesn’t have ‘ice powers’. like Elsa. ~Maggie R.

Because I said I was going to take a shower. ~Cynthia M.

Because she wanted to take the trash out of the trash can. ~Jonna W.

Because I clapped too soon thinking her solo singing performance in the living room was finished… ~Somer S.

Because I wouldn’t let her wear her pjs to school. ~Katrina L.

Because my parents house wasn’t ‘shiny’. ~Elizabeth D.

Because the movie ended. ~Amber N.

Because I was doing laundry. ~Stacy D.

She flipped out because I said her brother was getting in the bath after she said she wanted to take a bath with him… ~Sarah C.

Because she didn’t like the color of her socks. ~Ashley M.

Because I sneezed. ~Amy S.

I put a short sleeved shirt on him in 85 degree weather.
I know, I’m terrible…
~Amanda R.

Because her older sister tried to share a banana with her. ~Heidi S.

Because I wouldn’t let him bite me. ~Isabella P.

Because her sleeping beauty dress was too long to walk in without tripping, so I tucked it into her shorts band. ~Ashley D.

 Because I was changing her one year old sisters diaper, and I wouldn’t show her the poop. ~   Molly L.

Because she dropped her stuffed animal on the ground. ~Jonna W.

Because his push-pop broke. ~Kelly G.

Did any of these resonate with you? What are some of the best reasons that your kids have thrown tantrums? Comment below, and add to the growing list. A special thanks, to my Facebook mamas!

xo, Em

Tavi’s Fairy Festival

When Ayden was even littler than she is now and would tell me that she didn’t want to go to sleep, I would ask her to close her eyes and I would tell her stories about pretty, colorful fairies. She loved this. Usually she was one of the fairies in the story (the pink or blue one), and our dog Petey was ‘the brown fairy’. When she got a little older and said she was afraid to go to sleep, I would tell her to close her eyes and think of the fairies. To this day (at 3 1/2), she still claims to dream of the fairies every night.

Tavi's Fairy Festival // a charity event celebrating the life of a child. http://chasingayden.com/tavis-fairy-festival

When my friend Steph told me about a ‘Fairy Festival’ for children that she was working on, you can imagine my instant interest and excitement. Then I learned that the festival was to honor a sweet little girl named Tavi, who had passed away at 7 years old.

I read Tavi’s story, beautifully written by her father, and it touched my heart. Stories like Tavi and her family’s are so important to share not only to continue her legacy, but to remind us that life is oh-so precious, and time with our loved ones is most important.

Tavi with her mom

Tavi’s Fairy Festival is set to become an annual celebration of her life, her joy and her wonder. Tickets are only $10 a piece, with a special $40 family pack option, with proceeds going to charity.

The festival will include things like: Fairy House Story Time (as Tavi loved books), a Fairy garden adventure, music, dancing, a movie in the garden, a Fairy marketplace, a Fairy sweet shop, a real Fairy Princess and more.

Details are as follows:
Saturday, April 18, 2015      5:30pm – 9:00pm

24 Julia Street   Ladera Ranch, Ca 92694

Become a sponsor here

Get tickets here

Read Tavi’s Story here

xo, Em

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