Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Toddler Tuesday: Sloane's Choreography

I nearly forgot to write another Toddler Tuesday post until Sloane made me fall in love with her all over again.

Sloane loves watching YouTube videos, just like her mommy, and I think she knows how to navigate better than I do. She has a handful of videos she gravitates towards whenever she get her hands on my phone. To top the lists are Just Dance Kids videos and Mother Goose Club videos. I thought it was just the music she enjoyed but recently I have noticed that she is remembering the dance moves as well.

Her favorite dance video is I'm Gonna Catch You on the Kids Music YouTube channel. She has watched this video probably over 100 times and she really does know all the dance moves. Now of course she doesn't have the coordination to do them perfectly by any means but she knows them and does them in her own special way along with the song. She does the running motion with her arms, jumps when it says jump, she spins when it says turn around, she really loves doing the baseball batter dance move.

Other honorable mentions from that channel (Kids Music) are Just Dance Kids is Five Little Monkeys and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

Now the video that inspired me to write this post was Mother Goose Clubs "Peek-A-Boo"

This morning Sloane was playing the video, after getting into YouTube and finding it all on her own, and she was dancing around and playing Peek a Boo with her baby doll. It was just so sweet. She knew not only the peek a boo parts but also the I love you part. Of course she can't do it perfectly but she knows to point with her fingers to say "You" like in the video. I wish I could capture this cuteness on video to save forever but she always gets distracted when I pull out the phone to record.

Mother Goose Club on YouTube is just awesome and there are so many different videos that it doesn't get too annoying listening to it ALL DAY LONG.

What kind of music does your child listen to?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Toddle Tuesday: Sloane's Favorite Books

Happy Tuesday everyone!!! I'm home from work today with a bad back so I thought I would dust off my ol' blog! What better way to reintroduce my blog than with what I hope I will continue to make a regular thing... Toddler Tuesday!! I'm want to talk about all things Sloane and what she is into and what we are doing.

I thought it would be fun to talk about Sloane's current favorite books. First up, the Happy Baby series. She first had Happy Baby Words (you can buy on amazon for $5.35) which is a book that has pictures of everyday items and the words written underneath. The images are grouped together in different ways like colors, food, body parts etc. This was a great tool when she was first learning to talk and she still loves pointing at the images when I say the word, but now she will repeat the word also. We also got her Happy Baby Colors for Easter. We haven't gotten quite as into this book because she has moved onto others but I think it is another great book to have for toddlers.

Next up is The Little Book of Farmyard Tales by Stephen Cartwright and Heather Amery. This is probably Sloane's all time favorite book for several reasons. First of all the have "real" pages rather than the pages of a board book. Although they are real pages they are still pretty strong (we have had to tape a page back in once) and she seems to be able to turn the pages very well on her own. She also loves the images in the book. It has so many little things to look at on the pages, plus they are interactive. She loves tracing the path of "The Naughty Sheep" through the garden. There is also a small duck on nearly every pages that is fun to search for. Finally the book has a couple different ways of reading it. You can read just the words on the top of the pages, which is a short and sweet story. This is actually there for children first learning to read, but it's perfect for Sloane's short attention span. You can also read the word just on the bottom of the page and it gives the story more details and some interactive instructions, like counting the pigs and pointing out where the fire hose is getting the water. This story we don't read too often to Sloane just yet cause she's always too excited to turn the page. finally you can have a parent/child read along by having the child read the pages on the top of the page and you parent follow by reading the words on the bottom. Overall this is a great book that I think will be around for a long time while Sloane learns to read (we might have to buy a second copy however)

Finally her latest favorite book is Play Shapes Formas de Jugar (on Barnes and Noble's website for $7.88).  This is a basic puzzle book teaching the child about shapes. It has foam pages with drawn images with a shape missing. It then has cardboard shapes that match each page. Sloane loves putting all the shapes in (although the triangle can get a little tricky for her) and once we are done we will do it all over again! The book also gives the French word for the shape and at the beginning of the book it gives you three suggested ways of reading (we don't really read the book, we just put in the shapes).

Reading is one of Sloane's favorite activities so there are many more books we read through daily, but these one's I though were worth mentioning because not only are they some of Sloane's favorite books but they are also a fun way for her to learn.

I'd love to hear some of your guy's favorite book selections and why. All three of these books were gifts, and books I wouldn't have known about otherwise.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I'm back, back again. Danielle's back, tell a friend.

First of all I really want to thanks everyone for their positive feed back about my last blog post. When I started writing that blog I didn't intend on spilling all of that information but it just came out and it felt so good. People were telling me that I was brave to share my story of anxiety and depression. I, in no way, felt brave sharing. In fact it didn't really give it a second thought. It was therapeutic to write out my latest struggle. I'd tell anyone else who is going through something similar to write about it. You don't have to share it with anyone, but just getting your thoughts down in writing helps you organize your brain and help you move forward.

Anyways enough of the heavy topics now to write about what I was indenting to write about when I sat down the last time to write a blog. I am back and ready to get back into this blogging game after a 6 month break. I was sticking to a schedule last time (Mommy Monday, Beauty Wise Wednesday and Whatever Saturday). Do we still like that schedule or do you think I should do a bit more of free writing?

* A set schedule made me know when I needed to get a blog done and helped me figure out what to write about.
* People seemed to look forward to read about certain topics and knew when to tune into my blog to read about them.

* When a topic hits me I end up feeling like I shouldn't blog about it because I have other set topics that I need to write about.
* I am not the best at staying on top of beauty trends and I'm not exactly the "mommy blogger" type.

The Pro's and Con's seem to balance themselves out, which makes the decision harder. I think I really do want to have set days I have to write a blog cause otherwise, knowing me, I would just end up not writing anything. I guess I will see what types of things I want to write about and see when I can get around writing something. Then I will see exactly what kind of schedule I want to do. Let me know what your opinion is.

And because who wants to read a blog that doesn't have an adorable picture of my daughter, here is a picture of Sloane reading The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss.

Ssssslllllllooooooowwwwwww fffeeeeetttt. Quick feet!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Welcome 2014!!!

Hello there world! Have you been wondering where I have been for the past 6 or so months? Well so have I.

I got overwhelmed and anxious about life, about work and receded into myself becoming a person I didn't even recognize. I barely had the energy to make time to do all the things I loved. I was moody and mean to people around me and worst of all I basically just gave up on myself. What made this all happen you may be asking? It wasn't one big traumatic thing that sent me sinking into this dark hole. In fact it all started because I was feeling better than I had ever felt in my life.

Being a mom brought so much joy to my life and seeming my daughter day to day was the most amazing feeling in the world. Looking back I think I was in a bit of euphoria. In my case that, surprisingly, caused me to not see things clearly. I thought I was so happy I would just stop taking my medication.

A bit of back story on myself; I have suffered from depression for most of my life and have taken medication for probably a good 5 years. I took it all through my pregnancy with no problems. I know there are many different opinions on what exactly depression is and I will agree there are many different kinds of depression. I, in fact, have a chemical imbalance in my brain that causes my emotions to be completely out of whack. It causes me to feel anxious, to get angry at the littlest things. I don't have patience for things that occur in everyday life. If I don't take my medication I can feel a real difference within a couple of days, and people around me can tell a difference as well. With all this proven to me I still get frustrated that I have to take a pill to feel normal and that I probably will have to take medication for the rest of my life to be a productive person in the world.

Back to my story, I went to refill my prescription one day and it was the time where I had to make another doctor appointment. I thought this was as good a time as any to try and not take my medication since I was feeling so great. I continued to feel pretty amazing and I absolutely loved being a mom, however work started getting to be a bit overwhelming. I blamed work for all of my unhappiness. No schedule I worked made me happy, no amount of work (or no work) would make me feel less stressed. Things that I could handle in past were so overwhelming that I was in a panic everyday when I had to go to work. I got to the point where I had crying fits at work and even talked to my boss about seriously stepping down from my management position. I thought that the job was just too demanding and it was the cause of all my emotional turmoil.

It all came crashing down on Christmas day. I was scheduled to work both Christmas day and Christmas eve, which I wasn't happy about but had worked it out so I was still able to see all my family and do all of our celebrating. As I drove to work I started crying and I couldn't stop myself. I got to work and did my best to get myself together, I bought myself something to eat quickly and I hid in the office until, I thought I had composed myself. I attempted to go find my manager to let her know she was able to leave but as soon as I saw her I started balling uncontrollably again. She immediately told me to leave because I obviously wasn't able to work. I was hesitant because I knew if I left it would mean her Christmas would be ruined and she would have to stay. She finally said what she had been wanting to say to me for a while, she said I needed to talk to a doctor.

Reading this you might think I can easily talk about my depression but I never had told her about it. I never wanted this to get in the way of my career. It's funny cause they give you these personality type assessment tests when you get into management and it asks questions on a scale from 1-5 asking if you ever get sad or anxious and I always think about to that when I think about my job. I fear that if my depression as a known thing about me it would hold me back. Yes, I realize that is a crazy thing to think but that test always peaks up in my brain.

So I went home Christmas day and I vowed that I would make a doctor appointment to get my medication again and I would start taking the time to fix me! I decided I wouldn't step down. I decided I have to lose all the weight I gained in my depression. I decided that just because I have depression doesn't mean I am going to let it hold me back anymore.

I had my doctor appointment on January 2nd and I am officially back on track with my life and I am feeling good about it. My doctor also helped my understand and cope with the fact that I have to take a pill everyday to feel better. She said that it's like a diabetic. They have to take insulin everyday to keep their body chemicals in check, I just have to do it in pill form. Honestly that truly has made me look at things 100x differently and I am ready to take on this life and all it has to give to me!

This is something I saw on Facebook the other day. It is "What if we treated  physical diseases like we treat mental illness"

If Physical Diseases Were Treated Like Mental Illness

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mommy Monday: Transitioning to solids

Sloane has her 9 month appointment on Wednesday, I'm pretty excited to see how much she has grown! Also I have a few little questions to ask the doctor. Mostly pertaining to feeding Sloane solids. I'm not so concerned on what she can eat but how much she can/should eat.

Should she be having a meal and a bottle? That's pretty much where we are right now. She can eat a whole package/container of baby food but she still wants the bottle after. Should I be trying to feed her more? Maybe make it a more rounded meal with like a thing of baby food and then also a solid to make it more filling. I have started doing that a bit lately cause I feel like we should have cut out a bottle by now.

It has also been a bit of a process actually getting into the habit of feeding her solids. We were just feeding her solids here and there and then I remembered that the doctor said by 9 months she should be half solids half bottle so I talked to Mat and made sure we were on the same page that we should be giving her three meals a day.

We wake up, she will have a bottle and I will feed her typically baby oatmeal with something for flavor mixed in, either a fruit or some peanut butter. Then at her first nap she will have another small bottle and then wake up and have lunch of typically a veggie mix. She will have another bottle at her second nap. She will have dinner some time after her second nap where she will have a veggie and hopefully some meat if we can get her to eat it. Finally she will have another bottle before bed. So typically 4-5 bottles a day and 3 meals.

We will also give her little nibbles of whatever we are eating because she pretty much insists that we do.

She's a very good eater and will eat pretty much anything except the baby food meat. I gave her some lunch meat once and she really liked that so I thought about giving her that but I think it has a lot of salt in it.

I also want to ask about sippy cups. We have one for her that we just keep filled with water so she can try it out from time to time but she doesn't really seem to understand the concept that she has to suck on it to get the water out. I'm wondering if it is just too early to be giving her a sippy cup or if I should be trying a different type. The one we have has two handles for her to hold on to and the sippy part is soft which I read is good for a first time sippy cup.

Then finally I want to ask about her choking while eating. I feel like it is a pretty normal thing to do when first learning to eat solids and as long as she is working it out she is learning. She actually hasn't choked in quite a while and I think it's cause she's learned. She also has gotten very good about chewing/gumming, so that might open up the possibility to other new foods to feed Sloane. The one meal I'm pretty excited/frightened to give her is spaghetti. I just love seeing a messy baby with marinara sauce smeared all over the place!

How did you transition your baby to solid foods? I don't know why this seems like such a hard thing to do but I guess I just don't know what pace we should be progressing at. Leave my a comment below letting me know what you think of how we're going about this.