My somewhat bi-polar 3 year old

2 posts in 1 week – I’m determined to keep up with it this time!

Up until a few weeks ago, we were feeling pretty proud of our parenting abilities – we’d managed to get to age 3 w/o any major issues.  About 2 weeks before the end of school, she started challenging us at every turn!  Routine tasks have been met with anger and frustration.  “Time to brush your teeth.”  “NO I DON’T WANT TO BRUSH MY TEETH. YOU CAN BOSS ME AROUND.” “It’s not OK to hit people.” “I DON’T LIKE YOU ANYMORE!” And I could go on and on.

What is going on??  75% of the time, she’s a fun-loving child who gets along with everyone, shares well, and is very polite (both to us and others!).  I feel as though I have to tread carefully around situations so as not to ‘flip a switch’ and deal with one of her tantrums!  Is there something I can do to avoid these tantrums?  Or are we in fact incredibly LUCKY to have such a mild mannered child that this is what I consider “wild” when most kids act like this all the time?  I hate feeling like I’m always on her case and yelling at her (which is what we tell her NOT to do but in fact we are hypocrites and do it when we become frustrated…what else to do?)…I only feel like a good parent when she’s happy…but when she’s frustrated and angry, I feel like I’m failing…

 

I guess I should feel fortunate to feel like a good parent at all!

Getting back in the game!

After a 2 year hiatus, my fellow moms out there have motivated me to start posting once again!

A lot has happened in the past 2 years…we now have a 3.75 year old AND a 1 year old, my how time flies! Where to begin…

I’m now working 5 days a week (vs 3 days with our first (miss m)), and I’m surprised to find I actually prefer to working more days. I like having the additional responsibility given to someone in the office daily vs PT. This is going to sound completely crazy (especially given what I just said), but I wanted to quit for the first 6 months back from maternity leave. I felt so guilty leaving miss c (our 2nd child) at daycare 5 days a week – it broke my heart to know I was spending less time with her than I did with m. When I had to work late, I wanted to cry. I was completely overcome with guilt. I really, honestly and truly, don’t know what happened, but eventually I began to feel less guilty. I felt like I could balance work and family life – and still go on date nights with my hubby. Is it time? Is it a busier workload? Is it the now two active toddlers that make me long for ‘me time’ at work? I’m not sure, but I’d love to hear from others and their experience!

Best Toys Ever (at least for an 18 month old)

Little People Noahs Ark

Little People Noah’s Ark

I’ve noticed that my most popular posts, as of today, have to do with age appropriate toys I have recommended. Since I haven’t done this in a while, I thought I’d suggest a few play items that have kept my 18 month old daughter well entertained.

  • Little People – My daughter will play with the Little People characters for hours.  She lines them up takes them all over the house.  She even placed “Noah” from “Noah’s Ark” in my suitcase as a memento while I was away on business.  Although there are all different varieties, she has gotten the most mileage from “Noah’s Ark” and “Santa”.  However, if you do not want to spend the money on the entire kit, you can buy small sets with just the animals which are really fun and great for “on-the-go” play.
  • Board Books – specifically ones with pictures (photos and drawings) of animals.
  • Baby dolls with removable clothes (or you can use your child’s small clothes).  Use your child’s old bottles and silverware (spoons, bowls, etc.) and let your child “feed” the baby.
  • We set up a little table with two chairs, one for Madeline and one for her dolls/bears and they have snack time together.  You’d think she’d died and gone to heaven!  She thinks it so cool to be a “big girl” and eat at a table without a bib or high chair.  However, we only give her dried foods…
  • Small stroller with a basket underneath for storing items (ie. sippy cup, toys) Doll Stroller
    Doll Stroller

    or shopping cart

Recalls 1/12

1.  Top Goods Trading Recalls Flashing Pacifiers Due to Choking and Strangulation Hazard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09089.html)

2.  Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Window Blinds Sold at Cost Plus and World Market Stores (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09090.html)

3.  TDI International Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09091.html)

4.  Stork Craft Recalls More Than 500,000 Cribs; Mattress Support Bracket Failures Create Risk of Entrapment and Suffocation (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09093.html)

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1.  Top Goods Trading Recalls Flashing Pacifiers Due to Choking and Strangulation Hazard

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
Release #09-089

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (213) 680-0388 (Collect)
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Top Goods Trading Recalls Flashing Pacifiers Due to Choking and Strangulation Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Flashing Pacifiers

Units: About 38,000

Importer: Top Goods Trading, of Temple City, Calif.

Hazard: The flashing pacifiers do not comply with federal safety standards for pacifiers. Although the pacifiers are marketed to older children and adults, they could be given to babies and cause serious injury or death. The pieces of the pacifier can separate, posing a choking hazard. The necklaces pose a strangulation hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recalled flashing pacifier has a yellow heart-shaped mouth guard and handle. There is a 15-inch cord attached to the handle. LED lights are activated by pushing the heart-shaped handle into the base of the pacifier.

Sold at: Retail stores in the Los Angeles area from November 2007 through November 2008 for about 50 cents.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled pacifier away from children and contact Top Goods Trading for a refund or exchange.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Top Goods Trading collect at (213) 680-0388 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09089.html

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2. Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Window Blinds Sold at Cost Plus and World Market Stores

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
Release #09-090

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (877) 967-5362
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Risk of Strangulation Prompts Recall of Window Blinds Sold at Cost Plus and World Market Stores

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Roman Shades and Roll-up Blinds

Units: About 692,400

Distributor: Cost Plus Inc., of Oakland, Calif.

Hazard:

Roman Shades: These shades have a looped pull cord and exposed inner cords on the back of the shade. Looped pull cords and exposed inner cords on roman shades present a strangulation hazard.

Roll-up Blinds: These blinds have a looped pull cord and two lifting cord loops that run around the bottom rail. Looped pull cords and exposed lifting loops on roll-up blinds present a strangulation hazard to young children.

Incidents/Injuries: No incidents or injuries have been reported with the Roman shades and roll-up blinds involved in this recall. However, CPSC is aware of the death of a child who became entangled in the lifting cord of a roll-up style blind whose manufacturer and retailer has not yet been identified and at least two deaths involving exposed inner cords on various styles of roman-style shades.

Description: This recall involves four styles of shades, the “Canvass Roman Shade” available in four different sizes (4’x 6′, 5’x 6′, 2.5′ x 6′ and 3’x 6′) with sku numbers 376983, 376984, 376985, 384870; the “Sari Roman Shade” available in two colors (berry and chocolate) with sku numbers 394700, 394701; and the “Buddha or Floral Matchstick Blinds” sku numbers 407376, and 407221. A small tag on the back of the Canvass and Sari Roman Shades states “World Market(c) Cost Plus, Inc., Oakland, CA 94607, Made in India, 100% Cotton.” In addition, this recall involves other styles of wooden roll-up blinds, with or without valances, that have the following SKU numbers: 404991, 404992, 404993, 400742, 499743, 400744, 400745, 400746 and 358064, 358065, 358066, 358067, 358068.

Sold at: Cost Plus and World Market stores nationwide from February 2006 through August 2008 for between $25 and $60.

Manufactured in: India and China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled window blinds/shades and return the product to any Cost Plus/World Market store to obtain a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Cost Plus toll-free at (877) 967-5362 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET daily, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.worldmarket.com

Note: CPSC reminds consumers to examine all Roman Blinds and Roll-up shades in their homes. If looped pull cords, exposed inner cords, or exposed lifting loops are found and children are in the home or occasionally visit your home, please consider replacing the blinds or shades with products that do not have exposed pull cords or inner cords.

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09090.html

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3. TDI International Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
Release #09-091

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (877) 834-8088
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

TDI International Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: “High Speed” Pull Back Toy Cars

Units: About 150

Importer: TDI International, of Los Angeles, Calif.

Hazard: Surface paint on the toy cars contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recalled pull back toy car is yellow with “PROWL” printed on the side, “VICTOR” printed on the hood, and a blue and red police warning light on the top.

Sold at: Small retail stores in Houston and Hidalgo, Texas from June 2008 through July 2008 for about $2.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact TDI International for a full refund or a replacement toy.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact TDI International toll-free at (877) 834-8088 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday.

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09091.html

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4. Stork Craft Recalls More Than 500,000 Cribs; Mattress Support Bracket Failures Create Risk of Entrapment and Suffocation

NEWS from CPSC
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2009
Release #09-093

Firm’s Recall Hotline: (866) 361-3321
CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Stork Craft Recalls More Than 500,000 Cribs; Mattress Support Bracket Failures Create Risk of Entrapment and Suffocation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Stork Craft Baby Cribs

Units: About 535,000

Manufacturer: Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada

Hazard: The metal support brackets used to support the crib mattress and mattress board can crack and break. When one or more support brackets break, the mattress can collapse and create a dangerous gap between the mattress and crib rails, in which a child can become entrapped and suffocate.

Incidents/Injuries: CPSC is aware of 10 incidents in which one or more mattress support brackets broke. In several incidents, the support bracket broke causing the mattress to collapse and create a gap between the mattress and crib rails. CPSC received a report of a toddler who sustained bruises to his forehead. In another incident a child reportedly became entrapped in the gap between the mattress and the drop side rail with no injury.

Description: This recall involves Stork Craft Baby cribs. All cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between May 2000 and November 2008 are included in this recall. The cribs were sold in various styles and finishes. The manufacture date, model number, crib name, country of origin, and the firm’s name, address, and contact information are located on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board. The firm’s insignia “storkcraft baby” is inscribed on the drop side teething rail of some cribs.

Sold at: Major retailers including J.C. Penney, Kmart and Walmart stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com and Walmart.com from May 2000 through January 2009 for between $100 and $400.

Manufactured in: Canada, China and Indonesia

Remedy: CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately stop using the recalled cribs and find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should contact Stork Craft to receive a free replacement kit, with new mattress support brackets.

Consumer Contact: Contact Stork Craft toll-free at (866) 361-3321 anytime to order the free replacement kit or log on to www.storkcraft.com

To see this recall on CPSC’s web site, including pictures of the recall product, please go to: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09093.html

New Product – Compact Rain Cover for Bike

New item I’m selling on ebay.com (not baby related):  Rain Cover for Bike

Stroller Advice for Expecting and New Moms

I know, I know – you’re not going to want to hear this…but here’s my advice on buying a stroller:

  1. Buy the Snap ‘n Go (or some other frame stroller) before the baby arrives.
  2. Unless you jog or walk to work and need a jogging stroller, wait until your child has outgrown their infant car seat to buy a bigger stroller. This way, you can actually take your child with you to the store, have them sit in the car seat, and see how it works with the child actually in it.

Buying a stroller is a big investment, and it’s one you will have to live with for at least a few years (more if you have more than one child).  Since we had certain specifications in mind (ones that became more specific as Madeline grew and her needs changed) and since we jumped the gun and bought our stroller 4 months before she was born (and JUST started using it a few months ago!) we really didn’t know what we needed and I really wish we’d waited.  So, I thought I’d pass along my experience to my friends so that hopefully you can avoid the same mistake that I made.

If anyone knows where this stroller is, let me know:

My Dream Stroller

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to fold (in one piece, ie. doesn’t come apart)
  • Modern/Cool design
  • Reclines pretty far so that the child can sleep
  • Large storage area under seat
  • Adjustable handlebar for me (5’3″) and my hubby (6’1″)
  • Cup holder for me
  • Sippy cup holder (or net) for child
  • Snack area for child
  • Ample shade for sun
  • Foam tires
  • Easily maneuvers through rough terrain (ie. our obnoxious sidewalks)

If it’s out there, let me know! PLEASE!

Celebrating a first birthday

After much deliberation, I decided to have a small party for Madeline’s first birthday. The weekend we had it was jam-packed (2 weddings and 2 parties plus ours) so I wanted to give myself as little work as possible for this event. Although I made the conscious decision not to have a big party, part of me is feeling guilty for not making a bigger deal out of this milestone birthday. I ended up not doing a single thing until the day of the party (well, i did make pulled pork a few days before…does that count?), but all in all it ended up being a nice little party. Although it was very nice, small, and exactly what I wanted, I can’t help but feel guilty for not doing more…a quandary I’m sure we all face at one point in time. I feel like there is so much pressure to have this “amazing party” for your child’s first birthday, and anything short of a guest list of 100+ with clowns, music, and entertainment is a disappointment for those who attend. Although I haven’t felt any pressure within my own circle of friends, I have other friends who have been pressured to produce an extravagant affair for their child’s 3rd/4th/5th birthday. I hope I don’t succumb to future pressures (actually, I hope I never get these pressures from friends/family as there’s enough self-pressure without them!).