My Little Evolving Lady:)

My how things can change quickly!!! In the world of a toddler, their development can immerse over night, let alone a week! This time last week, I had convinced myself that Mia (2 and 8 months) wasn’t going to be toilet trained anytime soon and like I would have been in the past, I wasn’t really fazed. Over the years of being a mother, I’ve relaxed into my role. With my first I was so routine and structured and wasn’t flexible at all. Then my second came along and the reins were loosened a bit and by the time our third came along, well lets just say that left me with very little time to worry or stress over much. Everyday I hit the ground running and my goal was always to make sure the kids were fed and bathed, the rest always fitted in around that. The only common denominator to all three children was consistency with rules and boundaries!

Over the past 7 and a half years, I’ve changed thousands of nappies, wiped poo and wee off three tiny little bottoms and am happy to say (but with a tear in my eye) my days of nappies are almost over. Last Thursday a miracle happened (well it was to me because it felt like it was never going to happen lol) Mia finally did a wee on the toilet!!! Hearing those 5 little words “mummy I did a wee!” out of my sweet little girl’s mouth was like music to my ears! I’ve been working (inconsistently) on toilet training for a few months now. On a nice warm sunny arvo I would let Mia run around in undies and we would go through the steps: Where do we wee or poo? Tell mummy if you need to go to the toilet! I’d ask her every 10 minutes if she needed to go and I’d sit her on the toilet every half an hour.

Mia could talk the talk, but she couldn’t walk the walk. Half her problem was that she wouldn’t sit still and concentrate on going. She is a real fidgety child and no matter how much I would remove everything around her so she had nothing to touch, she still would find an excuse to fidget. I never got mad or frustrated at her, as it was my fault that I wasn’t being consistent with the whole process. I’m the biggest advocate for consistency with anything to work successfully and that I wasn’t doing. When Bailey and Sienna toilet trained, I didn’t have anyone in school. We could stay home all day and focus on the task at hand. Now I have two kids in school, my days are busier than ever and am rarely home.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t able to be consistent until the Christmas school holidays, but I knew Mia was close to finally letting go of her nappy. Instead I was being patient and encouraging her every chance that I got. Over the past month, Mia has gone from accidents all the time, to holding on for a couple of hours and then doing an accident, to doing a tiny wee in her undies and stopping herself from going, to actually telling me she needed to go…but still not actually going – this was happening even when offering a treat as the prize!! Then that moment of glory and what I would say was the key to my success….diced bacon!!! “Diced bacon” you say lol!

Last Thursday afternoon was very different like all the other days I’d tried. Mia seemed focused and determined to hit the jackpot and earn her treat! Instead of sitting on the toilet for 5 minutes trying to go she was determined to stay there until she did a wee. I kept saying “let’s try again later” Mia kept saying “no I’ll do it now!” I went about my business, cooking dinner, homework and the like and when I checked on her while chewing food, I had her attention. She asked could she have what I was eating – diced bacon. I placed a few bits in her mouth, just enough to allow her to relax and alas…she did a wee!!!!!

We were all SO exited!!!! We did a happy dance and she thought that was hilarious. She was super proud, as was I and she happily enjoyed her treat! She told the world! Well the world to her is all her family. Every time someone called or came over…”I did a wee on the toilet!!!” and we’d all cheer again! She didn’t go again that night but the next day I was determined to take this lead and run with it!

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Mia enjoying her treat after her first wee on the toilet!

I was really hoping that the day before’s success wasn’t a once off and I had a really good gut instinct that once Mia did that first one, she’d take to going to the toilet like duck to water. Thankfully I can say she did. Day two was deemed a huge success. No accidents, telling me when she needed to go, a dry day sleep nappy, a successful shop visit even with a pit stop, and OMG her first poo on the toilet! I went to bed on such a high and was super proud of the little lady who had told me for weeks that “I’m too little to sit on the toilet!” lol!
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Super proud of my super star toilet trainer!

Almost a week on and Mia is completely toilet trained with her wees. She doesn’t wear a nappy to bed in the day now and even though it only took to day three to wake with a dry night nappy, I still put one on her just in case. BUT where she had done a couple of poos on the toilet, all of a sudden she has decided that she doesn’t like doing a poo on the toilet anymore! Again I’m not to fazed. I went through hell with my son and number 2s and if there is anything I learnt it’s not to force them. This is my next hurdle with ‘a life with Mia’ lol, but like everything else, I will be there for her and we will get through it!

It’s all getting a bit real now. My days of having a baby are almost at the end of its trail. I’m in two minds about it all. Apart of me is happy and I’m really embracing the little lady that is evolving before my eyes, but then I let myself think back to all the wonderful times I’ve had when my children we little babies and I’m sadden that I’ll never get to birth or breast feed again. I’ll never wrap another baby up or smell them like they are food (how delicious do babies smell lol). But one thing is always for sure, no matter how old my babies are, they’ll never be too old to kiss or cuddle. I may not be needed like a was when they were tiny babies, but while I’m on this earth, I’ll always be needed by them, just like I always need my mumma:)!

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I’m sad to leave the baby phase behind, but I know there are so many exciting times ahead of us!

For now I will enjoy the baby that is left in Mia. She is cutting her last tooth…finally and in the new year she will go into a bed. I think once our home doesn’t hold a cot in it anymore, that will really be the day that my baby days will be over;(

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Shopping….Toddler Style!

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It’s been so long now since I shopped without a child, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like!!!

Shopping pre-children:
Those were the days when I would rock up at Garden City and leisurely take my time to find a carpark and I wouldn’t care where I parked as long as I found one. I’d fix my clothes up so they were nice and neat, have a quick look at my hair in the mirror and then I’d be slowly on my way to the opening doors. As I walked through the doors I would grin to myself and ask “where to first!”

I would then go from store to store seeking out the things I was looking for, pouncing on any bargain I could find. I would go through every rack if necessary and sometimes spend up to half an hour in one store! I’d have a chat to people in the que and strike up a conversation with the sales assistant as I had all the time in the world! I would take a breather after a couple of hours and have a nice quiet bite to eat and drink and once I’d finished, I continue on my shopping way until I’d gone to every conceivable shop that may have what I was looking for…oh that’s right most times I didn’t go for a purpose I’d go just because I could and LOVED it so much!!!!!!

My how life changes once you become a mum! At first when I only had one child things didn’t change much at all, the only difference was I was pushing a pram and had to stop at a parent’s room to feed and change every couple of hours. But then your baby grows and doesn’t want to be pushed in a pram all day and then learns to talk and tells you exactly what their thoughts are about shopping! Then one child turns into two and in my case three and the only time shopping is at all appealing is when it’s done on the internet! But as challenging as taking kids to the shops can be sometimes, I’ve never stopped going shopping, I just make it really routined and quick!

Shopping post children:
Oh how my head is in a different space at the shops now! Before a shopping trip I now have everything down pat. A list of what I want to buy, before I leave I’ve already thought about where I’m going to park and in which order I will get around. I make sure I have plenty of food and drinks for the kids and my phone is charged!!!! I try and get there as early as I can so I know I won’t spend long finding a car park and once I’m through the doors of the shopping centre, I’m like a greyhound who’s been let out of the cage! People must look at me and think – Geeze what’s the rush! Ummm the fact that I only have a small window of opportunity until all hell could break loose!!! I’m a women on a mission and mission it is trying to squeeze a pram into a clothes shop and dodge all the rides that seem to be every five metres!!!!!! I generally always know now what I want so very little time is spent in one store and because I need to be home by 12 to put Mia down for her nap so she is awake for school pick up, it leaves very little time for a pit stop!

Mia and I ventured to Garden City this morning to start Mother’s Day Shopping. I don’t often go to big shopping centres anymore as we have lots of little ones around our area that are sufficient and only go to big ones when I need something specific. As I ‘tried’ to browse a few shops while passing food, pulling little sticky fingers away from pretty dresses, answering “soon” for the tenth time after being asked “Mia hope out mummy!”, telling Mia the scary man would come if she kept screaming out to me (mean I know but it works lol), I suddenly started thinking how shopping has gone from a leisure activity to a chore lol!

But I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way! Now that it’s just Mia and I who venture to the shops while Bay and Sie are at school, we are in a good routine. I always make Mia stay in her pram or trolley for as long as I can which is about one to one and half hours depending on how much food I’ve brought and once I’m finished I always let her walk for the last part and if there is a little playground and she’s been awesome, she gets a 15 min play. I bring food from home for small shops and when I need to get a heap of things done at the bigger shopping centres I take a lollipop for her:) and grocery shopping days she gets her two cherrios and is always allowed a coin to put in the dog at the end – god bless that dog at woolies:)….it’s the small things in a toddler’s life that go a long way!

Shopping with a toddler or kids in general can be taxing but like anything, if a routine is established with set rules and consistency is applied, it can be quite a pleasurable experience. I only try and go to the shops once a week and I make sure I choose times that I know they’ll be less tired. Although shopping on your own is by far easier, I love that I have someone to chat to while I’m shopping and when the day comes when I have them all in school and I’m left to the freedom of browsing on my own, I’m sure I’ll love it, but have many times when my heart breaks a little that they aren’t there by my side…..because by then I would have been shopping with at least one or two children in tow (except for school holidays) for 10 years!!!!!!

Shopping with a toddler doesn’t do my head in, homework with a 7 year old on the other hand…a topic for a future blog post!

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My partner in crime:)

18 Months Ago…….

Exactly 18 months ago a beautiful little chubby baby girl was placed in my arms. She was our miracle, a true angel who literally saved my life! We’ve had many ups and downs with our Mia bear, from silent reflux, a turned eye, glue ear, chronic middle ear infections to croup! But despite all of this, she is growing into a funny, affectionate, playful little lady who we absolutely adore the ground she walks on!

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It blows me away how fast time has gone and that my youngest born is already 18 months old! This age can be so trying at times and for our spirited child as we call her, a lot of the time lol, but it’s also a beautiful age. They are still so pure and innocent with really not a care in the world! They laugh at themselves and don’t care what they look like or wear. All they want is your undivided attention and affection and they are as happy as a pig in mud!

Mia has never been a fan of the camera, which is sad really because she is the most adorable thing and has a smile that makes your heart melt! But the photos I do capture of her, really depict the little lady she is becoming!

The Funny Mia:
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The Adventurous Mia:
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The Serious Mia:
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The Cheeky Mia:
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The Affectionate Mia:
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The Cranky Mia:
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The Peaceful Mia:
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The Mischievous Mia:
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The Drifter Mia:
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The Adorable Mia:
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These photos really depict a day in the life of our little Miss Mia (aka Mimi). She displays each and every one of these emotions on a daily basis, which makes the day very interesting for us! She really has left her baby days behind her and is in full steam toddler mode. Her talking is so cute and new words are added to her collection of vocab everyday….my favourite “ove you!” She is just one of the kids now and what they do she must do or at least have a go! She really lights up our lives and just like 18 months ago, at the end of the day she still needs to borrow her head on my chest to feel happy, warm, loved and comforted!

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Mia Natalie Trew….18 months today!

“Somebody please talk to me!”

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When we first enter the unfamiliar world of parenting so many people are quick to give us advice on feeding, changing, sleeping, dummies, bottles and the like, but where is the advice on simple things and extremely important things like how important it is to speak to our children! I’ve been teaching just over a decade now and one common deficiency I’m seeing more and more is the number of children who are coming to prep with a lack of oral language skills!

Whether it be their lack of ability to ask a question, respond to a question, follow an instruction, speak in simple sentences or being able to be understood, are all problems little people are facing when entering the school system. From the second our babies are born into this world, their little ears are responding to noise and the most precious gift a mother can give to her baby is her voice!
I think the problem is we forget to talk to our babies until they start responding first with a noise or a word, but a babies first response without noise is eye contact and listening to what is being said to them! We know ourselves if we are unable to use our voice we use eye contact as a way to communicate and we attain information by listening and that is what a baby does.

I can’t help myself, from the time my babies take their first breath I’m in their face talking to them. Between a nappy change, feeding, bathing, burping and playing, these are all perfect opportunities to bond with our babies and expose them to language. I’ve always taken these opportunities to sing a nursery rhyme, tell them about the wonderful things of the world or simply explain what I’m doing – “mummy is going to change your nappy”, “it’s bedtime now” right from birth my babies have heard cues like this. Our babies are like sponges and they are learning from a newborn. It’s amazing as they get older you see the benefit of talking to your baby. My youngest is almost 18 months and her language is evolving everyday! Not only is she communicating clearly through a variety of words, her receptive language (understanding what we say) is fantastic! Last year when my son was in prep, one thing his teacher always complimented him on was his oral language and my daughter’s preschool teacher just recently said how well she holds a conversation.

It makes me think that so many wonderful mothers, who if educated properly on this subject, would take it on board more. It’s common knowledge that reading to our babies as early as in utero is so important for our children, but very rarely do you read a lot of information about just generally talking to our babies. We are already a part of a world where speaking is becoming less and less due to an abundance of technology compared to even 10 years ago! It’s so easy to forget to do something so simple especially when life is so busy all the time, but if we made a habit of it and integrated talking to our children into our day to day chores and routines, it wouldn’t seem like work then.

It makes me sad to think that there are so many babies being born who spend their first five years with very little exposure to a wide variety of language and that all they needed from day one was someone to consistently engage with them. Our babies need to learn how to communicate orally as god knows by the time they are 10 and discover all the ins and outs of technology, talking becomes less and less. I always wondered when my babies were little babies and would look up at me, what they were thinking….I’m sure they were saying in their head “somebody please talk to me!” and that is what I’ve always done!

Mia only days old listening to me…….she doesn’t seem very interested in what I’m saying, but she will thank me one day for all the stories and bits of information I’ve told her:)

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