Those Last Firsts

When J and I got married we knew we wanted to start trying for a baby right away. We wanted a family but we weren’t sure how many children we wanted yet. I was pretty set on having a large family while J was set on just two or three. I think it’s evident who won that battle!

I was excited about first seeing those red lines pop up on that first positive pregnancy test. And hear our baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Feel the soft kicks and nudges in the second trimester, and the harder more pronounced movements in the third. Holding that sweet baby for the first time and taking in every smell, yawn and adorable face she made…. so on and so forth. What I didn’t anticipate was how I would feel experiencing our last firsts.

Baby Bear will be our last baby, with that comes a lot of last firsts. The last time I would tear up seeing those red lines pop up on the first test I took. The last time I would hear his heartbeat for the first time. The last time I would feel his first kicks and nudges. The last time I would have a pronounced bump for the first time. I didn’t realize how excited and how devastated all of those things would make me feel. Bear is going to be the last baby I hold for the first time, the last baby I smell and touch and kiss for the first time. He will be the last baby I see smile for the first time, hear giggle for the first time, crawl and walk and talk for the first time.

There will continue to be firsts, some that I have yet to experience. But in this period of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to the pregnancy first, and soon after the new baby firsts, then the toddler firsts. I’m not sure where life is going to lead us, or what crazy adventures we’ll have as these babies grow and mature… all I know is that I will always look back and treasure all of the firsts from these stages.

Something I’ve learned after having several babies is that you become so busy with the mundane day to day, the cooking and the cleaning, the kissing boo-boos and reading board books that you don’t realize how fast the time goes by. You don’t realize how quickly those firsts will fly by and you learn to appreciate them just a bit more. So mommas, take a moment to treasure those moments, even if you have to take a trip down memory lane to reminisce those magical moments.

Validated

I was planning on writing a fun post about our Disney vacation before I wrote any other personal posts, but I think this one needs to be written first. You may have noticed that my blog has been missing a lot of personal posts this past year, year and a half. I’ve written a few here and there, but there was so much going on in our lives that I chose to not post what I really wanted to post.

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Almost 2 years ago we started noticing that Bubby’s behavior was very unlike his older sister’s at his age. We brushed it off because they’re not the same person, they are two very different people and all kids are different! Then, as time went on it just got worse and worse. Screaming fits that would not stop, meltdowns that could last for hours, his loud outbursts, and more…. no one really believed me. No one thought anything was off, everyone said, “Oh, he’s just being a toddler! He’ll outgrow it!”

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Fast forward a bit… this past year we’ve seen more behaviors that confirmed in my mind that something was not right. Bubby was completely potty trained, but going into a public bathroom was (and still is) a nightmare. All the noises of the automatic flushers, the hand dryers…. all of that overstimulated him and he would throw himself on the floor, cover his ears and scream. He would go into these meltdowns over the smallest things at home, and there was nothing I could do to help him, I would sit in the floor and wrap my arms around him and just hold him until his tiny body relaxed into mine…. but even then it could take an hour or more for him to fully calm down. There’s a lot more than that, but if I continued listing the things that we were noticing I might not ever stop writing.

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My fears and concerns were validated this month, Bubby has a sensory processing disorder. A hypersensitivity disorder to be exact. I thought I would be more prepared for an official confirmation of this, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and I was proven right…. because let’s get real, mom’s know. They just know. Processing all of this is hard, my sweet boy struggles with things that other kids don’t. He has to work harder at coping with emotions and things around him than other kids do, and I hate that. I hate that so much.

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When you learn something is different about your child, I won’t say wrong, because there’s nothing wrong with him, your heart breaks. You can’t fix it, you can help them cope with it, but you can’t fix it. You question if you did something wrong, if there was something you could have done differently during your pregnancy or in his infant months that could have prevented this. You question God, you ask Him why He would allow your child to face a hardship like this. But I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that it’s not something that will take his life, I’m thankful that he is healthy and thriving. I’m thankful that we know now what he is going through and that there are things to help him deal with everything.

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So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve not posted very much… this is why. Please pray for us, please pray that during these next few months I can help him cope with this big move, that I can help him learn to handle everything around him and that I can show patience and understanding on the hard days.

A Little Bit of Crazy

I thought we might be past due for a classic family update, I haven’t been doing many of those lately and while I have said over and over again that I was going to get back to writing about our family I just haven’t! There are many reasons for that but most importantly I’ve been spending more time with my kids and less time blogging. Anyways, I have big plans for this little blog of mine this year. You’ll learn more throughout the next few months, including seeing many reviews for some awesome products, and a big giveaway to celebrate my 8 year blogiversary in April!

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Anyways, things in the Mustard Seed house have been crazy and LOUD and adventurous to say the least. J has been working a lot (including staying over at work for a few days this past weekend and a few weeks ago due to poor weather) and he started his second semester of school a few weeks ago. He’s doing great, he’s tired, but I’m so proud of all the hard work he’s putting into this job and education. We are working on some projects together as well, we have really gotten into wood working since building our king sized bed last spring. We made some monogrammed ornaments for our family for Christmas, some picture holder signs for our mom’s, a coffee table, and we are currently working on loft beds for our kids! It’s so fun and a great way for us to bond when we otherwise don’t have the time or energy to do much of anything, including going out.

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Boogie has been working on some kindergarten curriculum this semester, she finished her Big Preschool Workbook last semester so we moved on to other things. We are halfway through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and she LOVES it. She’s already able to read a lot of her favorite books, with some help with the bigger words, seeing her face light up when she realized that she could read was AMAZING. Homeschool for the win! We are also using Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics that I purchased from a friend a while back, it’s no longer in print, so I’m hoping to find more similar to this as Boogie really enjoys this particular book. She flies through her school work and is hungry to learn more and more. I will have to find some easy ways to teach her all the fun things she wants to learn – she’s super interested in the human body, animals, and baking/cooking…. so I’m planning to include those in our studies these next few months.

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Bubby is growing up so fast, I was astounded to discover that he is now in a size 4T pants when we were trying on clothes for this coming year last week. His 3T pants weren’t too short yet, but I guess I’ve been in denial because the 4T fit him perfectly! We are trying out different ways to handle Bubby’s behaviors, I haven’t really posted about this much, but our sweet boy is quite a handful. Our hope is that we can help him learn to handle his emotions a little better, that’s all I really want to say about that for the moment. Bubby loves being a “big boy”, he’s officially potty trained, though he does need to wear a pull up at night as he doesn’t wake up to go potty. But he’s done a great job being independent about changing back into undies the next morning. He is super into everything super heroes, so that includes being wild and crazy all the time as well! I’ve tried some preschool/tot school stuff with him, but I’m going to have to be more creative with how I go about teaching him. That child can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes unless he’s got something to munch on or his favorite movie is on! He wants to be like his big sister and sit for school, but he just can’t handle it. Any suggestions would be great! 😀

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Bird has been the perfect addition to our family, she is a breath of fresh air. She’s definitely a toddler now (I will not cry…. I will not cry…) and is showing her desire for independence but is also very much a clingy, mommy milk loving baby still. She loves to run around with her siblings and “try” to play with them, she is not afraid to let them know she wants to play or when she doesn’t like something they are doing. She loves playing with her babies, Bubby’s super hero action figures and anything that rolls. She loves being outside and still sticks EVERYTHING in her mouth. So that’s super fun. We are still bedsharing with this sweet girl, but she’s learning to sleep in her own bed as well. As of right now she sleeps the first few hours of bedtime in her own bed and then wakes up around 1-2am and sleeps the rest of the night with us. It works for us, so we don’t mind! And let me tell you, that baby likes to sleep. If she could sleep in in the morning, she’d probably sleep until 10!

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As for me, I’m planning some fun things for Mustard Seed Mommy and I have some dreams I would like to pursue in the next year… if I can save up the money to do so I would love to sell Lularoe. If you haven’t heard about Lularoe you’re missing out. Two words…. butter pants. Check it out, you won’t regret it!

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Anyways, that’s it for now. Life is crazy and hectic for us, we are always busy and I can’t believe how big my babies are. Having a 5, 3 and 1 year old all at once is an adventurous journey. I wouldn’t want it any other way! God bless!

5 Ways to Calm Your Threenager

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Haha… yes, I can hear you laughing from miles away. Calm a threenager, it’s an oxymoron right? Some days, yes. It totally is. But I promise you, that if you really want to calm that child of yours down, it can be done! I never knew what it was like having a true threenager. Sure, Boogie had an attitude and was a little sassy, but she had nothing on her little brother. This child is a screamer, he will throw his body on the floor, get so angry that his entire body shakes… it’s insane. So, if you care to try, here are 5 ways to calm your threenager (Bubby style!).

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This one is pretty obvious, one of the best ways to calm those crazies down is to get outside! I know it’s getting colder now, you have to bundle up and there’s layers of clothing that have to be put on. But if you can manage to make that happen, do it. Then run. Play. Jump. Swing! One of my favorite ways to get some of that “all boy” energy out is by having him and Boogie run around the house as many times as they can. They will race and race until they can’t run anymore. Most of the time, even in the midst of a terrible fit pitching, all I have to say is, “Let’s go outside!” and that little light bulb turns on over Bubby’s head and he’s running to get his shoes on. Try it!

2. Go On a Date

This one can be a little trickier. Obviously you don’t want to reward poor behavior, but sometimes our threenagers need some one on one attention. Typically, especially with my sweet boy, his tantrums and behavior is triggered by the craving of that one on one attention. This is a hard one for us, especially during November and December when we have the holidays and about a million other things planned. Trying to find even a half hour when J can hang with the girls or vice versa is difficult. I hope to do this more often with Bubby and the girls as well. They all need mommy dates and daddy dates! And Bubby especially enjoys going out for Superman ice cream!

3. Keep Them Busy

There are so many ways you can keep them busy. If Bubby is in the middle of a terrible tantrum, sometimes I can pull out an activity like this and say, “When you’re ready to calm down, I’d love to try out this {insert activity}”. Most of the time he’ll calm down after a few minutes and is ready to participate. Some of the things I use are this Melissa & Doug Sort & Snap Color Match activity (affiliate link), sensory bins (I haven’t actually tried this one as of yet, but I have big plans for this great sensory table my mom bought for us! I know it will help drastically!), crafts, bristle blocks, etc.

4. Rest

I get it. Naptimes can be an absolute nightmare with these threenagers. Trust me, I know this all too well. I also know that if my boy doesn’t get his nap in, there will be worse things to deal with later in the day. So, fortunately for us, Bubby goes down pretty easy most days after lunch. Then again, there are those few days every now and then when he fights it tooth and nail. So here are a few things I’ve tried:

  • Snuggle on the couch with a good book or a movie, most of the time Bubby will pass out because like I said… he still needs that nap!
  • Have a slumber party naptime in the living room – this is what you’re looking at in the above picture. I had Bird on my lap nursing, Boogie was on the couch reading a book and Bubby had finally passed out in the floor.
  • If you absolutely cannot get your kid down for a nap and they are STILL flipping out… turn down the lights, place a few books, soft toys, etc in their room… place threenager in said room and WALK AWAY. Believe me, I’m not a fan of crying it out, not even with my older ones. However, sometimes all you CAN do is walk away. If they’re safe, have everything they need to be healthy and loved…. then please, just walk away. I believe that Bubby needs that alone time sometimes, it allows him to calm down and just have a moment.

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In the midst of some of Bubby’s worst screaming sessions I have gotten down in the floor, scooped him into my lap and just held him. Yes, sometimes he pushes me away and tries to hit and kick… but if I hold him and love on him and sometimes sing to him, after 5 or less minutes he starts to calm down. His heart slows to a normal rate, that’s how I know when this method is going to work to calm him down, with his chest pressed against mine I can feel that begin to happen. His rigid little muscles straining against me start to relax, and finally he just snuggles into me. Touch is such a powerful tool for our little ones, hugs and smooches and cuddles are one of the best ways to calm a crying baby, so why not use it to calm our threenagers as well? A great way to snuggle is to wear your kids! Yes! You CAN wear your threenager, a great way to do so comfortably is by using a woven wrap or a Beco Toddler (affiliate link), as seen in the picture above.

 

Thanks for stopping by to check out 5 Ways to Calm Your Threenager! What are some of your best ways to calm down your threenager?

5 Ways to CalmYour Threenager

 

Lingettes Bamboo Baby Washcloths Review

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I am SO in love with these wash cloths. If you are looking for the softest towel to bathe your sweet babies in…. please buy these. I want some for myself! This set comes with 6 soft, organic bamboo cloths. As a matter of fact, when we have a whole house water purifier installed next Spring, I may very well buy more to use as diaper wipes. They are the perfect material for that, so soft and gentle on the skin!

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You will received 2 natural white, 2 light green and 2 light yellow cloths in this set. So they are gender neutral, and the size of these are fantastic! Not too big, but not those tiny little baby wash cloths either!

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Beau & Belle Littles have gone above and beyond the call of duty to create a product that is perfect for your baby’s skin. We have to be very picky about what we put against Bubby’s skin because he has very dry skin and breaks out with eczema patches if we aren’t careful… and unfortunately it looks like Baby Bird may be having the same issue! Bubby loved these during his last bath, usually he complains when I’m washing him that it’s “too rough”, or “ouch mommy, that hurts!” when I’m being gentle with a regular baby wash cloth.

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This set is currently on sale for $12.99 on Amazon, they would be a great stocking stuffer or a fantastic baby shower gift! And bonus… right now, if you buy more than one set you can use the coupon code BBL10Off for 10% off your purchase! Woo woo!

Disclaimer: I received a free product in return for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions and statements are my own. Purchases made through links on my blog may be affiliate links, purchasing through these allows me to keep Mustard Seed Mommy running and provides income beyond those means.