A few weeks ago I decided to take the little one to feed the ducks. Geechi in her true nature of wanting to minister to the ducks suggested that I feed them the stale raisin break that we had left. Remembering that raisins are toxic to dogs I hopped onto Google to make sure that raisins wouldn’t be toxic to ducks and geese. Well to my surprise I learned something—DON’T FEED BREAD TO DUCKS!
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT! Had all the movies showing people feeding bread to ducks lied to me?!? YES. Apparently bread provides no nutritional value to ducks the same as soda water (it’s the southern in me) to humans. If you were lied to like I was here is a list of things you can feed to ducks and geese.
The movies lied but the internet never will ???. Leave the ? at home and bring some ???????
As with anything that centers around children trial an error is essential. I hope these tools help. If you have any other tools or suggestions please share them in the comments below 👇🏾 to help others.
Step 1: Naked Baby—I let my little one run around and play naked while I intently and purposefully played with him and watched him for his signs and tells that he needed to potty. This was the hardest part for me because messes will happen. He pooped on the floor; he peed on the floor. He did it over and over again until I learned his signs and began to anticipate his pattern.
Step 2: Commando Baby—Then I had to put him in pants with not diaper and no underwear. The washing machine became my best friend. I contemplated buying more clothes for him because I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but I remained strong and focused that this time would pass. We stayed at home initially most of the time because I was afraid of what would happen outside. But I learned that we couldn’t stay locked in the house forever. I learned to pack extra clothes, and to monitor and time his fluids if we had a planned outing. I learned how to pull over on the side of the road and help him pee outside.
Step 3: Emerging Independence—it was so cute how after he started getting the hang of things he started wanting to help empty his own potty and wanted to flush the big commode. I eventually learned to let go while he carried the bowl to the bathroom. I learned to move the potty further away from me and allow him dignity and privacy (though he often calls me into the bathroom and often sits in the bathroom with me ??♀️)
Step 4: Growing in Steps—we tried moving his step stool to the big commode however with no handles I got worried about his turns and transitioning so I went to Amazon and bought Potty Toilet Trainer Seat with Step Stool Ladder. This has him using the adult commode like a champ!
I know that eventually I will need to teach him how to potty standing up and will need to work on night time potty training but as this process has taught me. Everything in its season! ?
As I go through the process of trying to rid my life of things that I no longer need I am surrounded by lots of things that I purchased in anticipation of my newborn that looking back almost 3 years later I never used or hardly used.
Here are my 5 top purchase regrets:
Hope this list is helpful on saving you from traveling down the road I did but if you are anything like me you might just do what I did. Read them, chuckle, and say…”I’ll be different she just didn’t know what she was doing” LOL! 😂🤦🏾♀️😂
While my house may be messy since my little one I’m still a neat freak at heart. I’ve SLOWLY been learning to embrace a state chaos and mess with earnest strive for organization.
I used my breakfast table as the hard surface and opened up the lawn trash bag and then taped it down to the table on the underside. That’s it! Really simple. Put the paint directly on the trash bag surface or on a plate. Then sit back and enjoy the wonderful chaos and beautiful mess that follows. When the paint session is done use wipes to wipe down not only your toddler but also the trash bag and your surface is ready to go again.
I hope that this DIY hack works as well for you as it has for me. Let the painting and mess begin! 💚👨🏾🎨
Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass.
Education has always been a core fundamental principle in my family and one that I strive to instill in my son. When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic. One of the first things I purchased for my little one was a book. (The actual first thing I purchased for my baby was a set of onesies with Star Trek themes as a way to announce my pregnancy to my father).
I constantly search for books for my little one that will appeal to him, grow his vocabulary, and provide him with new exposures and cultures. I also look for books where he can find himself represented and reflected in the stories. It is so important for me that the stories be authentic and imaginative. I don’t look for the stereotypical story about slavery, segregation, and black historical figures I search beyond that. I search and long for stories that will engage my son and spark his imagination, cultivate his sense of wonderment.
Here are a few that I’ve collected:
THE KING OF TOO MANY THINGS
A LULLABY OF SUMMER THINGS
WHOSE KNEES ARE THESE
THE WORLD IS AWAKE
My little one does not like milk. It’s the funniest thing. He received breast milk/formula but when it was time to transition to whole cows milk he was like...Nah I’m good!
Personally I blame his grandparents for feeding him ice cream at an early age 😂🤣😂
I have tried everything from strawberry syrup, chocolate syrup, Karo syrup, sugar, cereal left in the milk overnight. Nothing worked to get him to drink straight milk. It was suggested that I try almond milk, soy milk, etc however my hypocrisy only goes so far.
So what do I do to get my little one the calcium he needs.
So while he may not drink milk in the traditional sense it’s my job to disguise the calcium he needs in other forms.
Life doesn’t always flow smoothly. Sometimes you find yourself in the hospital at the bedside of a loved one. Jeremy and I have been there a time or two. Recently we found ourselves again at the bedside and our history proved helpful to a family who had never had to go through this with a baby in tow.
Pack smart not heavy. Likely you will be in waiting rooms or a hospital rooms and transportability is key. Hospitals, most, are not small compact locations. They can be a sprawling campus of long hallways. Pack only essentials. So what are the essentials: diapers, wipes, a change of clothes (blowouts will happen at the most in opportune time), and wet ones for cleaning hands that have been on the floor etc. For infants—bottles and formula. For toddlers—snacks and sippy cups. I actually travel with 2 bags 1)Diaper Essentials 2)Snack Bag with a cooler insert to keep items cool. For entertainment—I would suggest not bringing a lot of toys. You’ll be surprised how fascinated your little one will be with the new world around them. Focus instead on their favorite toys. For Jeremy that amounted to his LeapFrog remote control, LeapFrog Tablet, and his iPad. Chargers with long cables are a must; the longer cable you have the better. Luck may not be on your side and you might not be located close to an electrical plug.
Investigate early:::Find out the cafeteria hours. This is important because you will get hungry and there is nothing worse than waiting to the last minute and there is no food left. Make notes about bathroom locations as you travel to the waiting room or your loved ones bedside. In the waiting room area I like to get the corner. This keeps my little one out of high traffic areas and helps me try and contain his energy in my sphere.
Pack Patience:::Your little one is going to love to explore but don’t get frustrated when they try to crawl on the floor or play around on the floor (hint—they don’t know its a hospital) gently encourage them to stand and not play on the floor, guide them to activities that they can do on a small table or chairs that are available. While I don’t let him scream I definitely don’t try to keep him quiet. Your little one is a child they are going to make noise and it’s okay. By no mean am I advocating a screaming child enthralled with wild abandon; however to expect your little one to be seen and never heard is in my opinion and unrealistic expectation.
it’s a scary thing being in the hospital hopefully with these tips it will be less stressful for your little one and you.
Jeremy has been a traveler since he was 2 months old. Travel with him has become more of a challenge as his mobility has changed and his needs have morphed into more than just a breast, a diaper, and a nap. Making him portable these days means packing smart and with purpose. For my birthday I decided to make a quick trip to Myrtle Beach to enjoy sun and sand with my LO. Here are some tips that helped make my life easier and I hope if you try them they will help you as well.
I started packing the week of the trip and I packed my son first and myself second. I used this wonderful bag from Amazon that I was able to put all of his clothes, towels, lotion, soap, shoes, and evening toys in. Packing early for him and myself gave me time to plan outfits based on the weather and proposed activities and try to color coordinate if possible (if you are into that sort of thing). As a single mother traveling I have learned planning is essential for me.
Diaper bag preparations:
It’s important to pack your diaper bag very well, especially if you are flying. You never knows when your flight is going to be delayed or if you’re going to get held up at TSA security check point and miss your flight. I always make sure I have multiple snack options. I have found airport prices to be exorbitant, the price for convenience they say. My little one has multiple snack favorites but it’s hard to know which one he’s going to want at a particular time so depending on the length of the flight I try to pack 2 of each of his favorites. Typically my diaper bag is a backpack style that I also got from Amazon but for trips I like to use my work bag from Thirty-One. I like the pockets on the outside which allow for quick and easy access of drinks/sippy cups, favorite toys, snack options, wipes, and the mesh pockets on the side serve for holding trash if I need it to or my phone if I need two hands quickly.
I also pack small toys and books to keep him occupied and I always have my back up — his iPad. He has limited access at home, so it serves as a treat in cases of emergencies. I also bring a set of over the ear headphones for him to use so as not to disturb others. Unfortunately a lot of toys do not have ear jacks so I just try and turn them to their lowest sound setting. I usually try to reach for his books first which thankfully he’s usually interested in because they tend to be quieter than his toys.
Handy mobilization options:
When my little one was small I transported him in his car seat with a converter stroller. It was very heavy but served the purpose because when we arrived I had his car seat with me and he was already strapped in. Now that he had put grown his first car seat I have searched for stroller options that work for me. The stroller that came with his system is nice because it’s large and allows me to put bag in the carriage underneath but it is also bulky for air travel, and after traveling with it and having it broken by the airline I started looking for another solution. I do like using it for car trips. The umbrella stroller is the next option I tried. Its nice for quick jaunts around town; however, I find the low profile hard on my back and shoulders for air travel. A friend who travels frequently recommended I try the gb Pocket Stroller. I used it this trip and loved it! One the way to Myrtle beach i checked it at the gate and it survived the airplane test and was returned unscathed. On the return trip I used it as a carry on and it fit nicely into the overhead compartment 😉. This saved us 15-20minutes of standing around waiting for the stroller outside the airplane. Anyone who has a mobile baby will tell you that when traveling with a little one who is tired, because they have been traveling all day due to a delayed flight, time is a precious commodity.
Pack your patience:
Gone for me, at least while he’s still young, of raising holy cane about delayed flights and compensation. I now “relax relate and release” as much as possible. I let my little one run around with me in tow behind him so that he has an opportunity to stretch his legs. He’ll be cooped up enough on the airplane. I patiently deal with the dirty looks of those that don’t like babies and don’t understand why I let him run around and talk — those that believe children should be seen and not heard. I apologize when my little one occasionally gets in the way of oncoming airport traffic. I’m also patient with the little one. While discipline and consistency is key understanding his moods in the context of overstimulation, new surrounding, new sounds, and new routines are important.
When I make quick trips I tend to only plan for 1 activity and take the rest as it comes. Recognizing signs of overstimilation, fatigue, hunger, and boredom as early as possible helps to avoid complete meltdowns.
Traveling can be a rewarding and exhausting. I find that the opportunity to expose Jeremy to new sights and sounds gives me a fresh perspective on experiences that I often take for granted 👩🏾👶🏾
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.