Lollipop Baby Camera – Millennial Mama Review

I always said I would be a chill parent and never sweat the small stuff. Turns out…I’m not a chill parent. While yes, I tend to go with the flow, I am hyper paranoid about everything. It’s hard to be in my head sometimes. So many thoughts racing through at any given moment. I’m often talking myself down from spaces of high anxiety; searching for the parenting peace of mind. 

 

Well, there has been a shift, the Lollipop Baby Camera has eliminated so much of that parenting paranoia. We received the Lollipop Baby Camera three-weeks ago and to be honest, it’s a real game-changer. We LOVE it (and so do the kids…a little too much). 

 

As a millennial parent, I am constantly drawn towards the new and improved tech savvy product. The Lollipop Baby Camera is just that, but for monitoring your babe during naptime, playtime, bedtime, or anytime. The camera syncs with your Apple or Android device/phone for full monitoring with tons of features perfect for the new parent or seasoned parent. 

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From the app you can clearly view your child with ease. There isn’t any of that Ghost Hunters television show night vision happening, but a clear and crisp image. The 4x digital zoom and infrared LED makes this camera stand out above the rest. It also has a cry detection feature. The monitor picks up on your child’s cues and can differentiate between babbling and crying. You will automatically receive an alert if you baby is starting to cry. These occurrences are detailed on an events list, i.e. 30 second videos capturing cries, noise, temperature fluctuations, etc. Is this the dream or what?

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The app has additional features, such as data collection. The Public Health major in me LOVES this feature because I can track when my kid is up and down. Who doesn’t love research and evaluation?! Did he need to get up for the bathroom at a certain time? Was he unsettled at any given moment? With this information, I can identify my child’s sleep patterns. PS: Did I mention you can keep it on your personal WiFi for full privacy. 

 

Along with the benefits of the mobile app, you can move and bend the baby-safe silicone camera around for the best angle. It comes with a tree branch wall mount, so you don’t have to ruin your walls or furniture. It also comes in three adorable colors – aqua (what we have), pink, and pistachio. The way parents curate our kid’s rooms these days, we need something that will seamlessly blend into the decor and this monitor does just that.

 

I can talk on and on about the benefits of the Lollipop Baby Camera, but you need to try this one out for yourself. I sincerely love this product! Click this link to learn more and to get your own >> https://store.lollipop.camera/ << 

#lollipopbabymonitor #lollipopbabycamera#lollipopbabycam

What color Lollipop Baby Camera would you pick? Let me know in the comments of this post. 

 

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Rise Up – Kids Night In Box Review

“Good is not a thing you are. Good is a thing you do.” – Ms. Marvel

              I will be referencing a bunch of Marvel superheroes, so my apologies in advance to the DC fans out there.

One of the biggest tasks I have taken on as a parent, in my opinion, is the responsibility of raising kind souls. As human beings it’s easy for us to default to a negative head space because of the many emotions we hold inside. I envision toddlers and preschoolers in this instance, as little Bruce Banners. They are pint-size people full of big emotions, and sometimes they don’t know where to harness that energy, just like Hulk.

While the vision of a green tiny human with purple shorts sounds cute and quite honestly like the perfect Halloween costume, I don’t want my kids hulking out due to frustration, hurt feelings, or anything in between. In the August 2019 Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, kids and parents are provided the tools needed to have fun and learn how to effectively approach the topic of bullying. I think about this often in regard to my kids. I don’t want them to be the victims of bullying and I especially do not want them to turn into the Thanos of their pre-school. With the support and knowledge from the Home Educators of American, Kids Night In Box, has provided another exceptional box to tackle this important topic.

SUPERHERO STYLE

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a special book themed specifically to that month’s box. In this month’s box, we were given a copy of How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style, an insightful children’s book written by Wiley Blevins and illustrated by Debbie Palen. In this book, a young boy named Zach transforms into a superhero addressing situations of bullying amongst his peers. In an effort to stand up for what is right, Zach uses his words instead of his fists to better the situation.

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My oldest is currently in Pre-K, so Kindergarten is no longer a thought, it is quite honestly right around the corner. I know how sweet his soul is and how empathetic he is to other’s feelings but having conversations around bullying at this very moment is so important. This book has been the perfect introduction and reminder of what we can say when someone is bullying a friend or classmate. I certainly appreciate having this book in our personal library.

BECOME THE HERO

Our FAVORITE activity from this box was the creation of his superhero costume! In the box, your child is provided a superhero mask kit, superhero cape, and superhero ID badge. In an effort to be like Zach from the book, we started our costume making journey with the ID badge. On the badge there is a place to put your superhero name and superhero power. Now, my son went very unconventional during this part of the activity. As a lover of Pokemon, he became “I Love Pokemon” and his power is “Pokemon Blast.” I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, he is so strong and mighty as “I Love Pokemon.” A true force to be reckoned with.

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After creating the ID badge, together, we followed the pictured instructions for the superhero mask kit. Carefully placing each foam piece, the end result was fantastic! As a lover of the color orange, his perfectly designed purple and orange face mask, gave him the confidence he needed to become the best superhero around.

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Watching my son run around the front yard with his cape, mask, and ID badge, was quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. We plan to reenact How to Deal with Bullies Superhero Style dressed in his costume and practice how to address different situations he may face at school, swim practice, the park, or anywhere he may potentially encounter a bully.

BULLY VS. BUDDY

One thing I love about each Kids Night In Box, is that they provide critical thinking opportunities. With the Bully vs. Buddy chart, my son was able to identify instances of bullying. I read through a number of scenarios and he had to identify, by circling a happy face or frowny face, if they scenario was an example of someone being a bully. Alternatively, for the older kids, the back of the Bully vs. Buddy sheet allows older kids to right down characteristics of how an individual can be a buddy or how a person can be a buddy.

We work really hard to teach our boys how to be the best buddies they can be and approach each situation with kindness. This is a great tool to learn how different actions can help or harm the people around them.

A LITTLE EXTRA

Each Kids Night In Box comes with a few extra items, so the impact of the box can go above and beyond. In the Kids Night In Box – Rise Up, my son received a pair of bright orange sunglasses. If you know anything about my son, HIS color is orange, so these were perfect. Megan Pruitt, Founder of Kids Night In Box, has labelled these shades as “Bully Blockers” and we are obsessed. My son can put these on as a way to block out the bullies.

These were a few of our favorite activities, but there were so many more ways to have fun and learn how to address the important topic of bullying in children and adolescents with this month’s Kids Night In Box.

I say it each month, but we look forward to receiving our Kids Night In Box. It’s exciting, educational, and engaging! To get your box, CLICK HERE!

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Who is your favorite superhero? Let me know in the comments below.

#KNIRiseUp #KidsNightInBox

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Living with Intention – Parenting

One of the biggest takeaways I have gathered thus far through my journey of motherhood is the resilience of children. It amazes me how they will continuously try something (even if they can’t get it quite right) or re-adjust to whatever is happening in the world around them. They do all of this with a smile on their face(s). Kids are AMAZING!

I’ve recently put my kids to the test. I started a new job, which I love, but it has tilted our world’s axis. We are waking up earlier, getting picked up later or picked up by someone other than mom, and spending less time together on the weekdays. While this has been a tough transition for me, because my husband and kids are my world, they have adapted beautifully. They don’t appear phased (which I won’t take too personally), but I have realized my personal shift. I am far more intentional with my life.

Now you may or may not know this about me, but I am Type A to the point that I have everything organized to the “T” 24/7. No matter what it is, i.e. food, clothing, schedules, etc., I am aligned in every way; however I often I get caught up in the idea of catching up that I fail to enjoy the present. With this new job, I have found myself putting down the phone and other distractions to be deeply entrenched in my family’s lives. Now this is not something I randomly started pursuing, but something I have and will continue to work on.

Here are the techniques I use to be more intentional:

  1. Communication – We do it every day. We talk in person, over the phone, through social media, etc., yet we often fail when it comes to intentional communication. I really try to be cognizant of everyone’s feelings. Listening and taking note of what’s going on in their lives. Asking questions and creating opportunities to build together from those experiences. This will support the growth of your family in a positive direction.
  2. Laugh – There is no need to stress about the tiny details. In the grand scheme of things, life will go on. Instead of stressing yourself out to get everything done and still be Super Mom/Dad, push it to the side and laugh. Spreading laughter to your kids will not only improve their lives, but bring more joy to yours.
  3. Be Present – It’s easy to hide behind the screen (phone, TV, computer, etc.) and lose sight of what’s important. Bring present and focusing your time and energy into your tribe is the best thing you can do. The Instagram post can wait, trust me.
  4. Routine – Now, I mentioned I am the Queen of Routines. While things have changed, we are still operating with focus. Keeping the routine is important. Even after a long day and your kids want to stay up a little longer or eat candy at 8 PM, keep the routine in mind. This consistency is not only good for them, but also helpful for you as a parent and partner.
  5. Say No! – I’m not talking about shutting down your kids and/or spouse/partner, I am talking about saying no things that impede upon your family life. If you work from 9 AM to 5 PM that is when you work (sometimes you have to stay late or travel), but when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Your kids are only little once, make them a priority. Instead of saying yes to projects or proposals that can wait until the next morning, politely say no and go home to your family. At the end of the day, it will all get done.

As Steve Maraboli stated, “the universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts – it gives you what you demand with your actions.” Living with intention is hard. I am in no way as master at intentional living, but I am working on it. How do you promote an intentional lifestyle? Let me know in the comments.

Good luck on your journey!

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Book Review: Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths

The other day I watched my four-year-old have a complete meltdown because the dog looked at him. Yup, the dog looked at him. His freak out caused my two-year-old to throw his cup (which broke and leaked everywhere) across the playroom crashing into the wall causing another wave of crocodile tears. These are the real moments of motherhood – raw, ridiculous, and ruthless.

I took to social media that day not to share this wild mishap, but an adorable photo of my kids reenacting the entire production of Baby Shark. Like many of us, I slapped a filter on life and gave you what you wanted to see – a fantasy-land of parenting. Let’s be honest, we need more reality in focus, because motherhood is a wonderful, yet extremely messy experience.

I recently got my hands on a copy of Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths – Embarrassing Stories and Brutally Honest Advice on the Extremely Real Struggle of Motherhood, by dynamic duo Catherine “Cat” Belknap and Natalie “Nat” Telfer. Cat and Nat give it to you straight in this hilarious collection of REAL motherhood anecdotes. This journey from pregnancy to toddlerdom will leave you rolling on the floor in laughter.

Cat and Nat’s Mom Truths

From tips on what you should actually pack in your hospital bag to the realities of Instagram myths on to tips of how to avoid post-partum sex, they give it all to you. With all of these knee-slapping realities, Cat and Nat provide you with the reassurance that you are doing a GREAT job. Motherhood is hard and there is no right way to do it. “There is only your way.”

To be honest, I have been dealing with some personal “mom guilt.” There is no reason for it. I have decided I need to feel guilty, constantly questioning if I’m doing enough for my kids, if working is ruining my children’s lives, if the tone I had with my toddler will negatively impact him for the rest of his life…you know normal thoughts (she said with sarcasm). When I dove head first into this book, I didn’t realize how much it would put me in check. I’m no longer sweating the small stuff. I love my kids, they love me, and well hell, that’s enough! So, Cat and Nat – thank you! Thank you for sharing these truths in a captivating and entertaining way. I can look at myself and say, “you are mom enough!”

Grab your favorite drink (black coffee for me), your favorite treat, shed the mom guilt, and indulge in this delightfully raw capture of what motherhood is REALLY like. Now available for purchase, get your copy of Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths today! >> Cat & Nat’s Mom Truths <<

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How To Limit Screen Time

How to Limit Screen Time for Kids

I’m guilty! Put me in handcuffs and throw me in the slammer. I have relied on the power of screen time to get me through those rough episodes in public, whiny times at home, and the occasional “will you stop if I give this to you?” moments of parenthood.

I’ve read the research and I know excessive screen time is no beuno when it comes to the little ones. I have worked to be more intentional in limiting screen time, but not necessarily eliminating it all together. I believe there are benefits to watching educational shows or playing learning apps. My oldest can name at least ten types of whales and tell you the difference between an octagon and hexagon – he’s only three. With this said, I don’t want him to turn into a tech zombie before he’s in Kindergarten.

How to Limit Screen Time

Here are five ways to effectively limit screen time for kids:

  1. Break the habit – Make it clear, screen time WILL NOT be a constant. Listen, this may not be the most conventional tactic for all parents, but we’ve never been able to gradually phase out anything in our kid’s lives. My youngest never used a pacifier, but our oldest was an addict. After months of negotiating, we cut him off cold turkey. By day two, there were no complaints or pleas for the paci. Just like the trusty wubbanub, we cut him off from the iPad and life moved on. Instead of grabbing the iPad when he came home from school, he was inspired to play with his toys, build a puzzle, or color a picture.
  2.  Screen time is a treat – If our kids want to watch a movie or their favorite episode of Octonauts, we encourage them to make their beds, clean up the play room, eat all of their dinner (my oldest is a picky eater), or help take care of the dogs. We don’t get what we want just because we want it. It’s a tough lesson, but our preschooler has already established a routine of organization and appreciation. When he gets to sit down with iPad, it’s a treat for hard work.
  3. Incentivize in other ways – Our  three-year-old is strongly driven by incentives. If it’s a sticker or a high five, he wants to be recognized for a job well done. We created a help chart, where he receives a sticker for completing a series of chores, helping his little brother, listening at school, etc. Once he fills up his chart be can exchange his points for a small prize. Lately he has been into Tsum Tsums, so we have been awarding him with a blind bag. He is driven to fill his collection, which in return fills his time and he forgets about wanting to watch Frozen for the hundredth time.
  4. Circulate Toys – OK, so incentives aren’t your thing. One simple way to redirect your child’s attention from the screen is to circulate their toys. This method works for our toddler. By changing out their toys every couple of weeks re-inspires play time. They forget they had those action figures, books, cars, etc. We switch things around about every two weeks and it seems to work.
  5. Set the example – Now, this is the hardest method – eliminating our own use of technology in front of the kids. It’s bad when your three-year-old tells you to put down your phone or step away from the computer (insert parental cringe). Our kids watch our every move and look to us for inspiration. Let’s set the example, and reduce our time on the digital devices. We might even feel better afterwards.

I am making a public vow to reduce my screen time and be more present with my kids, because they are only little for so long. Will you join me and make the pledge today? Let me know in the comments what strategies you will use to limit screen time for your family.

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Finding Balance in a Life of Chaos

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.”
– Thomas Merton

The word balance ironically makes my body wobble back and forth from anxiety. I am at a phase in my life where I have more than enough going on (we all feel like this at some point). On top of being a wife, mom to two little boys, full-time employee, I am also pursuing my master’s degree, which means my evenings are consumed with class and schoolwork. If this schedule gives you a case of the sympathetic anxieties, I certainly understand and appreciate your concern.

Before I graduated high school, back in the day, I was pretty chill and let everything (for the most part) roll off my shoulders. When I started college, I assumed unexplained anxiety and started wearing the weight of the world on my shoulders. No one asked me to; I just felt like I needed to take on the task. Now that I have a family, work, and a continued pursuit of higher education, I am now the mom running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

I often look insane and probably scare away any of the other parents who have their lives together (at least externally). Let’s get real though, social media does not help the overworked and exhausted mama, because only the best is captured by my fellow parents. I am guilty of this as well, but I will take a moment to share a snapshot of finding my one-and-a-half-year-old eating a crayon because I trusted he would be fine in the playroom by himself. Why was he in the playroom by himself? I had to answer a work email on a Saturday. I say all of this because I want, no, I NEED balance.

On this journey of balance, I’ve had a few realizations. Here are the five things you need to do to get started re-balancing your life –

  1. Call on the village: You don’t have to do this on your own. Call on your village to help when needed. Lucky for me, I have a great life partner who steps up all the time. I sure do appreciate him and all that he does, but sometimes he can’t be there because of work or coaching, so I have my family right around the corner to offer additional support. My family drops everything to help pick up the kids, watch the boys when I have a company call later in the evenings, take the boys on adventures when I have school work that has piled up, etc. We are lucky to have them. Don’t feel less than if you need help. We all need help at some point in our lives.
  2. Don’t compare: For many of us, we digest content through social media. For me, I am a lover of Instagram. I love snapshot content. As I mentioned earlier, we cannot put ourselves down if we are not like the Insta moms who have 50K followers, crisp white backdrops, and their cherub babies in perfect poses with rosy red cheeks. I’m lucky to capture a picture of my kids without having to tell them to stop hitting each other, not to pick their noses, to go clean their face, etc. In the same realm, we can’t compare memories made. The memories made of arts and crafts, playing on the playground, visiting the pet store, etc. should not be looked down upon compared to those of parents taking their kids to Disney World, Hawaii, or Time Square in NYC. You are still a great parent, so don’t compare yourself to others. Your kids are going to cherish the time together, no matter what you’re doing.
  3. Maximize your time: Who else loves a planner and calendar? This mama is obsessed. I love to have everything laid out in an easily consumed format. My husband has even tapped into this obsession and created a digital family calendar. We know at the start of everyday what to anticipate. When there are moments of down time, fill them with productive activities, like one-on-one time with the kiddos. I try to make an effort to spend down-time with my kids. If it’s down time during the work day, use the time to look at your to-do lists, consume a podcast, or read for grad school. If you’re like me, I am always concerned that I am using my time effectively, so using your time to care for yourself, spend quality time with the babes, or prep for the future is a great way to not feel guilty about having free time.
  4. Self-care: Take care of yourself! You can’t be a great partner, mom, employee, student, etc. if you’re not taking care of yourself. I make a point to have at least 30 minutes of me time daily. If it’s watching a YouTube video, taking a therapeutic bath, or watching re-runs of the Great British Bake Off (my guilty pleasure), you are becoming the best version of yourself. You are not shellfish; you’re thinking about everyone around you. It’s OK. Go take a bubble bath.
  5. Keeping working: Balance is a hard thing to achieve, so think of this as an effort of achieving fulfillment. Are you living a fulfilled life? Once you feel fulfilled, balance will follow. This is a process, just buckle up for the ride and take everything in stride. You can do this!

Do I currently balanced? No, but I’m getting there and I’m not doing it alone. I have the best group of folks supporting me through this journey. If you don’t think you have the support system you need, I’m here for you! We’ll find balance together.

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Why? – Strange Things Toddlers Do

I was introduced to the world of professional wrestling, WWF (World Wrestling Federation – later) at a very young age by my uncle (shout out to Uncle P!). I was the first grader walking around demonstrating the signature moves of D-Generation X, in particular, Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley). If you have no clue, YouTube it and you’ll see the amazingness that is this mid-90s to early 2000s group. My adoration for the athleticism and performance of these individuals often left my teachers and parents saying – “Why?”

“Hannah why are you pretending to jackknife [XYZ person]?” My answer would always be, “Why not?”

Now that I have two kids and one has discovered his true toddler sass, I hear the phrase “why not?” on loop. Also, as a boy mom, I hear this more often than most – at least I’m assuming mothers and fathers of boys are always walking around looking puzzled because their son(s) has decided to do something crazy.

Along with questioning my children’s (keep in mind they are three and one) need to have an impromptu wrestling match like that of the classic Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant from Wrestlemania III in the middle of the living room (YouTube it), my list of “why” based moments is extensive.

Here are the top ten most recent reasons I’ve had to say “why?” and slowly shake my head in confusion.

  1. Mom – Why did you aim your penis at your face when you went to the potty?
    Three-year-old – Because the pee wanted to go up!
  2. Mom – Why are you chewing on the baby teether?
    Three-year-old – Because the baby teether is for people not babies!
  3. Mom – Why are you licking the wall?
    Three-year-old – Because I needed to mom!
  4. Mom – *Gives son a new toy* Where are you going?
    Three-year-old – To hide it!
    Mom – Why?
    Three-year-old – Because the worms will get it!!
  5. Mom – Why did you flip over the play kitchen?
    Three-year-old – Because the whale shark was coming, and he wanted popcorn!
  6. Mom – Why are you rubbing petroleum jelly all over your face?
    Three-year-old – Because I can’t breathe! *He thought it was vapor rub*
  7. Mom – Why is your play grill in your bed?
    Three-year-old – My blanket was cold!
  8. Mom – Why are you standing on the coffee table?
    Three-year-old – Because I need to dance!
  9. Mom – Why are you screaming at the drain?
    Three-year-old – The orca won’t stop yelling!
  10. Mom – Why are you not wearing underwear?
    Three-year-old – He needs to breathe!

So, here’s what I know, he watches too much Octonauts (which I secretly love), he’s extremely tactile, and he has a strong understanding of his body. With this said, all I can say is “WHY????”

What is something your kids have done or said that left you at a loss? Let me know in the comments below.

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4 Ways to Teach Your Kids Patience

What is it they always say – patience is a virtue?

I am the first to admit, my patience level is nearly nonexistent. While it has improved over the years, especially with the addition of children (God bless my kids for bringing me down a notch), I am always keeping myself in check. I’m like the Energizer Bunny always on the move and in a hurry, so don’t get in my way.

I am slowly starting to see my lack of patience in my children. Could it be my unfavorable characteristic is now reflected on them or general toddlerdom? We may never know, but what I do know is that I am constantly working towards self-improvement and providing my kids with the tools they need to be patient individuals.

Here are four ways to promote patience –

  1. Parents Practicing Patience – I’ve already admitted my faults, but we should lead by example as parents. My kids are my driving force to actively show what it means to be a mindful and patient person. If mommy can do it, they can do it too!
  2. Slow and Steady – I don’t know if this can be said for all toddlers, but my boys are always on the go. A moment of Zen is very rare and achieved when they are asleep at the end of the day. A great way to establish mindfulness and patience is to introduce activities like coloring, building with Legos, or baking cookies. We want to slow down the soul and enjoy the outcome of taking our time to complete the task at hand.
  3. Celebrate – What kid doesn’t love praise? When our kids practice patience let’s acknowledge them with a job well done. While we should tackle moments of impatience, complimenting them is of the upmost importance. A reward doesn’t hurt either. We have a mindfulness chart at home where my son fills the chart (with stickers) every time he shows patience. When all 12 slots are filled, he can then select a prize from the treasure chest.
  4. Start the Clock – A trick my parents used when I was a youngster – the egg timer. I have found my oldest responds well to the clock. He will sit there and wait for it to ding before he moves to the next activity. “We are going to park in five minutes,” “You can watch your iPad for two more minutes,” or “we will be home in 10 minutes,” are all examples of establishing expectations through time. It eases anxiety and helps when the anticipation of what’s to come.

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. – Leo Tolstoy

Do you or your kids struggle with mindfulness? How do you address patience? Let me know in the comments below.

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Bye Bye Bad Dreams

My three-year-old started waking up in the middle of the night claiming pink monsters were going to attack, his dinosaur bopped him on the head, and some other creature under his bed was determined to take him down. It’s normal for the imagination to kick in and warp the blissful reality of dreamland, but when it started to impact everyone’s sleep, something needed to be done.

The other night, our son was inconsolable. He abruptly busted into our room sobbing crocodile sized tears. He was so upset and unable to formulate his thoughts and tell us what was wrong. My husband took him back to his room and eventually fell asleep on the floor holding his hand. Yes, it was a sweet moment between father and son, but we didn’t want to establish this as the norm.

As parents we have the power to embellish – transform any household object into a magical token or make bold claims like vegetables give us super powers. Just like our children, so much is possible when it comes to the imagination. When the nightmares started to plague his dreams, my imagination took over. Here is the story about a little boy – the bad dream buster.

Before he lays his head to sleep, the little boy grabs his green magic stone (i.e. flattened marble his mom found when cleaning out her jewelry box). He gives it a kiss and whispers the word “lucky” into the stone. He gently places the stone in a mystical container (also known as a pill box) and carefully places it under his pillow. The fluffy bunny that occupies his bed, watches over the magic stone as the little boy goes to sleep.

He then grabs his magic elixir (one cup of warm water mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle) known to many toddlers as “monster spray.” He lightly sprays his bed, royal subjects (i.e. stuffed animals), and royal throws (blankets) with the magic potion. If a monster catches one whiff of the elixir he is banished from the kingdom FOREVER! The little boy was very generous in his distribution of the “monster spray.” He likes to cover his bases.

Finally, the little boy seeks out the keeper of light (also known as his Miffy night light). She turns even the darkest corners of the kingdom bright with his warm glow. With the flick of a switch, she casts a beam of light around his room, ridding it of any monsters who may be lurking.

Once the little boy feels that he has successfully demolished all the baddies, he softly closes his eyes and enters dreamland. Legend states, he starts to dream of adventures on board the Octopod with Captain Barnacle and the rest of the Octonauts (*cue dramatic music).

What a story, would you believe me if I said it was true, minus some of the colorful additions? This may seem like an entire production, but it works, for right now. He has full ownership of his nighttime routine, which I believe helps eliminate some of those pre-bedtime anxieties.

What are some tricks you use to help your kids go to sleep? Let me know in the comments below.

Sweet dreams!

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Parenting Through Disney Songs

Fun fact about me, I have never met a Disney movie I didn’t like. What’s even stronger than my love for animated magic is the fantastic songs that accompany each featured filmed. You will often catch me singing along with the Disney Spotify channel at the top of my lungs while driving in the car, cooking in the kitchen, or working from my desk. Lucky for me, my oldest son is just as obsessed.

As we were belting our best rendition of You’re Welcome from Moana, it hit me, most Disney songs have a lyric(s) that reflect the life of a parent. Here are 10 Disney lyrics that capture what it’s really like to be a parent.

  1. Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas) – You think you own whatever land you land on. I think it’s a known fact that toddlers think they own everything. We are just here for their enjoyment and to be at their beck and call. In response to their incessant sass I say, if you listen to me You’ll learn things you never knew, you never knew.
  2. Un Poco Loco (Coco) – I’ll count it as a blessing that I’m only un poco loco. You know the moment when your kids flip from acting the fool to becoming the sweetest children on the planet? You look into their cherub-like faces and think “thank goodness you’re cute and only make me a little crazy (un poco loco).”
  3. I’ll Make a Man Out of You (Mulan) – Heed my every order and you might survive. This one is for all the boy moms out there [represent]. Boys may be less drama than girls, but it’s harder to keep them alive. When it looks like your son is about to fling his body off the swing set or headbutt his sibling, repeat the wise words of Li Shang.
  4. I Just Can’t Wait to Be King (Lion King) – I think it’s time that you and I arrange a heart to heart. When your kids are on the verge of going to time out, but you want to play nice cop, so you take a note from Zazu’s playbook. It’s either a heart to heart or the time out chair my friend.
  5. Almost There (The Princess and the Frog) – There’s been trials and tribulations. You know I’ve had my share. But I’ve climbed the mountain, I’ve crossed the river, and I’m almost there. When you’re talking to your parent friends about potty training. If you’ve ever seen a war movie and the main character is hobbling out of the trenches, that’s what potty training looks like for a parent. We’ve seen things we can’t come back from.
  6. Let it Go (Frozen) – Let it go (go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go). When my kids are having a “moment,” I often meet and exceed their volume with Queen Elsa’s anthem. Not only does it mute their complaints, it redirects their feelings and puts them into a state of confusion – they are confused as to why mom is actin’ the fool. I’m willing to assume that role if it stops the craziness.
  7. You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story) – You got troubles, and I got them too. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. We stick together, we can see it through, ‘cause you’ve got a friend in me. As baby brother bites his leg, I keep reminding my oldest he will be your best friend one day. You are born into a friendship with your siblings, but it’s one that will last a lifetime.
  8. You’ll Be in my Heart (Tarzan) – For one so small, you seem so strong. My arms will hold you, keep you safe and warm. This bond between us can’t be broken. I mean…this song just violently yanks at the heartstrings. I think the moment I became a mom and held my son in my arms, life truly began. There is something so special between a mother and a son. My boys are my world.
  9. Be Prepared (Lion King) – Yes, our teeth and ambitions are bared. Be prepared! This applies to both parent and child during one of the most excruciating moments in their life…teething. Have you seen the YouTube video where they time lapse a child’s teeth coming in? Search it; it’s absolutely horrifying. As you frantically search for the perfect solution to ease your child’s achy gums, maintain determination and prepare to get through it together, because neither of you will be sleeping.
  10. What’s This? (The Nightmare Before Christmas) – What’s this? What’s this? There’s something very wrong. What’s this? The age-old question of is it chocolate or is it poop can be summed up with the simple phrase – what’s this? Dare you even try to figure it out. Only the bravest of souls try to crack the mystery. Are you one of those people?

With hundreds of whimsical songs, there is bound to be one that fits every moment of parenthood. What song would you use to define your current state of parenting? Let me know in the comments below.