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    Parenting, Tips and Tricks

    Parenting an Introverted Child

    Austin is three years old and every single day he lights up the world around him. He’s adventurous and loving, kind and patient. He is funny and silly. He is everything I ever imagined he would be. I’m obviously biased, but I can tell you that this kid is going places. 

    Then the inevitable happens. He gets invited to a Birthday party. Sure we will go, he will have fun won’t he? We hop in the car to drive over and the whole way he talks about singing happy birthday, eating cake, playing with his friends. His excitement grows and grows till we swing open the door and then … crickets. He can’t get the words out. He won’t say happy birthday, he won’t play, and most importantly he won’t talk to his friends. 

    My child has become the one that is overwhelmed by the distraction around him, overwhelmed by the other kids, too nervous to talk and most importantly he has trouble making friends. 

    How can Austin be two incredibly different people and why is it so hard fo him to open up and be the adventurous person he is? This year it became more evident than ever that I have an introvert as a child and I am realizing that we need to teach him ways to foster relationships and to grow his personality.  The problem is… I am also an introvert, I cringe at social situations, my palms sweat when speaking in front of large groups, I shake at the thought of having to go somewhere alone without my support. So how can I, a fellow introvert teach another to let go of fear? 

    I’m learning to let go of the anxiety that comes with being social and to let go of the need for every social setting to be comfortable. I am also 30 years old and I can’t wait another 27 years for my son to be comfortable. So this is my list of how to raise an introvert and how to foster their relationships without overstepping. That’s a big one, I will never beg other kids to play with mine or beg Austin to go be a part of a group, but what I can do is encourage him and give him the tools he needs to be successful. So if you are in the same boat as Austin or I and need some help with social situations check out our 8 tips on parenting an introverted child.  

    • Let them  make the decision: I will not force my son to do anything he doesn’t want to do to. I will never ask him to go to party he doesn’t want to attend. When he asks to go somewhere social I do my best to make it happen.
    • Allow for multiple social opportunities throughout the week. Don’t stay home and become a hermit. Allow your little one the opportunity to grow relationship with friends and others around them.  Simply being around others will allow for these opportunities. 
    • Sometimes silence is bonding. Playing side by side is equally as important as the interaction between two. 
    • Be repetitive, simple words such as please and thank you can lead into a conversation so remind him to use his/her manners ALL the time. Not just at home.
    • Lead by example. I continually try to put myself out there and be social. I want my son to see me taking chances, making friends and being social so he too will see that it is worth the risk of putting yourself out there.
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      Give him other tools to communicate, this is one we didn’t do and I wish we had! Teaching sign language early on can give them the tools they need to become better communicators. 
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      Practice makes perfect - have practice conversations at home of what they can talk about with their friends. Talk about the day, the weather, their top favorite toys, anything that can cause interest and excitement. 
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      Praise your child when they take a social risk - Talk about what they did, how they did it and tell them that it was wonderful. Taking risks are hard but when they hear what a good job they did, then they may be more inclined to take another! 

    The most important thing about an introvert is that it is simply biology.  An introvert personality can't be outgrown or changed.  The more you understand the more you can find ways to create a safe, happy, and encouraging environment! There are some wonderful books out there about ways to guide your child into social situations and to teach them how to use their voice. Check out my top favorite parenting and children books below! 

    Favorites, Must-haves, Parenting

    38 Must Have Summer Dresses

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Okay I went a little overboard with this one! I started looking for a couple dresses to get me through the next few months of summer. Dresses are an essential part of my minimalist wardrobe. One piece of clothing that you can dress up or down with a few accessories? YES PLEASE! 

    Here are my top favorites that can take you from a day at the beach to the perfect wedding guest look (okay not all of them are versatile but you get the point!).  

    Scroll down to see the 38 dresses that I fell in love with! I am only buying two but a girl can dream right?! If you see any you love, click on the link and it will take you directly to where you can purchase it.  Happy Shopping! 

    Which summer dress was your favorite? Share your summer wardrobe staple in the comments below <3 

    Favorites, Parenting

    Spring Styles with Janie and Jack

    It’s still winter here in Northern California.  The grass is sprinkled with rain drops and the fog slowly drifts in and out.  But spring is upon us and it was more evident than ever in our little adventure today. See below for our must have spring outfits by Janie & Jack

    Yesterday in eagerness to tire out the kids, I took them on an adventure! We hiked through the drizzly rain and the low fog all the while laughing and singing “she'll be comin' around the mountain when she comes toot toot’. Flashbacks of my nonnie taking us for ice cream flooded my brain and I was immediately brought back to those cool Spring days! As I marched along with the kids, we began to see flowers peeping through the bitter cold and we knew it was time for Spring. 

    As soon as the kids were home they threw on their new clothes from Janie and Jack

    Janie and Jack clothes left us craving more outdoor fun! Charlotte danced around in her comfortable pink dress.  She picked flowers with her new white purse and placed them perfectly inside. Austin couldn't wait to put on his anchor sweater which so perfectly reminded him of Zuma from Paw Patrol. He became inseparable with the sweet boat shoes that reminded him of his papa's big slippers. 

    It was fun to dress the kids up in new fresh Spring clothes and watch them dance all over. It was proof that Janie and Jack's pieces were not only stylish, but also comfortable enough for the kids to run and play in!  Be sure to check out Janie and Jack here.   In the comments below, let me know what your favorite Janie and Jack piece is! 

    This post is sponsored by Janie & Jack.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Favorites, Parenting, Uncategorized

    Mom Crush Monday: My Lovely Ohana

    Boy was I dreaming about that island life when I fell upon this mama and her adorable little one! Her Instagram is splattered with thoughts of love and sunshine. This cold weather has me wanting to jump on the first flight out of here. Next blog post brought to you from the beautiful islands of Hawaii? Hmm.. lovely thought but not as lovely as learning about Summer and her beautiful family! 

    Tell me about yourself & your blog...

    I’m a 24 year old military brat turned military wife, mommin’ it up on the beautiful island of Oahu.  In my free time, you’ll find me sippin’ on coffee (or wine!), dippin’ in the ocean, or hanging’ with my girl gang.  On my blog, you'll find a lot of “new mom- gone wrong” experiences, tips inspired by passion, and a million pictures of my beautiful daughter Teigen.

    Your favorite blog post...

    My favorite blog post so far has been a piece I wrote for ashleyroseboutique.com called "Five mom expressions I finally understand".

    "It's my favorite because it's totally relatable for new moms!

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    It's really challenging trying to keep your little one from every single danger day to day. And even more, realizing that they are going to fall down, bump their heads, or get bit by the dog a time or two. As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!

    What is the best piece of parenting/mothering advice you have received?

    The best advice I've received has been from my oh so brilliant mother, "Don't sweat the small stuff!".

    "As mama bears we are extremely protective of our cubs and never want to see them hurt!!"

    Funniest thing your kid(s) have ever done?

    Teigen is a hilarious kid (she gets it from her mom of course). She has me cracking up all the time with her HUGE baby farts, crazy tongue that likes to lick literally everything, and super awesome dance moves. Just the other day she got a dolphin puppet book from her aunty. The second I put my finger in that puppet, she started laughing non stop! It's those kind of moments that really get me.

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    I could NOT live without my Infant Optics Video baby monitor to watch my snoozing babe from anywhere. I'm totally in love with my Baby Trend jogger, it's the perfect size and so fun to push T around in! And the Fawn Design diaper bag is my absolute favorite bag to take everywhere!!

    "I strive to get a workout in at least 5 days a week. Its a great way for me to get out some stress and keep my body healthy!"

    Share with us the social media accounts you love to follow...

    @gparrish @memoirsofmotherhood @diaryofafitmommyofficial

    For more on Summer and her adorable family, check out her blog here or find her on Instagram @mylovelyohana

    Crafts, Parenting

    Easter Potato Stamp

    Who doesn’t love a good Easter egg project?? In this household, Holidays and Art go hand in hand. It’s only natural that I give my kids a project that is far too difficult for them and they turn it into something wonderful. Keep reading to find out how we make our Easter Egg Potato Stamps.

    I can’t even remember where I saw this wonderful idea to make egg stamps out of potatoes. It was so cute, creative and I thought in my head would be incredibly simple, “of course my kids can cut a potato and paint perfect little squiggly lines”.  Boy was I wrong but what they did create was even better.  In the end art is all about going outside the box and pushing your creativity.  

    Don’t be fooled by how simple these look. Cutting a potato in half is a difficult task, the tutorial I had found wanted zig zag and lines cut into it but I knew right away that wasn’t going to happen. So I simplified it, I cut the potato in half and let the kids color and paint away. For an older child, I would let them expand on this project by adding detail before stamping and even after. You could turn this into eggs in a basket or an egg garland. 

    Austin thought this was the best activity we had ever done. He had so much fun painting and stamping. He loved mixing the colors. Then he painted his feet and made foot prints with his eggs.  Charlotte had fun painting the entire potato and rolling it around. She liked eating the paint and then licking the paper.  I thought they did an impressive job for two crazy little toddlers. 

    Overall this project ended up being pretty easy after we simplified it.  It will be fun to try this next year when they are a little older and able to create other things with the egg stamps. What is a craft you would love to see us try? Let me know in the comments below! 

    Favorites, Parenting

    Easter Basket Favorites

    Something I am super excited for this year is Easter baskets! It goes without saying that we LOVE holidays. We love to decorate and give practical gifts. It’s not the receiving that is fun, but more so the giving and the excitement of surprising someone. I love surprising my kids with fun things here and there.  We are looking forward to decorating eggs and celebrating all together this year. Find out what we will be filling our baskets with this year! 

    Special Easter shirt

    It has become quite the tradition to give them a special shirt to wear the day of!  We usually find one with quirky little characters for whatever they are into at the moment. This year I'm getting them cute little tractor shirts because they both love digging. You can find our favorite Easter shirt here.

    Make Up and Nail Polish
    Our kids love nail polish and make up. Each time we trim their nails, they ask for us to paint them too. It’s their reward for sitting patiently for a few minutes and having their nails clipped. They love any bright and fun colors.  My selection has been pretty boring to them (not to mention all the horrid ingredients) until we received the most adorable package from Prim and Pure. They have the purest of ingredients and are made of vegetables. The colors are sweet and perfect for little fingers and toes (maybe for mine too)! Best part is you can get 10% off by telling them that I sent you, just type in THISMOMLIFE at check out!  You can find their shop here.  

    Bows

    Yes we also are huge bow fans. Honestly it started out because my daughter had no hair but now she grabs them each morning! Austin loves bows too. This year I’m putting matching bows in their baskets. Check out our favorites here and for a code to get 10% off from my favorite 5 bow companies!  

    Moon Lite

    I bought this for the kids for Valentines day and it was a quick grab from Amazon. Little did I know the excitement it would bring. You hook it up to the back of your phone and songs plays while you read a book projected on the wall to the kids. It’s magical and exciting. You can get your own here. So far we have Curious George, Good Night Moon, and Uni the Unicorn.  It is the perfect activity to wind us down from a crazy day! 

    Craft Supplies

    I always throw in something that is extra useful. The kids LOVE to craft, so anything art related make them happy. This year we are going to work on our garden so I am going to throw in some cute pots for them to decorate. You can find the sweetest little pots and paint set here

    Gardening Supplies

    Along with the crafts, I am going to throw in the supplies they need for gardening. They love to copy mom & dad as we pull weeds and plant seeds, so this year they get their own seeds and gloves. Click here for some kid friendly gardening supplies. 

    Rain Boots

    This year we are stuffing everything into our rain boots instead of baskets! The kids have fallen in love with their London Littles and have worn them every single day. We decided to grab them the next size up for some fun summer adventures (splashing in the river all summer long!).  You can get a pair of our favorite London Little rain boots here


    Now it’s your turn! Tell me the one must have Easter basket item in the comments below! 

    LOOKING for more ideas? Check out our Favorite Stocking Stuffers here

    Favorites, Parenting

    Mom Crush Monday: How We Do

    This Mom Crush Monday comes as a duo and they have a total of 7 kids! They are professional moms! The two friends, Angie and Karlie, cover everything "mom" on their blog, from beauty to travel. They share all their favorites in instagram stories and always leave you wanting more. 

    Tell me about your blog.. 

    We are friends and neighbors who happen to love a lot of the same things! We’re both moms, wives, and professionals who love to travel, workout, shop, and spend time with our families. Something we’ve noticed the past few years is that we often get asked “how do you….?”. So we decided to create a blog with helpful tips! We cover anything from fashion and beauty to grocery deals and travel tips. We love to try new products and share our results. Basically we love to share everything with our followers!

    Angie: I'm a professor at our local College where I specialize in Health and Human Performance. My husband, Chad, is a police officer in our community. I have four amazing kids: Boston (8), Jade (6), Cash (4), and Lux (2). I love spending time with them, especially if it involves watching them in their sports and other activities. I enjoy any form of working out, whether it’s running, lifting weights, or playing sports with my family. I love to travel and explore new places and find all the must dos and must sees (my nickname lovingly given by my husand is “Trip Advisor Angie”). I'm a perfectionist naturally and have an eye for fashion. I love to shop and score a good deal. And when I get the chance to relax, I love to sit down with a good book.

    Karli: I'm a dental hygienist for a local general dental practice. I love nothing more than spending time with my husband, Jud, and my three amazing kids: Jaxton (9), Halle (5), and Lola (2). Our favorite thing to do in the summer is going boating on the lake with family and friends. Baseball, boating and beaches are some of our favorite things to do/see. I love to wake-surf and even though I HATE cold water, I’ll jump in for a good surf session if there’s glass! My family and I enjoy traveling together as much as we can. I've always loved to play sports and workout, but I've also developed a love for Crossfit in the last several months, thanks to my sister. I'm close with my mom and two sisters that live nearby.

    ​"We are moms that like to have a good time, our families come first, and we love sharing helpful tips! When we find a good deal we want everyone to know about it! Our goal is to be as helpful as we can!"

    Your favorite blog post...

    Honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite! Our posts are filled with everyday tips we've learned along the way. We actually love doing videos even more than we love writing blog posts! We do live videos a few times a week on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

    Best parenting advice...

    Say yes as often as you can. There are lots of times when no is necessary and you start to sound like a broken record. A yes means a lot more to our kids than a convenient no means to us as moms!

    What is the most challenging part of motherhood?

    Knowing when to step in and when to step back; you want your kids to be independent and learn from their experiences, but it's also hard to watch them fail. Having patience, day in and day out. Finding and keeping a balance, especially as working moms with multiple children. Basically EVERYTHING! But you just do the best you can each day and try to be better than you were the day before. 

    "You never stop learning and being challenged as a parent!"

    Funniest thing your kid(s) have ever done?

    Our kids are always cracking us up! They have such different personalities and unique quirks, from their dance moves to their outfit choices to their one-liners, every day is comedy. If you want to see what we're talking about, check out our Instastories!

    Top 3 mom must haves:

    Dry shampoo (a must!), comfy and cute mom clothes (we have these jeggings that are to die for that we wear on the daily), and chocolate! 

    What is something you do (or strive to do) just for yourself?

    This is something we probably don't do often enough! We both love to workout and are very health conscious, so that's probably the most consistent thing we do for ourselves for our 'me time'. Other than that we try to squeeze in some girl time when we can, but that's rare. 🙂 

    The social media accounts you love to follow...

    There are so many great accounts, but a couple that we love are @tarathueson and @healthybeatskinny. 

    Check out Angie and Karlie on Instagram @howwedo and find out more on their blog here.