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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! 

    Adventures, Family Adventures, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

    Raising Adventurous Kids

    Our latest adventure: CuriOdyssey in the Bay Area. It was our first free Sunday in a long time so we immediately called up Austin’s Aunt and Uncle to plan something fun. My kids are very adventurous and I am always looking for new and exciting places to take them. (You can find my top 10 tips for Raising Adventurous Kids below) While searching online for somewhere local that had indoor and outdoor activities I stumbled upon CuriOdyssey. Yelp doesn’t do it justice! The reviews were so-so and the pictures looked cluttered, but we decided to check it out anyways.

    Coyote Point is a recreational area in San Mateo. CuriOdyssey is an attraction within Coyote Point. There are also play structures, lots of picnic areas, grassy areas to play, boats, ocean trails and tons of other gorgeous things that make this area so incredibly special.

    Upon entering, we went straight for the animal exhibits. It was the perfect size for a three and one year old. Most of the attraction is gated and each area has a closed in structure. There were so many places to explore from the indoor reptiles to the bobcat exhibit. Along the exhibits there were lots of little places for the kids to stop and peek around. We came upon a neat little hut where we had a quick lunch while watching the river otters. 

    We then headed indoors to the hands-on exhibits. There were so many little discovery stations where the kids were able to touch, play, build and stack things. They had a blast! At the very end of the hall there was a light room. They handed us lanterns and we made our way through the dark structures and fun neon lights. Austin danced away as we listen to fun music and played. 

    Next time we visit, we will definitely plan a full day there. We didn't get a chance to walk along the beach and check out the boats or sit and watch the low flying planes. This place is number one on my MUST visit again list. It was fun for all of us and more than anything left both my kids exhausted. Both of them snored all the way home.  I couldn’t be more thankful for such a quick and fun adventure! 

    Top 10 Tips for Raising Adventurous Kids & How to be Prepared

    • Always dress for the weather. Which is hard when the weather in the Bay is constantly changing. We wear layers and prepare for anything from rain to sun! Check out my favorite layering pieces here. Don’t forget hats and sunglasses.
    • Pack snacks and then pack some more snacks and then throw in some water. My kids are hungry animals 24 hours a day. Without food, fun adventures quickly spiral out of control. You can find my post on snacks to go here
    • Find a place that has outdoor space available. We never want to be stuck indoors all day! I always look for places that allows for some real nature exploring. 
    • Pack a carrier or stroller. My biggest downfall when exploring is being stuck carrying one of the kids. Austin weighs over 40 lbs and Charlotte over 20lbs. Its always nice to be able to give one of them a lift when their little legs get tired. Find out why I love to carrier my kids in my post here
    • Be patient!! Exploring takes time. Make sure you plan out a good chunk of time for your adventure and allow for rest times.
    • Don’t forget to be spontaneous - Let the kids guide you. It’s there one chance to go where they want to go, discover what they want to discover and learn on their own along the way. Follow their lead and go with what works for them.
    • Create educational opportunities - Although you are letting them make the plans and focusing on their exploring, make sure to ask questions that allow them to think and brainstorm. Encourage them to use all their senses. Get their hands down and let them smell the flowers.
    • Make a mess - There is always time for cleaning up. We pack wipes and a couple bags for dirty clothe. Some adventures end with playing in the mud puddles and you don’t want to be stuck cleaning a dirty car after that! 
    • Share in the laughs, happiness, and wonders - Put down your phone and just be together. Don’t miss out on these moments. They will happen once and when they’re gone then they’re gone. 
    • Follow up that evening by talking about your adventure and all the things you discovered. Let them tell you about what they loved doing and their favorite parts. Use those cues to plan your next adventure! 

    For more information on CuriOdyssey check out their website here

    This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning I receive payment when you purchase the item. Your support keeps This Mom Life by Rosie up and running. However I only share products I use and love.

    Parenting, Tips and Tricks

    Sick Babies

    The worst news ever when you wake up for an adventure is finding your little ones with stuffy noses, cranky cries and nasty coughs! Today I am going to give you the 411 on baby colds and how we manage to make it through the few rough days.

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      Detox baths- First thing first scrub those little humans! I like to do 1/4 epsom salt, honest lavender bubble bath and to make it fun for them with a water color tablet. I then let them soak and play. 
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      Get out the Boogers- After the bath I saline spray and Boogie sucker their noses. Yup you heard me right! So gross but so worth it. I use the Nose Frieda. I have bought so many and this is the only one that seems to get a good suction.  
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      Get Cozy- I lotion them up with dreamy lavender also by Honest and we snuggle back in our favorite pjs. Our all time favorite movie is Sing! While their watching, I clean. I would love to burn it all and really kill those germs, but we unfortunately don't have that option so we wash, scrub and sanitize. There is nothing worse then the kids fighting a cold and mom & dad getting it right after.
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      Medicine- I load them up on healthy green smoothies, zinc and vitamin C.  Along with their daily gummies, I give them immune gummies and I make some homemade probiotic gummies. Get the recipe on my Pinterest! Things we also use are  Tylenol, cold tablets, immune boosters
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      Diffuse- I  fill our aromatherapy diffuser up with some cold fighting oils. There are so many wonderful ones but my favorites are frankincense, lavender and peppermint. It only takes a couple drops, so make sure you look up the correct amount that is safe for babies. 

    The hardest part about colds is keeping the kids occupied and not letting them get too wild. Also sleep. Sleep always seems to be a huge problem. I let them nap when they want and try to prop their heads up after they fall asleep. Try not to fall out of your routines, and always remember that it will soon all pass and you will be back to normal. 

    Favorites, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

    Toddler Snacks

    Our kids just turned 1 and 3! I feel like we are feeding a zoo. Every time I turn around Austin is telling me "my belly hungry" and Charlotte is climbing up her high chair. Our favorite snacks are smoothies and home made popsicles but there impossible to bring when we are on the go.

    I have had to keep snacks on hand for the past 3 years. I love my Yum Box! It has every compartment labeled so I remember to balance nutrition! It is also fun for them to eat out of. 

    These are my all time favorite snacks! 

    1. Puffs- We love the organic Happy Baby brand. They are so easy to grab & go. My 1 year old can eat them independently, which makes them an easy car snack.
    2. Apples- we do our best to keep apples around. Why? Because they take a toddler forever to eat! Talk about a snack that can hold his attention for at least 10 minutes. We also love oranges for this reason, he takes forever to peel them just right! Really any fruit is a good snack.
    3. Veggie Straws- We are currently really loving veggie straws. Our favorites are by Happy Tot. They're crunchy, semi healthy and easy for on the go.
    4. Cheese sticks- I get big bags of these at Costco. Only down side is you have to refrigerate them. But peeling is oh so fun!
    5. Protein Balls- We love to make protein balls! You can find our latest recipe for pumpkin protein balls on the blog.
    6. Boiled eggs- Fun for a toddler to peel and easy for a baby to eat. Mom loves these for a quick snack too!
    7. Zbars by cliff bars- These are Austin's favorite but we have to go easy on them and portion them. He would eat 3 in one sitting if I let him!
    8. Fruit & veggies strips- We love Veggie- Go's. I’m tempted to make my own!! Let me know if you have a good recipe.
    9. Pouches- Let’s talk about pouches. Austin has phased out of loving them and Charlotte sorta likes them. I keep them on hand as a quick grab but I try not to over do it. We have tried to make our own but they just aren't the same. If you’re willing to give it a try we loved the Squooshi reusable pouches.
    10. Cereal- easy for both kids but healthiest? Probably not.
    11. Deli meat & Cheese- We make little roll ups!
    12. Crackers- So easy to throw in and there are so many healthy options/brands. I try to stay away from prepackaged bags but they sure do make life a whole lot easier.

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    Family Adventures, Tips and Tricks

    Packing for the Beach with Toddlers

    Our GO TO activity is  the beach! It’s an adventure that can entertain the kids for hours! But I often  see people strolling onto the beach with wagons full of things for the day. I always ask myself why? With all the shells, pebbles, sand and beauty of the ocean there truly isn’t much else you need to keep your kids entertained for a few hours.

    Here is my short list of beach must haves:

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      SUNSCREEN - If we forget sunscreen we don’t go. It is hands down the number one thing you need to spend a few hours in the sun even if it is overcast. Our favorites so far are California Baby and ThinkBaby (not the sport one). I love sprays for my toddler since he can only sit still for literally a couple seconds!
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      HAT & SUNGLASSES - Yes hats to protect those tiny little eyes and if your kids are anything like mine they rip their sunglasses off first chance. I love a good trucker hat. Born to Love has some adorable ones! I play makes some really great baby sun hats that tie as well. My kids are very sneaky and can find ways to get the buckle undone but they have yet to figure out a good tie. My kids won’t keep sunglasses on no matter how hard I try but I do love Coolsome rubber flexible glasses with the strap. 
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      UMBRELLA - Some kind of easy pop up shelter from the sun. We love our classic sun umbrella by Sport - Brella because it’s light and easy to carry. It also has little flaps on the sides. There are millions of fancy tents, but anything that blocks a little sun is perfect!

      CLOTHES - Pack an extra outfit, rash guard (to keep your little one out of the sun), swim diapers! We like  iPlay reusable swim diapers.

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      TOYS - We try to keep this to a minimum. My son carries his own little bag and I let him fill it with a few cars, small shovels and maybe a small bucket. He has the Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch bag. I like this one because it has mesh in the bottom to shake out the sand before we get in the car. It doesn't take much to be entertained! I always throw in a few extra throw away cups or forks for digging.
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      BLANKET - I keep it super simple and use our Las Bayadas beach blanket. I received it as a gift and it has been the best! It’s light and easy to shake off. You can find it at Nordstrom’s or Amazon. There are a lot of different blankets out there. If I was to invest in a new one, I think I would try out the sand free blanket by LAGHCAT or possibly the waterproof/sand resistance blanket by Campfy. This one is neat because it comes with stakes and a zippered pouch.. I don’t bring towels! We air dry at the beach, unless it’s cold and in that case I’ll throw in an extra towel!
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      FOOD - Okay this is a big one! You don’t want to make it all the way to the beach and have to pack everything up to go get snacks. We always over pack on food and water. I try to stay away from plastic bags but they are a must for the beach. Everything in ziplock bags to keep it from getting sandy before you have a chance to eat it. Reuse it and put your wet suits in when all finished. Just don’t forget to carry these bags out with you and try to reuse them!
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      Last but not least BABY POWDER! Finally a chance to use up all those powders you got at the baby shower. If you’re like us, you got a lot and you didn’t use any on their bums. This is a trick that has literally saved me when leaving the beach. Simply sprinkle it on where the sand is stuck - toes, belly, butt and wipe away. No more sand in the car for the ride home. 🙂

    BONUS ITEM

    We try so hard not to pack anything valuable when heading to the beach. There is nothing worse then having to stay within running distance of all your things. Your focus should be on having fun and running around! I just discovered these amazing beach capsules! You can hide your things in them and put them under your blanket. Better yet they now have these amazing hair brushes and sunscreens with secret compartments!!


    Here I have created a little checklist to make it a little easier when scrambling out the door:


    As a mom of a baby and a toddler, I know how hard it is to get out that door and onto new adventures. I keep our beach bag packed and ready to go so we don’t waste time searching for missing beach hats or blankets. Having these things ready to go will not only make your life easier but will set you up for a much more enjoyable time at the beach! Don’t forget the reason you are there, to relax, enjoy the sun and to laugh with your littles!