Have Fun Instead

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

As soon as I woke up on Saturday morning, I was already consumed with having to figure out the logistics of how I was going to do laundry by myself at the laundrymat. My husband had to work so I was left to my own devices to figure out how I was going to haul my heavy hampers into our Jeep, then wash and dry and fold 6 loads of laundry – all with a very energetic toddler in tow. It was certainly gonna be a long, arduous and challenging day. But I’ve grown to accept that laundry days are always tough, especially with having to wrangle my very adventurous son at the same time.

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

At least, I thought so….

I was sipping my morning coffee, obsessing over my laundry logistics for the day, when I saw Evan’s tiny fingers slowly open our bedroom door. Then I heard his toddler footsteps running towards me. As soon as he saw me, his sleepy eyes smiled and his entire face glowed. He opened his arms, invited an embrace and said, “Huck Mommy, Huck”. I hugged him warmly and kissed his sweet smelling hair. Then, he took my face, placed both his hands on each of my cheek and kissed me. After, he tucked his head inside my neck, in that perfect space between my jaw and shoulder, and there he rested peacefully for five long blissful minutes.

At that moment, Saturday was no longer laundry day.

I quickly abandoned my obsessions with getting laundry done that day, along with all the other chore-related items on my to-do-list.

I told Evan, “Son, we’re going to have a lot of FUN today.”

Evan woke up so sweetly that I thought, why should I dampen this beautiful sunny day with doing laundry?!? Having clean clothes is nice, but having fun with my son is more important.

So instead of a surely stressful day at the laundrymat, here’s what we did:

  • I took Evan to his cousins’ house for a play date.
  • We took a long morning walk around my in-laws’ serene neighborhood.
  • We browsed through yard sales.
  • Evan rode on the back of his cousin’s tricycle.
  • We ran around at the park.
  • We sat by the water and watched ducks, turtles and geese.
  • Evan went on the swings and said “weeee!” every time I pushed him : )
  • Evan romped all over the playground.
  • We ate noodles, salad and chips for lunch.
  • We visited my Aunt.
  • Evan napped for 2 hours.
  • We ate chocolate oatmeal cookies for our afternoon snack.
  • We had a veggie pizza for dinner.
  • We watched the Laker game with Daddy.

So it wasn’t laundry day after all. It was a full day, a spontaneous day, a perfectly fun day. We didn’t even plan any of these activities. We just set out with the promise that no matter what we ended up doing, we were going to have a FUN day.

I learned over the weekend that sometimes, it’s okay to not have the laundry done as scheduled. It’s okay to abandon chores for the sake of having quality time with my son. I shouldn’t always obsess over having a neat and tidy house. Taking care of chores is important, but having fun-filled days with Evan is definitely more important.

DISCUSSION:

  • What fun activities did you and your family enjoy over the weekend?

Share your story, your story matters.

Converting To Greek Yogurt

Have you noticed that Greek yogurts are so heavily advertised nowadays? I don’t recall Greek yogurts ever being so prevalent as they have been recently. There’s a variety of brands available now: Oikos, Chobani, Fage. Surely you’ve seen the several Greek yogurt commercials on TV (my favorite is the one with Uncle Jesse aka John Stamos). Even the more popular yogurt brands like Dannon and Yoplait have released their own Greek yogurt versions.

I sampled all the Greek yogurt brands I mentioned above, but I found that most were too tart for my liking.

After trying several brands, the kind I really enjoyed the most was Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt. It’s unexpectedly so good!

I’m definitely converted! So here’s why: Unlike the other Greek yogurt brands which left me feeling like I was eating a bowl of heavy sour cream, Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt is slightly tart, but the faint sweetness from the honey cuts right through the tartness. The vanilla flavor is actually quite pronounced in this yogurt which is great for a vanilla lover like me. What I also like is that Yoplait’s Greek Yogurt is thick and hearty and made me feel fuller longer.

As you can tell, my son is also a fan : )

According to a U.S. News Health online article, here are the main benefits of Greek yogurt:

  • Protein. Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient.
  • Carbohydrates. Going Greek is a smart choice for low-carb dieters. It contains roughly half the carbs as the regular kind of yogurt. Plus, the straining process removes some of the milk sugar, lactose, making Greek yogurt less likely to upset the lactose-intolerant.
  • Fat. Whether it’s Greek or regular yogurt, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.
  • Sodium. A serving of Greek yogurt averages 50 milligrams of sodium – about half the amount in most brands of regular yogurt.
  • Calcium. Greek yogurt loses some of its calcium through the straining process, but still packs a wallop. A 6-ounce cup typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation.

I compared the nutrition facts between Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt with Yoplait’s Low Fat Strawberry Yogurt (what I usually eat every day). Check out these numbers! The Greek yogurt version is so much healthier!

Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt (6 ounces) Nutrition Facts

  • Calories:100
  • Calories from Fat: 0
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 80mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 16g
  • Sugars: 12g
  • Protein: 8g

Yoplait’s Strawberry Low Fat Yogurt (6 ounces) Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 170
  • Calories from Fat: 15
  • Total fat: 1.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 85mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugars: 26g
  • Protein: 5g

As you can see, Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt, has no fat, is low in sodium, low in carbs and sugar, but high in protein. Plus the flavor is perfectly sweet and very satisfying!

Yoplait’s Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt has become my absolute favorite because the flavors are just as appealing as its health benefits! Its tartness is not as strong as the other Greek yogurts out there.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Greek yogurts, this is definitely the best version to start with.

Let me know what you think once you try it! Maybe you’ll be converted like me and my toddler : )

Evan couldn’t get enough!

DISCUSSION

  • Does your family enjoy Greek yogurt?
  • What are your favorite Greek yogurt brands and flavors?

Share your story, your story matters.

Nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award

I am so happy and humbled to announce that I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by my beautiful blogger friend:

Rachel

Thank you so much Rachel, not just for your kind nomination (again), but for your constant support. You’ve been so encouraging from the very beginning of my blogging journey and I really appreciate it!

One of the many benefits of joining this blogging community is that I’m able to meet such intelligent and and positive women like you! Your writing is uplifting and bright, and I always enjoy browsing through your blog, especially your beautiful travel photos to Italy!

I encourage you to read Rachel’s blog, particularly her recent post titled Mother’s Day Letter, a very touching piece she wrote about how much she loves and appreciates her mom.

Reading Rachel’s post about the lasting and profound impact of her mother’s love has inspired me in my influential role as a stay at home mother.

Thank you again Rachel. Your support and your feedback is sincerely appreciated : )

As part of the nomination process, here are some random, and hopefully interesting facts about me:

  1. I was born in the Philippines, and moved to the U.S. when I was 11 years old.
  2. To learn how to speak English, I watched Sesame Street : )
  3. I have an unwavering love for BJ’s Brewery’s Pizookie dessert.
  4. I believe The Eagles are the best songwriters/musicians that ever lived:
    Don Henley is a masterful poet.
  5. I am a musical theater fan. My favorite musicals are Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Wicked.
  6. I want to learn how to bake chocolate cake from scratch.
  7. One of my goals this summer is to eat more vegetarian meals! Wish me luck : )

_________________________________

If you’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award, please see below:

The Versatile Blogger Award:

– Nominate 15 fellow bloggers (or as many as you deem worthy).

– Inform the bloggers of their nomination.

– Share 7 things about yourself.

– Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.

– Add the “Versatile Blogger Award” pic to your blog post.

______________________________________

I nominate YOU for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Pint Sized Mama

One Lovely Atlantic Mama and Family

Souvenirs of Fatherhood

Diapers and Stilettos

All That Charms

Happy Mother’s Day

Dear Khristine,

For so long in our marriage, we weren’t allowed to celebrate Mother’s Day. All we had was Rossi, Dixie, and the dreams of one day becoming parents. God knew that in our hearts, we wanted nothing more than to have a child of our own. I remember praying endlessly, lighting the Holy Family statue, and waiting. Lo and behold, He responded with Evan.

Since Evan has been a part of our lives, I have had the privilege of witnessing you grow and change in many ways; the most prevalent being the inspiration you’ve experienced as a mother. I have also seen your heart open up to the love and vulnerabilities that a child can expose you to. I have seen you encounter so many new things since Evan has been here, and as your husband, it is a blessing to watch you handle life as a Mother.

Although I try to thank you every day, even on behalf of Evan, I don’t think we can thank you enough. We want to thank you for bringing comfort into our home; we thank you for prioritizing our family, our health, and our future. We thank you for your hugs and kisses, meals and walks afterwards. We want to thank you for listening to our complaints and for your patience when we are frustrated. We want to also thank you for your limitless love and affection. We thank you for being our best friend.

On Mother’s Day, Evan and I want you to know that we honor the woman you are. We love you more than anyone in this world. God has certainly blessed Evan’s life by asking you to be his Mother, and I am definitely blessed to be a part of yours as well.

We love you, God Bless you, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Yours only and always,

Randy and Evan

Evan giving me my Mother’s Day present : )  What a cutie!

A custom calendar! Just what I wanted : )

A mother’s love liberates.
~ Maya Angelou

DISCUSSION

  • How did you and your loved ones celebrate Mother’s Day?

Share your story, your story matters.

Let Me Play

This is a poster of my son Evan.

Okay, okay… it’s not really Evan in the picture, but the poster description fits him perfectly.

Oh, and by the way, he’s not even 2 yet!

I wonder what Evan will be like when he’s 3. Wow.

My son is very active and adventurous. Sometimes, I honestly have a tough time holding up to all his energy. Thursday afternoon was a particularly difficult day. Evan tested my patience as he “played” for hours by doing dangerous leaps, dizzying spins and defying gravity stunts.

I often want to pull my hair out and say, “Evan, can’t you just sit still?!?”

But then I think of a lady that I met once at a laundrymat who humbly reminded me, “Let’s not ever wish our children to just “sit still”… so many young children are bound in a hospital bed or a wheelchair… we ought to feel blessed and celebrate that our “adventurous” children are ABLE to walk and run and move around freely.

That conversation always humbles me and puts my complaints in clearer perspective. Whenever I feel crazed and frazzled from my son’s rambunctious ways, I am quickly reminded of the lady at the laundrymat’s wise advice.

Although running around after Evan is challenging and oftentimes frazzling, I have to bear in mind that I am truly lucky and I should be grateful that my son is even healthy enough to run around and be active.

Instead of sighing with desperation and exhaustion, I take a deep breath of appreciation for my wild and adventurous and wonderful son.

My Non-Financial Contribution as a SAHM

The other night I read a wonderful blog called Purposeful Homemaking in which Becky, the writer, posted a thought-provoking question that struck me.

In one of Becky’s recent blogs titled, “The Measure of Success” she asks in introspection, “Will I look back on my life someday and feel I was successful even though I didn’t contribute a paycheck to the family?”

The question prompted me to ask the same of myself, “Can I honestly say that I lead a fulfilling and successful life as a stay at home mom even if I don’t have a career outside the home?”

I also reflected, “Do I still provide a significant contribution to my family even though I don’t bring home a paycheck?”

Without any regrets, my answer when I contemplated on these questions is YES, I feel fulfilled and successful as a stay at home mom. YES, I give a significant contribution in my home even though I don’t bring home a paycheck.

I feel fulfilled and successful as a stay at home mom because I get to pursue my life’s calling and passion everyday. Instead of cultivating a career in the workforce, I’m cultivating my home and family life.

I’m deeply grateful to have found God’s calling and that He has called me to be primarily at home for my family.

Tending to my home, my husband, and our son, is immeasurably more important and rewarding to me than earning money. If I’m being honest with myself, the things that I would be working for outside the home, just to earn another paycheck are exactly just that – things.

I measure my personal success by how much attention I give my family, not by how much money I bring home. Moreover, I would much rather place my daily efforts inside my home, rather than any job outside my home. Being always available and visible for my husband and our son far outweighs what a secondary paycheck could ever provide for my family.

Although my responsibilities as a stay at home mom yields no monetary rewards, I am enriched in other and more important ways. I take pride that from the moment our son Evan opens his eyes, to the moment he rests his head at night, I am the one who cares for him. I would never want to place our son in a daycare or have someone else raise our son, just to have another income. Being our son’s main caretaker is profoundly more significant to me than money or the pursuit of a career.

I’m so thankful to my very hard working husband, Randy, for providing for all our needs. He works long shifts everyday so that I am able to stay home and care for our son. I must also note that my husband has never made me feel inadequate for not having a job outside the home. Quite the opposite actually, he is so appreciative and supportive about my role as a stay at home mom.

I’m grateful that my husband makes me feel valuable even though I don’t contribute a paycheck for our family. I never once felt the need to apologize to him for not supplementing our income by going to work. We both understand the greater value in me being a stay at home mom. Randy is so sweet, every night he thanks me for taking care of him and our son and for keeping our family and home life in order. I feel very blessed to have an understanding, supportive and appreciative husband.

I understand that every family has a different financial situation with different priorities, so having a stay at home parent may not be ideal in other family dynamics.

But as for me and my husband, we have accommodated our lifestyle so that we are able to be comfortable on one income. Let me write that again, we have accommodated our lifestyle so that we are able to be comfortable on one income. Not the other way around – my husband and I refuse to accommodate our family life around having a dual income.

As a stay at home mom, I may not earn a paycheck. But I believe I earn something better, I earn the privilege and rewards of being an available and visible mother to our son and wife to my husband. This is infinitely more fulfilling for me and valuable to my family than any out-of-the-home job could ever offer.

I may not provide my family with money, but I am happier to provide my family with attention.

I celebrate all of you other stay at home moms who have sacrificed your careers and earnings so that you may foster a more positive, peaceful and well-attended family and home life.

She asks not how her behavior may please a stranger, or how another’s judgment may approve her conduct; let her beloved be content and she is glad.”- Charles Spurgeon

DISCUSSION:

  • What are the non-monetary values that you get to contribute to your family as a full time stay at home mom?

Share your story, your story matters.

Family Prayer to St. Joseph

FAMILY PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH, PATRON SAINT OF FAMILIES

St. Joseph, strengthen in our family

every bond of love which unites us –

the marriage bond,

the love of parent and child,

the bonds of mutual love between all.

St. Joseph, protect our family

from every danger and from every threat.

Grant us peace, unity and harmony within.

St. Joseph, teach us to be

kind and loving towards one another,

careful for one another,

tolerant of one another,

forgiving towards one another.

St. Joseph, may gratitude for our blessings

and joy in each other

abound in our house,

as we seek faithfully

to serve and love our Almighty God.

St. Joseph, be a father towards this family of ours,

and pray for Mary to be a mother to us. Amen.

Praying is an important daily ritual for me, Randy and Evan. Every time we say grace before our meals or when we recite this prayer at night before we sleep, we feel closer to God and to one another.

When we offer our problems and thankfulness to God as a family, we always feel more at peace. Praying definitely helps us reconnect with each other, especially after a stressful day.

Whatever your belief system is or religious practice may be, I believe that many families share the same sentiment of this prayer.

I’m curious to know how you and your family find ways to reconnect with one another.

DISCUSSION

  • What activities or traditions do you and your family share (religious or non-religious) to help you bond and reconnect with each other?

Share your story, your story matters.

Children’s Books For Mommies

Hi Mama Bears,

With Mother’s Day around the corner (already? I know, this year is flying!) I wanted to share with you my favorite children’s books that celebrate all you wonderful mothers.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

A young woman holds her newborn son
And looks at him lovingly.
Softly she sings to him:
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”

And so begins the story that has touched the hearts of millions of mothers and sons. I weep every time I read this book. It’s difficult to read this book so often because it’s just as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. This book really does inspire me though to treasure every second with my dear son.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Because I’m a stay at home mom and the main caregiver to my son, he is especially attached to me and battles with separation anxiety. Reading this book with my son helps to comfort him whenever I have to be away. My son gives me the widest smile as soon as the Mommy bird and the baby bird are reunited. This is a great book to read with any child struggling with separation anxiety.

Thank You, God, For Mommy by Amy Parker

This is a really sweet story with wonderful and affectionate illustrations. I really like this book because it’s from the point of view of a grateful child. A panda cub thanks God for everything his Mommy panda does for him. He thanks God for his Mommy’s patience, for her nurturing ways and for always loving him no matter what he does. This is a great book to guide children how to express their thankfulness for their mommy!

God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This book is actually where the idea of Mama Bear Matters started : ) This is a great “where did I come from?” story. It’s about a Mommy bear telling her baby girl the story of how she came to be. The Mommy bear chronicles her pregnancy, delivery, and their first moments with their newborn daughter, repeatedly telling the young bear, “God gave us you.” My favorite part of the story is when the Mommy bear is praying for her unborn child.

I want to thank my late Auntie Esther Ibarra for giving our son Evan this wonderfully heartfelt and God-centered book. May you rest in peace Auntie. You are missed by so many.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This was the first book I ever received as a new mommy (thank you cousin Mo!). It’s a powerful story about a mother’s unconditional love. A mother (symbolized by a tree) willingly gives everything of herself to a little boy so he can achieve happiness, even if it means she has to go without. The story is not only about a mother’s unconditional love, it’s also about a mother’s understanding, patience and selfless giving. This is a timeless story and a must have book for all mothers.

DISCUSSION

  • What are your favorite children’s “mommy books”?

Share your story, your story matters.

Weaning a Toddler

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in several days. I’m in the middle of weaning our 20 month old toddler and it’s been quite a fitful week!

BREAK FROM BREASTFEEDING

As I mentioned in a previous post about expanding our family, my husband and I would like to get pregnant again, and we decided it would be best for my son to wean from breastfeeding before I get pregnant with our second baby.

I really want to give my body a rest before getting pregnant again. Although extended breastfeeding has been a positive experience for both me and my son, I’m looking forward to regaining my body back.

I JUST WANT MY MOMMY

My son has been nursing on demand ever since he was born, even through the night since we co-sleep with him as well. As an infant, Evan was never interested in bottles or pacifiers, he just wanted to nurse exclusively.

As Evan started eating solid foods at 6 months old, he received other forms of calories and nutrition aside from breast milk, but he still relied heavily on nursing for comfort and closeness with me.

But now that pregnancy is back in our family plans, I want to wean Evan from breastfeeding now, before I’m pregnant, rather than traumatizing him by abruptly forcing him to “quit cold turkey” once we’ve conceived.

I’ve known other mothers who continued to nurse their older child throughout being pregnant with another baby, but I don’t want to nurse while I’m pregnant.

TECHNIQUES

So that’s what I’ve been doing this whole week, trying to at least, weaning my very attached toddler from his beloved breastfeeding.

To wean Evan, I’ve eliminated his mid-morning and mid-afternoon nursing sessions. I take him on long walks and play a lot of silly games with him to distract him from his “comfort” feedings. I also give him plenty of snacks, offer him water and milk in sippy cups, and entice him with Big Bird apple juice boxes to keep him hydrated. If he really resists and becomes inconsolable, then I let him nurse, but no longer than 5 minutes on both sides.

So far, despite the battles, I’ve successfully been able to delay each daytime nursing session to at least 4 hours apart. Yesterday, he didn’t nurse for almost seven hours!

By the end of May, my goal is to only nurse Evan when he wakes up in the morning, before his one afternoon nap time, and finally before his bedtime at night. I imagine the nighttime feedings will be the most difficult to take away, but I’ll just have to cross that very long bridge when I get there.

RESISTANCE

Just as I expected, weaning has turned out to be quite a challenge. As a result from this new restrictive weaning schedule, Evan has been very grumpy, defiant, and irritable.

I feel terrible that my decision to wean has caused Evan to be so miserable. He must be so frustrated that he can’t nurse as often as usual, which was pretty much as often as he wanted!

NURSING AND WEANING AS SAHM

As a stay at home mom and his only caregiver, I didn’t mind nursing him on demand. I take great pride that I was able to nurse Evan so much, well past his first year. But now that I’m ready to stop breastfeeding him, it’s a really bittersweet period.

Another added challenge to the daytime weaning is that my husband is at work from 6 am to 6 pm. So I’m home alone with Evan all day, battling with no relief all the flaring temper tantrums filled with screaming, crying, arm-flailing, back-arching, pleading, and worst of all, the heartbreaking lip quivers : (

It’s so hard to refuse him repeatedly, especially because he’s my first and only baby. I hate seeing him cry : (

Weaning a toddler that’s so deeply attached to nursing will never be easy, I suppose.

There are many discouraging moments when I feel like giving up and I think in desperation that maybe I should just let him nurse on demand again.

But I know that it’s time to detach Evan from breastfeeding; my mother’s instinct is telling me it’s time to wean. 

IT’S GONNA BE OKAY

Seeing Evan so unhappy breaks my heart, but I have to remind myself that Evan will be okay. I have to just find other ways (cuddling, singing, reading, taking long walks) to comfort him and bond with him besides nursing.

Like during any major life transitions, I have to face this new chapter of parenthood with plenty of patience, persistence and grace. This difficult period requires a lot of adjustments for my entire family. Though I am confident that one day, Evan will eventually adjust to weaning, and he won’t have to be comforted by nursing.

I am so grateful that I was able to nourish Evan and bond with him through nursing for so long. Breastfeeding has been a beautiful experience in my motherhood journey. However, the time has come to end this chapter. I look forward to discovering new ways to connect and bond with my dear son.

“From the time you were a tiny seed inside me, you were fed from my body.
When you were born into this world as a baby, you were fed from my breasts.
Now, I give you this cup, so you can feed yourself.” ~ Shea Darian

Recommended Readings

DISCUSSION

  • How was your experience with weaning?
  • What were some of the most effective approaches to weaning your child?

Share your story, your story matters.

Our Son Is Like Diego The Explorer!

I obtained the cartoon character descriptions below from a Focus on the Family article written by Lynne Thompson. She encourages parents to accommodate and foster their toddler’s “play styles” by determining which activities their kids find most enjoyable. I suggest you read the entire article, it’s really insightful!

I’m curious, which of these cartoon characters are most like your child(ren)?

Bob the Builder

These toddlers love to build. But before investing in Thomas or Brio train sets start small. Begin with Duplo blocks or cardboard bricks for stacking. Help your toddler set up a fort with chairs and a blanket. Be sure to join in the fun by crawling inside with a flashlight and a picture book to share. You may want to drive by a nearby house under construction each day and watch its progress. Have dad help your little builder set up a tent in the backyard and then camp together under the stars… or streetlights.

Dora/Diego the Explorer

This toddler wants out! Be sure to take your little explorer to the park, on a hike, or down a bike trail. It’s also fun to create maps leading to hidden treasures in the house or backyard. You may want to purchase a bug terrarium or butterfly net for backyard exploration. Try visiting the local pet store, zoo, aquarium or space observatory. A family camping trip is a must.

Elmo’s World

This tot loves to learn new things, and games are an easy way to teach. Purchase a box of Old Maid cards and place them face down on the floor. Have your child flip over two at a time in search for the match. Another fun game is to purchase plastic Easter eggs and fill them with treats. Each egg should be coupled with another filled with the same item. Have your little one find the match by shaking the eggs and matching the sound. Sometimes toddlers like to learn from other children. Invite an older sibling or friend to teach your toddler how to write his or her name. Also, it’s always fun to bring home a plastic horn or musical recorder and let your toddler blow out a tune… in the backyard.

Caillou

It’s a make believe world for this toddler. Try to encourage an active imagination with plenty of dress up costumes, found at garage sales or in the grocery store clearance section after Halloween. Children who enjoy the arts might like listening to stories on CDs, or watching DVDs that can be imitated later. Host a dress up tea party with friends, real or stuffed. Or grab the video recorder and act out Bible stories as a family. Then breakout the popcorn and enjoy the performance.

Lionel (Between the Lions)

Make sure you have your library card ready, ‘cuz books are candy for this little one. Check out story time opportunities in your town at the public library or bookstores. Start a toddler book swap, by asking moms to bring over any used picture books to trade. Take in a theatrical performance of your child’s favorite book. Host a literature party where children dress up as their favorite storybook character. Then invite a parent in costume to read some of the books aloud.

Boobah

This is a toddler in motion. You may want to purchase some music from your local Christian bookstore for this little one to exercise and dance to. Purchase a Twister mat and call out colors as jumping spots. You may want to invite other parents with toddlers to join you in starting your own fitness program at a nearby park or in your backyard. Some athletic gyms offer toddler classes or you may want to visit gymboree.com to locate your nearest activity center.

EVAN IS MOST LIKE…..

In comparison to these cartoon characters, Evan is most like Diego the Explorer. Although I would also dare to compare Evan to Curious George, Superman and Spiderman!

Our son is insatiably curious about everything. Evan is fearless and loves to jump off beds, chairs and couches, and much to my worry, he is too fond of climbing.

To nurture Evan’s interests and to expend a lot of his energy, my husband and I ensure that he gets outside and physical time everyday.

We learned very quickly that Evan does not enjoy Mommy and me classes, circle story times at the local library or even Gymboree’s family music classes. While other children thrived in these activities, my son quickly got bored because he found indoor activities to be too restrictive.

Instead, Evan totally prefers being outdoors, especially in a park, where he is free to run and tumble around.

Evan has an unbridled spirit, that’s for sure, much like his Mommy and Daddy….

DISCUSSION

  • Which cartoon characters are most comparable to your toddler?
  • How do you encourage your child(ren)’s style of play?

Share your story, your story matters.