Month: August 2014

What should I feed my baby?

Just when you think you have the hang of this parenting thing, the pediatrician throws something new again.

“Now you can start introducing foods.”

Those are six of the most intimidating words a first-timer can hear. We were already certified in baby and adult CPR and Heimlich Maneuver (I highly recommend it – the Red Cross offers a great class that we took at our local hospital), but there were still so many other questions. Like, what are we going to feed her? These babies don’t come with handbooks, but thank goodness for websites like Baby Center!

Fellow Lionheart blogger Christy sent me this article that spells out what types of foods babies should eat at each stage, as well as portions/balance. I wasn’t just worried about WHAT to feed her, but wanted to make sure baby girl was getting all of her nutrients and developing healthy eating habits early! (Now that our baby is 13 months old, they have a great article on toddler nutrition as well.)

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Here are some lessons learned from this first-time mama:

1. Don’t go out and buy a ton of baby food at first. Better yet, don’t buy every single baby food container they have on the market in hopes that you’ll make your own baby food (guilty). Because here’s the thing – our baby only ate baby food for a few weeks, and we were left with TONS of leftovers. And, we only got around to making her special baby food ONCE.  Each baby and family is different, but my advice would be to buy a little at a time to avoid waste.

Same goes for utensils. We have friends who SWEAR by one type of baby spoon or another. We just used some hand-me-downs from a friend, and my daughter didn’t realize she had options. Save your money.

2. Invest in a lot of bibs. Eating is messy business, and you won’t want to do laundry every day. We liked the idea of those plastic bibs, but found that they were always hitting her high chair tray, so we went back to the regular, old-fashioned cloth bibs. At the very beginning, we also used a dish towel and chip clip for FULL coverage (you’ve got to be creative to be a parent).

3. Baby preferences can be finicky. One day, my baby LOVES strawberries. The next, she won’t touch ’em. Or she can’t get enough turkey, then a week later, she feeds all of it to the dog. They’re learning, so just because your child doesn’t like something the first time doesn’t mean she’ll never eat it.

4. Know which foods cause constipation. My daughter LOVES bananas, and I can hand her a quarter of a banana and she can feed herself for a few minutes. It’s bliss for both of us! But… nobody tells me that bananas can stop babies up, and after a week of daily bananas (okay, sometimes even twice daily – they were SO CONVENIENT), my poor baby was absolutely miserable. Here’s a great list of foods that can cause constipation, as well as foods that can help relieve it.

5. Have fun. Food is like a messy adventure. It’s so fun to watch your child experience new things for the first time. We tried to keep a laid-back attitude about it, and as she got better with foods, we try to give her a taste of whatever we’re eating, even if it has (gasp) sugar, or is mildly spicy. Our little girl has eaten Indian food, Chinese food, Cambodian food, African food…some of it she loves, some she spits right back out. And that’s totally fine with me.

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

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Back To School Transition Tips

School supplies in brown tone on wooden desk

I’m just going to say it. I do not transition well.

Do you? Do your kids?

Thankfully, I’m finding the more I force myself to transition – say, living in three states in three years – the easier it gets. I’m glad it’s getting easier, but it’s still no walk in the park.

Because I have this trait and I’m a parent, I tend to place some extra emphasis on my daughter’s transitions. I like to prep her and talk through any transition: potty training, leaving the house, preschool, turning the tv off, and changing clothes.

Overkill? Probably, but I’m okay with it for now. 🙂

Back to school time is upon us, and can be quite the doozy of a transition for parents and kiddos alike. If you have lazy, vacation-filled summers, it can be especially rough to bring back the schedule, routine, and studying. We’ve done some research, and found some pretty good tips for easing the pangs of back to school.

 

ease into it

Getting an early start is good for most transitions but especially ones that involve bed/wake-up time. This article has some great advice about bumping back bedtime 10 minutes each night until you’re back on “school schedule.” Likewise, she advises to wake the kiddos up 10 minutes earlier each morning to get ready for the early mornings.

 

Emotions

There can be lots of emotions surrounding back to school. Whether they’re mom’s tears about her baby starting preschool (my current season), or your middle school young man’s anxiety about transitioning to high school, the cardinal rule of emotions: talk about them. This article has great tips and tricks.

 

food

Regardless of what kind of parent you are – working, stay at home, in school, anything in between – the thought of meals can be a stressful one. But, it doesn’t have to be! Check out our Pinterest board full of recipes and ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Martha Steward recommends a lunch chart because kids may be more likely to eat and enjoy lunch if they help plan the menu. Personally, I purchased a meal planning service,and I am so glad I did. The one I use has options for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You can customize it to your family size and eating style – clean, classic, ALL CROCKPOT, and so many more. My favorite part about it is the grocery list feature. It makes my list for me based on what’s on the menu that week! Then I just add the toilet paper or shampoo we need. My husband says it’s one of the best things I ever talked him into. 🙂

 

Money

If you’re not careful, you can spend a small fortune on sending your kiddo back to school. From clothes to shoes to school supplies, it can get quite expensive and time consuming. Check out this HuffPost article for some money saving tips and tricks!

What about you? What stresses you about the back to school transition? What helps you deal? I’d love to hear!

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LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

Lionheart Open House

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We are counting down the days until our first Lionheart Children’s Academy opens at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. Last night we held an Open House/Meet the Teacher night, and we had such a great time meeting our newest students!

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The highlight, of course, was our giant Lion Bus that takes/picks up our before and after school program students (The Pride) to take them to club. We heard one little girl, going into kindergarten, who squealed with delight and said, “I’ve never BEEN on a BUS before!”

We definitely have the cutest kids at Lionheart, don’t you agree?2Our staff (pictured above) are busy readying their classrooms for the first day of the new year on August 25. It’s not too late to enroll your child, ages 6 weeks to 12 years, but spots are filling up quickly, so call today at 817-768-6865, or click here to schedule a tour.

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.

13 Things new parents stress about that seem silly later

I’m so glad I’m not the only first-time mama who stresses over silly things! I remember my first night after we brought our daughter home from the hospital, and I cried to my husband, saying, “How will we EVER sleep AGAIN?” so dramatically after an hour of us constantly getting up to check the bassinet, five feet from our bed, to make sure she was still breathing.

(PS – I discovered the answer. EVERYTHING gets easier. And you get so tired, that you WILL sleep again. You know, between all the feedings.)

Now that I’ve got one year of parenting under my belt, I like to think that I’ve settled down a little (maybe?), but I decided to survey my fellow mom friends on Facebook to see what things THEY stressed about with their first child that, upon looking back at it, seem kind of silly.

13 THINGS

1. I stressed about the importance of a monthly photo during her first year, with the exact same backdrop and the perfect outfit. I managed to take that monthly photo on time maybe once or twice, but by the last few months, I would take her monthly photo the night before she turned a month older. And you know what – IT DIDN’T MATTER. I didn’t use those photos at her party, and I still have hundreds thousands of photos of her first year. –Me

2. With my firstborn, I made sure she took naps at the exact same time every day, and went to bed at the exact same time whether she was tired or not, because heaven forbid we get off a schedule – which led to a lot of rocking and walking and bouncing and screaming. Now with my boys, I’m much more relaxed on the schedule and put them down when they are ready to lay down. Everyone is much happier. –Jacquelyn, mom of 3

3. I thought for sure Kid #1 was an amazing eater due to me making 98 percent of his food, but I did the same thing for Kid #2, and she’s a horrible eater. I have to sneak veggies in her smoothies and food! Sorry to all of the moms I gave food advice to – I’m so embarassed now! –Jenny, mom of 2, with 1 more on the way.

4. Potty training. I was determined to have my first child potty trained by the age of 2, before her sisters arrived. Then with the twins, I didn’t even attempt potty training until they were 4 years old. They basically trained themselves. –Lindsay, mom of 5

5. I used to get so obsessed with what my daughter would wear to church, and how cute she looked, and that she was perfectly nice and neat. The bow all the way to the diaper cover HAD to match. Then the boys came along… I tried to continue that mindset, but inevitably they would get dirty on the way to the car headed to church! Now they are 10, 13, and 15, and I would just LOVE to have those days back! And I promise, how “perfect” they looked would not be an issue – they’re precious just the way they are! –Amanda, mom of 3

6. Nursing. I’m proud I nursed and will do it again with my second, but if I have to give a formula bottle on occasion, I will not cry from an insane amount with guilt. At least, I hope I won’t… – Sarah, mom of 1

7. C-Sections! I used to get jealous of all the mamas out there who were able to deliver the “natural” way. Even though I spent 20 hours in labor and pushed for two, I ended up needing a C-Section.  I felt like people judged me because I couldn’t have a baby the “real” way! The process was as smooth as butter the second time around – I picked the date, time, and was even rested, showered, and had on makeup. I’m way past caring what people think now! My third C-section is scheduled for August, and I’ll be pampered and ready this go-round too! –Christy, mom of 2, with a third on the way

8. I’m embarrassed to even say this. I was cleaning out and organizing pictures and videos today of my son when he was a baby. We had 50 videos of him practicing crawling, standing, walking, (insert milestone), with both of us in the background saying, “Come on! Come on! Come on!” I’m pretty sure I recorded him, you know, just in case today was the day. I was laughing so hard at myself – my son didn’t walk until after his first birthday. With my second child, I’m trying to get her to NOT do these things, and she’s doing them earlier. Go figure!  –Staci, mom of 2

9. I was always comparing my kids to others in regards to what words they knew. My girlfriend’s daughter knew every letter of the alphabet and could point to the letter if you said it. My daughter thought every letter was a “C” at one point. Looking back, they were all smart in their own way, and I shouldn’t have worried so much. Kids just pick up on certain skills sooner than others. -Stephanie, mom of 2, with #3 on the way.

10. Two words: Swim lessons. –Whitnae, mom of 1

11. Oh, I don’t even know what to say, except “poor Evie.” Expectations were so high for her, and she rose to Every. Single. One. Napping, speaking, potty training, reading, etc. And then the four boys came and drop-kicked all my standards and gentlemanly fantasies into the abyss of gross things. And then they did a victory dance. And then they farted. –Rebekah, mom to 5

12. My son was fast at everything… except learning his colors. I had myself completely convinced that he was color blind! I’m serious, I researched and grieved for months that he would never be able to see all the beautiful colors God made in the world. Then one day, he asked for a toy, and I said, “which one?” He said, “the red one.” Turns out, he’s not color blind, just stupendously stubborn to do things in his own time! –Marci, mom to 3

13. Professional baby photos. Child #1: every three months for two years. Child #2: every six months for two years. Child #3: once when he was four. –Jackie, mom to 3

Don’t you just love finding out that you’re not the only one? That all of us have at least a few “crazy mom” moments, whether you have one child or five? I guess I don’t feel quite as guilty for feeling a tiny pang of jealousy when I found out Prince George took his first steps before my daughter (she’s two weeks older than her future husband).

What about you? What silly thing did you fret over with your first? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Bethe LCA SigAbout Lionheart: Lionheart Children’s Academy is a non-profit Christian organization committed to excellence in early childhood education. We are passionate about equipping kids to be world changers, and supporting working parents who need quality, affordable care and education for their children.

Our first center is located at Lake Arlington Baptist Church in South Arlington.

At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we place a priority on our relationships with not only our children, but also our parents. We invite you to visit us in person and take a tour of our facility. We’ll answer your questions and then walk you through the enrollment process. To schedule a tour, please call us at 817-768-6865 or click here to schedule online.

To read more about Lionheart Children’s Academy, visit our website.