all, Parenting

Annoying Kid Obsessions

Heres the story, there was a toddler we’ll call her Sam. Sam loved gold fish so much, thats all she ate for months.  Ok she did eat some other things but not many things. Her mom and dad tried everything to get her to eat something different, and to no avail she wouldn’t. When Sam saw her pediatrician, he said its ok! He said just keep trying those other foods, she’ll come around. Whats funny is,  she was only a week away from being food adventurous again!

Kids will always have some form of obsession and they will out grow it!

These are the top 5 kid obsessions:

  • Food obsessions – Favorites they will only eat, or foods they once loved and now decide they hate
  • Videos – Kids watch their favorite movie over and over again! Because of this they can quote it verbatim. Which drives you bonkers and now you can quote it too!
  • Toys – They will want and have their FAVORITE toy, and beg you for it left and right then just when you get used to it, it changes.
  • Flash lights – They want them for bed every night. Im tired of changing out batteries. This is one I can’t wait for mine to out grow!
  • Repeating words – Toddlers are so smart, they hear you talking to them and other people, even when you don’t think they are listening. Around toddlers you MUST watch your mouth! They get into this faze of repeating everything! Some how they know when to be the most embarrassing.

What were some of your kids obsessions? What was the one thing you couldn’t wait for them to out grow?

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                 The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                          Birth Doula, CPST and CBE                                                                                                           805-791-8325                                                                                     www.thenurturingdoula.com                                            thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

all, Parenting

We only live once, enjoy it!

Life is short!

 

Remember the little moments, for those are the moments that seem the biggest as we get older.

When:

  • Your little one smiles up at you just after a feeding then falls asleep, take a mental picture. Remember this mental picture when you are having a tough moment with your tiny baby.
  • You ask your kids to do something and they do it right away. Remember to praise them, they will happen more and more if you praise them.
  • Your toddler who is learning to talk says something you’ve been trying to get them to say for days/weeks. Remember this moment when your three-nager starts sassing you.
  • Your child comes home from school to share with you they learned the pledge of allegiance and they recite the whole thing to you. Remember this moment when they doubt their self worth.

These little moments you will remember the most.

  • Your teen is going from elementary school to middle school they are going from a sweet elementary kid to a middle schooler who thinks they know everything
  • Your child meets their one true love who they want to marry, they introduce them to you. You look at your child with the eyes of a new parent, you feel like you just blinked and then they’re off living their own life. Making their own family and you couldn’t be prouder!

These are the moments will shine into y

our brain and heart forever.

  • Your spouse comes home form deployment and looks at your children with a blessed heart. This moment needs to be remembered and maybe even documented just in case they deploy again. 
  • Your parents are getting older, you celebrate mothers day/ fathers day with them. Enjoy when they want to reminisce about when you were young or when they were young, even if its a story you already heard. There will be a day when they aren’t there anymore, You’ll look back and remember those little moments.  

If you can, document these little moments.

These are the moments that last a lifetime. Life is short, eat the cake, buy the shoes, take lots of pictures!

Take care of your self and your family. Enjoy those moments.

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                 The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                          Birth Doula, CPST and CBE                                                                                                           805-791-8325                                                                                     http://www.thenurturingdoula.com                                            thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

all, Parenting

Easier Shopping with Kids

Whether they are babies, toddlers, preschoolers or school aged children, shopping with them can be challenging.

Here are a few things to make each stage easier:

Babies:

  • Take them directly after a feeding if possible. Who knows maybe they’ll nap!
  • Make your list at home during nap time, so you can focus on what you need
  • Schedule your groceries to be picked up or even delivered. Sure having them picked up or delivered is fine most of the time, but when your babies are little the more you force yourself to go out the easier it will be.
  • For the first few weeks if you need groceries have someone else get them. Delivering a baby is hard on your whole body.
  • I found baby carriers can make shopping a little easier
  • Remember infant carrier carseats are safer in the basket not on top where smaller children sit.

Toddlers:

  • Bring snacks, no really bring snacks with an extra ziplock for the snacks they drop on the floor
  • Bring a few toys for distracting also get your hands on some of these rings if you don’t have them yet.
  • Make your list at home
  • Get cup strap which works on soppy cups, bottles, and some toys, for those moments when your little one wants to throw their cup.
  • If you have a lengthy list try to take some breaks, bonus points to the stores with fish! Kids love fish.
  • If you have a “helpful” toddler encourage them to grab something off the shelf and “put” it in the cart.

Preschoolers:

  • Preschoolers (most) like to be independent and not ride in the cart, which means chasing them down when they decide to run. When I first encountered my own runner, I took the time to teach him why we couldn’t just run off from mom.
  • Bring snacks, no really bring snacks with an extra ziplock for the snacks they drop on the floor
  • Make your list at home
  • Try to teach them about the produce you are picking out even if its just practicing how to say it
  • Have them count items you are buying more than one of
  • Read a few things off of your list to them before heading in, have them grab those items.

 

School aged:

  • This is the perfect age to teach them how to pick produce, how to watch out for the dented cans and check expiration dates on the dairy.
  • Have your child help you make your list at home.
  • Depending on the age, have them read the list to you
  • Try a new food with them, this will encourage them to be more adventurous with their food.
  • As they become older challenge them to find the best price on an item, remember the whole grocery list, or even pick all of the ingredients for a meal.

 

From the moment they were born they have craved knowledge.

They need to spread their wings and learn with their whole body. Shopping with children won’t always be terrible. If  you only have a baby now and its currently easy to shop with your little one, it may continue to be easy or it could get harder. With every age know that there can be a melt down. Its how you handle it that makes a difference.

When your little one is having a melt down and someone, like me, stops and says: I’ve been there and it gets better know that they mean it!

It takes a village to raise kids, really it does! Lastly on rare occasions you find someone who stops and tries to distract your little one briefly. They see you on the brink of a melt down yourself and they speak to your child with a kind soft voice.

I have been on both ends of this spectrum. When I encounter this situation I do not get too close to the child as that may seem life threatening. I try to talk to the kiddo who is most likely at check out with his/her parent and district them with “hey thats a cool shirt or toy!” Sometimes its the little things that help other moms out. Happy shopping!

~ The Nurturing Doula, LLC

    Katy Schmidt

    805-791-8325

    http://www.thenurturingdoula.com

    thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

 

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You are a great mom!

You are NOT a terrible mother. 

Motherhood takes out every last spec of patience. Motherhood gives you these moments where you can loose your mind or go with the flow. Motherhood is when they are so terrible that day like little demons and then they go to bed only to look like sweet angels. You aren’t failing them, when you loose your patience. 

You aren’t failing them when you just need a break, or to go to the restroom by yourself.

You are NOT failing them when you leave them for hours with a sitter to go pamper yourself. You are showing your child, self love is important. You are giving your mind and soul a reboot. A good mom looses her patience and returns with a hug or your own type of affection. A good mom, finds that little doubt in her body that maybe she lost her mind a little to much on a kid. A good mom feeds her kids, clothes her kids, and loves her kids.

See the moments…. be in them…….don’t fight the fun moments.

 I remember looking back on my childhood, remembering my mom teaching me how to cook, bake and sew. I remember my mom letting the messes happen in the moment. Im sure she was stressed about the mess, but I sure don’t remember it. She lived in the moments with us kids. Her smile was and still is infectious. Our moms are our world! 

Don’t beat yourself up

When you know you need a break take it, even just a minute or two. Don’t let guilt sink in, remind yourself its ok to take care of you. If you don’t take care of your needs you will run out of steam to take care of your family. When you need someone to remind you, you are on the right track, get ahold of me. Im a great hype “man”. I believe in you! You are a great mom!!!

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, you ARE a wonderful mom! 

Be kind to yourself! If you are expecting and want a hype “man” on your birth team contact me.

– Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

805-791-8325

http://www.thenurturingdoula.com

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

all

Top 5 Summer activities

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Summer is right around the corner!

We all know that feeling of what should we do with the kids today? The park again!? No, we did that yesterday and the day before! If you are tired of the same summer activities over and over you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled the top 5 inexpensive things to do with your kids over summer break, and one of them is free! Each title is hyperlinked to the corresponding place.

Flint Children’s Museum

  • Admission: adults $6 and children $6
  • Hands on exhibits for children of all ages
  • No limit how long you stay and play
  • Snacks and beverages for purchase lunch can be brought and eaten there, but only in designated areas
  • personal favorite: the music room

 

Fort Clarkston

  • Admission: Children $10 Mon-Thur, $12 Fri-Sun
  • Slimbing area
  • Slides
  • Scooters to ride
  • Arcade
  • Gift shop
  • Cafe and bar
  • Personal favorite: Children and adults receive wrist bands, they can not leave with anyone else but you.

Lake Callis

  • Admission: Day pass for Davison Residents $5 per vehicle, $10 per vehicle for non residents
  • Lake to play in
  • Splash pad: Admission:  Residents $2 and Non-Residents $3, 2 yrs and under free
  • Concession stand
  • Grills
  • Kayak and water board rentals
  • Friday night movies on the beach
  • Personal Favorite: Splash pad is gated so little ones are contained

Bowling   

  • 2 free games each day for kids registered
  • Shoe rental is included at some bowling centers
  • Personal Favorite: Bowling gives kids a chance to practice their hand eye coordination

Columbiaville Library

  • Admission: Free!
  • Summer reading program for children and adults
  • Daily activities for the kids 
  • Prize drawing each week for adults
  • End of the summer party for kids and adults
  • Personal Favorite: It encourages reading for all ages

 

If you found this helpful to make your child’s summer fulfilled please share it!

 

– Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

805-791-8325

http://www.thenurturingdoula.com

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

Uncategorized

Motherhood is overwhelming…

Motherhood is wonderful, beautiful and overwhelming.

 Hear me out, I love being a mom. My kids are my world, but they take a toll on my brain and body sometimes. You bring home your tiny baby and they are your whole world! They make you feel like the Grinch who’s heart grew three sizes bigger. The first few nights home you know they are getting used to being outside the womb, so they need time to adjust. Then one night they can’t be consoled by anything.

Your thinking:

  • where did this demon come from?
  • What did i do wrong?
  • The answer is?…. Nothing. You did nothing wrong, babies cry for all different reasons. This faze of unconsolable crying doesn’t last forever. As your little one gets older, they start walking, talking and testing their limits. They learn by trial and error. At times it may seem like they enjoy pushing every button. Children need boundaries to keep them safe but not to limit their learning. 

When your children are at your wits end, take a few minutes to yourself. Its ok to take time for yourself and your sanity. The overwhelming feeling in motherhood will get better, eventually you won’t feel like you need a break as often. Its important to remember that every single mother feels this.

It is NORMAL.

Take time for you, spend time with a friend often.

Take time for you! Take care of yourself! Call on your “village” when you need them! If you would like to discuss preparing for motherhood before your little one is born please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC for more information.

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                  The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                              805-791-8325                                                                                                         www.thenurturingdoula.com

 

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Aunts are Important

Whether your child has a related aunt or a close friend who acts like an aunt to your child, they are important to your child’s growth. You see, our children need more than just their parents love and care.

Aunts provide the love and support of a parent with the confidentiality of a friend.

Moms, when an aunt says they would like to take your kids for a play date or something, let them. They enjoy taking your child to the park and watching them smile and laugh. They get to be in a position to take them to do something fun and bring them back. You may be getting a break which is fantastic! You are also enriching your child’s and your child’s aunts life. Your child is with someone you trust, so they feel safe. Safe enough to break free and not be afraid to fall, but if they fall they know their aunt is their safety net to help them out.

Their aunts get to be in the unique position to see the child grow and push boundaries that may not be pushed as far with a parent present.

She sees your children as innocent humans who want to have fun and play. She sees you overwhelmed and overworked and wants to help. Whether she’s a mother herself or not, the despair in your eyes of “I just need a minute” is seen by her.  Aunts see the mom as the person she felt she was, before kids. In the moment of crazy, when Aunts come in and handle the kids. Moms have this brief moment of,  “Wait! No don’t take over I can handle this.” Then it leaves her, she knows you aren’t judging her parenting, you are simply there to help. When the moment is over and done, she thanks you profusely. You tell her its no biggie! To you the kids are easy to handle, but to the mom you just made her day. You stopped the mad house from getting further out of control. If you are an aunt who doesn’t have children, you may not understand the whole reason she is so thankful. If you are a mom yourself you get it cause you’ve been in her position before. 

~ Katy Schmidt                                                                                                                                 The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                          Birth Doula, CPST and CBE                                                                                                           805-791-8325                                                                                     http://www.thenurturingdoula.com                                            thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

-This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful sister in law Whitney, She has helped me with my kids on more occasions than I can count.

 

 

birth story

JM’s Birth Story

My first experience with child birth was a beautiful but extremely scary experience. At 22 weeks my son was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome so I had to deliver at C.S. Mott Children’s hospital in Ann Arbor which is 3 hours from my home. Because of that they scheduled to induce me at 38 weeks. When they began inducing me they started with a prostaglandin strip but it had to be removed because with every contraction his heart rate would drop so instead they had to dilate me with a foley bulb manually. I went almost my entire labor with no pain medication and I received help from a doula that the hospital provided for me and she was great. She helped me find a variety of different positions to labor in and positioning balls to use. About a hour before he was born I received a shot of morphine and an epidural. Shortly after the epidural I was moved to an operating room to deliver as a precaution. My son was delivered by a student with assistance from her teacher and placed immediately on my chest for momentary skin to skin and my husband got to cut the umbilical cord. Then he was taken to another room attached to the OR for evaluation and I got to see him momentarily on my way back to my room. It was a scary experience but I was always reassured by my nurses and doctors and when the whole thing was overwhelming they would step back and give me some space to collect myself.

With my second son my water broke the morning after my due date and I was admitted to the hospital. I was there for 24 hours without going into labor so they started me on an antibiotic drip and pitocin to induce me. I went through most of this labor with no pain meds but received stadol shortly before he was born. The nurses helped me labor in a variety of positions which allowed the whole process go the way I wanted it to go. When he was born he was placed on my chest and proceeded to pee on me right after my husband cut his umbilical cord. He was able to stay in the room with us and it was a very rewarding experience all around.

Thank you for reading my birthing journey.
~ JM
birth story

LM’s Birth Story


My birth history has been quite a journey and the difference between my first delivery and my fifth couldn’t be (much) more vast! I’ve learned so much between babies and grown to know how my body works so much better and have been amazed to be able to put the things I’ve learned into practice. I’ve also been able to look back at previous births and see where I could have improved the outcome.
My first pregnancy, I played entirely by the book. I diligently tracked my progress with ‘My Pregnancy Week by Week’ and attended every appointment. I went to the hospital’s childbirth education classes and paid special attention to the part on epidurals. That was the one thing I knew for certain from the beginning. My mom had epidurals and that was how it was done.

Not long after midnight about 10 days before my estimated due date, my water broke. I called into the hospital and they said to come on up. As soon as I got there, they confirmed that my water had broken, put me in a room, and hooked me up to the monitors and pitocin. Not long after, I was in pain like I’d never known. I’m pretty sure it was dialed up too high. I’d gone from not ever having felt even a Braxton Hicks contraction to going through the roof with each wave. There was no gradual progression, just went from 0-1,000. I was told I couldn’t have any pain relief until I was dilated to 3. They checked and I was only 1.5. I couldn’t even imagine being able to live through this long enough to get to 3! The next Dr that came had mercy though and allowed me an epidural. I ‘rested’ for several hours before being told it was time to push. I don’t know for sure how many hours I pushed, flat on my back, with little progress, but it was to the point that my husband was panicking and the doctors told me I didn’t have much longer before I was taken for a cesarean. They then tried the vacuum extractor and I finally was able to get him out.

I was exhausted beyond belief and kinda laugh/cry to see the pictures of me right after. Looked like a freight train had gone over me. I don’t recall any bonding really… It was just so ridiculously traumatic.

Next up was a relatively delivery though I still have my regrets. I agreed to an induction because I was at 40 weeks and my doctor was on call. There were no extenuating circumstances, the doctor just said we’d do it, and we did. As far as inductions go, it was perfection. Pitocin was dialed in just right, it progressed well, and she came before the epidural even kicked in.

While I understand inductions are sometimes necessary, or simply just what works best for families, I do wish I’d have waited. She was 2 lbs lighter than any of my others and we struggled to breastfeed. I just don’t feel like she was ready and I wish I’d have given her more time.

Third and fourth deliveries were pretty similar. Water broke, contractions progressed, epidural given, a few hours of rest, then some coached pushing. Nothing really noteworthy.

Some time after my fourth was born, I decided to train as a birth doula. I researched everything I could find, read so many books, and attended a childbirth education class put on by an experienced doula. The difference between this class and the hospital one was amazing! I learned so much more about how women’s bodies work and was astounded at how little I’d learned before. It was also interesting to analyze my previous deliveries with this information. I could see what I wish I’d done differently with my first. Especially not going straight in before I started contracting and not having anything to eat for over 24 hours before going into the one of the most physically exhausting things I’d ever done. That set me up for failure from the beginning

Shortly after training, I got pregnant again and while pursuing being a doula was put on hold, I was excited to use all my newfound knowledge in my next delivery! I continued to read everything I could get my hands on and worked towards creating a birth plan for the first time. I ate dates like crazy, drank my raspberry leaf tea, got adjusted by my chiropractor, and my amazing hubby listened to everything and learned with me. I was excited to try for an unmedicated delivery!

The big day came and was so completely different. I thought I might be in labor but needed time to myself so hubby watched the kids while I went to the grocery store. On my way I was timing my contractions on an app and was getting more sure. I labored in the aisles, swaying and breathing through contractions easily. When I got home, I let hubby know and we set off to drop the kids off at Nana’s. I checked in to the hospital already dilated to a 6 and my water still intact.

I got checked in and put in a room, got set up at the foot of the bed, bouncing on a birth ball. Hubby sat behind me, applying counter pressure and being amazing. I vocalized through each contraction once they got more intense. I had asked to not be hooked to the monitors and the nurse came in quietly every so often to check heart tones. I was mostly left to labor how I wanted. Then transition. I could recognize it in a distance sort of way. I got panicky and didn’t think I could do it anymore. My awesome nurse helped me on the bed and was going to check me when my waters bulged out, she paged the Dr immediately. Seconds later, just as the Dr was getting to the foot of my bed, my daughter literally shot out with my water breaking. Cord left uncut until it stopped pulsing, immediate skin to skin… Bliss! I felt so empowered to have learned all I did and so fortunate to be able to put it into practice. I can’t even believe how much more in control and less afraid I was. I know birth can be so unpredictable, but to have gone into it with informed decisions was so wonderful. It’s been a journey for sure and I’m honored to have had the chance to grow and put these things into practice.
Thank you for reading my birthing journey.
~ LM
Uncategorized

Car Seats

Did you know 3 out of 4 car seats are installed and/or used improperly? That is outrageous! The following is for rear and forward facing children. (Booster seat safety to follow)

When you first get your hands on your child’s carseat look through the manual. Read it all the way through. I know it seems silly, if you do you will know the ins and outs of your car seat. Once you are done look over your car seat. Make sure you know where the model number, manufacture date and expiration dates are.

Tighten and loosen the harness a couple times, so you know the motions.

Before you install your seat into the vehicle you want to fit your child into the seat. Trust me when I say its a whole lot easier to adjust the harness in your home vs outside. If this is not possible fitting your child outside of the home is doable.

Fitting your child:

Rear facing child age: newborn –  at least 2+ 

Fully loosen the harness, separate the chest clip and crotch buckles. once separated place  the left piece on the left and the right on the right.

place the child in the seat, making sure their bottom is all the way back and they are not slouching

now slide the child’s arms into each shoulder strap

Buckle the crotch buckles

Slide the chest clip buckles as far down to the crotch buckles as possible

Tighten the harness until you can not pinch any of the webbing, safekids.org says “Make sure your harness is snug enough by doing the Pinch Test. After you buckle and tighten the harness, pinch the harness at the shoulder. If the harness is snug, your fingers will slide off the webbing. If the harness is loose, you will be able to pinch the webbing between your fingers. A loose harness is a common mistake and is not safe.”

Check the thigh area make sure no extra webbing is there. If there is some pull the slack through the buckles so the slack is near the chest clip. Tighten again and repeat the pinch test

Chest Clip: The chest clip should be placed at armpit height. Tip: If you take your thumb and pointer finger to make L’s. Then place each pointer finger in the child’s armpits with your thumbs pointing towards each other. Your thumbs should hit the child’s chest that’s where the chest clip goes.

Harness height: a rear facing child’s harness should be at or below their shoulders. If your child’s harness is above their shoulders upon testing the fit of your child refer to the car seat manual. If you do not have your manual, most companies have the manual listed online you can look through. You can also contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC.

 

Forward facing child age: 2+ 

Fully loosen the harness, separate the chest clip and crotch buckles. once separated place  the left piece on the left and the right on the right.

place the child in the seat, making sure their bottom is all the way back and they are not slouching

now slide the child’s arms into each shoulder strap

Buckle the crotch buckles

Slide the chest clip buckles as far down to the crotch buckles as possible

Tighten the harness until you can not pinch any of the webbing, safekids.org says “Make sure your harness is snug enough by doing the Pinch Test. After you buckle and tighten the harness, pinch the harness at the shoulder. If the harness is snug, your fingers will slide off the webbing. If the harness is loose, you will be able to pinch the webbing between your fingers. A loose harness is a common mistake and is not safe.”

Check the thigh area make sure no extra webbing is there. If there is some pull the slack through the buckles so the slack is near the chest clip. Tighten again and repeat the pinch test

Chest Clip: The chest clip should be placed at armpit height. Tip: If you take your thumb and pointer finger to make L’s. Then place each pointer finger in the child’s armpits with your thumbs pointing towards each other. Your thumbs should hit the child’s chest that’s where the chest clip goes.

Harness height: a rear facing child’s harness should be at or below their shoulders. If your child’s harness is above their shoulders upon testing the fit of your child refer to the car seat manual. If you do not have your manual, most companies have the manual listed online you can look through. You can also contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC.

Installation 

video Rear Facing

video Forward Facing

If after you watch the video you still need help with your installation, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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https://www.safekids.org/ultimate-car-seat-guide/

~ Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

Birth Doula, CPST and CBE

805-791-8325

http://www.thenurturingdoula.com

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com