December 2014 | Being Jane

Monday, December 22, 2014

What Is Our Purpose In This Life?



What are you here for? Are you just here to live a life or do you feel like you are supposed to do something with that life that makes living it worthwhile?

We could easily go through life making it about us. You know the drill: job, kids, significant other, pets, friends, yoga, the gym, coffee dates, Netflix consuming your nights, iPhone consuming your days.

Are we making an impact with this lifestyle? Sometimes we can! We can be a light to others just by living life. Or we can continue to go to Target and Starbucks with our personal needs in mind, completely ignoring or missing any opportunity to shine God's light to those around us.

How can we make our days worth it? Not everyone feels led to volunteer or serve in certain ways, and for some there just isn't time. How can you serve within your commitments and routine?

Friday, December 19, 2014

I Taught My Girls To Say "No"



"Can you give me the keys?"

"No!"

When we hear our children respond this way it can be infuriating but have you ever stopped to consider what they are hearing?

Until a couple of months ago, I never realized that I was setting Emma up to reply this way. I was ASKING her to give me the keys, not telling her.How many times have I gotten frustrated with her obstinate reply to my request? How many times have I gotten mad at her and had a conversation about how it is not okay to tell me "no" when she had the perfect opportunity?

I absolutely do not mind ASKING her things when it is appropriate for her to have a choice in the matter. But when I need her to obey when I speak, I need to phrase the request properly.
This situation really opened my eyes to how I speak to my girls, and made me realize that I need to think before I speak, and talk to Emma in a way that will produce the results I am looking for.

Next time our conversation will go more like this:

"Emma, hand me the keys, please."

"Okay, mommy!"

Lord willing of course, ha! Don't we all wish for our little ones to comply joyfully when we ask things of them? But how do we act towards them? Are we joyful and positive as much as we can be? If we get an agitated tone with them over a question they have (for the miiilllliiooonnntthhhh timeeeee), are we teaching them to speak to us, and others that way?

And again, this is not to say that I don't let my girls say the word "no", but I do want to teach them to be respectful, and to talk things out with others, instead of using their words in a rude manner. Don't we all? Isn't that our goal? To train up our children the way they should go, so that when they are grown they won't depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Transitioning From Co-Sleeping To A Toddler Bed



The decision to transition from co-sleeping to a big kid bed is a tough one to navigate. Below are some steps to take to start the process, but first, here is a little bit of what got us to that place.

My husband and I didn't make the decision to co-sleep with our first. We fell into the concept while in survival mode as new parents. Emma had severe sensitivities to dairy, egg, and soy protein in my breastmilk. She night-nursed constantly to alleviate the pain in her belly, and I never slept.

I found that by keeping her in the crook of my arm, I got a lot more sleep. I didn't have to get up and get her for feedings, and I didn't have to stay up long enough to put her back in her bed. Genius! Soon I realized we had become a co-sleeping family. And we loved it.


We decided to keep up this style of sleep parenting until it no longer worked for one of us in the bed. I always made a point to put Emma down in her crib, but once she woke up for her first feeding it was into our bed she came. Once she grew out of herbassinet that was against my side of the bed, I bought a toddler bed rail and attached it to my side of the bed to keep her in. 

The next steps are what ultimately moved her out of our bed:
  • We put her crib next to our bed so that we could start having her use it more regularly, and if I happened to be awake after she finished feeding I would put her back in the crib. We didn't start doing this until she was close to a year old.
  • Next, we decided to give us all some more space. We took one side off of her crib and side-carred it to my side of the bed. She would roll to me to nurse and I would roll her back to her pillow afterwards so that she could learn to sleep in her own space. I was still close enough for her to find me if she needed me, but I could still guide her back to her pillow.
  • A few months later: we turned her crib into its toddler bed version because she was old enough to climb in and out, around 13 or 14 months, keeping it against my side of the bed with the toddler rail up on the outer side of her bed. We also started to put her asleep with a "buddy" so that she could have something to make her feel like she was not alone. 
  • When Emma was 15 months old we decided to teach her to go to bed without falling asleep on us first. We wanted to "parent" Emma to sleep, but within reason. A routine we implemented involved us holding her, saying a prayer, and singing one song just like we used to when we rocked her. We would then lay her in her bed and tuck her in "nice and cozy" while putting her buddy beside her. Then we would kiss her on the head, tell her to stay in her bed and go "night-night", and that we would see her in the morning. [it wasn't all fairytales and unicorns, let me tell you, but eventually she adjusted and it became normal for her] She would cry initially, and since we didn't encourage "cry-it-out", we would go in after 30 seconds to a minute, say the same mantra, and leave. Each time she cried, we would lengthen our time until we went in again. 
  • Next we moved her toddler bed against the wall by our bed so that she couldn't roll over to me during the night. If she needed to get up and come to my side of the bed that was okay, but we didn't want her automatically defaulting to the habit.
  • Once it was time to move to her own room, we made a big deal out of picking a toddler bed (we went with IKEA) and special bedding that made her excited to sleep there. It really worked! Each night we would talk up the big girl bed and her comfy, cozy heart blanket and heart pillow. She ate it up!

Obviously she still came in our room in the middle of the night for a while, but as she got older she started sleeping through the night unless she had a scare, was sick, or teething. It really has been wonderful. Just remember that there are always setbacks. Sometimes these are in your control and sometimes they aren't. Never go at a pace that isn't right for you and your little one. It is your family, and no amount of pressure from outside sources can dictate how you parent. You do you!

I wish you the best of luck in your journey to transition your little one, and if you have any questions please feel free to email me at beingjaneemails@gmail.com

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Easiest Fudge for Parents of Active Children!


Let me just tell you that it is hard to make detailed treats with small children. I have put off a lot of holiday baking and candy-making because I just don't see how it will get done in a reasonable amount of time! 

Daniel brought home this fudge kit and I was extremely skeptical. I grew up making fudge with the marshmallow creme jar from "scratch" and this box looked cheap, so I did not expect good results. (By the way I am posting about this simply because I wanted to! I was not compensated for this post.)


The process was so easy, so straight-forward, and it didn't involve constant stirring or a candy thermometer! As you can see, Emma was able to help, and we even had time to be crazy. I did the majority of the prep with one arm!



Another thing I liked was the ability to toss all the trash back into the box as I used each ingredient. Super simple clean up!


And yes, I was shocked to admit it, but it was some darn good fudge.








Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Resigned

I quit. Yep. I put up my hands and said "I can't do it today"...


Today I didn't do one lick of laundry. Not a dish was washed. And believe me, they need washing. I have no pants to wear, because they are all in the dirty laundry pile. The catbox needs to be done or my snotty, stuck up cats will start peeing on the dirty laundry that I haven't washed. Toys are all over the house. Groceries are on the counter instead of in the pantry. The fridge is almost bare.

But today I said NO. I looked straight at Daniel and said "I am stepping down as wife and mother today. Yes, I will still be a responsible adult in the home, but for today nothing is getting done". And therefore nothing got done. 

And it was glorious. 

Tomorrow will be a different story. I'll have to face those piles. The glass of wine in my hand is encouraging me to forget that tomorrow is coming, and just enjoy the now. The now that involves two sleeping children, a severely sick husband, candy, clementines, and Property Brothers.

I'm enjoying the now.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Where's Selfie Christmas Game!



My sister and I have started an annual Christmas game on Instagram for the month of December!

IT'S HERE! Starting today, a Christmas adventure right here on my and Tiffany 's Instagram feeds! It's called "Where's Selfie?", a Christmas game with Selfie the elf. Selfie will be taking pictures of himself and with us at different locations each day throughout December. 

• Every day those to comment and guess his location correctly on our photos (both @questforahusband and I will be posting pictures, so double chances!) gets their name put in a raffle at the end of the month, to win a $20 Visa gift card! 

• If you want to join in and post photos too, we would love to use this to bring people together in a fun way this holiday season! If you post your Selfie with Elfie, tag both of us and use the hashtag #WheresSelfie, you get an extra entry (one per day) in the raffle!

WHERE'S SELFIE TODAY? Go to our Instagram pages to play! Tell your friends!