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styleberryFAQs | Mommy Topics…

Okay…two more to do! Today & one more day of FAQs then I have GOT to once & for all share my playroom with you. Mostly because I am starting another room makeover & I need to get the 7 month old playroom pictures out of my “to edit” folder & onto this blog! It’s such a fun space. But first–your mommy questions! :)

What are some activities you do with your daughter to keep her entertained and engaged? Especially in the heat?

I abide by the “teach her everywhere” philosophy. A lot of our activities are designed around her, but most of them are her accompanying me on my daily responsibilities. We use trips to the grocery store to learn colors, foods and how to count. We run errands and talk along the way, pointing out things that are new & engaging in conversation as much as possible. At home, we read, do puzzles, artwork, bake, cook and play. I don’t do anything magical. I just try to make every experience a learning opportunity. Yesterday we worked on counting as I added six cups of flour to my pizza dough. She helped me knead it. & she learned what a spatula was. This is the kind of stuff we do.

We also go to The Little Gym, which has been a spectacular avenue for her to gain confidence & social skills. I am a firm believer that having confidence in yourself physically (through athletics) is one of the best ways to grow self confidence. She will be involved in sports, if I have anything to say about it!

& in the heat–well we stay out of it. It is just not safe. She can stand about 15 minutes before sweat drips down her face, so we go to the pool (not any more than every other day) and find indoor activities like storytime & the library & indoor play areas. It really stinks when it’s too hot to be outside at least six months out of the year, but we make it work & live for December–which means 75 degrees. blah.


Do you follow the recommended vaccination schedule?

We do. My husband is a doctor & I trust his opinion on this.

Do you plan to home school?

No. I’ll never say never because I don’t know what surprises the military has in store for us. I am a product of both private and public education (my mom is a teacher) and I had both good and bad experiences–but enough positive experiences to want my children to have the same type of education. I learned a lot while standing alone with a microphone in the middle of my high school gym, leading the student body of 2000 kids as the Pep Rally Commissioner. It was both terrifying and extraordinarily fun. I want her to be able to have the opportunity to do things like that. Aaaaand…I was not born with patience as one of my strong suits. I just don’t think I have it in me to be both the parent and the teacher.

What kind of toothpaste do you use for little miss?

Tom’s Strawberry for Kids. It was the only one I found without a bunch of artificial ingredients. & considering she pretty much just eats it…I will only use Toms.

What baby products do you recommend (bodywash, shampoo, lotion)?

My favorite soap/lotion is the purple J&J Bedtime Bath stuff. I just love how it smells. Caroline has really fine frizzy hair & we are using a product in development (thank you, Nowlin!) by L’Oreal Professionnel just for kids. We love it & I hope they sell it soon!

Do you use a baby sitter and how was it to leave her for the first time?

& now the dirt comes out…I’ve only left her with a sitter once. Once in two years. Shame on me. I don’t like babysitters. Not one bit. Mostly because we don’t have roots here, so we don’t have young adults who have families that we know & trust. I’ll get over this eventually, but I am just not one to call a sitter…

Does she have separation anxiety? Did she cry a lot when someone else held her when she was younger and how did you overcome that?

She did have a bit of this when I left her for my MOPS meetings twice a month & sometimes at the gym. She got over it…sort of. She just kept her lovie with her (her Angel Dear Monkey is her transitional object) and she would [usually] get over it. It was hard. I certainly do not have any secrets to overcoming separation anxiety!

Is she allowed to watch TV? And if not, are you afraid that will make it a taboo? What do you let her watch?

She watched zero TV until she was well past a year old. We have downloaded the Wonder Pets on our iPad & iPhones and have them in our Netflix instant queue & she is allowed to watch that show exclusively. No more than two of the 12 minute episodes a day. & only if I am in dire need of some attention redirection–so certainly not every day. We always watch them together & she is never left to watch TV by herself. I have a problem with that.

Are you starting phonics with her?

I have always done phonics with her–just never called it that! We work on vocabulary & enunciation daily!

At 18 months, what was Caroline’s favorite toy?

Hands down, this one: BuckleyBoo. She has a strong passion for buckling things. ANYthing.


What are some of her favorite toys?

I am a huge fan of the LeapFrog toys. We have a ton of them. She loves the LeapTop, Counting Cell Phone, Text & Learn, the fridge farm & lettters, Big Violet, Little Violet…they are the absolute favorites in this house. Now she loves airplanes & baby dolls. One of the two is always on her. Oh, and her play kitchen w/ Melissa & Doug toys. Best gift ever! Ohhh. And a stroller. Heavens the stroller. We now have one on each floor because I was so sick of carrying it up & down!


What do you enjoy doing most with her?

Probably roughhousing. ;)

I would love to know how you implemented Baby Wise.

Funny you should ask. Did you check out the controversial banter that took place over on the styleberry facebook page? This is a hot topic, and one that I believe in. It is not for everyone, but I used it it to successfully establish routine & order in my house and it was probably the best thing I did for both me & my baby. (other than stay home with her & breastfeed) We crave routine in this house & we all thrive with it. I will be exploring this topic ad nauseum in the coming months.

Did you always make sure that there were 2 naps?

We did our best. My “never ever missed it” nap was the morning nap. We never left the house before noon until she dropped it. The afternoon was always a crapshoot for us. caroline has been a great nighttime sleeper (14 hours a night for much of her first & second years) so the afternoon nap was sometimes a blip. These days we are down to just one. [sniff, sniff]

How old is Rusty & how old was he when you brought caroline home from the hospital? any tips on bringing a baby home to a house where dogs (big dogs) have always been the kids?

Rusty was four when we had caroline. He’s six now. We didn’t do any of the stuff they said to in books–no blankets with her smell or anything. We just brought her home & were firm about boundaries. We were also very careful with our vocabulary. caroline was not his “sister” she was another “master.” He was trained to listen to her–she has authority over him. She now shouts commands like the best of ’em (& boy does she love it) and he responds. It’s pretty fun to watch a two year old boss a beefy boxer around! ;)

What? You wanted to see these two in action? OK!

♥♥♥ & to think…he is only her second favorite pet. Zoie the Kitty is far & away #1! But no one can get her to laugh quite like Rusty Boy. :)

next up: photography FAQs & the random tidbits left over. Happy Wednesday!

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  • Tara S. - oh my goodness, those pictures of caroline and rusty are PRICELESS!!!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - Confession: We’ve never used a babysitter either. Just not comfortable doing it, so I hear ya! Our date nights consist of trading watching kids with another couple here. Works perfectly for everyone involved :)ReplyCancel

  • Mariko - Love the pics of her and Rusty! Too, too cute. Just a quick question, hope you don’t mind.
    What discipline route do you use? My ‘almost 2 year old’ son bites, hits and screams all of a sudden. Has Caroline done the same and how do you react to those situations?ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - OOf. Mine is a firecracker too. With a temper. So far, we are just using firm “no” and an explanation & redirection. It’s going to have to get stronger soon. I’ll let you know when I do!ReplyCancel

  • kristina - Thanks so much for another great FAQ blog :-) I was just wondering if you could tell us about the process of figuring all these things out- at what point did you start to think about additive/preservative free living and how did you develop your home keeping and child raising ethos? I am only starting to figure these things out ad it seems there is a really long road ahead!!ReplyCancel

  • kris - oops supposed to say ‘kris’ below! for some reason my mac decided to fill in my old e-mail address!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - So far I’ve only allowed the grandparents to babysit. We have a couple of close friends who I would probably be comfortable with, but Ryann is incredibly attached to me, and I worry she would just cry the whole time. At this point I would never just find a sitter that I didn’t know. Doesn’t matter who trusts them.

    I always think of questions after the fact… when do you shower? Where is Caroline? That is one of my dilemma’s right now. I’m going to the gym in the mornings, so momma needs a shower. But what to do with the wee one? I’ve been putting her in her crib with books and toys, but she usually gets pretty ticked off. My other option is to wait until nap time, but then any morning errands have to be run all stinky :o(.ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - good question! It’s so ‘effin hot here that there is no point in showering before bedtime because we can’t even so much as step outside without sweating. SO…I shower at night after she goes to bed. ;) For now anyway…ReplyCancel

  • Jaimie - I really liked this post.. maybe you can answer a question about where all her cute clothes in these pictures came from? I have a 6 month old daughter and a 3 year old boy and I don’t know much about where to get the cool girl’s clothes!!!ReplyCancel

  • -shawna- - Hey Kristina! I think my biggest shift happened when I was pregnant & realized that my daughter was gonig to grow up with my behavior as her “normal.” I really wanted to lay a good foundation for her, in the kitchen & as a parent/woman so it caused me to really look deeply at how I was living my life & how I want her to live hers. It si not as long of a road as you think–& there is always room to grow & change! ;)ReplyCancel

  • -shawna- - your question was asked & answered is in the beauty/style FAQ post! ;)ReplyCancel

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