Browsing Category: Life Lessons

How to Survive the Picky Eater Battle with No Tears!

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

The Great Picky Eater Food Battle is not for the faint of heart.

Winning the picky eater battle with no tears on either side!

Lately, my two year old refuses to eat pretty much everything. Unless it is peanut butter, cheese, yogurt or her favorite fruits. She also likes ham, so¬†regardless of what kind of meat I’m serving, I exclaim, “Eat! You like this; it’s ham!”. Sometimes, it even works! ūüėČ

My picky eater¬†refuses foods that aren’t aesthetically pleasing….

She turns up her nose at unfamiliar foods (unless they’re highly processed and full of artificial flavors)….

My toddler has even looked at her dinner plate and remarked, “Bleh!”. How rude! …

No matter how much I bribe her, or threaten time-outs, she Will. Not. Eat. She clenches her lips together, covers her mouth with her hand, and turns as far away from me as possible. And¬†I know I have no¬†course of action that doesn’t include handcuffs, straps, and pliers.

So what to do? I am a strict mom, but even I don’t believe in prying my daughter’s mouth open to shove food in it. ūüėČ

Everyone says, “They’ll eat when they’re hungry!”. But what parent can stand there and watch their child starve nutritionally? While their child simultaneously grows¬†unbearably crabby because, like their mama, they get HANGRY when they don’t eat.

Today, I am going to share what is helping us through this challenging time!

My mealtime tips for ¬†dealing with a picky eater –

  • Serve¬†several foods your child WILL EAT¬†and one new food.
  • Serve small portions to avoid waste, frustration, or child getting overwhelmed at the sight of new food.
  • Encourage your child to try at least one bite.
  • Promise they don’t have to finish new food, or even swallow it. (My kids are big fans of spitting yucky foods in the trash after holding it their mouth for eons.)
  • If child still refuses to try even one bite, threaten to take away a privilege. For us, that’s tv time, which we often allow after dinner and before bed.
  • Follow through. No bite, no privilege.
  • Don’t get mad. Stay calm. Act like it’s no biggie if your kid is iron deficient because she refuses to eat her spinach.
  • Put cheese on it! My kids favorite food group – everything looks and tastes better with cheese!
  • Serve new foods at lunch, and familiar favorites at dinner. Your kids will have a full belly for bedtime and sleep soundly.
  • If kids don’t eat much of their lunch, don’t give them a snack. Or give them a small, but healthy snack to tide them over. NO TREATS! Go ahead, break out your secret stash of chocolate and eat it right in front of them. You deserve it for preparing food they didn’t want and washing a plate they wouldn’t eat off.
  • Keep trying!My mealtime tips for a picky eater

Our greatest success recently has been simply getting the food into my 2.5 year old daughter’s mouth. Whether or not she likes it, or will even swallow the food, at least she is opening her mouth! We accomplished this mainly by threatening a consequence (revoking tv privileges after dinner) and promising she can spit the offensive food in the trash if she so desires.

I trust that in time, her delicate palate will broaden itself from the repeated exposure to new flavors and textures. And if it doesn’t well…there’s always those sneaky veg recipes on Pinterest.

Being a mother means…

Being a Mother Means...

My¬†observations on what being a mother means…

Being a Mother Means...

Being a mother means….

You forget what personal space is.

You eat cookies in the closet because you don’t want to share.

Sometimes the most unattainable dream is simply having 5 minutes of pure, blessed silence.

And if you ever get those 5 minutes of silence,¬†you’ll rue them when you see what havoc the kids have wreaked¬†in your absence .

You just might discover that you know every word to the most popular Disney songs….and you love belting them out!

The days of listening to grownup music are fading fast…because you either don’t want to explain the adult lyrics, or the demands for Disney songs (see above) are too overpowering.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Literally. Read your talkative four year old a book and you’ll find you can barely get past the first illustration…”What’s that? What’s he doing? Why is she wearing that? Where are they going? Is that a boy or a girl? Why are they carrying a backpack?”….

Dinner is quite possibly the most stressful time of your day – from making it, to eating it, and to cleaning up the mess afterwards.

You forget what your living room floor looks like.

You wear the same clothes until they get snot or poop on them to cut down on laundry.

Shopping becomes an Olympic Sport, involving intensive training (be quiet, don’t touch, stay with me, etc.), hard work, sweat, tears, and moving as rapidly¬†as you can to get down the aisle and out of the darn store.

Before kids,¬†you were young and carefree. Now you’re old and curmudgeonly, and your favorite word is, “No.”

Being a mother also means….

You don’t sleep in any more, even on weekends, but oh those early morning snuggles!

So many kisses and hugs. So. Many.

As frustrating as the plethora of toys in your house are….you can’t resist buying new ones you’re certain your kids will love and cherish forever (or at least a day or two).

Any time you need an excuse to stay home, you’ve got it, baby! Same goes for anytime you need an excuse to get OUT.

You’ll take personally¬†the¬†compliments directed at your little one…What an adorable little girl? Why thank you, I’m her personal stylist!

You’ll gain the utmost joy and pride in another person’s accomplishments…rolling over, taking steps, and peeing in the potty never seemed so miraculous and brilliant until now.

You’ll become a pro at terrorizing young children that are mean to your kids. Don’t worry about it; they have it coming to them.

Both rational and irrational fears will abound. No matter how rational you were before you had kids.

You may begin to wonder if you have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. Or need anger management classes.

Your constant companions are surefire conversation starters. Great for making new friends!

For the next few years, you will live with the cutest little comedians you ever did see. Daily shows, free admission, just sweat and tears to get in!

You will hear the words, “I ‘lub’ you so much” and know that it is the truest, sweetest, purest form of love ever bestowed upon any human.


Encouragement For When Loving Others Isn’t Easy

Encouragement for when loving others isn't easy

Encouragement for when loving others isn't easyLoving others isn’t always easy.

That’s probably not a new revelation to you, but it is a truth¬†that seems to be hitting home to me more than ever.

When someone is rude, hurts your feelings, or disappoints you, it is hard to continue loving that person.

Sometimes¬†people let you down in a big way, leaving¬†a giant ache in your heart. But even small things can come between you and loving others the way you should…

Sometimes I feel like writing off the friend who’s always too busy, or the one who chronically forgets to text back. Or the self-centered person you always check in on, but forgets to inquire how you’re doing.

When I’ve been hurt by someone’s actions,¬†I can be tempted to rationalize that this now gives me reason to forget them and move on. You tell yourself, you never really cared much for them in the first place, did you?

But life gets lonely when you¬†stop caring. And frankly, it’s a waste of your time. What makes our lives worthwhile if not showing love to others? Even when you think they don’t deserve it? We don’t deserve God’s love, but He freely gives it to us anyway.

We all have shortcomings¬†and should¬†cut each other some slack. Usually, it’s not you; it’s them. Seriously!¬†I’m trying to say, don’t take things personally – we all have our own demons to fight. When you notice a friend’s flaw, don’t hold it against them. Use it to gain a better understanding of what goes on in their mind. Use it to help them understand issues going on in their life as a result.

In other words, be a friend.

I’ve observed that¬†when people hurt you, when you don’t receive the affection or response you expected, you might think¬†it’s easier to hold a grudge. Get mad at that person and hate their guts instead. It hurts less.

Except it doesn’t hurt less.

Sometimes, to avoid feeling hurt, I chose what I tell myself is a righteous anger. Someone injured my feelings, so I will just be mad at their stupid, inferior personality. At least I¬†don’t do that, I think to myself! Hmph.

Don't be like this person; loving others isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.
Don’t be like this! Lol… Loving others isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Except that I forget we all have flaws, and I’m pretty sure I’ve hurt¬†others too. No one ever gave me a medal for friend of the year!

So at least when you’re hurt, you can cry. ¬†You’ll feel somewhat better afterward! But when you’re angry….do you punch a wall and feel better? Kick your cat? Yell at your kids? None of those things will help.

Anger grows and grows.

But God is with you in the sadness.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Embrace the sadness and move on. Don’t find reasons to hate or hold grudges. Choose to love and forgive. Don’t pretend like you never cared for the person who hurt you.

“Above all, keep loving each other earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Peter 4:8

My friend is moving this week, and it may as well be the other side of the world. Only a very long drive or an expensive flight could take me there. No more chats over coffee, no more playdates.

One of the hardest things about this for me (besides seeing my daughter lose yet another friend) is starting over. Cultivating new friendships takes time. Part of me is too tired to try again, but I have a lifetime of friendships ahead of me that will likely come and go.

Looking on the bright side, I now have a little extra time to show kindness and love to new friends!

Here’s what I’ve learned about love and friendship in my several decades of life:

  • You can’t give up on making friends because you always seem to drift apart one way or another, and you get tired of starting over.
  • You can’t stop trusting people because someone let you down.
  • You can’t get tired of¬†feeling like¬†the friend who always puts forth more effort.
  • You can’t¬†retreat from the world when people and relationships in general are just plain old difficult.
  • You can’t expect others to read your mind, and respond in the exact manner you need.
  • You can’t expect others to act in a way that doesn’t come naturally to them. Everyone is a work in progress. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Loving isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

It isn’t always easy to choose love over hate, but it makes your life feel a lot fuller.

Loving others, even when it hurts too much, is always worth the pain.

God commands us to love one another, even as He loves us. (John 15:12)

God’s grace is a gift to us (Eph. 2:8)…let’s pass it on.

Love is patient, love is kind...loving isn't always easy.

Honesty Is the Best Policy


Earlier this morning, I had a guest post go live on a blogger friend’s website. After the post was published, I was praised for my humorous look on the challenges of mothering and for my honest style of writing. I was pleased to hear the praise, but it also left me wondering…why am I being praised for my honesty? Why isn’t everyone being honest about how they feel?

Honesty is the best policy.

Why aren’t we all honest with each other about motherhood, or life in general?

I feel like so often, people are so busy trying to “keep up with the Joneses”, that they don’t realize the “Joneses” have a failing marriage. Or children they have difficulty¬†keeping in line. Maybe a¬†husband who isn’t always as nice as he could be, or very few, if any, devoted friends.

Now, there are some things about my life I don’t share. I don’t divulge personal aspects of my marriage. I won’t gossip about my family or friends, and I won’t purposefully engage in mean spirited talk about other people (ok, not in public…maybe just to my hubby. I’m not perfect!).

Hearing this praise for my honesty isn’t a first time occurrence. Before I became a blogger, I heard positive responses from friends when I aired candid complaints on Facebook about my rotten toddler, or colicky baby.* I didn’t pretend like life as a mother is always glamorous, happy, and easy, while posting only picture perfect holiday photos. I posted status updates about the ins and outs of motherhood, just like I do on my blog now.

(*Disclaimer: I also heard negative responses a time or two. Mean people who like to kick a dog when it’s down. And to that, I just have to say…Be nice, people. Support, don’t judge. You’re not perfect either.)

We all know life isn’t perfect. So stop pretending like¬†it is. You only make the rest of us feel like crap anyway.

sad depressed mom

Today, I want to tell you, it’s okay to let your guard down. You don’t have to pretend like everything is hunky-dory (for lack of a better word, lol!). Make sure you confide in a close friend or two at the very least if posting on social media is not your thing.

I love to laugh at people’s misfortunes, though, so please, humor me! Next time your kid spits up on your brand new shirt, or you leave your fresh latte¬†on top of the car and drive off…please, share it with me so I can have a laugh! I need something to brighten my day while my toddler cries at my feet over yet another ‘owie’ (which, by the way, is fine the minute I kiss it, or cuddle with her.).

If you liked this post, please, make sure you subscribe to see new posts¬†from me! (You’ll find the form in my sidebar!)

And if you want to take a peek at my candid guest post published today in the “Real Mom: Real Challenges” series, please head over to Called To Mothering and check it out!