Family

9 Parenting Secrets I Learned in My First Year of Being a Mom

9 parenting secrets from my first year of motherhood

It seems insane to me that my son is a year old. Look at him! So sweet! So big! So full of wonder!

ThriverBabe with his giant birthday balloons

I wrote on Facebook that this year has simultaneously felt like the longest and shortest of my life. There’s a lot I’ve learned about myself and about parenting and motherhood so far, and I thought I’d share some of those secrets today:

 

9 parenting secrets I learned in my first year of motherhood.

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Fab Friday: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

We have a very special post today, as today’s post marks ThriverDad’s first guest post here on the blog! YAY! I asked him if he’d be willing to come up with some awesome Father’s Day gift ideas since he’s a new dad and is also a cool person who finds cool things on the internet all the time. And he found some awesome stuff! Without further ado:

7 Unconventional Father's Day Gift Ideas. These would be great gift ideas from an adult.

7 Top Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Are Way Better Than a Tie, Novelty Mug, or Grilling Gear

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Secrets to the Best Teacher Gift Ideas, Straight from a Teacher!

I was browsing Pinterest the other day and came across several pins claiming to offer the best teacher gift ideas. It’s nearing the end of the school year after all, so ’tis the season! A few caught my eye, especially one claiming to have the inside scoop on gifts “teachers really want,” so I clicked over. My eyes widened as I read over the list of suggested gifts—they were the exact items I would put on a “gifts teachers don’t want” list, and I would know, since I’ve been a high school humanities teacher for over a decade! So that’s what we’re going to talk about today: The Secrets to the Best Teacher Gifts for Any Teacher. And we’ll tackle it “Do”s and “Don’t”s style! (General suggestions in the “Do”s and “Don’t”s section, specific more of this and less of this below that if you want to scroll further down.)

The Secrets to the Very Best Teacher Gifts, a Dos and Don'ts guide! Great teacher gift ideas for male and female teachers.

Caveat: Teacher gifts are by no means a requirement. No teacher will think less of you or your student if don’t give them a gift, and hopefully they’d be happy to receive any gift you have a mind to give them. But if you’re thinking of getting a gift for your kid’s teacher and aren’t sure what to do, I hope this helps!

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What to Do When Your Baby Refuses to Eat Purees

What to Feed a Baby Who Refuses to Eat Purees. Great ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If your baby has suddenly stopped eating purees, these are great tips for what other solid foods to feed your baby.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

About a month ago, my then-ten-month-old son decided he was done with purees and traditional baby foods. DONE. REFUSED. Quit cold turkey. One day it was all-natural banana-orange-pineapple from a jar for breakfast, and the next his mouth was sealed against the stuff like it had been welded shut.

“Maybe he’s not hungry for breakfast,” I naively thought, stowing the untouched food in the fridge. A few very whiney hours later, we tried again at lunch. Broccoli-apple maybe? His jaw was clenched tighter than ever. I tossed a handful of cereal puffs onto his tray (which he picked up and devoured), and went to look at the contents of our fridge. We’d tried some baby-led weaning methods off and on over the past months, but ThriverBabe hadn’t been terribly interested in them. He spent more time smashing food between his fingers and dropping off the edge of his high chair than even attempting to get any into his mouth.

“Maybe he just wants something he can chew,” I thought, grabbing some turkey deli meat and cheese from the fridge drawer. He’d gotten his eighth tooth (I KNOW) just a few weeks before. I rolled up the deli meat and offered it to him, and sure enough, my kid ripped into it with his teeth—bite after bite, until he’d eaten the whole slice of turkey. The cheese went next. Then I quickly chopped and steamed some carrot sticks, and those went down, too.

And just like that, it appeared we had moved on to a new stage of eating. I tried some purees again that night at dinner and again the next morning to see if he’d just been looking for some variety, but there was no convincing him to give it another go. We’ve been solidly into solids (ha) since then.

So what do you do when your ten-to-eleven-month-old baby refuses to eat purees? What do you feed them instead? And what do you do with all the extra baby food you now have? Here’s what has worked for us!

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This Post Is Full of Vomit. Also: Love Makes Us Brave

This post is full of vomit, and I don’t mean word-vomit. Vomit and love. Consider yourselves warned.

 

This Post Is Full of Vomit. Consider yourselves warned! A mom life tale from the trenches about vomit how love makes us brave. Thriverguide.com

By Tuesday of this week I was ready to be done. ThriverBabe had kept us up for a good chunk of the night, restlessly tossing and turning and sitting up and crying for no reason we could discern. I got us both ready for the day, dropped him off at daycare, and went to teach my classes. By the time I finished teaching, pumping, picking my son up from daycare, and driving home, I was personally past the point of running on empty. There weren’t even any fumes left in my tank. Here’s the text message I sent to my husband:

This Post Is Full of Vomit. Consider yourselves warned! A mom life tale from the trenches about vomit how love makes us brave. Thriverguide.com

 

My sweet husband came through for us as promised, but he even went above and beyond. He staggered through the door an hour later, laden with heavy bags of cat food and our Chipotle supper. But hooked over one finger was another white bag with a familiar black and white checkerboard logo…

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Fab Friday: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Hey-hey, Mother’s Day is coming up! Do you know what to get for your mom to celebrate her? Today I’ve gathered up some great Mother’s Day gift ideas that won’t break the bank. (I know what you’re thinking: Fab Friday? It’s Sunday! Sorry! I went on a surprise vacation Thursday and Friday and missed my normal Friday posting. So happy Fab Friday a few days late!)

Mother’s Day 2018 will be my first Mother’s Day with my baby outside the womb, so this is kind of my Mother’s Day wishlist, too! The perfect Mother’s Day gifts for me would be things that are both beautiful and that I will actually use, so we’ll start there. Beyond that, I decided to break these ideas down into the five senses as a framework.

Oh! Also, I wanted to make sure everything here is affordable, which for me means keeping everything under $30. So here you go—15 Mother’s Day Gifts She’ll Love That Won’t Break the Bank.

2018 Gift Guide: 15 Mother's Day Gifts Your Mom Will Love That Won't Break the Bank >> Thriverguide.com

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Maundy Thursday: When the Spirit and the Flesh Are Both Weak

Maundy Thursday: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Photo by Rafferty Fazakerly.
Photo by Rafferty Fazakerly

Last night was Maundy Thursday, where Christians remember the night Jesus gave a new commandment to love one another, the night he broke bread and passed a common cup to his disciples, the night he went to a garden to pray and asked his disciples to stay awake with him and watch—even for one hour—and they did not. The night he was betrayed and arrested and handed over to death.

Family Day at the Huntington Library and Gardens

I spent most of the day yesterday at the Huntington Library and Gardens with my mother and sister and a friend. We wandered through the gardens all afternoon, ate lunch at the cafe, showed ThriverBabe around the children’s garden, and generally just enjoyed the sunshine and cool breezes and green spaces.

We hit LA rush hour traffic on the way back, and I watched the minutes tick by, stealing away the one- to two-hour buffer I’d planned to have between getting back home and packing up to go to church at 7. I really didn’t want to go to church. I wasn’t in the mood for Maundy Thursday.

I felt a sudden connection to the disciples in the garden.

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Fab Friday: Essential Baby Gear for 6 Months and Under

I know what you’re thinking—another baby gear list? Yeah, that’s exactly what the internet needs. I know, I know, but give me a chance! My mission here at Thriver Guide is to help find ways to make life easier, more beautiful, and more joyful for those of us with chronic or mental illness, so to that end, this list of baby essentials is something I made with spoonie parents in mind.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s Fab Friday roundup:

These baby essentials saved my sanity when my baby was under six months old!

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Life with Limits: Spoon Theory and Family Life

Today we’re going to talk a little about spoon theory. Credit for this theory belongs to Christine Miserandino over at butyoudontlooksick.com. If you haven’t heard of spoon theory before, I highly recommend clicking over there and reading her essay explaining the metaphor and its origin. It isn’t very long. I’ll wait.

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