Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The mandatory 30 minute buffers

One tidbit of practical advice for life with babies and young children: add a 30-minute buffer to your timing estimate for getting things done. For example, if you have a sink full of dishes that would normally take 15 minutes to wash, figure it will take 45. Or, if you need to be somewhere at 10AM, prepare as if you need to be there at 9:30AM. Getting dressed and ready in the morning? Add 1/2 hour of prep time. Going grocery shopping for milk & eggs? Plan to come home with the other 23  items that your 3 year old ABSOLUTELY MUST have, if you are to leave the store in one piece.

This 1/2 hour of buffer is important so that you will be neither constantly late nor constantly frustrated. After all, your child will likely either throw a tantrum, throw toys all over the room, or throw up on your white carpet, while you are diligently preparing for activity X.

If you have more than one child, you will likely need to add a 30 minute buffer for each, and some days that means that you NEVER get dressed or leave the house, because it would literally take all day to do either. It's ok. Just enjoy a pajama party with your kids and be glad life is full of surprises.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


My extraordinarily brilliant husband made a profound discovery.

He sums up the infant/young-child parenting experience, as such: a life of interruptions. From showers to telephone calls, from blogging to eating to watching a football game, there is no such thing as a complete activity without interruption.

As I blog right now, I have one daughter leaning on my right, reading over my shoulder and asking "what are you writing?!" and another daughter asking, "can I watch a (youtube) video now?" My son is about to finish on the toilet and scream for me to take care of his after-needs. And the baby - well, anytime is a good time for him to be held, nursed, or changed - right away!

SO - for those who are starting to think about babies, or about to embark on this most-interesting journey, my advice to you is this: be prepared for interruptions. Lots and lots. The more comfortable you are with constant and sudden interruption, the more sane and calm you will be as a parent.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Newborn Ramblings #1

A close friend and cousin is expecting her first baby and I sent her some thoughts to ponder as she nears her due date. I figured I'd share on my blog, as well :)

Here goes:
-breastfeeding is wonderful AND very challenging in the beginning. with help from a lactation consultant, you can get past most setbacks (there can be many). it also can be boring. keep your phone at your side so you can chat with friends while you nurse or keep your laptop near to watch some online tv. Don't be surprised if nursing is every 45 min. and lasts for 2-3 hours. the beginning is rough, but it'll get easier... trust me.
-Also on breastfeeding: nobody warned me that it brings on intense FATIGUE. Don't be surprised if you suddenly realize you dozed off while feeding, even sitting up!
-life with a baby is a different reality. keep to-do's at a minimum and let your doula take care of you.
-diapers aren't so stinky in the beginning - it can take awhile to get used to the smell of infant poop, so make sure you check often.
-do you know about baby-leg-crunches for gas? make sure your doula does!
-if your baby doesn't take a pacifier, or if one's not handy, you can use your pinky finger. keep it clean :)
-your baby will recognize your scent - don't be surprised if he cries until YOU hold him, and won't go to the doula as planned... it's the mixed blessing of mothering an infant. My baby sometimes screams the whole time I take a shower, because it's somebody else holding him (even in the first weeks!). it's ok. take your shower and just know that it's normal. you'll be amazed how quickly he'll calm down when you take him back into your arms!

Tiger Take-Away

Some of you may have heard - or will begin to hear - about the new book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother". There is much debate over the Chinese parenting style of the author.

I haven't read the book (I plan to soon), but I've skimmed a few articles about it.

The best take-away lesson I've found is from the "Psychology Today" website, an article by Nancy Darling. Here's what she concludes:

"Decades of research in the US and elsewhere has shown:
  • Stict, authoritarian parents have kids who excel in school, don't get in trouble, and are depressed
  • Permissive parents have kids who feel good about their bad grades, will smoke a joint  but probably won't use heroin.  In other words, they have moderate self-esteem, lots of friends, poor performance, get in trouble, but not too much.
  • Authoritative parents who are strict, but communicate love, have kids who tend to do well, have good friends, stay out of trouble, and feel good about themselves
  • Abusive, coercive, and intrusive parenting is terrible for kids."
For definitions on the terms, you'd have to read the article - quite interesting and informative. Here's a link:


Thursday, January 20, 2011

If it Aint Broke...

One of the most frustrating pitfalls in parenting is over-fussing. Especially with our first child, we want to make sure everything is perfect - we fuss over their food, their clothes, their diaper creams... We aim to be the perfect parents and do our best to create the perfect systems for them.

But often, the fussing is too much.

Picture this: your (perfect) cranky baby is finally falling asleep, and you notice his foot is stuck inside the crotch of his onesie. Do you: a) ignore the stuck foot and just let him sleep, or b) try to gently dislodge the stuck foot, inadvertently waking up the baby and creating an exhausted-screaming-frenzy?

OR: your (perfect) 4-year-old has dressed herself. She has chosen a beautiful pastel shirt with paisleys to go with an adorable burgundy skirt with white polka-dots. Do you: a) let her go to school as-is, admiring her unique style, or b) gently suggest switching skirt or shirt for something that matches and inadvertently setting her off on a tantrum because her favorite purple shirt is ALWAYS in the laundry and why can't she wear it just because it had some chocolate spilled on the sleeve!?

It's a tough but important lesson to just let the kid be.

I have often tried to "fix" a "problem" and actually made the problem much worse (or morph into a different and bigger problem). It's important to remind yourself that if it aint broke, don't fix it. Leave it alone and take a breather - you probably won't remember this problem/issue/day/year very well, when you look back, anyway.

Breastfeeding for Working Moms

For those of us who are breastfeeding & working moms, it's very important to find the right support systems. See the article below for some important progress to that end, and note the new laws (No more nursing/pumping in the bathroom! I mean, would YOU want to be fed food processed next to a urinal?!). As proven by AOL's example (in the article), the investment pays off in both mom's and baby's health.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adult Perspective

Based on my previous blog, entitled "Losing It" I have come to the conclusion that from an adult's perspective, children are insane.

I used to resent friends who would make such negative statements. But after giving it a bit of thought, I had a fascinating realization that helped me get through today's tantrums.

See, I realized that when I lost control, as an adult I could recognize later that I simply wasn't thinking straight. Reality had shifted for me, and my mind actually came to bizarre conclusions, like for example "if I yell a bit louder, my kid will listen to me! and if I yell the same thing repeatedly, she'll finally smile and say 'great idea, mommy'!" Clearly, these are not the wisdom of an adult but the unfortunate result of temporary insanity.

Well, if *I* was acting insane when I threw *my* tantrum, then what does this say about my kids??? Let's review the tantrum process:
1. get upset
2. decide to yell, scream, kick, throw
3. continue until exhausted

Clearly, there is some sort of short-circuit happening in our wiring, when we move from step 1 to step 2. A sane person would never make such a silly decision and would clearly realize that behaving that way will achieve ZERO positive results. Here's how it works in our children's minds: children need love, support, and comfort. When they throw a tantrum, they actually believe that by yelling, screaming, etc. their parent will give them MORE love, support, and comfort. Is that crazy?! YES!!!

Which brings me to my original thesis: from an adult perspective, children are insane.

They don't know that throwing a tantrum will achieve the reverse of what they want - instead of offering more support and comfort, we parents respond to the tantrum by likewise sticking to our guns, countering their arguments, and getting swept into step #2 dramas ourselves. Ridiculous!

SO, how is this helpful? If we relate to the tantrum for what it is - temporary insanity - then we can more easily laugh it off. Just another silly aspect of humanity.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Losing It

Yesterday I lost it.

The baby was crying in my ear for 2 hours straight - poor thing had a fever and wanted to nurse. My 2 and 4 year olds were in the bath and my 6 year old was having a tantrum. And I lost it. Without going into detail, I acted like a child myself and behaved in a way that I'd never recommend or consider "good parenting".

So today, in efforts to move on, I called my friend for some support.

She gave me what I needed. She advised me to be more empathetic to my 6 year old's tantrums, to give myself more slack, and to recognize my triggers.

And she made me laugh. She said "Listen, nobody wants to lose it. No sane person says to himself 'Hey, I'm going to lose it now, I think that's an effective way to overcome my obstacles'." And yet, in the moment, we ARE insane - we actually think that losing-it will get our needs met! Is that crazy or what?

Most important, she reminded me that in a busy household, everybody loses-it sometimes. We all have our moments. And she went so far as to say that it would be a disservice to our kids if they never saw us make our shameful human errors. They need to know that's normal and learn to forgive and move past. It's an incredibly important skill and will help in their emotional development.

SO - let's take a moment to appreciate our friends. And another moment to give our kids an extra hug and forgive them and ourselves for behaving like 2 year olds (unless, of course, your kid really IS 2 years old, in which case just celebrate that you've both made it this far!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


This blog is from a friend with fantastic advice for all of us, on the wonders of visiting a chiropractor:

"Our baby was colicky and had reflux, and after working on him for a couple of weeks, his reflux was gone and he became much more laid back, slept better, etc. She's helping me with my lower back and pelvis (trying to keep the baby making machine in tip top shape), and helping keep the kids and my husband healthy. My 2 year old has had a runny nose from the day he was born, and he has actually gone for 4 weeks straight with no constant nose wiping. I wish I had tried this earlier (especially with my older kids who were both colicky), and I'm just trying to spread the information to friends, especially moms."

Thanks for the tip!!! Anybody else with ideas/advice, please send me a comment and I'll be happy to post either as a comment/reply or as an upcoming blog!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Thinking of Having Kids?

This was posted on Facebook and was too funny to pass up - although I don't have much time to blog, copy/pasting is a quick way to share the wealth!

Thinking of Having Kids? Do this 11 step program first!

by Brenna Gray Foster on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 11:14am
Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!