Now that we are 36 weeks pregnant, the countdown has officially begun. Every day that passes brings us closer to D-day. In addition, our son is nearing his 2.5 year mark, placing us smack-dab in the middle of the “Terrific Twos.” Not only is Baby #2 demanding more and more of my precious energy, but our son has also become more and more verbally demanding. While I know his behavior and “demands” are completely normal and age-appropriate, some days I find it very difficult to find enough patience to respond like an adult (and not a two-year old).
Last evening, after a particularly lazy day, I was pretty proud of myself for cooking a home-made dinner of spaghetti with Baked Meatballs. As an added benefit, there was enough leftover for my husband’s lunch today AND I was able to freeze half of the meatballs for a later meal post-baby. A+ for mama!
However, after dinner, I made the mistake of mentioning what I picked up at the grocery store: M&Ms. For those of you who have parented – or are parenting – a toddler, NOTHING escapes their tiny ears, especially when it comes to sweet treats. After the forbidden word was revealed, our son refused to focus on anything else besides “M’s.” Lucky for us, we still have a few snack sized bags of M&Ms hidden away in our pantry. As an adult who enjoys eating these small colorful treats, I eat them too fast to admire their bright colors. However, with a toddler who scrutinizes every tiny morsel of candy that enters his adorable mouth, colors become the main event.
Since I still encourage our son to use signs on a regular basis – mostly because his verbal words are still very unclear – I look for opportunities to practice and introduce new signs and words. For toddlers, color signs are not only fun, but easily recognized. After I opened the tiny bag, I asked him what colors he saw. He picked up a blue M&M and said “Blue.” Since he recognized the color blue, I showed him the sign for BLUE, which he immediately copied. We continued to go through all the colors: YELLOW, BROWN, ORANGE, & RED. By the time the little brown bag was empty, he was able to show me and talk about 5 color signs! Who knew a quick and spontaneous dessert could turn into a signing lesson.
Parenting toddlers can be very frustrating and it can be tiring keeping up with their curiosity and eagerness for learning, while finding ways to challenge their little minds can be difficult. In addition, learning about colors is one of the first preschool concepts taught to young children. One of our On The Grow™ classes, “Our Rainbow World,” allows us to provide our toddlers a way to introduce colors in a fun and creative way! Since all children learn differently, our classes are a perfect blend of signing, playing, and music for all types of learning styles.
Signing doesn’t stop after your child begins to talk. In fact, signs become even more useful during the toddler years, when our child’s growing vocabulary and limited ability to form words clearly make it difficult to understand them. Encouraging the use of signs during the toddler years can continue to help reduce frustration and help teach important preschool and learning concepts. For more information, please
After my son was born and my maternity leave dwindled away, I struggled as most new moms did: choosing between my working career or staying home with my new baby. For almost a year, I flip-flopped between working full-time, to part-time, to being home, then back to part-time work. however, whatever option I chose left me feeling guilty: either for leaving my baby in the care of someone else, or for putting my career on hold. It seemed as if either option left me feeling empty and sad.
So, what did I do?
In Fall of 2012 I decided to quit my job and stay home with my toddler. I became an Independent Certified Instructor (ICI) with the Baby Signs® program in 2011, but did not have the time (or energy) to focus on the classes and marketing. However, after I decided to quit my job outside the home, I began to funnel more efforts into the Baby Signs® classes. Today, Abigail and I are not only successful Baby Signs® Instructors – only teaching between 2-4 hours week – but I honestly can say I LOVE what I do!
I am able to schedule classes around my schedule, bring in some extra income, and have time left-over to spend with my family My stress levels have dropped drastically. It is no longer a battle between my husband and me over who will empty the dishwasher or fold laundry. I have time to focus on my work, my family, and myself (which is something I have never had enough time to do in the past).
Teach with us!
By becoming a Baby Signs® ICI, you can have fun and earn additional income teaching Baby Signs® classes and workshops in your own community. The Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructor Program is designed to train, certify and support our growing team of Instructors as they build their own home businesses.
Join our worldwide network of instructors – we will provide you with comprehensive training – in both infant sign language, early childhood development and a certification to teach the Baby Signs® Program. You can also count on our on-going support to start and grow a thriving Baby Signs® Program in your community.
The Baby Signs® Program is the world’s leading sign language program for babies because it’s the only
- created by child development experts specifically for babies.
- proven through scientific research to provide positive benefits for babies.
- based on American Sign Language but flexible to fit the needs of all families.
- with a full range of classes and products for parents and babies.
- that offers trainings for Early Childhood Educators.
So, if you would like to SET your own hours, OWN your own business, INCREASE your family’s income, and MAKE a difference in the lives of babies and families in your community, then join us as a Baby Signs® Independent Certified Instructor. (Click Here to learn more about the Baby Signs® Program)
For more information or to receive an informational packet and application, please contact Elizabeth!
My daughter is currently 10 months old and while she is walking fairly consistently, I’m not comfortable letting her free to run around outside. I love baby wearing because it eliminates the need for a stroller and keeps my hands free. Because let’s face it… babies nap better and longer when they’re closer to a parent. Before I know it, I won’t be able to carry her around so I’m enjoying it now!
Baby K’tan recently sent us one of their amazing carriers to review*. While we reviewed quite a few baby wearing carriers, Baby K’tan wasn’t on our list simply because we hadn’t had the opportunity to try it! Retailing at $49.95, I couldn’t justify buying one when no one I know had tried it. Yes, we moms rely on word-of-mouth referrals.
So even though this carrier is fairly new on the market, it has quickly become one of my favorites. In fact, as I’m typing up this review, my daughter is currently asleep comfortably in the Baby K’tan. When I pop her in, she’s asleep within minutes! The closeness and snuggle factor this wrap provides is very comforting for baby and comfortable for me. Want one? Enter our Giveaway below!
5 Reasons Why we Love the Baby K’Tan Carrier
- It’s versatile! You can wear baby so many ways from 8-35 pounds. Wear your newborn (or TWINS!) up to toddler in a cradle carry, hip carry, facing you, facing away from you, on your back, etc! I was especially thrilled by the FORWARD FACING option. I refused to carry my children forward facing in any other carrier because I felt uncomfortable having them dangle by their crotch and putting the weight on their spines. With the Baby K’Tan, the baby is supported by the fabric in a seated position so the weight is on their bottoms and not their crotches. The carrier itself doesn’t look like it would support baby because it’s so soft, but the fabric is not as stretchy as the Moby Wrap.
- It’s compact and not bulky. As much as I LOVE the Ergo Baby, the carrier itself is very bulky. Working at home with a sleeping baby asleep in the Baby K’tan is comfortable and it moves with you as many wraps do. I can sit at the table or on the couch working without feeling like the carrier rises up on my body. So this carrier feels just like a wrap, without all the wrapping! I can even comfortably carry a diaper bag or purse without it sliding off my shoulders. SCORE!
- It’s quite supportive. When the straps are correctly crossed at the center of your body, the weight of baby is evenly distributed across your back and shoulders (when baby is in the front). The carrier holds baby very tight against your body for support. I don’t know if I would want to carry a 35 pound child in the wrap though.
- It’s convenient to carry. The wrap folds up and fits into a little pouch built into the carrier. This keeps the carrier clean and packed up nicely to store and carry with you. The second piece that wraps around baby and body reverses and everything is stuffed into the little pocket with a draw string.
- It’s machine washable! As a mom, I refuse to utilize anything often if it cannot be thrown into the wash!
Check out the video below comparing the Baby K’Tan to a traditional wrap style baby carrier!
- These carriers are sized (i.e. XS, S, M, L). So if you and your partner are different sizes, you would have to get two different sizes. For example, I wear an XS but my husband would need a L.
- It’s not adjustable so it didn’t look like it will fit at first. Plus, because of the design, the carrier must fit tightly against your body. This may be uncomfortable for some people, especially if you are in between sizes because when choosing the right size, you must go down a size if you are on the fence.
- It is a unique design and can be challenging to learn how to use correctly. Like any carrier, it took me several days of practicing before I felt comfortable attempting to pop my daughter in in public. The carrier does come with an instruction manual that I studied and followed the provided steps, but Youtube also has several videos to help you learn how to use the carrier correctly. I have yet to master the back carry with the Baby K’tan.
- The standard Baby K’tan comes in 5 colors: Heather Grey, Eggplant, Basic Black, Warm Cocoa Brown, Sage Green.
- Baby K’tan also has an Organic and “BREEZE” option. We chose to review the Eggplant Baby K’tan carrier. On hot Sacramento days like today, I carry my daughter in just a diaper and with no zippers or buckles, I don’t have to worry about her sensitive skin. But in addition to a few organic options, Baby K’tan also has a BREEZE carrier that is made of a soft and breathable mesh fabric that will keep you and your baby cool on hot summer days.
FINALLY… ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!
Thanks to Baby K’tan, we have one carrier to giveaway. The GIVEAWAY starts 5/14/2013. The winner will be selected by random and we will announce the winner on our blog and Facebook page after the deadline of 5/26/2013. The winner will be emailed instructions how to claim their selected size and color of the Baby K’tan carrier.
- Like us on Facebook!
- Like Baby K’Tan on Facebook!
- Leave us a comment on THIS BLOG POST below with the following information: (a) Confirming that you liked Chic Baby AND Baby K’tan on Facebook, (b) Share why you want a Baby K’Tan Carrier, (c) Share something new you learned about the Baby K’Tan in this blog post.
- Make sure you follow our Facebook page as we will be announcing the winner!
We will be contacting the winner at the end of the month! Good luck!
*NOTE: Baby K’Tan sent us a carrier to review and we are not being compensated for this review.
If you have joined us in any of our signing series or classes, you have probably heard us talking about how signing has language development and literacy. Young babies and children can essentially “read” books with us by using signs, which instills an interest in books and reading at an early age. However, did you also know that signs can help children learn to love music?
In our MORE Sign, Say & Play® series, we focus on how signing can help social and emotional development in our babies and children. During our FARM week, we share that your child’s all-time favorite music are songs sung by their favorite people: mom and/or dad (or caregivers).
Music, Signs, and Dinner!
Now that our son is two, it seems as if overnight he has learned to recite and sing along with a few of his highly-requested songs, such as ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and Old McDonald. While I am a music enthusiast and regularly play music and sing songs to my son, my husband needs a bit more encouragement. Therefore, we got into the habit of showing our son signs to go with some of the songs we sang to make signing songs more fun for both our son and my husband. Usually, our son copies us and signs along as we sing, however within the past few months, we have seen a transformation with his signing, speaking, and demonstration of his growing independence (and opinions).
A few weeks ago, during dinner, our son suddenly requested we sing “Old McDonald.” Since we struggle with his weight gain, we will often play games and entertain him during meals to distract him in hopes he eats more. As we were signing and suggesting animals (e.g. Cow and Duck), suddenly our son stops and says “No… Bah!” as he signed “SHEEP.” (See below for a short clip!) It was then that I realized that not only can toddlers use their signs to help in their language development, but they use their signs to become a partner in music and song!
Children are incredibly smart and understand much more about their environment and the world around them than they can typically verbally communicate. By giving them a chance to share their thoughts and feelings, we not only give them an opportunity to build their self-esteem, but we are also helping them learn!
You don’t have to be the best singer or musician – your child does not care! They love anything you sing to them (or they can sing with you) as long as you are spending time with them. So, the next time your child asks you to sing them another song, embrace their request and sing them a song (or two) and know that every word and tune that comes out of your mouth is a chance to get those wheels turning in their brains and allow you to bond with your child!
Becoming a mom completely changed my life. I know EVERYONE says that, but I mean it. I was on a corporate path in an Educational Sales job fresh out of college, I was having a great time, just bought a house with my sister, and I was in the application process for an MSW. Then there was that positive pregnancy test. Poop.
[Confession: my words were actually "Oh Shit" and little did I know how many times "poop" would come up in a conversation in the near future...]
So yes, two forms of birth control later and my husband (then fiance) and I had some major decisions to make. One of which was: “I am going to keep working.” Having a baby wasn’t going to slow me down! Little did I know that I didn’t have to slow down. I just had to change. Well that took some time to figure out but guess what… I’m still working!
The Mommy Track
Fast forward 9 months and I was a stay at home mom with my son for 8 months until I got stir crazy at home and decided to return to the working world. This went on (and off) for three years or so in non-profit and social services type of work alongside of taking classes with the goal to get my Masters. But sadly, it’s hard to get off the so called “Mommy Track.” So something must have shifted (d’uh) because when it came down to the MASTERS VS BABY debate, baby won. We decided on baby #2.
I quit my job for good and jump started Chic Baby teaching Baby Signs® classes and going to school for fun. Fast forward another 9 months and I had my daughter. I continued to teach classes and got quite busy. Fast forward another 9 months and the opportunity to start a Passion Parties business landed in my lap. And here I am.
As I meet more moms like me, I realize that there are so many moms who are rockin’ businesses at home. Many of these moms are successful, confident, and happy. This doesn’t mean that everyone is cut out for it, it doesn’t mean that it’s easy, and it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with working a 9-5 job. This just means that: (1) we all gravitate towards like minds, and (2) there has to be some reason for why so many moms are great at running businesses from home. So I came up with this list…
Why Moms are ROCKIN’ At Home Businesses
- We are RELATIONSHIP BUILDERS.
Women get criticized in the corporate world for being too “hormonal” or “soft” if they stop to strike up a fluffy conversation. Fluffy conversations aren’t bad! They’re a great way to segue into a potential business opportunity. We build relationships with other people because we care and we see the value.
- OWNERSHIP is a powerful tool.
When you are running an at home business, you are everything. This means you have to take ownership over everything. You will get out of your business what you put in, so when you take ownership over your positive and negative experiences of your business and not let them own you, you can go far.
- We COMMUNICATE.
How many men communicate as well as women? I don’t know many. This isn’t an insult to men. This is simply the way men and women are wired differently and this is why moms can rock an at home business. We have to know how to communicate with our spouses, our children, our friends, teachers, and caregivers. Communication is key to the success of any business.
- We are extremely KEEN.
As a parent, you develop a very keen sense of hearing, vision, and smell. This makes you able to multi-task very well. So while multi-tasking may not be the most healthful or effective of strategies, it’s definitely one that you cannot escape. When you work at home, you are constantly doing something else at the same time. For me that’s usually watching the children and listening to a teleclass or breastfeeding my daughter while editing a blog post or writing emails at 3:00am. It’s not easy, but it really is worth it… I promise!
- We are INVESTED.
Our children get us here, our businesses keep us sane and keep us moving forward. Staying at home with our little ones is a huge motivation to keep ourselves invested in our businesses. Women are known to be extremely passionate and this carries through to our investments: OUR CHILDREN. They’re the reason we’re here and the reason we’re staying here. We can’t just pick up and leave, so we will create a job that allows us to stay.
- One Word: NETWORKING.
I scratch your back you scratch mine. This doesn’t mean that we totally use each other, but business success is a two-way street. Because of our moms groups and various social endeavors, we meet new potential clients every day and we can chat them up. And if you look at many at home businesses of direct sales with network marketing, the majority of the owners and clients are women. Why? Because we network! And we’re back full-circle to Relationship Building…
Success Depends on Your Attitude
So for the last 27 years, I thought life was all about finding yourself. Through children, I realized that we create ourselves. And I chose to create my dream job so I can have my dream life. I chose to change my attitude about “losing out on a career” and decided that I would create a career.
Does this sound too good to be true? I promise it isn’t. It is possible! If you think you can, you can! Wanna try it out?