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We’ve shared our baby news with you and are counting down until April 1 for #3 to join our chaos. That being said, we still have one last announcement to share about our plans for this summer.

Moana said it best:

“ see that line where the sky meets the sea, it calls me”

Let me clarify:

This summer our family of five is moving cross-country to Southern California!

This has been an ongoing conversation between Josh and I for the past six years since returning from traveling.

We’ve loved being near family and having three adorable babies in our hometown of Carmel, Indiana but now more than ever we feel called back to the coast.

We crave the sight of mountains and the intoxicating salty air that you can only experience standing in front of the ocean. We want to spend our weekends exploring, hiking, camping, year round.

We want to be able to load up our three littles and experience the outdoors with them and give them the love of nature that was instilled in us.

Josh was born in California and he’s always wanted to move back. I spent my childhood in Hawaii running barefoot every day and I want my littles to do the same.

We feel healthier when we are outdoors everyday. We workout more, we eat healthier, we are happier. This move is in hopes of setting a better example for our family and being all-around healthier together.

After 10 years of marriage, this is the hardest decision we’ve had to make so far.

Quitting our jobs in Chicago back in 2013 to spend a year and a half traveling was easy compared to this decision.

Now there are kids, friends and family involved – and our family means the world to us. We’re going to miss them a lot but are equally excited to take what they have instilled in us and pass that to our kids, and for them to come visit! We know that they have already started to plan their first visits and that they’re excited for us to start our next season of adventures.

We want the beach to be a day trip, not a once a year vacation. We want hiking to be a weekly family event and we want to be near mountains.

We have so many great memories to be nostalgic about in Indiana. We started dating at Carmel High School, got married in downtown Indy, had three adorable babies and bought our first house. We shared so many of our firsts in this city and Indy will always have a special place in our hearts. What I’m saying is, don’t worry, we will be back to visit!

So stay tuned for our very long road trip this summer, cross country with three kids…and next time you’re in the San Diego area come visit us!

The post Beaches, Mountains, and a Newborn appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Many of my friends have recently had their first baby added to their family, and every time it brings back all the emotions for me. I have number 3 coming in April but those first-time mom feelings are still so fresh.

The excitement and anxiety. The unknown, the doubt, the awe. The weekends where you have nothing else to do but cuddle your little and have no requirements to get off the couch all day. The good and the bad that comes with not knowing and figuring it out as you go. First-time mom-life is unlike anything I can describe so instead I put down all my first-time mom thoughts I remember having.

It all starts in the hospital after you cuddle your baby for the first time.

You’ve waited 9 months to meet the small person who has been kicking your insides and all you can think the first time you hold your baby is what did I get myself into!

The love overflows into fear/doubt/guilt. If the fear doesn’t hit right away, it will.

How do I support her head?  I’m going to drop him. Why aren’t they breastfeeding right? Is it something I’m doing wrong? Are they swaddled too tight. too loose? Is my “down there” area ever going to be the same?

Was that a smile? I think she smiled at me… it will all be OK.

And then you leave the hospital which was your safety net for three days. You suddenly don’t have the nurses telling you the small cough is normal and their cry isn’t saying they are in pain. The nurses were helping change his diapers, and dang-it what am I supposed to do with this circumcision again…?

Are they breathing? Maybe I should check if they are breathing one more time before I go to bed. Why aren’t they pooping?

I’ll google it.

And then all of the thoughts about their poop creep in.

Are they pooping enough? Why do they poop so much? Is their poop green? What does green poop mean? I’ll google it.

How many diapers have they gone through? Did she really just blow out her diaper for the 4th time today? One more load of laundry today.

And the crying seems to never end.

Boy, do those little people have big lungs!

Is she in pain? Why is she crying so loud. so long. so dramatic. Has she stopped crying in the last hour at all? She must be hungry. Or maybe she pooped again. No, she’s hungry. She’s tired? She’s definitely hungry.

I’ll google it.

OK, she’s not hungry, now she’s sleeping. I have 45 minutes until she wakes up and will definitely be hungry.

I should do laundry while she sleeps.

But, everyone says to sleep when the baby sleeps… so I should sleep. Or should I clean the dish pile that is now covering my entire kitchen. Or maybe the laundry which is overflowing in the hallway should be folded. I should shower, it’s been 3 days. (ok, 4)

All I want to do is sit and stare at this beautiful little baby I created. :: sits in silence and stares for 5 minutes ::

OK, she definitely pooped… do I wake her up? do I let her sleep in the poop? What if she gets diaper rash from sleeping in poop? I’ll google it.

I’m too tired to eat.

But I’m so happy. but I am also exhausted. Yes, I’m exhausted and happy. I had no idea what being tired meant before now… I am really tired. But look at that baby, she is perfect.

She woke up… she’s crying again.  She’s hungry. Or maybe she wants to go back to sleep? O wait, she pooped. I think she pooped, and she’s hungry and then she will probably fall back asleep.

I got this.

My best friend wants to come over and meet my new little baby.

I can’t wait for all my friends to meet her. But I haven’t showered in 5 days. The house is a mess. I’m not cleaning it. OK, I’ll clean just the downstairs. But what if she wants to see the nursery. OK, I’ll clean just the downstairs and the nursery. I have 1 hour to feed the baby, shower, clean the downstairs and the nursery and hide the dirty dishes somewhere.

Wait she spit up. Where’s the burp cloth.  Make a note to put a burp cloth everywhere. Is that amount of spit up normal? Does she have reflux? What is gripe water?

I’ll google it.

OK now have I have 45 minutes to clean up and do everything I need to do before my friend gets here.

Why isn’t my baby sleeping through the night? Am I ever going to sleep again? They are so sweet when they are sleeping. Look at their sweet lips pucker as they sleep. Do I have all of the right toys? What does a 2 month old play with? I need to give them everything that will mentally stimulate them now so they will get into college in 18 years. How much tummy time is enough? Can you do too much tummy time? Are we hitting the right milestones? Did that last baby burp smell funky to you? What does white poop mean? Is that a rash? What’s going on with their dry scalp?

I’ll google it.

I need coffee.

These were a fraction of the thoughts going through my head with my first, add your own in the comments.

What was (or is!) going through your head with number one?

The post Honest Thoughts of a First Time Mom appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Do you ever feel like you’re a half great mom?

Like you’re on your game and you have your act together half of the time.

Half of the time dinner is on the table. And half of the food is half healthy.

Your diet is half perfect.

You get half of the things done you wanted to, usually at half the speed.

I’m listening half the time to at least half of what comes out of my toddlers mouth and half of my responses probably don’t make much sense (mom brain is real y’all)!

I feel half Guilty. But have learned to get over that because half the time I’m too busy to think about what I’m not doing.

My work moves at half speed. My accomplishments are cut in half because I’m half as productive.

Half of the laundry is done, the other half is still on the floor, half folded from last week.

I spent half the time this week exercising as I did the last week. Half of my workouts are half-hearted and I’m seeing half the results.

My brain is half working most of the day, which is why I lose my keys half the time and forget my toddlers shoes at home the other half.

Half of my groceries end up in the cart and I actually cook half of the meals I plan to cook

My shower time has been cut in half and I use half the makeup I used to.

Half of my social events involve some sort of playdate surrounded by littles under the age of three and over half of my conversations involve sleep training or bodily functions.

My coffee is half cold by the time I actually drink it and I usually only get to drink half of it before I realize I am running late for the next thing.

Half of my wardrobe has become comfortable leggings and active Lounge wear and half of my high heels have been donated to Goodwill.

Don’t let me confuse you I’m a great mom despite living this season in halfs’. I do what I can without guilt or stress and am proud of the half that I show up with every day.

My kids are fully loved and that is all that matters.

Not the laundry or grocery shopping. Not my to do list or my work. That stuff half matters, so its ok to be half done.

My marriage is whole and happy.

We have an agreement that half is enough. We leave the dishes in the sink to spend time together. We eat popcorn and frozen meatballs for dinner some nights and agree that that’s enough. Half is enough because we are in a season of half.

It’s a tiring season that will fully destroy you if you don’t accept half. Give up half of your self doubt and half of your mom guilt and allow yourself some grace to be in a half stage of life.

The post I’m an OK Mom, and That’s Ok. appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Need gift ideas for your favorite fit mama?

Here are a few of my favorites during this third pregnancy!

Bao Bei Maternity Support Band

Think sports bra for your belly. If you are an active mom you need this band to keep your back safe and your belly supported. I’ve felt a major change in my workouts when I’m wearing my band during this third pregnancy and wish I had it for the past two.

Milk Snob Baby wearing workout - YouTube

Milk Snob Wrap

Baby wearing workouts are great for mom and baby. The only way I survive those early months is baby wearing. I use this when I go grocery shopping, when I workout or when I’m simply around the house and the baby wants to stay close! I also love Milk Snob’s nursing covers that double as car seat covers (check them out here!), these are a staple for every mama!

Milk Saver

Not only for active moms, but for any mom planning to nurse this milk catcher saved my life. Read about how I saved over 300 ounces of milk without pumping here.

Amari Active Maternity Clothes

As your belly grows your closet seems to get smaller and smaller. Spoil the fit mom in your life with some feel good clothes that fit just right. Especially for active moms who are working out daily it’s important to have activewear that fits and feels good. Amari’s maternity clothes have grown with me from when I just started wearing maternity clothes until now with a few weeks left and I feel like my belly can’t get any bigger.

Prenatal Massage

Pamper your mama to be! Give her a day at the spa, because you know she deserves it! That body of hers is working overtime to grow a baby and needs to be celebrated and cared for in the best way possible.

Food Delivery Service

Last thing you want to do when you are pregnant is worry about “what’s for dinner”. One of the best gifts is to sign her up for a food deliver service where dinner is already decided and prep work is completed.

Monthly House Cleaners

A luxury that every mom needs to be spoiled with. Once a month pay a cleaning crew to come in and do the heavy duty cleaning. Have them dust the blinds, scrub the floors and clean the bathrooms. One less thing mom and dad have to worry about!

Date night

Take your mama to be out on a date.

If you don’t have kids yet, this is your time to enjoy each other just the two of you… trust me. If you already have kids get a baby sitter and set dates monthly. Every year my family gives me the gift of overnight babysitting, while my husband gives me the gift of a romantic overnight date downtown. I look forward to it all year.

What have been some of your favorite gifts as a fit mom that you would add to my list?

The post Gift List for Expecting Active Moms appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Do you ever feel like you’re a half great mom?

Like you’re on your game and you have your act together half of the time.

Half of the time dinner is on the table. And half of the food is half healthy.

Your diet is half perfect.

You get half of the things done you wanted to, usually at half the speed.

I’m listening half the time to at least half of what comes out of my toddlers mouth and half of my responses probably don’t make much sense (mom brain is real y’all)!

I feel half Guilty. But have learned to get over that because half the time I’m too busy to think about what I’m not doing.

My work moves at half speed. My accomplishments are cut in half because I’m half as productive.

Half of the laundry is done, the other half is still on the floor, half folded from last week.

I spent half the time this week exercising as I did the last week. Half of my workouts are half-hearted and I’m seeing half the results.

My brain is half working most of the day, which is why I lose my keys half the time and forget my toddlers shoes at home the other half.

Half of my groceries end up in the cart and I actually cook half of the meals I plan to cook

My shower time has been cut in half and I use half the makeup I used to.

Half of my social events involve some sort of playdate surrounded by littles under the age of three and over half of my conversations involve sleep training or bodily functions.

My coffee is half cold by the time I actually drink it and I usually only get to drink half of it before I realize I am running late for the next thing.

Half of my wardrobe has become comfortable leggings and active Lounge wear and half of my high heels have been donated to Goodwill.

Don’t let me confuse you I’m a great mom despite living this season in halfs’. I do what I can without guilt or stress and am proud of the half that I show up with every day.

My kids are fully loved and that is all that matters.

Not the laundry or grocery shopping. Not my to do list or my work. That stuff half matters, so its ok to be half done.

My marriage is whole and happy.

We have an agreement that half is enough. We leave the dishes in the sink to spend time together. We eat popcorn and frozen meatballs for dinner some nights and agree that that’s enough. Half is enough because we are in a season of half.

It’s a tiring season that will fully destroy you if you don’t accept half. Give up half of your self doubt and half of your mom guilt and allow yourself some grace to be in a half stage of life.

The post I’m a “Half” Great Mom, and That’s Ok. appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Did you hear our big news? If not take a minute, catch up here —>

Third baby announcement - YouTube

We are excited to finally announce #3, due April 1 2018!

I remember announcing our first

The unknown that waited for us. The excitement. The only thing we had to focus on was the little squish that would soon be ours. It was all that consumed my thoughts, contemplating what our life would be like and how a child would fit into our story.

Everyone tells you how life changing kids are. Well, they tell you about the sugar-coated parts, they leave out the difficult, sweaty, leaky, stressed out parts. Kids are life changing for the best and some of the hardest reasons. I look back on my first with such amazing and fond memories of going through all the first milestones with her, but in the moment I remember it NOT being easy or glamorous.

Then there was announcing Henry, our second.

I knew what was coming this time. I knew the sleepless nights and newborn snuggles that were in my near future. Our excitement centered on Lottie being a big sister and she was getting the best gift in the world, a little brother or sister to grow up with.

The fear was gone, and a lot of questions were answered. I knew how birth works, despite the fact that no two births are ever the same. I knew my second would be nothing like my first, but I also had the confidence that I could figure it out. I had a very realistic view of my next 6 months that consisted a lot of nursing, not sleeping and learning to dance  in the chaos of having two.

Now we’re sharing our news, #3!

Seems surreal. We have routines as a family of four, and I can’t wait to see how one more will complete our puzzle. Henry, my aggressive baby hugger, loves babies, and just as excited as I was to watch Lottie become a big sister I have no doubt Henry will step up as a great big brother. Lottie this time around gets it more than ever, and has been so fun to talk to about our future new baby.

For my first two I wrote down detailed notes on my pregnancy. Partly because I wanted to share with everyone reading, to help prepare you for when you’re going through it (I loved reading other bloggers who shared their pregnancy experiences). And partly because I wanted to remember what each week was like. Time goes by so quickly even more so with number 3. I can’t believe I’m typing this in my 17th week of pregnancy! I’m almost half way done and I haven’t had time to think for a minute about being pregnant or our new family member who is coming.

Writing is my way of sitting down and processing. I have a hard time slowing down and when I blog it makes me document the good and the bad so I can look back and remember. So here I am 17 weeks in finally writing my first post on what we’ve been up to for the past few months. You will still be seeing more baby blogs for #3, they might not be as detailed or as well thought through because mom brain is real,  but they will still be here!

So… How am I feeling?

Good! I am one of those obnoxious women who somehow make it through the first trimester without nausea. So similar to my first two pregnancies, my first trimeter flew by without a day of sick. I do get headaches. The hormones changing send me into mini migraines some days and that isn’t fun especially when you have to mom to two little humans. But overall I can’t complain (yet!).

Eating is the worst.

Similar to my first two, but more so, I hate eating. I know people talk about pregnancy cravings, I have aversions to pretty much everything. I literally am forcing myself to eat protein and I’m tracking the food I eat to make sure I am getting enough nutrients everyday.

Did I mention I stopped eating meat and dairy?

A few months before getting pregnant while we were traveling in Europe Josh and I stopped eating meat and dairy. So now I am learning how to do the vegan thing and still get all the calories and nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Some days getting all my calcium, protein and iron is more difficult than others not because of eating vegan but simply because I don’t feel like eating. I’ve done a lot of research and was surprised by the lack of complete information out there on healthy vegan pregnancies. —> Expect more on this. If you aren’t vegan and don’t care, skip that blog post when I write it, but hopefully it will help a mama or two out there answer the questions that I had a hard time finding.

What about exercise?

My first pregnancy was all running, my second was some strength with a lot or rowing and a little less running. This time I am trying to keep a better balanced workout schedule. I am still walking or running at least three miles a day, but I am working in at least one yoga class each week in addition to 1-2 strength training sessions each week. After every pregnancy I have felt that I kept my cardio up but I lose so much muscle. so this time around I am hoping to maintain my strength better through the next 5 months.

So stick with me and I will be sharing all the fun and not so fun parts about being pregnant the third time around. 

The post Did you hear our big news? appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Because kids need to eat three healthy meals a day and they ask for snacks all day long and sometimes your fridge is empty

Because sometimes you want to use the bathroom without an audience

Because you now understand the real meaning of sleep deprived

Because parents are given 1.3 million expectations to live up to and are judged 1.3 million times a day by other parents on how they are living up to those expectations

Because there is never enough coffee

Because they mimic everything, even the parts that you aren’t proud of and would rather no one ever see

Because there is only so many times you can say “sit down”, “use your quiet voice” and “don’t color on the walls”

Because vegetables are healthy and kids hate vegetables

Because 5:30 AM is never a time you want to see on your clock, especially on a Saturday morning with a happy toddler face in your face

Because Frozen exists and still has the same ending the 2,000th time you watch it.

Because you have to teach a child to share.

Because I want my floor to stay clean and without a doubt there is always milk or smushed banana on it.

Because I love to travel, and kids scream on planes, and I get evil looks from people on those planes (you know who you are!)

Because my three year old asks me to explain things like the concept of time

Because socks have those little lines on the top of them and they are never correctly placed on my toddlers foot

Because my kids love sweet potatoes, no they hate them, ok they like them if they have ketchup, never mind today they refuse to eat them.

Because you are responsible for your child’s teeth, and no child ever brushes their teeth well enough

Because potty training

Because 90% of the time you have no idea if you are doing it right, and then when you think you are, your kid changes and you are back where you started

Because folding laundry turns into a game of how quickly your kids can undo your stacks of folded laundry

Because there is never a matching sock

Because yesterday they wanted their sandwich cut into squares and today they refuse to eat it because it is cut into squares

Because any and all types of kid music in the car

Because people say things like sleep when the baby sleeps

y’all this is just the first 10 minutes of what popped into my head. Parenting is tough.

What did I miss, what are your reasons?

The post Why Parenting is Hard appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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OK, so we have more than one secret, at least that works for us…but the one that I’m sharing with you today is…

We walk.

Every day.

It started out because Josh sits all day at the computer. So in an effort to get him moving more we committed to walking out the door at 5 pm every day and getting exercise together. Some days we walk, some days we run, but every day we are out for about an hour on a loop near our house.

So what does this have to do with our marriage?

Our walk was started in an effort to get more exercise, but it quickly evolved into uninterrupted time that the kids were strapped into the stroller and (mostly) quiet, our phones were at home or put away, we weren’t surrounded by our to do list and house projects and we found ourselves connecting and having really great talks.

Do you remember how to do that with your husband, talk?

I joke but our conversations since kids could easily be limited to logistics of how to do life, or to do lists and schedules.

Our walk has carved out time that we both need to connect as a couple.

Now we take it one step further and I feed the kids dinner in the stroller.

You’d be surprised how much better your kids will eat when they are strapped into a stroller with nothing else to do but eat. We sometimes bring the iPad and let our oldest play a game while we walk, but for an hour, the kids are calm and my husband and I have an actual conversation every day

In addition to exercising and getting those happy endorphins, we are communicating which I think is one of the hardest things for couples to do with all of the daily distractions.

We’ve come to rely on our walk. When we get busy and miss our walk for a day or two you can feel both of our stress rise. It’s our release. We need the fresh air and the time to decompress together at the end of the day.

Our marriage secret? Walking.

But really, it’s scheduling uninterrupted time to connect and communicate.

It’s challenging each other to talk about something other than work and kids. It’s being married for 10 years and still learning new things about each other. It’s  supporting each others interests and hobbies.

So, our secret. It’s not rocket science, but it works for us. Whatever you start doing, do something. Schedule time for each other every day, and start doing life together not just surviving alongside each other.

The post Our Secret to a Happy Marriage appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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Does happiness come from being fit? Eating more vegetables? Are healthier people happier? Should happiness be considered when assessing how healthy someone is?

As a trainer I work on achieving my clients goals, mostly that focus on muscular strength, weight control and habit changes. One big factor that I think is often overlooked that plays a huge role in how healthy any one person is, is happiness.

How happy are you?

There have been numerous studies on the correlation between these two. I can show you research that says yes, happy people live longer. People with ambition, who feel they have a purpose and who are surrounded by a supportive community are both typically healthier and happier. If you take on an optimistic outlook on life, you are proven to live better.

We tend to focus on the negative. Have you felt depressed or alone vs. have you felt joy and laughter recently. I work with people on their physical strength and the food they’re eating, and while I am fully aware that by the end of our sessions they leave a happier version of themselves, I don’t always address this specifically.

I introduce habits to decrease stress (again, focused on the negative) vs strategies to increasing the joy in your life.

Why am I wasting your time reading this?

Constant worry, stress or fear can wreak havoc on your body contributing to heart disease, strokes and affect your organs. On the contrary, positive mental health goes beyond just not being depressed. Moods and emotions are associated with improving biological measures such as blood pressure, cortisol and inflammation. It’s a big deal.

While happiness isn’t the cure all,  I think it should be added to the list.

So what’s the problem?

Happiness is vague.

How do you define happy? It’s vague and subjective.  When I talk about happiness and your health I’m specifically pointing at how satisfied are you with life. Do you have positive emotions regularly? Do you look at the glass as half full? That being said, it’s hard to define. As you begin to consider your own happiness you will become more self aware and able to define happiness for you. You don’t arrive at “happy” and stay there, it is an every day choice and up and down battle.

What are strategies to help get you there? Build positive relationships.

Surround yourself with people who want you to get outside and move more. Groups who offer you positive and uplifting words and spend more time celebrating than complaining. I think more than surrounding yourself with positive uplifting people, is getting the negative people out of your life. If you have friends who have a glass half empty mentality, or cause you to stress or worry more than usual, consider decreasing your time spent with them, for your own health.

Create Memories.

Get out and do things that create happy memories. Have new experiences that engage your mind and body. Your brain is happy when it continues to be challenged so stop sitting, and start doing. One of my favorite parts of making memories is reflecting on these experiences often and sharing stories from your adventures.

My husband and I have created so many memories together over the years that the “remember when” conversations happen often and a walk down memory lane brings back all of the adventure and feel good emotions that went along with those memories.

Be Thankful.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Wake up every day feeling thankful for your health and your relationships in your life. Even on the hard days, challenge yourself to be thankful for something. Name it, say it out loud and acknowledge the good in your life. Living in a constant state of gratefulness will help you look at life with a half full perspective and can greatly increase your quality of life.

Live in the Present.

Learn to forgive and not hold grudges. Let yourself not be anxious about the future, or dwell on the past. Cease each day and take advantage of the moments, maximizing your time doing instead of worrying.

Exercise Daily.

Exercise releases happy endorphins. It’s science, exercise really does make you happier. Do it daily and I promise you that you will feel happier. My husband and I have a routine that gets us out every day on a 3 mile walk and it is our time to connect not only improving our health but our marriage too! We block off this time and protect it from outside events. It’s our time to ensure we’re exercising daily and scheduling a walk to spend quality time together.

In The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the worlds leading researchers on happiness, explains that 40% of our happiness is within our power to change through the ways we act and think. Another 50% can be attributed to a genetic set point or baseline. It is suggested that only 10% of our happiness is associated with life circumstances ( money, health, beauty, marriage etc.)

Happiness focuses on a self-awareness that allows you to be you. A healthier you is a happier you. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. Commit to putting in the time to exercise, eat healthy, quit smoking and surrounding yourself with the people who motivate you. Keep your mind engaged in addition to prioritizing time to move your body.

What’s stopping you?

It’s hard. I get it.

Making the big changes that are healthier are hard. Maybe you tried before and gave up. Or you doubt you can get there or you’re just be too lazy to care. You make excuses or have people in your family telling you that it can’t be done. It’s all a lie. You need to find the thing or person who motivates you, because I repeat,this is a big deal.

Unfortunately most people wait until a major life event like a heart attack to make big changes. This is your health, your quality of life, your happiness. Why wait until it’s too late or extreme circumstances. You have one life and one body, why not take care of this one and live life to its fullest and be your happiest self.

The post Are Happier People Healthier? appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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I remember when Lottie first started to walk, everyone would respond with “just wait until she starts talking”, like it was a bad thing. They went on to clarify, “then she won’t shut up”.

I know there is a lot of truth in that statement. They go on and on and on and on.

  • Why is the sky blue?
  • Why is there a hole in the road?
  • How do birds fly?
  • Why can’t cars fly?

I know parents complain about how their young children are non stop talkers, and the “why” stage of toddlerness that questions everything 100 times, it’s exhausting. I get it. Sometimes at the end of the day my brain feels fried with the amount of energy and thoughts and emotions that come out of my three year old. I can’t imagine when my one year old starts talking.

But I also love when my three year old talks and asks why.

She’s full of curiosity

I joke with Josh that there are times I can literally hear the gears in her head turning she is thinking so hard. She honestly asks good questions. She wants to know what things are, and how they work. Yes, it’s non stop, but that’s how fast her brain is working.

I want to encourage that curiosity. I want her to always question everything, and not simply accept what is told to her. Even though I don’t always give her the answer she is looking for, I give her credit for always asking. That curiosity and fearlessness to ask, the questioning everything, is going to take her far in my opinion when she is older.

Yes, that means more parenting on my part, and sometimes headaches from not getting a moment a silence all day, but that’s what we signed up for, right?

She makes me think

If you have ever had to explain something complicated to a three year old then you will understand how some of their questions really challenge you. You start to realize what concepts and information you have simply accepted over the years, without questioning, and you also realize some things are unexplainable.

Seeing life through her eyes makes me think differently. Her questions make me question things.

She’s learning to think for herself.

After the 5th why of the conversation I usually turn it back on her.

I explain what I can, and then I ask her why. I give her time to think about what I said and draw her own conclusions. The why is a two-way street and she needs to learn that you won’t always have a clear answer and sometimes she needs to draw conclusions on her own. I give her the power to answer her own why, and support her as she works through what seems like complicated questions (for a three year old).

It’s ok to say, I don’t know the answer, let’s look it up together. A number of times I have pulled out my phone with her to “research” one of her questions. I want to teach her to not only ask the questions, but find the answers. I don’t know everything, I don’t pretend to, and that’s ok! I send her to dad for a lot of her questions if I think he is better suited to answer the question.

I love listening to my three year old talk.

She says hilarious things and brutally honest things. She says things she observes and that she’s been taught and relates them to situations. It’s hilarious. I love having her tell me what she wants and I love listening to her imagination even more. The way she plays and the stuff she repeats that she hears from adults. It’s amazing how much their brains are taking in and trying to process.

Yes with the hilarious, I also get the tantrums and whining, but we’re working on that too.

It takes patience.

Sometimes the why’s when I’m in a hurry or have had a long day, feel like too much. It’s easier for me to say because I said so and move on. That is when I need patience, I find a way to muster up whatever is left in me, because I never want her to feel that asking me a question is burdensome.

If I’m in the middle of something I tell her to remember the question and ask me later. There is also something to be said for teaching children to wait and be patient. They have great questions, but in order for me to give her a good answer, sometimes she needs to wait. I don’t shut down her question, I postpone it and then I make a point to get back to her when we have time.

Embrace your toddlers continuous why.

Help them process the world. Ask them why, and let them answer their own questions. There is so much energy in these little humans the best thing we can do for them is channel that energy into problem solving and curiosity and watch them grow even at the young age of three.

The post Why I Encourage My Three Year Old to Ask All the Questions appeared first on Caffeinated Chaos.

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