My Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs


1. Rowan loved every minute of the hockey game last night. She kept dancing and clapping at all the music and bright lights. What a great night.
2. The fact that I cooked her scrambled eggs this morning (one of her favs) with chopped up spinach in it and she ate every bit. Score! I fooled her.
3. How good she is at puckering her lips and giving you a big smacker. Her kiss noises kill me
4. That she some how learned the word “Ummm?” When I ask her a question she looks at me, tilts her head slightly and says “ummm?” like she is thinking of the answer. What? how did she learn this? Too funny
5. That she is getting to an age where she can really, truly play with others. It is so fun to watch her play with other kids (especially Addy!). What a great age!

1. Hearing her wake up at 5am screaming and so upset. We couldn’t get her to calm down for quite sometime. It was so sad when we found out this is the age that they start having nightmares. Ahh breaks my heart.
2. Her continuing to rip pages out of books. I will be excited when she learns that we don’t rip books. I try to only give her board books but it never fails that she finds the other ones.
3. That she still refuses to say “mama.” I know she can. We have heard her before, but she just doesn’t call me anything. It really doesn’t bother me, but it would be nice to hear it every once in a while.
4. The amount of effort it takes to get her into her car seat. Oh.My.Word. This child does not like getting in there. Some times she is good, but most times watch out!
5. The fact that every time we walk into the grocery store, she starts doing the “more” sign. Then whines until she gets food. Every new item I put in the cart, is at that moment the only thing that she wants. I check out with half of the groceries open.

What were your ups & downs this week? (parenting or not)

  1. oh man…I am right there with the downs! we also just found out that this is the age of more vivid dreams/nightmares…and our 15 month old def. proves it with her middle of the night cries.
    She also only says “mama” when she is most upset, so it is a sad crying “maaama, maama”, breaks my heart every time.
    No ups this week for me, but you got me on a day following a very bad day, maybe tomorrow! Love this post by the way, too cute!

  2. Loved all of your Ups! I have a 10 month son and his Ups are amazing! He’s waving “bye-bye”, plays patty cake at all times, is cruising at warp speed and loves to sing!

    As for your Downs, number one broke my heart!!! McKinley, my son, wakes up from time to time just sobbing and it seems like he can never be consoled. My heart hurts! For #3, I hear “mama” when he’s frustrated!

  3. Kids are so funny. My son also only wants food that is immediately available. I sometimes have to get him a banana or snack while shopping if he doesn’t have a sippy or didn’t eat beforehand.

    Our son also caused holy ruckus in the car seat. We keep one of his musical toys in the car now, so he’s exited to go and have some ‘guitar time.’ Sometimes the easiest fixes are the most successful. Random.

  4. I think our babies are the same babies. Jacob has his first night terror at my in-laws the other night. It was horrible! It was like he didn’t realize we were right there with him, he was just screaming for half an hour without even fully waking up. He wouldn’t even nurse, and that boy never turns down boobs.
    Also, the car seat thing: Come on, kids! Get with the program and get your butt in the seat! Is Rowan rear-facing still? I think Jacob gets car sick (he’s thrown up twice on long trips), and I wonder if forward facing would help.
    Also, let’s go on family hockey nights! 🙂


  5. Love that she uses ummm. Do you use it all the time. My ups and downs even though my little one is still on the inside (sounds like he is in jail).
    Up- felt hiccups and kicking like a trouper!
    Down- his acrobatics mean he keeps stealing my oxygen and I feel faint frequently.

  6. Hi Jen! We are having the same “down” (#4) with our sweet little one who is just a month older than Rowan. My mom is a preschool director, and she sent me this sweet email that has really helped us to be a little more successful with the SUPER BIG car seat struggle (playing but refusing to sit, then screaming and crying – we have to add 5 to 10 minutes to our drive time most days just for getting in the car seat. Plus, she has some motion-sickness, so sad…) I’m copying and pasting, I don’t think she will mind 😉 Maybe some of it would work for y’all too!

    “I’ve been thinking alot about Amelia and the car seat. It makes sense to me that a smart little cookie like her would not want to get in that seat since about a third of the time she throws up in it! Yuk – I wouldn’t want to be strapped into something that constantly makes me sick either!

    To make the best of a difficult situation, be proactive and creative. She has great receptive understanding of language. So as you are heading to the car explain what is about to happen and always give it a happy ending. Like…”it’s time to get in your car seat so we can take a short ride to school and see your friends; when you get there you’ll get to go outside and play in the sandbox…Let’s get in your seat quick so we can go to play!” Framing it up for her may help a little. Then always acknowledge when she does it well. “Thank you, Amelia, for getting in your seat so quickly! Now we can go!”

    When she protests, you can try reflecting her feelings – she’s probably too young to get much out of that but it’s a good habit. “I see that you do not like this and it is making you angry – let’s get it over with quick so you’ll feel better.”

    You could also make up a little ritual for getting in the seat. Like a poem or song you do together that ends up with her buckled up.

    Make a bag of washable car toys. These toys are only for the car; change them often enough to peak her interest. Let her pick one out to take on the ride. If books are better, let her pick out one that you can hold and read to her. Yes, these are distractions and that is perfectly ok. You are trying to make the best of an extremely uncomfortable situation for her.

    Try to get out of the power struggle by accepting her point of view. I know it’s hard, especially when you are in hurry. I promise your patient efforts will pay off!”

    And, my big “UP” this week was that she said “I love you you you” to me while in the bath last night. SOOOOOOO SOOOOOOOO SOOOOOO SWEET!!!!!!! lockin’ that one in my heart forever 🙂

  7. I love these posts! It is so great to hear both your ups and downs…reminds me to love the little things that go well and the happy moments we have but also helps me remember that I’m not the only mom to have trouble getting my kid into her car seat!!! Thanks Jen!

  8. what a funny little mite!
    I can’t believe she tears pages out of books, that’s kinda awful! haha I never thought about it but I suppose it’s something babies would love. I’m sure she’ll learn soon enough. 🙂 and that “umm” thing is too adorable.

  9. I didn’t not know that about baby nightmares, that is good to know (but sad!) And I swear, your baby sounds so much like mine! Dakota refuses to get in her carseat, and when she finally does, SHE must be the one that buckles it, not one else. Which, you know, could take ages with tiny baby hands. She also does the more sign and whines until she gets
    at the grocery store! She especially loves the blueberries.

    xo, Meghan

  10. Oh my gosh– the “more” sign! Sometimes I think I was crazy for teaching her that one. The grocery store can get nutty really quick with that one- I’m right there with you!

  11. So I have a little girl, I think just a smidge older then yours. My girly will be 18 months next week. She JUST started to say MaMa. I felt the same way you do about it up until this point. I was pretty sure she said it at one point, then from then on just yelled out to get my attention. But now she’ll say mama. She started mid-january sometime. Now, she’ll play around me, with my shirt or hair and almost sing “mama…mama…mama” and I love every minute of it!! So, just wait. I’m sure your time will come too! 😉
    (and I hate the grocery store right now too) I wish she would just play my iPhone like my son used to!

  12. loving this new series! we have left so many trails of raisins around the grocery store or checked out with banana peels in our cart i’ve lost count! My up is today on the way to a mom’s bible study I attend, my daughter started saying “see abby” over and over and I realized she knew where we were going and has made a little friend in her class who she remembers. it is so cute and neat to see her remembering a buddy she hasn’t even seen in 3 weeks just by us pulling into the parking lot! she is constantly amazing us with the little things right now. My “down” is that saying “no” to us complete with finger pointing is still happening in full force so we’re working on that 🙂

  13. aww this is such a cute post


  14. Awe, those downs aren’t so bad – the book thing would drive me crazy though! Ha-ha, what can you do. I love that she loved the hockey game – my Kev can’t wait to have baby at a game. Technically, baby is at a game (inside mommy still).

  15. Horray for a great first hockey game!!

  16. Can I tell you how much I love these posts? Because I do. A LOT! (and you too…you’re kiiiiind of my favorite). haha 🙂

    Anyway, the carseat thing. Henry is the WORST. He will straighten up so we can’t even get him in. I have to use extreme distraction techniques or it doesn’t work. He’s also started doing this when I go to pick him up when he doesn’t want to be picked up. Sometimes I just have to laugh.

    Love to you and yours, Jen! <3 <3

  17. I really love reading your ups and downs 🙂 It’s always nice to know other moms have a nice mix of ups and downs too hehehe

    I feel for you with the nightmares. When my daughter started having them it broke my heart – but they really improved when we gave her a cuddly toy to sleep with, i think she found it comforting.

    And don’t worry, you’re not alone on the refusal to say mama and the ripping books. My son is almost 2 and he still refuses to say mama even though i know he can (he’s done it a few times) – and we’re only just making book progress. hehe oh dear!

    I’m so impressed Rowan sat through that whole hockey game – that is so amazingly awesome! yay for you guys!!

    Big hugs! XOXO

  18. these are so sweet 😉

    jess just started waking up in the night too and i hate thinking it could be nightmares. my first would wake up and was afraid of shadows. breaks my heart! the grocery store point made me laugh!! sounds likes us. i let the kids pick one thing (usually they have single serving bags of items in the organic section) and a horizon single milk. that usually holds them off but jess always wants everything i put in the cart. it’s a good thing mothers come with so much patience 😉 i think it’s pre programmed in us!

  19. Jen, enjoy the silence because once Rowan starts saying mama, she won’t stop and it will be all you hear ALL day long. ALL. day. long.

  20. I love these posts, this might be a very nice addition to my blog too. I’d definitely site ya if I do swipe the idea.
    NOTE – I CRACKED up at the last point with her putting all the groceries in the cart. Ahh kids – you gotta love em! It’s harmless – so you can’t fuss at her about it right? Love it!

  21. Love reading your ups and downs. Makes my days feel normal with my 12 month old HATING his car seat too. Who knew a baby could be SOOOO strong?

  22. I love your list and here is mine:
    Recently when Ali is excited, he runs on tip of his toes, it is so funny.
    Ali dancing to any kind of music, even a theme song.
    Him asking ” what is this” or “what happened” all the time.
    Yesterday in the doctor we learned he has Eczema.
    We tried to stop breastfeeding at night and it backfired.
    Ali being stubborn all the time and I not knowing what to do.

  23. Ha ha! I had forgotten about the car seat thing at that age. So frustrating! I remember practically having to karate chop my girls at the hips to get them to sit in their seats (well, not quite, but you get the idea). Funny how you forget those things – it’s good that you’re recording them. I now have a little one who is only six months and is still happy to be in his car seat…no doubt he’ll change his mind.

    Having two older kids and now a baby has made me realize how much I didn’t appreciate my older kids when they were really little because I was so busy (they were only 17 months apart).

    You seem to do a good job enjoying little Rowan (though it’s impossible to enjoy them all the time). She is a little doll. 🙂

  24. love this! Of course I don’t need to say too much because we are really going through the same stages as you! The “more sign” cracked me up because Levi gets really excited and will sing “please,” “more,” “thank you” all in a crazy pattern just so he is sure to cover it all and get what he wants! 😉 Love those baby signs.
    And recently Levi started saying “MAMA” in the cutest, sweetest voice I’ve ever heard in my life. None of my other three melted my heart with that word the way he does. I can’t wait for you to get to hear it too. Meanwhile, ENJOY the rest! 🙂

  25. i seriously think we have the exact same child.
    My son has showed me that he can say what goats say, “Meh meeehhh”, but still won’t say “Mama”. Really? i know he can say the consonant “m”. Just no mama! I’m with you…it doesn’t bother me as in the hurting my feeling sense, but I’m just thinking, oh come, on–just SAY IT! ha!
    and ditto to your entire list!
    thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. When I was Rowan’s age, my first word – “Doggie!” was the only word I would say and it drove my parents CRAZY. They kept coaxing me to say “mama” or “dada” but I refused. It’s an epic story in my house that one day when mom was changing my diaper she looked at me and said, “say mama,” to which I responded, “doggie” and she got annoyed and said, “say mama mama MAMA!” and I responded, “doggie doggie DOGGIEEEEE!” and laughed my head off at her. Even though kids can’t articulate it at that age, I think they love to tease their parents. 😉

  27. Brandi •

    Hi! I just wanted to comment on the car seat issue. My son acted the same way until I started youtube’ing a movie, usually Baby Einstein, on my phone and letting him watch that while I strap him in. It’s distracts him enough to get the job done. It’s worked like a charm and now he smiles when I sit him in his seat. Good luck!

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