Children’s Books Black History Month Edition

Here’s a short list and description of some children’s books to read to your kids during black history month.

1. Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. It’s a book for kids a little older but Sage who is 3 likes looking at the illustrations and I just read her the woman’s name and occupation.

2. Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins. Such a motivational book for any black child.

3. Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen. A dream book for a little girl obsessed with ballets and dancing and dresses. Not to mention so much history in Debbie Allen’s accomplishments.

4. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. Cutest illustrations with a big meaning and a funny story. Girls can be scientist. Little black girls can be scientists.

5. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn. A book to get your child excited about reading books.

6. A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhane Wallis. This book would have been published by the author when she was 13 if that’s not a big enough feat to read this book to your children I don’t know what is.

In retrospect I also realized all these books are about AA women (I guess cause I have a daughter) but these are just some books we already had that showed African American representation. What books would you recommend for younger kids to start learning about African American History? Leave some comments for me on what you’re reading to your children this month.

Photos from Hey Black Child.

Photos from Ada Twist, Scientist.

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Sage’s 3rd Birthday Recap

Sage turned 3 last Friday. And I took her to children’s museum in Atlanta. Sage had fallen asleep in the car on the way there so when we first got to the museum she was a little overwhelmed so we went to the water fishing area first because there were less people in that section of the museum she had fun. Kept saying she was catching fish with her daddy. The other exhibits or sections of the museum is the kitchen a building/ball area, a jungle gym, painting station, Daniel the tiger section with houses and mail and stuff and a sand section.

There are also classes you can sign your kid up for but they go fast. We got to the museum later than I wanted to and the spots for the classes were already filled.

Sage wore a dress because that’s usually all she wants to wear anyway and even if we live in Georgia it’s still winter time. And she wanted to wear a crown so yes I was that extra parent for the day. She had a lot of fun there was a reading time of Daniel the tiger at like 2:30 but she didn’t want to sit for it.

The kitchen area is defiantly a Waffle House replica even if it doesn’t say so anywhere. That’s where most of the kids were and there was food everywhere I’m pretty sure it was Sage’s favorite section too. She kept making plates of food for her dad and myself and naming all the food or asking us what something was.

We stayed at the museum until close then went and got food. Sage picked this hot pink icing for cupcakes (which I forgot to get a photo of) she doesn’t really like cake and just ate the icing off a few.

My parents flew in to celebrate Sage’s birthday with her on Saturday and we went to yard house, a candy store downtown and to chuckie cheese. Next year for Sage’s birthday I hope she’ll have some friends from being in school (fingers crossed she starts this August) and I can actually throw her a birthday party.

Here’s some cute photos from her birthday and Saturday when we went to chuckie cheese.

Potty Training

I began potty training Sage over the summer but I’m not going to lie I wasn’t consistent at all. Between work and other things potty-training wasn’t a priority on my list of daily things to do. We transitioned to pull-ups with no fuss. Then started sitting her on the potty to get her used to it. And it kind of became a game for her. She liked sitting on the toilet and saying she had to go potty (even though she wasn’t yet) and she liked feeling a sense of independence and saying “I do it”. She did get really interested in her female parts during this time too and would ask me what things were down there for the first time.This led to print out coloring sheets with labeled body parts.

So, potty training is just an overall learning experience I wasn’t prepared for. My sister suggested (because she did this with my niece) that I should give Sage a reward like candy for using the bathroom in the toilet but I didn’t really like the idea so I never started it. Sage found it enjoyable without the “treat” and is now telling me when she has to go potty on her own without me asking her.

She still wears pull-ups to bed (haven’t figured this one out yet) but during the day she doesn’t (this includes during naps) and she hasn’t had many accidents once she got the hang of it. In the beginning she did have a couple accidents and wet herself while wearing underwear but she fully understands now and can feel the difference between her pull-up and undies- and if she’s wearing undies will say she has to go potty.

We got to this stage of understanding by having talks after she would have accidents me telling her I wasn’t mad at her and reminding her to tell me when she had to go potty. I also just started taking her to the bathroom every hour when she had on undies. This got her in the habit of knowing okay when I feel the urge to go I need to go to the bathroom. Talking and explaining things to Sage repeatedly really helped her to understand and get the concept of using the bathroom.

Getting her to use the bathroom to go poo I knew would be hard I don’t know about other toddlers but Sage would always go to the same spot squat down and poo then tell me she had. But the transition to her using the toilet and pooping really wasn’t that bad.

Every time Sage uses the bathroom in the potty she exclaims “I did it” so it is fun for her she likes knowing she can do something with her body on her own. Still working on the wiping but I’m so proud of my baby. Sage does use a separate like booster toilet seat because she’s dramatic and swears she’ll fall in the toilet without it. So, if you’re having trouble getting your little one to be comfortable sitting on the toilet seat I suggest purchasing a kiddie one.

I’m going to leave some tips that I found helpful and links.

1. You should definitely purchase toddler flushable wipes. These were a game changer because Sage would go through the motions using so much tissue when she didn’t even use the bathroom. Also it helps them be able to wipe themselves more efficiently. I get mine from target they’re the up and up brand and super affordable.

2. Like I said I suggest getting a training seat for an actual toilet but there also are those toddler/baby toilets that could be helpful in the very beginning with just helping your child get used to the act of sitting on a potty. You can also let your child personalize this mini toilet with stickers, paint, etc.

3. Help your child get comfortable with the toilet. So, whatever they need to feel comfortable using the bathroom do it.

4. Kids learn by imitation so having an open door policy is a good start to showing your child how to use the bathroom and correctly wipe. I did this even before potty training because I’m usually the only one home with my daughter and need to be able to keep an eye on her even when nature calls.

5. Let your child pick out their underwear Sage has trolls and poppy and of course that motivated her to want to wear undies instead of her pull-ups. The little things will help your child get used to this change smoothly.

Here’s some links I used while potty training with more tips to help ya potty train your little one.

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a548953/potty-training-for-girls

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/potty-training/tips/potty-training-tips/

3 Ways I Manage Stress with a 2 year old

Not going to lie my patience sometimes is at 0 with my daughter. As a single working mom I’m stressed more than I’d like to be. This of course causes me to be less patient with my high strung toddler and tense. Here’s 3 Ways I destress and find a lil selfcare for myself throughout the day.

1. Yoga

And I’m not talking about yoga as an exercise. I’ve learned quite a few poses over the years (when it was an exercise for me) and in the morning I sometimes put on nature or meditation music and just allow myself to sit and flow from pose to pose for however long I feel. Being aware of my breaths. And getting out of my head a little.

2. Showers

I’ve always had this weird gravitational pull to water (I’m not a water sign so this is why I say weird). Water calms me all the way down. And if my daughters particularly intense one day I will either make her take a midday bath or I’ll take one myself for some me time or we’ll take one together if we both need to chill out. For some extra relaxation I sometimes add epsom salt and oils to the bath too.

3. Listening to Music

When my daughter was a newborn I had a record player and one of the ways I’d get her out of a crying fit was to play records. I even had made a playlist called Sage’s Morning on my SoundCloud. Music chills me out cause it again gets me out of my head space. And for Sage she likes to dance so it keeps her occupied even if only for 5 minutes.

What are your tips for keeping cool and calm through the day with your toddlers? (or kids) let me know in the comments!

Sage’s Halloween

Wanted to do a small recap on here of Sage’s Halloween because it seems like her favorite holiday as much as mine. And talk about some problems that came up for us concerning trick or treating.

When we woke up Sage first asked me for candy as soon as we got up and I said its Halloween so later and its like she knew cause she was like Elsa so I told her to go get her dress and she wore it all day long. Even got syrup on it from her pancakes in the morning. We of course went about our day normally went grocery shopping, went by the tag office. Then we went to Chipotle for $4 burritos (which mine was wrapped so badly it fell apart and yes I’m being a brat about it cause I literally talked about this burrito all day long). One of the girls who worked there was so nice though and gave Sage candy because she brought her bucket inside with her and put it up to the counter.

After we were trying to figure out what to do because my older sister had invited us to go trick or treating with her in her friends neighborhood. We tried trick or treating in our own neighborhood last year but because we live in a apartment its a little different plus we don’t really know our neighbors its not a tight community. We were at Chipotle waiting for my sister to respond back and she was taking so long – she had tried to share her location but it wasn’t working. So, we (myself and Sage’s father) decided to drive around and see if we could find a neighborhood and or just see if anyone in the apartment complex was giving out candy. But we began to argue about it cause he was saying we should have went earlier before it got dark and it was creepy (obvs never trick or treated as a kid) it was only creepy because I never trick or treated in neighborhoods I didn’t know and we didn’t see anyone out trick or treating because where we went weren’t large typical neighborhoods but just like clusters of houses.

As we were debating on what to do be said he would just go to the store and buy her some candy. I wanted her to have the experience. It was 7:30 and I turn around to look at Sage in the backseat and she’s asleep.

So, next year I will definitely have to plan more for trick or treating (we’ll also more than likely be in a different apartment complex and hopefully it’ll be a more community friendly one).

Do any of you have tips on trick or treating? Or wanna share what you and your little ones did for the holiday. Let me know in the comments!

Also the Novemeber playlist will be posted Friday.

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Sage’s Favorite Books

Hey everyone!

Wanted to highlight some of Sage’s favorite books right now and ill probably do this every so often as I’m always getting her new books and her favorites are always changing. I can tell when a book is her favorite when I tell her to go get a book off the bookshelf and its always the same one. So, here are 3 of her favs at the moment. And at some point ill do a version of this for myself too.

I am Enough by Grace Byers: Sage loves this book and honestly I do too. There’s only about a sentence a page accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Keturah A. Bobo – that show representations of girls from all races. The author also threw some self-love affirmations in this book (I mean look at the title), that I think its a great way to start teaching your kid to love themselves.09bce39c-488d-4d5e-b8d0-4eb6063269d52. Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: This cute little book is all about a pea that has to eat candy to grow big and strong. Sage of course likes looking at the illustrations by Jen Corace and naming all the colors of the candy.

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3. I’m not Sleepy! by Jonathan Allen: This cute funny book is all about an owl whose sleepy but won’t admit it. The whole story he’s grouchy and yells at neighbors that he isn’t tired. Sage is a night owl herself and this book is perfect for her. She won’t go to sleep at night no matter how late it is unless I lay her down and turn everything off.

That’s the end of Sage’s favorite books right now. If you don’t have these I recommend buying them for your little one. What are some books your 2 and 3 year olds love? Leave a comment or email me with your favs! I’m always looking for new books for Sage.

Mom Talk #2

Let’s talk about screen-time. This is such a huge topic but I wanted to address it cause its a problem that I have recently began to struggle with my two year old about. She always wants the phone. I know this will change once she starts school but I’m having a hard time keeping her busy now so the phone situation doesn’t come up. At the same time I am trying to brand my blog – and that requires me to be on the phone or on my laptop (like I am now typing this at 12:48pm) she sees all of this. She sees me using my phone and using the laptop and she imitates my behavior. I know I could switch my “work” hours to times she’s not awake, when she takes a nap or when she’s down for the night or get up early before her and knock out everything I think I need to do online. I hate that she sees me using technology so much I’ve tried to implement technology free days on Sunday’s but that didn’t really workout the best as sometimes I’m not with her on Sunday’s because of work. I try to do activities with her to get her away from wanting to watch peppa pig or poppy but as many of you parents know a toddlers mind is always looking for the next shiny new thing – they don’t stay concentrated on one thing for long. And as sad as it is sometimes it just keeps the peace to just give her the phone so I too can take a breather from dealing with meltdowns and demands of a two year old (no judgment here). Sometimes my selfcare is giving her the phone for 25 minutes so I can stretch or read a chapter of a book or anything.
I also know that too much screen-time can have negative effects like with anything too much of something can have repercussions. Lets look at some scientific data of how screen-time effects kids and toddlers. Scientific research – doctors say that kids younger than 18 months shouldn’t have screen- time at all I know this can be impossible with TV’s in homes, tablets and technology becoming increasingly part of our normal day to day function. But its said that since brains are developing the most in the first 2 years and children learn the most from interacting that they need to be interacting and not sitting in front of a screen. Interacting like being in nature, going to parks, being around other kids, being out in the world and learning seeing, hearing, touching things. However, there is “good” and “bad” screen-time. Good screen-time could be facetiming family members, doing games on a tablet with someone so the interaction is still there, watching educational shows. But these studies still say screen-time from 2-3 years of age should be limited to an hour a day which isn’t very long. One thing it specifically warns against is screen-time at bedtime and during meals I myself have a bad habit of eating and watching TV which I have passed on to my daughter already but there’s always time to implement changes this week I am going to make sure I myself and my daughter don’t eat our meals in front of a screen. I challenge any of you to do the same if this is an issue for you or to just be more present and aware of your kids screen-time this week.
I do feel guilty when I give my daughter the phone or sit her down in front of the TV just so I can get things done. In short its hard being a parent and having dreams, other responsibilities, and caring for yourself too. Its hard but its not impossible. I know my daughter likes to paint so I make a point to try and make it an activity we do daily or every other day, she likes doing crafts and going on walks, she’s a texture person – helping me cook or bake or measure out things. Puzzles and playdough things she can get her hands on is good for her. So, there are some activity ideas you can implement with your own kids and if anyone has any other activities they do with their kids that their kids enjoy leave a comment about it. Leave a comment with your own stories and or struggle about children screen-time. I wanna hear! As technology becomes more integrated into our lives I want to know of things we can do to stay in touch with ourselves and our children.
When Sage was a baby baby (what I call pre 2 years lol) I didn’t let her watch much TV or use the phone. To be honest before she was 2 TV didn’t hold her attention for long because she was so curious about the world and her surroundings. I wish that kids youtube had never been introduced to her. I’m not sure how it was. Its not a huge issue she’s getting older and isn’t as interested in her normal day to day surroundings. On outings she’s fine without the phone doesn’t think about it once. If I could backtrack I would. It has definitely been a struggle with her telling her no when she asks for the phone first thing in the morning. I also just want her to use her imagination and have free playtime more and not be distracted by moving things on a screen. I think technology in a way can really make someone anxious – overthink – distracted – the brain isn’t supposed to move a mile a minute there needs to be a balance – relaxation a calmness I think being on the phone for long periods of time can mess this up. I’ve noticed this even with myself. Based on what I’m watching and how much TV or how long I scroll on insta I feel drained and anxious more so than usual. I don’t allow myself time to sit and be still. And I think kids really need that time to get to know themselves and process things naturally.

Much of parenting that I’ve learned is just doing what you feel is best, taking it day by day and trying not to feel doubts or guilt about things you have to do. So, I encourage you if you think your kids use too much technology whether 2 or 7 take it day by day and start limiting your kids usage. I also encourage you (parents) to be more present with your kids to not use your phone while they’re talking to you or while eating dinner but give your kid(s) your undivided attention. It’ll be helpful in the long run.

What are your thoughts on toddler screen-time? Do you think its a hard necessity? Are you strict or loose about how much screen-time you allow you kid(s)? How much technology do you (the parent)use and how does this affect your relationship with your kids?

More information on screen-time:

https://www.babycenter.com/screen-time-babies-toddlers

https://childmind.org/article/value-screen-time-toddlers-preschoolers/

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