The Show Must Go On  

Last summer I enrolled the girls in summer dance lessons, but it didn’t go as well as I hoped.  Three of the kids regularly participated, but Rylin attended a single class (the first one) for the full length of time.  Though I sat right outside the studio door, she developed extreme separation anxiety.  As the weeks pressed on, I hoped it would improve, but it never did.  

When it was time to enroll in classes for the school year, I opted out, feeling defeated.  I mulled it over and though I wasn’t hoping for a prima ballerina, I knew dance lessons (or something similar) would help Rylin develop a few essential skills.  Since we are homeschooling it was important that she learned to follow directions from another adult and feel comfortable without me.  Because Rylin associated the original studio with anxiety, I decided we should try again elsewhere.  In fact, I thought the best place was in my Aunt Linda’s class.  The first few weeks of dance at the new studio were difficult, but Linda had several wonderful techniques that effectively eliminated anxiety for Rylin.

  1. The first two lessons were a mommy and me class.  All of the parents stayed in the studio and participated so the children could learn what to expect WITH their moms.
  2. She followed a very predictable routine in the same room each week.
  3. She never forced participation, but encouraged it.
  4. She used peers as models for new skills.
  5. She used lots of praise and encouragement.

Rylin really enjoyed the mommy and me format, but when it ended, she was unhappy and distraught.  I knew that if I attempted to stay in the room, it would exacerbate Rylin’s anxiety by inadvertently suggesting, “It’s not okay for you to do this without me.”  When Rylin refused to attend class, Sydney went alone and was praised for her effort.  Rylin was seated in a designated “boring chair” outside the studio.  While in the boring chair, I did not interact with Rylin at all and did not allow her to play with toys or read books.  After sitting in the “boring chair” once, Rylin started going to class and never threw another tantrum.  In fact, she began excitedly anticipating dance class and always participated.  Over the course of the year, both girls made gains in self confidence, following directions, and developing motor skills.  Rylin began talking about going on stage and asking when it was time for recital.  She was thrilled for her time to shine.

The night prior to recital, both girls woke up at 3:00 am with terrible coughs.  Needless to say, we didn’t sleep well and the girls awoke GROUCHY!  Rehearsal was atrocious.  Both girls were clingy and whiney.  Rylin burst into tears at the thought of going on stage and there was no consoling her. Sydney agreed to dance with her class and Rylin enjoyed watching from the audience.  After seeing her class perform, Rylin reconsidered her stance about joining them.  To up the anty, George promised flowers and cookies to whoever danced on stage.  Rylin excitedly accepted the challenge!

The pair enjoyed primping for recital and wearing their sparkly pink tutus.  As it was time for me to go to the audience, Rylin began to tear up and cling to me.  I was relieved when my cousin’s daughter appeared in the dressing room and began encouraging the girls.  I felt confident leaving them with T and made my escape.  The backstage moms later told me that T was a huge asset backstage and Rylin may not have danced without her.

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As the girls’ class entered the stage I held my breath as I counted silhouettes.  I sighed as I spied six dancers instead of seven, expecting that Rylin wasn’t going.  As the lights came on, I nearly cried tears of joy as I both girls on stage and dancing together.  These babies have come such a long way from being two and three pound preemies to conquering their fears about performing.  When reunited backstage, the girls beamed with pride and Rylin began asking when she could dance on stage again.  It won’t be for another year, but we are signed up for dance again next year.



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The girls were delighted to see that Daddy delivered the flowers and cookies as promised.

 

What fears have you conquered?

 

Hugs!

 

Amber


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Tee Ball: Season One 

When George and I were in college, a little league team used the university baseball diamond for games.   The first time we noticed them at play, we paused briefly to observe.   It was the cutest thing we’d ever seen. Itty bitty kids were scattered all over the field clad in oversized jerseys and enormous batting helmets. Parents stood in close proximity cajoling little ones to swing the bat, catch the ball, or run the bases. I thought to myself, if we ever had a little boy, he’d have to play tee ball.  Little did I know, we’d have two little boys awaiting the opportunity.

After taking dance lessons last summer, the boys eagerly awaited their chance to try tee ball. Each week at the end of dance class Harper proclaimed, “Next spring, I play tee ball!” He was a good sport and humored me by attending dance classes. In the fall, I polled parents in our neighborhood and moms of multiples group regarding youth sports.  I decided i9 Sports was the best fit for our family and enrolled the boys.  It was affordable for us, the practice and games were scheduled back to back, and the league fostered character building.

The first weekend in April our season began.   The first game was organized chaos: the kids struggled to make sense of the game and preferred to nosh on snacks or pick dandelions.  Over the course of the season, our rag tag team of tee ball players grew.  By the last game they could hit the ball off the tee and run the bases with minimal assistance.

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“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth

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Much to my dismay, the weather was anything but springlike.  The girls and I shivered on the sidelines and attempted to stay dry on damp days.  We made the most of it and cheered for our boys.

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Each week, the team focused on a particular aspect of sportsmanship.  At the end of the game, the player who best demonstrated the weekly goal earned a medal.  There were enough opportunities for each player to earn one, but they had to earn it- everyone didn’t get a medal for being there.  Mason earned his medal at the second game for listening.  He beamed with pride as the coach hung the medal around his neck.  Early on in the season, Harper often wandered away from the game and came up with excuses to avoid playing (e.g. use the restroom, snacks).  Towards the end of the season, he became more interested in the game and started enjoying himself more.  That week, he earned the medal for having fun with the game.  This boosted his morale for the remaining games and he certainly had more fun.

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Tee ball was slightly different than I envisioned, but it was a wonderful experience for our family and worthwhile.  In fact, Harper recently asked when they’d play tee ball again.

hugs!

 

Amber


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More Fried Squid, Please

Ramen noodle houses are a new trend in our area so we decided to try one with the kids for family date night.  A foodie friend recommended Hanabi Ramen & Izakaya so that’s where we headed.  Ever since the kids were babies, we’ve tried to expose them to novel foods and encourage them to try new things.   As our crew began to develop picking eating habits, we began implementing Ellyn Satter’s approach to feeding.  Though this approach has helped tremendously and eliminated mealtime whining, the kids still have three year old opinions about food and fickle choices.  For instance, bananas may be all the rage for a week and then are taboo.  Given their three year old ways, it’s always a gamble whether they’ll enjoy something new or not.

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Interestingly enough, they become FAR more adventurous out than at home.  Our dinner at Hanabi proved to be quite a quadventure.  On the way to the restaurant, we told the kids we would have noodles for dinner and fried squid.  We avoided giving them any type of expectations about how the food would look or taste, and simply labeled it. Upon our arrival, we were seated at a cozy booth and each child was given adapted chop sticks.  While waiting for our food, they practiced pinching the chopsticks like tweezers (this was a great fine motor task!).

When our appetizer, fried squid, arrived,  I wasn’t sure whether they would sample any.  I’m not typically a fan of calamari so I wasn’t expecting fried squid to be tasty.  However, to be an example for the kids, I tried a bite, and really enjoyed it.  After taking note from us, all four of the kids tried fried squid too, and they devoured it!  In fact, they enjoyed fried squid so much we ordered a second plate of  it.  During the meal, the kids also enjoyed boiled eggs, which they’ve never been willing to try at home.  The kids impressed the restaurant staff as well as other patrons with their willingness to try atypical foods.  The chef brought them a plate of dumplings to try and the kids gobbled them.

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We don’t expect our kids to like every food they try and we will never force them to try anything, but we really enjoy giving them the opportunity to sample things.  We also want them to learn how to respect different cultures and people, and food is one way to teach this lesson.

P.S. If you watch the video of them sampling squid for the first time, you’ll notice Harper says he doesn’t like “squid that’s in the sea”.  He later clarified that he prefers it “Died and fried”, meaning he doesn’t want to eat live squid.  I’m with him on that!

Have you ever tried fried squid?  If not, it’s worth the adventure!

hugs,

Amber



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Five Awesome Surprises for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up, so pull out all the stops to make your hubby feel special this year with these fun surprises. Your devoted hubby deserves to feel all of your love on his special day, and you can really knock his socks off with out-of-the-norm present ideas and shockers he’ll remember for years.

father's day gift ideas

  1. For the Vino Guy

If your husband loves wine, plan a fun winery trip where you both can taste delicious pinot noir, cabernet, and winery-specific blends. Dress up for the day, and spend some long hours gazing at beautiful vineyards while sipping away. If you can’t attend the winery on Father’s Day, break the fun news to him about your plans by presenting him with a customized bottle of wine from Etching Expressions. Tie a hand-drawn coupon to the neck of the bottle: “Good for one trip to the winery of your choice”. It’s a two-part present that he will adore and never expect.

  1. Take Part in His Favorite Hobby

Maybe you and your hubby don’t always have the same interest in hobbies, but Father’s Day is one day out of the year where all of his favorite things become all of your favorite things. Surprise him by purchasing a ticket to a game that you know he’d love to see, head to the golf course with him to whack away, or strap on that helmet and head into the batting cages. He’ll get to do the things he loves most with the person he loves most, and your thoughtfulness and selflessness will be a sentimental touch to an already wonderful day. Showing interest in what he loves is sure to make him feel cherished and validated.

  1. Whisk Him Away

Take your husband on a surprise weekend trip and get away from the stresses of real life. Sometimes we let so many other things get in the way of quality time together, and a quick vacation could be just what the two of you need to reignite that spark in your relationship. If you can’t afford to be away for an entire weekend, or your budget makes traveling just a bit out of reach, why not plan a staycation at a local hotel? Order a room last-minute on Hoteltonight.com, head there early to fill the room with decadent snacks and any other things you think you’ll need, then wrap up a hotel key card and present it to him over dinner. Getting away from home can give the celebration an air of mystery and capture that excitement from the beginning of your relationship.

  1. A Visit from His Family

If you and your husband live far from his parents, siblings, or any other close loved ones, he likely misses them a lot. If you have enough time to plan a reunion, get in contact with his family members and friends and see what you can do to orchestrate a visit from his favorite people. If you find it too difficult to get all of them to you, do the opposite and plan a visit for the two of you to go out and see them. Present your husband with the tickets and watch his face light up when he realizes your plans. Even if it’s not for a date until way in the future, anticipation is half the fun.

  1. A Special Event

What’s your guy passionate about? Is he a musical savant that knows new songs before anyone else? Maybe he’s a sports buff that rattles off stats like he is the coach of his favorite team. Whatever he loves, try and find a special event in your area that reflects his passions. Check out VividSeats.com to find tickets for an upcoming concert or game that you know he’ll love to watch, and wait until the night of to surprise him with them. Drive the two of you to the venue and watch as he slowly understands what’s happening—the reveal is half the fun anyway.

 

hugs!

Amber


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Tooth Fairy Treasure Box

Tooth Fairy Box: Spray paint a mini wooden treasure box and have your child put it on her nightstand for The Tooth Fairy. She'll be thrilled to find treasure inside when she wakes up. ©FourtoAdore.com

When she was about 18 months old, Sydney chipped her front tooth. At the time it was fine, and I expected it to remain until she was old enough to lose it.  It never caused pain, but poor Sydney often caught her lip on it and it irritated her.  When I took the kids for their semi annual dental exam in January, Sydney’s chipped tooth died and was becoming gray.  Dr. Roberts said it was still okay, but we should keep a close eye on it.  Last week, we returned for follow up and the tooth had abscessed, which meant it was time to have it extracted.  George took the day off work to manage the other three kids while I focused on Sydney at the dentist.

Even though pulling this tooth was simple, Sydney required sedation for her comfort and to keep anxiety at bay.  While waiting for the sedatives to take effect, I enjoyed snuggling my little cuddle bug.  Sydney was very brave and never complained about the process.  Even though she was losing this tooth in less than ideal circumstances, I wanted to make it special.  We talked about the tooth fairy and Sydney was excited to be the first one who would get a visit.

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On the way home from the dentist, we stopped by Michael’s to pick up supplies for a tooth fairy door I spied on Pinterest.  We didn’t find the door we originally intended to buy, but instead I found adorable mini wooden treasure boxes on the wood craft aisle.  Sydney chose a beautiful shade of pink in a handy half can size, and I grabbed a shimmer spray for the top.  I knew the Tooth Fairy would appreciate a shimmery pink box!  I picked up three more boxes so the other kids would have one for the future.


Before bed, George read “The Night Before the Tooth Fairy” by Natasha Wing, and Sydney proudly put her Tooth Fairy box on her nightstand with her tooth inside.  I thought it would be much easier for the Tooth Fairy to open the treasure box from the nightstand rather than under a pillow.  I can imagine that flying undetected is hard work as is.

 

In the morning, Sydney was thrilled to find a sparkling dollar bill, gems, and a handwritten note from The Tooth Fairy in her treasure box.  While the other three kids didn’t receive treasure, The Tooth Fairy left them tiny notes reminding them to brush and floss their teeth.

Tooth Fairy Box: Spray paint a mini wooden treasure box and have your child put it on her nightstand for The Tooth Fairy. She'll be thrilled to find treasure inside when she wakes up. ©FourtoAdore.com

hugs!

 

Amber

More Tooth Fairy Fun:




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Curious Harper 

This is about Harper.  He was a good little boy, and always very curious…

As soon as Harper could crawl, he developed an immense curiosity about everything around him.  Once he could walk, and then climb we were in BIG trouble.  By the age of two, “dismantle” and “destroy” were part of his vocabulary.  His sisters often mention “mischief” and “shenanigans”.  He’s keen on taking things apart to figure out how and why they work.  I love this little boy’s zest for learning and his clever nature, but it exhausts me.   Every single day I struggle with finding consequences for his behavior that will not squelch his inquisitive nature.  His most recent endeavors include:

  • flushing two toothbrushes down the toilet, resulting in an entire toilet replacement
  • pouring a bottle of dish soap into a pot of Gerber daisies
  • squirting almost an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink
  • emptying a bottle of shampoo into the bathtub
  • dumping hair detangler in the sink
  • dismantling a toy helicopter, solar powered butterflies, Nerf bullets, and a Hot Wheels track
  • doling out snacks from the pantry
  • unleashing dust bunnies from the vacuum cleaner
  • shredding magazines
  • removing flaps from books
  • unrolling tape to make tricycle streamers

 

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This time, Harper had a lesson on how the vacuum worked, but he’d already dumped it before.

I promise, I supervise him well and offer a variety of sensory and enriching activities to satisfy his thirst for hands on learning, but nonetheless, Harper is programmed for curiosity. Before going to bed, I say a prayer something like this:

“Dear God, please help me to appreciate Harper’s zest for learning and to treat him with patience and respect rather than anger and frustration.  Help him learn ways to be productive with this curiosity, and eventually use it to earn an honest living.”

Last week, Harper’s curiosity finally benefited me.  I noticed that his bolted-to-the-wall nightstand was askew.   Just before I started to press for an explanation, I decided to investigate it myself.  Though I have no idea why he pulled the nightstand crooked, I was ecstatic to find the treasure trove behind it.

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In the company of a plastic sword, miniature road barrier, Christmas tree angel, and wooden fish, you may spy a kelly green iPod nano.  Why yes!!!  This particular iPod has been MIA since October.  Many months ago, Sydney took it from the dock and seemed to be handling it well so I let her play with it, but then it vanished.  When questioned, Sydney insisted it was “by the bed”.  After taking our bed, hers, and the boys apart, I gave up hope.  I missed this iPod especially when I wrote reports at work, or wanted to enjoy a particular playlist, but really I presumed it was flushed with the toothbrushes.  Harper was quite pleased with this discovery too.

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 I can only hope that future investigations will lead to similarly wonderful discoveries. In the meantime, I’ll continue prayers for patience.

hugs!

 

Amber

 

 

Easy Peasy Party Prep

After my sister’s engagement, I knew I wanted to host something special for her.  She and I chatted about ways to celebrate the upcoming nuptials, and decided a “Stock the Bar” themed couples shower would be fun.  Courtney and Matt have a close knit group of friends (something reminiscent of How I Met Your Mother) and we wanted the entire crew to be included in a shower.

George and I have always prided ourselves in making our home cozy and inviting to visitors, and that is especially true for parties.  When it comes to hosting parties, I tend to overthink, and over plan minute details, most of which probably go unnoticed.  Adding quadruplets to our family, made me rethink how I do many things to make life easier, and parties were no exception.  As I prepared for this particular party, I changed my game plan, making things MUCH easier on myself, while still throwing the perfect party.  It went so well, I’ll approach all future parties in this manner.

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  1. Invitations

In the past, I’ve used various online stores to design and create customized invitations.  After all, invitations typically set the tone for the party, and I personally love receiving party invitations.  I’m usually satisfied with whatever invitations I’ve created, but almost every invitation consumes a disproportionate amount of time.  Again, I over think details and spend time making too many tweaks.  I’m D-O-N-E with that!  Instead, I commission my friend, Amber, to design custom invitations that I either have printed at Costco on matte paper OR send electronically.  I highly recommend visiting Amber’s Etsy shop, Texas Take when you are ready to order invitations for your next soiree.  She has several ready to go designs in her shop, or she can create something based upon your preferences/ party theme.

2. Party Décor

This go round, I hit up Target’s One Spot, which was loaded with inexpensive yet trendy items that coordinated with the invitation.  In fact…when I ordered the invitations I already spied the party goods and it helped me decide on the color scheme.  Mini chalkboards, banners, and beverage straws helped bring the party together without much effort or expense on my end.  I also bought a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers from Costco, which made things bright and cheery.

 

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I scored a ready made banner for $1 then added stickers from my collection so it matched the theme.

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I found this bridal shower scratch off game from Target.  The winner took a bottle of champagne home.

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3. Cleaning

Former party hostess me, would spend days, if not longer scrubbing EVERY inch of the house.  I’m talking, crazy stuff like wiping baseboards and dusting furniture in rooms people wouldn’t likely visit.  I’ve finally learned there’s a better way- short cut cleaning!  There’s no need to do heavy duty cleaning prior to a party because parties are messy (at least fun parties are).  Extra traffic means extra use of facilities and such.  I now spend most of my time touching up the bathroom by wiping surfaces with a Lysol wipe and cleaning the toilet the day of the party.  I’ll also do a quick dusting of the main areas, wipe counter tops, then vacuum.  That’s it!  My cleaning regimen can be knocked out in an hour or less.  I’ll then light candles so the house is filled with a warm aroma.  Walmart sells delicious smelling jar candles for just $3.49 each!  A few candles spread out strategically makes the house welcome guests.

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4. Food Preparation

Food preparation is another area where I’ve labored too much.  For this party, I pulled a classy spread together from ready made items found at Costco. Crudites with hummus, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers complimented the theme perfectly with very little work.  My co-hostess and mom each brought a homemade dip too.  I also bought my first ready made cake from the Costco Bakery- it looked pretty and tasted decadent.

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Chalk paper and a white pen from Target personalized the tablescape.

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I saved money on paper goods by using our own glassware.  Cocktails were marked with washi tape.

5. Hosting

In an effort to keep guests comfortable, I used to hustle around refilling food, tidying up, and fussing over things, which kept me from enjoying the party.  This time, my food was all simple, and didn’t need much attention.  I charged George as bartender, and my co-host offered to be our cocktail waitress.  We used our own glassware and silverware, but used paper napkins and plates.  Then, I strategically placed trash and recycle bins outside and guests helped keep things tidy.  I left my camera on our bar, and let guests snap pictures during the party since I tend to struggle with photography during a party.  For the first time, I really got to enjoy the party as much as our guests, and clean up was relatively simple too.

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Courtney and Matt have a wonderful circle of friends, and we are all excitedly awaiting their big day in May.

Hugs,

Amber



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Tonsurephobia {fear of haircuts}

About a year ago, I earned a coveted, “Mother of the Year” Award. It was the day before the kids were going to be in a wedding, and Harper desperately needed a haircut.  I checked him in at our neighborhood chop shop and loaded him into the van.  Though his first haircut was rocky, Harper eventually became tolerant of them.  When we got to the barber shop, Harper started digging his heels in and making a fuss.  I tried my best to soothe him, and even offered up a couple of bribes.  This kid needed his tresses trimmed BIG time and I needed cooperation.  Except he wasn’t going to cooperate.   The hairstylist suggested I hold him, and explained she formerly worked for a children’s salon.  She was familiar with upset children and tantrums didn’t bother her.  Against my instincts, I held Harper as enormous tears streamed down his cheeks.  He ended up with a great haircut, but I knew something wasn’t right.  Immediately following his haircut, I called the pediatrician and got an appointment for 15 minutes later.  My poor baby had a double  ear infection!  I felt terrible.  I forced Harper to endure a haircut while he was in pain.  After a round of medication, Harper was feeling better and ready for the wedding.  I felt horribly guilty for the hair cut fiasco, but didn’t think too much of it.

 

About six to eight weeks following the wedding, it was time for Harper to get a trim again. His ears were healed and he was perfectly healthy, except he developed a fear of haircuts, similar a taste aversion. He associated his unpleasant experience and pain with haircuts in general.  When we returned to the salon, Harper was distraught. Tears streamed down his cheeks and he began begging to leave. With a great deal of soothing, he agreed to sit in the chair, but when he spied the scissors, he began thrashing and shouting things like, “This shouldn’t happen!” and “Don’t do this to me!”  We ended up having to leave without a trim and his hair grew shaggy.

This process was repeated a few times before George decided to try his hand at hair styling.  Harper was not more comfortable getting a DIY haircut than going to the salon, in fact it was MUCH worse.  Harper became even more anxious about haircuts and thrashed about wildly.  His hair looked worse than ever as a result of random snips here and there.  At one point, Harper was rocking the “Dr. Spock”.  Any mention of a haircut or salon set Harper into a tizzy.  He was one step away from getting a Flowbee haircut before I decided to try a little desensitization therapy with him.  It took several months, but with several strategies, Harper is now much more comfortable getting haircuts.  He still doesn’t enjoy it, but he is not stressed or afraid of them, which is major progress.  Based on my observations of other children at salons, and hearing the tales from other parents, I know that a fear of hair cuts is a relatively common problem.  In fact, it is known as tonsurephobia.

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After this difficult experience, here are my tips for helping ease anxiety about haircuts:

  1. Make small approximations at reaching the goal of getting a haircut.  For instance, maybe look at pictures of people getting haircuts or read books about it.  Then, visit the salon without getting a haircut.  Next, have your child sit in a chair while talking to a stylist or simply observing the salon.  If your child seems comfortable, see if they can tolerate getting their bangs trimmed.
  2. Legitimize feelings and explain that you understand he feels scared about haircuts.   Though the fear may seem trivial or silly, it is very real to your child.
  3. Go to a children’s salon.  It may cost a little more than popular chains, but the stylists are accustomed to working with little ones and often have a range of tricks (e.g. blowing bubbles, singing, working quickly) they use to make the experience pleasant.  Also, children’s salons are full of handy distractions designed to make children feel at ease- movies, games, car chairs, ect.
  4. Choose a time when the salon won’t be busy.  When a salon is crowded, it can be overstimulating, especially to someone who is feeling anxious.  I found that weekdays mid to late afternoon is ideal because older kids are in school and babies are napping.  If a weekday won’t work, try scheduling an appointment when the salon staff feels it will be least busy.
  5. Ask the stylist to let your child see and touch any tools used, including clippers that are running.
  6. Let your child observe someone who is at ease getting a haircut.
  7. Praise your child as he makes progress and offer small tangible rewards as he tries new things.

In addition to a fear of haircuts, we’ve experienced several other fears including elevators, hair washings, fingernail trimming, and car washes.  Each of these fears were eased with similar strategies, and are no longer major issues.

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hugs!

Amber

Related Posts:

The Girls First Haircuts

The Boys First Haircuts


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A Texas Tradition

Here in Texas, we have a rich history filled with pride and tradition.  We Texans love the shape of our state, our lone star flag, our sports teams, and of course, our state flower.  Anyone who is a native, or naturalized Texan appreciates bluebonnet season when our beloved state flower creates a sea of blue along the highways.  During this time, Texans proudly snap family pictures in patches of bluebonnets.  I have fond memories of taking such pictures at my grandparent’s house each Easter.  They lived out in the country and had fields of bluebonnets around their house.  Sometime after they moved out of their house, we stopped taking bluebonnet pictures, and I actually can’t remember the last one our extended family took.

This season, the bluebonnets near my parents house were gorgeous and mom suggested we seize the opportunity to take the kid’s first bluebonnet pictures.  They had a grand time frolicking through knee high flora and smelling the sweet wildflower aroma.

This photo was my favorite of the foursome, and was surprisingly captured with my iPhone rather than our DSLR camera.

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The tell tale sign of a roadside family photo is when an 18 wheeler is part of the backdrop….Ironically my sister’s fiancé works for Walmart.com  Perhaps it was a little homage to his employer.

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Don’t worry…we got more sans truck!

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Fun

Every family photo shoot ends with an obligatory “silly” shot….

Texas Bluebonnets

 Bluebonnet Fun Facts:

In 1901, the bluebonnet was adopted as the state flower.

There are actually five species of bluebonnet, and all are accepted as the state flower.

Bluebonnets peak bloom season actually is May to July

In the 1930’s, the Highway Department began planting bluebonnets along state highways.  Texas was the first state in the nation to plant flowers along the highways.

Texas State Wildflower Day is celebrated every April 24.

 

Does your state or province have any similar traditions?

hugs!

Amber


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6 Reasons to Join a MoM Club

MoMs club

When I was expecting quadruplets, I was hesitant to join our local Mothers of Multiples (MoM) club.  I felt that since the majority of members were mothers of twins, or expecting twins I wouldn’t fit in.  Plus, I already had an online support group for mothers of higher order multiples.  In hindsight, I wish I had joined during the pregnancy because I probably missed out on support from a wonderful group.  I ended up joining our local group when the quads were about 15 months old, and at the time I was the first member with quadruplets though there were a few members with triplets.  Since parents of higher order multiples tend to “find” each other, I’ve recruited others in our area so I’m not the odd mom out.  I struggle to attend the group’s monthly meetings, but I’ve gained plenty from my membership.  Over the past few years, I’ve come to appreciate our club and recommend that parents expecting or with very young multiples join their local group.  My favorite perks include:

  • Playgroups

    In addition to organized playgroups, I’ve bonded with other members and we regularly schedule our own play dates.  It’s always nice to have play dates with other multiples since quads can easily take over a room.

craft at story time©FourtoAdore.com©FourtoAdore.com

  • Buy/ Sell/ Trade

    When the quads outgrow things (e.g. double strollers, coordinated or matched outfits) there is an automatic market for them amongst club members.  I’ve been able to sell items on our group’s page as well as at the semi annual consignment sales.  Plus, I’ve been able to purchase needed items from group members.  As a MoM, I always like it when our outgrown “sets” can be appreciated by another family.

  • Family Events

    Periodically, our club hosts family events.  These events are usually very low cost or are free.  They offer excellent opportunities for fellowship amongst parents and children.  I always appreciate our annual photos with Santa and the Easter bunny without having to wait in long lines or pay a hefty price tag.

©FourtoAdore.com

Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch

 

  • Mom’s Night Out

    Several times each year, our club hosts a mom’s night out, which includes wine, snacks, and a fun activity (e.g. Painting with a Twist).  Just like family events, most of these events are either free or low cost.

  • Local Resources

    Whether I’m searching for the best medical specialist in our area, great places to host birthday parties, or places to take the kids for fun, our group will have a list of suggestions.  Chances are someone in the group has the intel I need.  It’s always nice to know when a MoM has vetted something.

  • Support

    Since I was a little late to join, I missed out on some of the support our club offers.  Members bring meals to new parents (goodness knows this is HUGE for parents with multiple infants).  For parents with babies in the NICU, there is a preemie closet that lends clothes to babies while in the NICU.  Finally, the group is full of sage advice about anything imaginable from getting babies to sleep through the night to deciding whether to separate or keep multiples in the same classroom.

 If you are a parent of multiples, or are expecting multiples but haven’t yet joined a MoMs club, click  Multiples of America: find a club to find one near you.  If you join a club, you are also a member of Multiples of America, which offers specialty support groups (e.g. higher order multiples, surviving multiples, multiples with disabilities, ect).

 

P. S. If you aren’t a parent of multiples, but have young children, there are other organizations such as Mothers of Preschoolers and Parents as Teachers as well as informal neighborhood and community Facebook pages that offer similar benefits.