Getting a Toddler to Eat and Sleep

We just went through a whole renovation. We lived in the house during the renovation and survived without a kitchen for weeks.  There was a thin layer of dust everywhere. No matter how much we cleaned that construction dust just kept creeping in and settling on everything.

Microwaved food, dust on everything, disrupted spaces and schedules as well as time devoted to the construction work left Phoebe a little restless and nutritionally deficient.

She was having a really hard time falling asleep. She would then wake up every night in the middle of the night and come into our bed. This would result in even worse sleep for all of us and it would just snowball.

After a particularly rough night with the Phoebsters.

After a particularly rough night with the Phoebsters.


Here are some things I’ve done recently that have worked for Phoebe. Her sleep patterns are pretty much solved. I still have more work to do on her diet.

Bad sleep at night means weird nap times during the day which results in bad sleep again at night and so the cycle goes…

- I switched out her mattress with a breathable and washable crib mattress from Newton Mattress. Newton had contacted me about trying their new mattress in exchange for an honest review. We have been using it for a month and it has proven to be really successful in helping Phoebe fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s softer than many crib mattresses and allows air flow. It is probably 1000% more comfortable than the plastic covered spring crib mattress she had before. I felt so good giving her a mattress that didn’t have the risk of construction dust particles all inside of it too! For a newborn this mattress would be incredible because you can actually lay facedown and be able to breath air through the mattress. NO JOKE.

Look at that rested face!! So much cuter than mine.

Look at that rested face!! So much cuter than mine.

- I started putting vegetables on her plate. Phoebe doesn’t like veggies and they were going uneaten over and over. Eventually I just stopped making them, but recently I decided to go back to a method I used when Ella was 5. I started putting them on her plate. Without saying anything to her about it. No commands to “eat her veggies”. Simply putting them on her plate. She began eating a few bites here and there! At least it’s a start!

She also started cooking with me.

She also started cooking with me.


- She started a new pre-school that got her on a regular nap schedule and kept her really active too. She absolutely loves her new school.

- We started gymnastics! It’s been fun.

I wish I was three and could jump in this pit over and over!

A video posted by Jennifer Latch (@oururbanplay) on

It’s a really great age right now with her being three. Having her potty trained has been awesome. She stopped wetting at night as well which is great. Not paying for diapers means I have money now to pay for gymnastics. Oy! It’s a constant balance isn’t it?



PS. Check out Newton Crib Mattresses. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how they are designed and produced. Their safety and health features are fantastic.

Things That Suck the Life Out of Your Soul

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 4.59.44 PMThis is my second post in a series sponsored by Similac as part of their Sisterhood of Motherhood program. Similac is committed to creating an environment to support all parents and build tolerance in the parenting community and I am proud to be part of that. You can check out a little intro to their message HERE if you’re interested.

In my life I have experienced judgement. Sometimes it was imagined and self-inflicted like the time I sat in the corner paralyzed by fear before the 3rd grade talent show. Sometimes it was brought by others, like the time when I was 9 and was told by a lady I was going to Hell due to my religious beliefs. I’ve been told I am too nice. I’ve been told I cover my flaws with good behavior. I’ve been told I can’t do things. I’ve been told I made the wrong choice. I’ve been told a lot of crappy things throughout my 36 years, but in the end it was me who chose whether to give those opinions credit or power.

Sometimes it’s really hard to let go of the hurtful things people can say to you. Sometimes it’s really hard not to feel bad about your own situation when you see someone else’s life or circumstances. Sometimes the doubt sets in. This happens to everyone.

Recently the whole vaccine debate on Facebook had me tied up in knots. Every day when I would check to see what was happening my friends on both sides of the argument were posting very assertive and convincing statements and articles but every single post just had me reeling. None of the posts addressed what I was scared of. None of the posts actually helped me with the problem I was facing. My kids have been vaccinated. I believe vaccines are important. I am not leaving California. I’m going to have to vaccinate Phoebe, but the last time I did she had 4 seizures in one day. She went unconscious and stopped breathing in my arms 4 times in a 12 hour period. So here I was on Facebook seeing mud-slinging posts from both sides not even addressing what the other side is actually concerned about and posting articles that to me have no credibility whatsoever. You know, because everything you read on the internet is filled with truthful facts.

Ugh, now I have myself worked up again. I don’t want a vaccine debate here. I don’t even want your advice. I’ve worked out what I am going to do. I am just bringing up this recent vaccine example to demonstrate the power social media, other people’s opinions and false information can have on someone.

I decided to stop reading all articles about vaccinations. I stopped reading all comment threads. I stopped going on Facebook. I threw myself into my work. I was just not going to get into it anymore. I was not going to give the debate power. It was not a game I was going to play. I was going to sort out what I would do to keep my girl Phoebe healthy and my emotions in balance. I still have very strong views about the vaccine issue, I was just not going to give this fight that was happening on social media any more attention. It was eating away at my soul.

It’s been the same for every other time in my life that I overcame judgement. I had to decide that I wasn’t going to give that judgement power.

Now of course it’s important to differentiate judgement from actual sound advice. I think it would be silly to assume we are always right about all things and cannot take a tip from someone else. So there has to be a balance of course.

But if something is really just negative and makes you feel crappy, maybe that’s all it is. Maybe it’s just someone trying to make you feel crappy. Maybe you don’t need to give it power. Maybe you should just keep on doing what is right in your heart.

Over the years I’ve lost friendships and relationships that I simply had to let go of because continuing to give that relationship power was not resulting in anything good.

I’ve learned that my time is much better invested in people and activities that have a high return rate as far as joy, work accomplished and overall survival. Why be on a team with people who don’t want you to win?

So what do I say to the lady who told me I was going to Hell because of my religion?

“Well lady, I’m sorry you feel telling a 9 year old girl she’s going to Hell is a good use of your time, I’m off to hang with people who give proper advice to 9 year olds, like play soccer and don’t worry about that boy you have a crush on, he’ll come around eventually.”

Oh, and how about that person who told me I cover up my flaws with good behavior?

“Um, I’m sorry I was trying to perform well when I was a young teenager and your advice really helped solidify the fact that when I did good things I was actually being bad and when I did bad things that was bad, so basically I was just bad. Got it. Bye.”

So what do you say we try to stop giving power to things that just want to suck all the good out of us and tell us how bad we are? Wouldn’t you rather direct that energy into something else?


High Voltage! Get that power directed where it can do some good!



Similac would love to know how you are going to stop the judgement on their Facebook page. You can share your own thoughts over there. They put a wonderful video together featuring many of my blogger friends about judgement in parenting. You should check it out. It’s really quite lovely. Here is the link to the video called Real Parents, Real Judgement.

The Delphian School

Chloe has always been advanced academically and done well socially, but this past school year laid bare two problems.

The Delphian School Review

Her spelling was just not sorting itself out. We had known she’d had an issue with spelling since second grade, but I thought something would click and she would start being able to work it out. Nothing seemed to be working. In fact, her spelling was getting worse.

This past year she also lost two of her best friends due to moves. She was lonely and lacking good solid connections and friendships.

Sometime in the spring a brochure came from The Delphian School for their Summer Camp Program. Her eyes lit up. She said, “This is the place for me, these are my people.” Well, right then I knew I had to work out sending her.

Chloe drove up to Oregon with her dad. I stayed behind because I had booked a commercial that same weekend.

Chloe drove up to Oregon with her dad. I stayed behind because I had booked a commercial that same weekend.

The Delphian School’s camp program is different than other traditional camps. It is a sleep away camp up in Northern Oregon at a school that runs a regular pre-K through high school curriculum during the school year. I graduated from their high school program in 1996. They host traditional camping activities like art, ceramics, camping, river rafting and horseback riding, but they also do daily school work to help each child work on individual interests or address specific needs.

The Delphian School

Chloe had an amazing time. She had her own assigned faculty advisor who assisted her in feeling at home and hosted evening activities with other campers. She did art, ceramics, archery and every day I received a call about how her day went.

Chloe with art she had created in her afternoon art exploration class.

Chloe with art she had created in her afternoon art exploration class.

Every day she worked in the morning on her special program to assist her in sorting out her spelling. I received routine updates from her teacher. They were able to isolate the exact basic elements Chloe had missed in her spelling education. This is what Chloe said to me when she got back:

I have never had a teacher like that before. She actually taught me how to spell. She didn’t just give me test after test and tell me I didn’t know how to do it. I feel like I actually understand spelling now.”

She went on to explain to me the different rules she learned about consonants and vowels. She felt confident for the first time ever in this area. Just that alone was worth the price of admission.

She also expressed excitement over some excellent friendships she built. Her roommates were two girls from China! She came back with many new friends who she was able to grow rather close to in those short two weeks.

I am so glad she convinced me to work out the logistics so she could attend this fantastic program. I highly recommend it to all parents.

Singing at the talent show.

Singing at the talent show.

Please note: I was not compensated in any way to write this post besides the amazing job they did with my daughter. We paid the full rate for her trip there and it was worth every penny. The Delphian School uses education research and tools developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.