Santa from Target.

Santa! I know him!

Santa! I know him!


Sometimes after I drop Max off at school I take my little ones out for a little Mommy date. At Target, I know, I just pull my Uggs over my leggings and head on out to the Target with the Starbucks. Basically I am the most basic b in full basic heaven.

As Huck had a 9:30 am snack of milk and a snowman cookie and I nursed Piper (don’t worry, she was gently tucked under my basic blanket scarf) I noticed that Huck was slowly losing his mind with excitement; he was almost jumping out of his skin. I turned and saw the cause. Santa. This Target employee was  male, of a certain age and physical build. He wearing the requisite Target red shirt, had long white hair and a white beard and he did indeed look like Santa. I personally always suspected Santa worked at Target, admit it you did too. Or at least had a crazy Target hook up.

Huck was nearly squeaking with excitement. Wiggling in his chair, his eyes lit up like lights on the tree. He was hyped up on vanilla milk, Christmas spirit and the ultimate celebrity sighting. Santa either hadn’t noticed  or was uninterested in being Santa. The woman in line behind him offered to buy him his drink, she had noticed Huck and said pointedly to the man “Santa should never have to pay for his own drink!” She smiled and looked at Huck sharing the joy of catching Santa in the wild. I smiled at her, thankful. I was arguing with myself in head…how could he not play the part? One doesn’t just walk about looking like Santa and not BE Santa at Christmas time, I thought and then immediately I felt for him. It must be exhausting everyone thinking you look like Santa. Then again, he was a grown man who obviously cultivated and liked his look (as he should) and thus had a responsibility to play the part when called upon by a small child.  I’m certain the angsty teens of the world had wearied him, as teens are want to do, but the tiny ones? Come on, Santa! Reindeer up!

I was beginning to despair, Huck was starting to be sad that Santa hadn’t seen him or worse, had seen him and didn’t care. I looked at the woman in line and she nodded encouragingly. I whispered to Huck that Santa must be undercover. He must be doing recon, checking out all the goodies that Target had, or maybe he was sneaking a peek at Huckleberry himself to make sure he was on the nice list, and reassured Huck that he was. I was trying everything to make it okay that Santa was less than 4 feet away from my little believer and Santa didn’t seem to care.

Which was his right…except he looks like Santa…oh the inner argument began again.

Santa collected his drink and began to make his way out of Starbucks, passing right past Huck. My heart fell in on itself. My poor kid. Then suddenly, Santa turned around, gave Huck the most conspiratorial wink that Santa ever winked and shhhhh’d a tiny shhhhh. It’s our secret was the message. And it was received loud and clear.

Like the Grinch, Huck’s heart grew three sizes right that second, threatening to burst out of his chest and showering us all with sparkly snowflakes.

Santa made his way back to work with a nice gingerbread latte and my undying gratitude.

I should have had faith in Santa. His little wink was better than if he had come over and boomed a Merry Christmas. It was perfect. Thank you #SantaFromTarget.

Yours was the best gift we have ever gotten from Target, and that is saying a lot.

Merry Christmas.

Three is




Three is a whiplash whirlwind. Three is fitting perfectly against my side and resting his small head in the crook of my neck. Three is hair quickly changing from angel fluff to real boy. Three is little arms losing their baby chub wrapping tightly around my leg. Three is I love you mommy don’t sing, NO MOMMY NO SINGING! Three is tiptoeing through a minefield tensely waiting for the next explosion, knowing it will come when you least expect it.

Three is frustration. Three screams for no reason. Three slaps and kicks and pulls hair. Three sometimes thinks that slapping, kicking and pulling hair are hilarious. Three spontaneously holds hands, climbs into laps and offers kisses. Three manipulates, controls, rewards and punishes. Three is possibly an abusive relationship that I cant, and don’t want to, escape.

Three is wild. Three is creative and independant and three needs his mommy right this instant and don’t you dare even go to the bathroom with out him again! Three needs stability and four books at night. Three needs Grer Bear tucked in bed next to him to cuddle at night.

Three makes grand declarations in half baby-half adult language. Three notices everything. Three can hear a candy wrapper being sneakily opened two rooms away.

Three is inspiring. Three is wonderful and terrible. Three is the sweetest words I love you mommy in an even sweeter voice. Three is exhausting.

And as of today, THREE is half over.

Thank God.

And also, can I slow down time? Because three is going too fast.

Princesses can be feminists, feminists can be princesses.

And they lived Happily Ever After…happily ever after

When I was four years old I wanted to be a fashion buyer for a department store and drive a tractor to work. I still think that would be a rad job, even if a tractor would make for a slow commute. I like the juxtaposition of the two. It also speaks to the child I was, that I not only wanted to dictate what I wore but also control the options that were available to everyone. I still do.

The other day Huck and I went to his very favorite place- Target- (I’ll take my parenting award now, thank you) and as a reward for some very good behavior he was allowed to pick one toy from the “partment”. It was a painstaking process. Would Legos win? Oh, look Power Rangers! No. No…new TMNT toys are in! Finally after about ten minutes of rumination he picked a real treasure. Pinky Pie, from My Little Pony. Or as he calls them La la pony. I smiled at him and handed over the $5.99 as he beamed at his treat. He is all boy, cars, wrestling and pink ponies. He defines who he is minute by minute, just as Max does. Max is all baseball and Beatles…and all about babies.

I like those juxtapositions too.

I hope my daughter will find her own as well. She will be free to define herself minute by minute too. Whatever she is into.

From the moment she was born people started telling me “No princesses!” “No matter what you do, just don’t do princesses!” and I have to admit that that hurt my heart a little because, well, I LOVE the Princesses! I can’t wait to share them with her!

I know, I know everyone hates the 1950’s the wedding is the ultimate goal of them all, and perhaps I was really dim as a girl- but I never took that away from those stories. I took many ideologies from them; you can travail over extreme obstacles, you can find beauty and friends in odd places. That there is evil in the world and that knowing who to trust is important. That optimism and perseverance can pay off. But scoring the man was not the main holdover for me. Perhaps it came from having a strong single mother. Toilet needs fixing? She did it. Want to rearrange heavy furniture? She’s doing it. I adopted that. It’s hard for me to wait even 10 minutes for help, I will just move that damn couch myself! Teach myself to use power tools so I can do what I want.  My daughter will learn that, alongside me just as I learned it alongside my mother.

By typical definition I am a “girly girl” and I love that. I love pretty clothes, jewelry, bedding…love it. BRING IT ON! I love looking and feeling like, let’s be honest, an aging Princess. And yes, my wedding was as Princess-y as I could get it. My gown was huge, my tiara glittered. I had one veil for the wedding and one for the reception. The location was as Castle like as I could find in all of Southern California. But so what? Does that make me less of a feminist?

No. Princess Stephanie rocks the feminism and true feminism is the opportunity for all women to have equal rights and opportunities to do with as THEY choose. Stay at home mom who wants to do nothing but be a quiverfull member? I might think you are crazy…but GO YOU! No kids, two doctorates in physics and kicking ass at work? That’s way beyond me ..but GO YOU! Or like most of us, we fall somewhere in the middle. We are stay at home moms who miss work and long for adult conversations and activities that don’t involve Caillou. We are stay at home moms who feel completely fulfilled just as we are. We are working women who want kids but not yet. We are working women who have kids. We are single moms, we are married and child free by choice. We are ALL women with all choices. That’s feminism. My personal brand of feminism involves creativity, pretty clothes, tiaras, power tools, fighting for reproductive rights and marriage equality and yes, I hate to break it to you; Princesses.

As a special bedtime treat my mother would sometimes put my read along Cinderella record on my turntable and we would act out the story. She being Prince Charming and of course I was Cinderella. I remember this vividly, one of those childhood memories that are snapshots of happiness. Several decades later I stood in a recording studio with a contract from Disney and narrated that very book for a new read-along. It was a dream come true for me. Cinderella. My favorite. I nailed it. It was beautiful. But my voice choked on one sentence so that we had to do several takes. Emotion bubbling to the surface as I spoke “and they lived happily ever after”

That moment was a happily ever after for me. Perhaps to some that phrase was the end of the story but to me it always seemed the beginning of infinite possibilities. My possibility involved a full circle from listening to the book to being a part of perhaps some other little girl acting out her story. Perhaps MY little girl acting out her story. I hope she will know Happily Ever After isn’t the end, it’s just the start, or perhaps it’s the middle. Our real lives aren’t over when we get married why would the Princess’s be? It might be the start of the Princess taking her throne, and a new phase of her using her power to effect change in the world. In her world whatever she defines that to be.

I am a feminist wrapped up in Princesses and that’s okay.

So don’t come down on my kid if she likes princesses. Don’t tell her no. Because if she is anything like me, she will kick your ass while wearing that glass slipper.

Things I want to remember

This picture needs sound. Because cute!

This picture needs sound. Because cute!


On October 7th Piper rolled over from back to front for the first time! I never want to forget that. What I DO want to forget is that she rolled right off the ottoman and onto the floor. How you say? Well, I’ll tell you. I like to put her on the ottoman and sit on the floor so she can kick and wiggle but I am right there at face level. The better to eat her cheeks with, my dear. Anyway, lightning fast she just up and flipped herself right off. And she was never placed on the ottoman again. Amen.

She is still very quiet, but the other day Max was singing to her her “The player’s gonna play, play, play, play, play” and she smiled and squeaked “ah, ah, ah, ah, ah” imitating Max. It was AWESOME.




The other day as we were driving home from a wonderful birthday party and bonfire at a farm we heard Huck from the backseat cheer with glee “HUCK! YAAAAAAY!!” I’m not sure exactly what he was cheering, unless it was to congratulate himself on covering the van, himself and his carseat in popcorn puke, but it was gleeful nonetheless and adorable and honestly we had the giggles over it for about 20 minutes. We may have also been laughing because the whole van was covered in puke and there were only two options: laugh or cry.

He still wants to hold hands and cuddle, he is my snuggle bug. He still says “mine” instead of my and I will weep when he abandons that. “you want to hold mine hand?” yes, Boo I totally do. He wants me to hold his foot or hand while he is in his car seat, which is sweet but problematic as it’s hard to do that and drive. Also dangerous. So he has to wait until a red light and then I squeeze those toes – because he will not keep shoes on- for all they are worth until the lights change!



Max is doing great at school, his confidence is growing and he is just so sweet! I actually got an email from a mother of a little girl in his class and she said that apparently her daughter was a little lost because they got there a touch late, all the kids all line up together and go into class at once and she had missed it. Max was also a little late that day and they saw him go to her and help her get to class. I don’t think I have ever been so proud. And it was all the better because he didn’t know her father was watching, or that anyone would ever know about it. Just that his friend was lost and getting upset and he took care of her. What a sweetheart!

These three. My whole world and so, so, very loud, crazy-making and utterly delightful



5 cute (inexpensive things) for Fall.



{via pinterest} {obviously this is not me but she is wearing THE jeans!}


I admit I am among the many bloggers who long for boots, leggings, and Starbucks in the fall. Oh, who are we kidding? Starbucks is a year long want. It’s seasonless, Starbucks is the new Starbucks.

Anyway, here are five relatively inexpensive things that are rocking my fall!

1. Mossimo Skinny Boyfriend Jeans from Target.

Run, don’t walk and grab these. SO comfy, so cute and so affordable! (Don’t judge by the picture on the website, it sucks.) I bought 2 pair and I might get the light wash too, they are that comfy and cute. They aren’t high waisted but the back comes up high enough so that when you bend over or sit down you aren’t showing- you know- your chonies. (Crack is indeed whack.) Size down, guys. WAY down. As in I bought a size 0. So vanity sizing in full effect, but so damn cute! Cartwheel currently has a 25% off code too! Grab. Them.

2. Bandolino Cay Riding Boots $99 (but there’s a coupon the site!)

I haven’t gotten these yet, but as soon as they arrive I’ll take pictures because they are CUTE and look way more expensive than they are. I really want those Frye boots but at 500 bones they will have to wait. My advice is to go a half size up because the toe box is a little short. I usually wear a 6 1/2 and I ordered a 7 (they didn’t have my size in store) I can’t wait to wear these. Jeggings, Leggings…yes. Bring it!

3. Arbonne Kiss At Midnight Lipgloss Trio

This set and the RE-9 skin care is how I ended up being a consultant. I love them that much, like I tossed all my other glosses out and ordered 2 sets of these. One for my purse and one for home. The three colors are peach, pink and berry. I’ve never found three that work so well on everyone. Pinks always turn neon on me and this one doesn’t, it is a soft pale pink that is reminiscent of the famous Chanel pink. Peach is the perfect natural gloss, just looks like healthy lips with some color. Beautiful, I wear it non-stop. Last but not least is Berry and it’s a natural raspberry with a touch of a brown undertone, it is winter perfection! I am glad I ordered two sets. All Arbonne products are not-tested on animals and are vegan, so no gross animal renderings and yuckiness like that! Best of all, they work.

aaaaaaaand it’s sold out. Okay, these are close Pink  Peach Berry
{full disclosure, I do rep/sell Arbonne so if you buy them feel free to use my consultant ID #21290203 or you can search for a consultant in your area}

4. Plaid Scarves: Recently there was a buzzfeed that was all “Here are some past trends that might still be in your closet” and scarves was on the list. From my cold dead hands, people. Scarves make everything better. Everything. This year I am really digging plaid. I grabbed blue and red this one from Target just the other day while I was grocery shopping. (groceries at Target. Genius or GENIUS?) I am guessing I will grab the red multi colored one too! Because I will need milk, diapers and accessories next week.

5. Revlon Gel Envy nail polish

I have really thin bendy nails. Manicures are pointless because if I don’t smudge them immediately (hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a massive klutz!) which I always do, they chip within a day because no matter how snort they are cut they bend and the polish pops off. Gel manicures are the greatest invention for me, but I can’t carve out time to go get a mani every two weeks! Enter Revlon. This stuff dries crazy quick and stays on! I don’t get the full 14 days I get 6 maybe 7, but for me that is amazing! And because it dries so quickly it’s really easy to do my nails at home and I feel like nice nails  sort of help with distracting people from the ever present baby spit up on my right shoulder. I have Queen Of Hearts, Cardshark and Hold Em in heavy rotation right now!


So there they are! 5 things I am digging for fall! None of those (except Arbonne) are affiliate links or anything like that, I just love them!

Now, go get yourself a Starbucks. And some jeans…cause SERIOUSLY!

Thing I shouldn’t love but do: The Red Band Society

Apparently I am not too old for teen dramas…and this one is a doozy. WHY do I like this show? There are so, so many things so very wrong with it, and yet…I love.

If you’re not familiar with the show it takes place in a pediatric hospital wing and focuses on several long term patients. And boy does it deal in stereotypes. The central character is a super cute-even bald- young preppy white soccer player named Leo, he is charming and charismatic and making his way through cancer and the loss of his leg the best he can.  Next up is his best friend Dash, a young African American who has Cystic Fibrosis and yet still smokes, steals doctors cars and dresses like Kid and Play had a baby. Then there’s Kara, the heartless blond cheerleader who is literally in need of a new heart. Emma, the young artistic and anorexic girl and-obviously- tormented love interest for Leo. Jordi, another cute young white kid with cancer, will he lose his leg or won’t he? Inquiring minds want to know. Will he steal Emma’s heart away from new best bud Leo? Stay tuned. And last but not least, Kara the mean cheerleader’s roommate, a young boy named Charlie who is in a coma but communicates with the others whenever they lose consciousness or have surgery.


In the pilot episode Leo gives everyone one of his red medical bracelets thus forming a Red Band Society. Let’s discuss how incredibly, incredibly, INCREDIBLY dangerous it is to be wearing someone else’s medical information on your person. Even if you are long term in-patient and the doctors and nurses know you, stuff happens. Did I mention how DANGEROUS this?

And yet…I love.

I have to say that the key to the reason I do love the show is it is incredibly well cast. All the kids are really wonderful and so far handle everything earnestly, even poor Kara who is locked in with the most one note cheerleader character is finding some room for growth. Red Band Society also has Octavia Spencer as the lead nurse and ZOMG My So Called Life’s Wilson Cruz as a nurse and dude I hope they unleash these two and let them fly because to have Octavia Spencer and not give her more than be the grumpy nurse with a secret heart of gold is a shame. A damn shame.

So, to sum up: this show is full of wrongness and issues and I am far, far too old to love it and yet…here I go, checking to see if there’s a new episode onDemand. Because Lord knows I don’t get to watch anything live!



Max’s Beatles theme birthday


This is the second year in a row I have neglected to write about Max’s birthday. Shame on me. Max is very particular in what he wants and his party this year was no different. He wanted a Beatles themed party with cardboard guitars and a jam session.


When I asked what he wanted for his birthday he said “A mandolin and a YouTube Channel.” Well, he got a mandolin, just like every six year old boy. I love him.

His friends gathered and played and hung out and ate and celebrated my sweet, funny, kindhearted, musical boy. He is so very special and it was lovely to see how his friends accept and love him for who he is. I hope that continues and he offers the same to them.

PicMonkey Collage1

And the food? You. Guys. I don’t want to brag, but I do have the best girlfriends in the world and two of these best girlfriends in the world happen to be two of the best cooks in the world. When I was pregnant and had HG I would send my girls Bridget and Kelly pins of food and say “When I can eat…I am eating this.” And one of those things was a meatball sub on a stick. And Bridget made them for the party and I ate them all. Kelly brought her John Lemmon bars and OMG I am not even one for lemon and I ate about a billion of these. The Yellow Submarine cake was of course made by my awesome sister in law and it was rainbow trippy inside.


PicMonkey Collagefood

Someone, who shall remain nameless unless you look at the URL of this site, managed to slice her ring finger to the bone while cutting the very first cardboard guitar the day before the party so my father in law-after shuttling me to urgent care for stitches- came home and cut out about 20 cardboard guitars. I think he would agree that it was worth it!

All of it was worth it, including now knowing what my knuckle joint looks like and sacrificing a ring that had to be cut off my finger.

This face?



Just call her Piper Poppins.


Piper has been on this here green earth for three months and it seems like the blink of an eye! Why is three months an interminable length of time when you are pregnant and yet barely a breath when the baby arrives? No fair.

If there is one thing that Piper is, it’s adored. Max calls her Pippi Beautiful and says he can’t resist her because she is just so cute. Huck wants to just squeeze her till her head pops off, and if I had a dollar for every time I said PLEASE LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALONE! I could buy the most tricked out momma wagon in history. We are talking diamond encrusted steering wheel. Sometimes I think it’s all I say!

We’ve already developed several nicknames for her, Pippi, Pippilicious, Pippita Friskita Bandita Snugglita and of course, Pippi Poppins. Because she is practically perfect in every way. Obviously.

When she fusses (which is anytime she is put down because she would prefer to be held and snuggled every second of the day thankyouverymuch) you can hear two little boy voices quickly respond “I’m coming Piper!” It’s incredibly sweet, and sometimes frustrating. Huck is both obsessed with her and feeling a little displaced but luckily is madly in love and doesn’t resent her.

She is finally vocalizing, her coos are so cute! She smiles – mostly at her brothers, and wiggles with joy when you talk to her. She’s just…so sweet. She holds on to you when you pick her up and snuggles right in. It’s hard to put her down and so the laundry stays unfolded. Because she is the last baby and we all want to inhale her as much as we can. Especially me. Sometimes at night I just tuck her in bed with me to nurse because I don’t want to be away from her, even when she is just a few feet away in the basinet. She still wakes 2-3 times a night to nurse, sister is hungry! At 3 months she weighs 14 pounds, more than double her birth weight! She handled her first shots like a champ and once again I am just happily mindboggled at how much babies change from day to day.

She is, indeed, practically perfect in every way.


Ways this Kindergarten Mom is just like One Direction Fangirl.

I’ve long since grown out of my preteen/teen fangirl-dom. Or so I thought. Until I realized that Kindergarten pick up was very similar to the tweens outside the 1D concert.

Fangirl catching a glimpse of Harry Styles, OR is it a gif of me catching a glimpse of my son waiting to get picked up?

Trapped in traffic getting to the concert or me trapped in the parking lot while I can see him looking sad because he doesn’t see me?

Teen waving furiously to attract Liam’s attention or me leaning out the window of my rad minivan waving to my baby?

When Niall won’t post for a picture or when I catch a glimpse of him trying to talk a friend in line and they don’t notice him.

When Zayne give you a smile or when Max sees me and gives me that special little wave and jump that he has seen me:

When I finally get to hug him after school:


I may no longer be a tween fangirl, but sometimes I sure act like it. Luckily right now he thinks it’s cool. But before you know it this will be him when he sees me coming:


Good Luck to him! And also to his little brother and sister. Cause I’m gonna do the same damn things to them!




Helping your anxious child



Starting Kindergarten is an adjustment for every child, but when you have an anxious child it can be particularly stressful. We’ve been working very hard to build Max’s confidence and give him some tools he can use himself when he feels anxious. As school has been progressing we have seen an uptick in his anxiety attacks and I thought I’d share with you some of the things we have been using in case your child is also suffering from anxiety.

Try not to get frustrated with them:
This can be really hard when it’s bedtime and suddenly they are panicked. I have gotten frustrated a time or two (or three) and this really does nothing but make Max feel unheard and more uneasy. He is coming to me because he knows I can and will make him feel safe. When I discount that, it makes his anxiety worse. It also ends up taking a lot longer to go through the attack and come out the other side than if I had just stopped and gone through it with him. Trust me, even when the timing couldn’t be worse, using a kind voice and reassuring them that you are there with them really helps. They’re not manipulating us or lying, they are in distress and even when it really is frustrating taking the time to honor their experience is the best path.

Deep breathing can reset the central nervous system:
We practice deep breathing together. This helps settle his nervous system and keeps him from hyperventilating. Sometimes we add a phrase to it like “good thoughts in, bad thoughts out” as we breathe.

Focus on the present:
I talk him through what’s happening right now. For instance “right now we are sitting together on the couch, we are cuddled up and your brother is playing play doh, your sister is napping and everything is okay.” This can also be helpful if you have other children. I have a three year old and a baby still nursing, so sometimes I have to deal with more than one child crisis at a time. This can be a good thing because he learns the world keeps going even while he is panicking. I can say “I’m nursing Piper right now, come snuggle me and let’s breathe.” Then we can go right into what is happening, we are snuggling while Piper eats and Huck is drinking milk…etc.

There is no rhyme or reason to the triggers and they frequently have nothing to do with anything:
My son can sometimes see something really scary on the news and it doesn’t affect him at all (I try to change the channel or turn the tv off so he doesn’t see it, but sometimes things happen) but then last night he had a big panic attack because he thought we sold an old guitar at our yard sale last summer. Last summer as in 2013 summer. Sometimes the triggers are clear and easily handled and sometimes it seems like they are out of left field and in a foreign language, and this can be frustrating (see my first tip) just know that whatever it is, however it is exhibiting itself it is very real to our children. Even if it makes no sense to us at all.

Listen to them:
Sometimes Max can verbalize exactly what is happening with him, what set him off and how he is feeling. If I listen and acknowledge and validate his feelings -not by assuring him that the laundry was indeed a monster but by saying “I understand, sometimes things look different in different lights and that can be scary” that goes a long way.

Tell them they are not alone:
At some point in our lives we have felt anxious about something. Use that. We forget sometimes how small their worlds are. I remember the first time I told Max that I had felt that way too. It blew his mind. He truly thought he was the only person in the world suffering and that made him feel very alone. Now he knows I have felt that way, and Daddy and Grandma too.

Celebrate their victories:
After a particularly rough bedtime he woke in the morning full of pride that he had made it through the night. So we celebrated that. Good Job Max!

If they are old enough, explain the physiology:
Towards the end of his anxiety attack last night he said his heart felt jumpy and that scared him. I explained in very simple terms adrenaline and how it works. Then I used an example of when it works in his favor, for instance on the baseball field. When the ball comes to him his body releases a jolt of adrenaline and that lets him hit, run or catch the ball quickly without even thinking about it. But it’s no good when you’re feeling anxious and your body reacts to what your mind is thinking. He really liked knowing how that worked and his heart racing was a little less scary.

Distract them:
We talk about happy things. We are going to the zoo this week with his friends and he can’t wait. We had a great time at a petting zoo this weekend and that was cool, we go over how he fielded that ball in the game last week. Things like that. We talk about Christmas or birthdays or whether we think his friend is getting a new sister or brother. We talk about whatever cute thing Huck or Piper did that day. You get the point.

Listen when they tell you what they need:
Max is getting very good at asking for what he needs, whether it is snuggles, to breathe, to go over happy things whatever it is. Sometimes if he has an attack during the day he will come to me and say he is having trouble and he needs a snuggle or to do “the thing” The thing is simply breathing and I talk him through calming down.

Make sure they get enough sleep and eat right:
If Max doesn’t get enough sleep or has too much sugar his anxiety goes up. He is now old enough to know that one affects the other and sometimes when I say “Okay you’ve already had a popsicle so no more” he accepts it easier because he knows if he has too much sugar it’s harder for him. On the other hand there have been times when this exact thing can cause panic. For instance he doesn’t want cake at a birthday party because he is afraid of having a panic attack. I reassured him that it was okay to have the cake and we would have a good dinner with a lot of protein to balance it out. He was then able to have the cake happily and let go of that worry.

Find a bedtime routine that reassures them and helps them sleep:

This can take a great deal of trial and error, but finding a way to send them off to dreamland feeling secure and cared for is important for all children, but especially those with anxiety.
We have created ‘The thing” and he asks every night if we can do it. It’s a bit of a guided relaxation we have developed together. We start with breathing, then go over the happy things from the day, then breathe and thinking about what’s happening at this exact moment and then we take a deep breath in and blow out and then we sing a song. Sometimes it’s Here Comes The Sun but mostly it’s Baby Mine and then we go to sleep.

Work on something they can do by themselves out in the world:
We are working on this, right now he knows he can go into the restroom and just breathe if he needs too. We haven’t developed a real game plan for this but so far just knowing he can do that if he needs to is okay. I also tell him to draw a picture of what’s scaring him if he is at school and then we can talk about it when he gets home.

As with anything, it takes a while to figure out what works for our kids. I hope this helps. This is what works for us.