Monday, September 10, 2012

in {her} shoes...kristina

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i'm so honored to have Kristina from Toddler Approved guest posting here today!  her site is on my daily read list. she offers everything from activity posts to parenting posts.  some of my favorites are the "Car"d Game, Stroller Number Fun, and Super Mom Debunked.

I am excited for the opportunity to share a few things with you today! I have loved reading each of the posts by all of the fabulous women in this series and hope you have fun being in my shoes today.

My name is Kristina and I blog over at Toddler Approved. I share simple activities and crafts that I do with my two kids (ages 21 months and 4.5) while we try and make life a little bit more fun, creative, and educational all at the same time.


I am passionate about creating, learning, and kids! I have known I wanted to be a teacher since I was in early elementary school. After a nine year career as a special education teacher and autism curriculum specialist, I am grateful to now have a job as a full-time stay-at-home mom now! I love spending the day teaching and having fun with the most important people in my life- my kids!

What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?
Two of my best and worst characteristics are that I am stubborn and I have really high expectations for myself and others. Both of these characteristics are challenging as a mom... especially because my kids have the same ones!

I have learned a lot about developing patience as a mom and dealing with my own anger. I have also learned how to pick my battles and how to embed choice into our day so that I am not constantly engaging in power struggles with my kids. I think that having high expectations for my kids is really important and I am always so impressed when they rise above what I expect of them! I have also had to learn how to relinquish control a bit as a mom. I teach them as much as I can and then step back and trust that they will apply what I've taught them as they go off into new environments that I can't control- like preschool and elementary school! 

What is the most rewarding part about being a mom?
Being a parent is a gift. The two children I have been blessed with are truly miracles to me. I am grateful to have been entrusted with them and be able to teach them and watch them grow and make good choices. I love the constant hugs that my daughter gives me and the unexpected compliments that my son bestows on me! I think the most rewarding part is the unconditional love that I feel for these little ones. I am so excited to meet the newest addition to our family (a baby boy arriving in November) and discover how my love for my little ones can grow even more!

What do you think are the most important value(s) parents can instill in their child(ren)?
One of the most important things parents can teach children is kindness. I think understanding kindness starts by children observing their parents being kind to them, one another, and to others. We talk a lot about this value in our weekly Family Night Lessons and we host a challenge each February called the 100 Acts of Kindness project that helps us understand kindness at a deeper level. We also try and emphasize the small acts of kindness that we see daily in our home to help our kids realize how important they are.

If your children could describe you in 3 words, what would they be?
To be honest, I really have no idea. I hope my kids would describe me as kind, loving, and fun. I'm sure their descriptions change daily though and some days I am "mean" because being a mom in my current stage of life is hard! I'm sure it just gets harder! I also hope that they think of me as their friend and someone who is around to help them in their journey through life.

As to my shoes...  I had to share two pairs. It is rare I'm wearing anything other than my black reef flip flops or my running shoes. I love to be comfortable and I love to be able to move around and be active with my kids. I basically wear my flip flops into the ground before I will toss them... so sometimes my husband tries to throw them in the trash when I am not looking. I buy new running shoes about every four months because I typically run between 4-6 miles per day (in addition to chasing after my two kids) and wear through them quickly! 
Some of the other things these shoes help me do include volunteering as the Curriculum chair on the board at my son's Preschool, hosting Mommy and Me Book Club and Camp Mom activities in our home each month, traveling a lot with our family, serving as a leader at our church for the youth group, throwing parties for our neighborhood as the HOA Social Director, and running around after my kids at weekly park playdates. 

Thank you Andie for letting me participate in this series! I can't wait to see who is spotlighted next week! 
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