Amneris Solano 21 results

Sun, Sand and a Toddler

As an Army Brat, I have lived all over the United States. North Carolina has been my home the longest. It's where my parents retired and where my husband (a North Carolina native) and I have chosen to raise our soon-to-be-2-year-old son. One of my favorite aspects of this state is its geographic diversity. "From Murphy to Manteo" so the saying goes is the best way to describe North Carolina's natural beauty from the mountains to the coast. Our son is lucky to have already traveled the length ...

For the love of Elmo

A few months ago, I wrote about wanting to introduce my toddler to the joy of "Sesame Street." The phrase, "be careful what you wish for," has never rung so true. My soon-to-be 2-year-old son is head over feet in love with Elmo. When we get home in the evenings, he points to our TV and screams, "Elmo! Elmo!" He has a talking Elmo doll that he drags around the house. Mostly, he is super sweet with the Elmo doll. He hugs and pats his back but sometimes Elmo gets thrown around in fits of ...

Navigating the ‘mine’ phase

Last Wednesday, our family of three had a play date at Hoop Jam. If you've never been to Hoop Jam at Pullen Park, I highly recommend it especially if you have children. There's a drum circle, hula hoopers and of course you can enjoy all the park has to offer from Carousel and train rides to paddle boats and paved walking trails. As soon as we arrived, our almost 2-year-old boy grabbed a hula hoop that had been thrown on the ground. I shouted for him to put it down but my friend chimed in that ...

Mommy and Baby Yoga

Before I was a mommy, I was a yogi. I got hooked on yoga about five years ago after taking my first yoga/Pilates fusion class with a friend. I took classes at least twice a week and touted its benefits to anyone who would listen. When I learned I was pregnant, I did prenatal yoga every morning before work. On mornings when I skipped my yoga routine, I felt sluggish. I am convinced this exercise regimen helped keep me energized throughout my pregnancy and led to the smooth delivery of my son. ...

Seriously, why buy toys for toddlers?

Our toddler's toys take up space in three separate rooms of our house. He has a canvas basket filled with stuffed animals in his nursery. Another basket in the family room holds an assortment of toys that light up, play music and challenge him to solve age-appropriate puzzles. In a small corner of our living room a rainbow-colored play gate corrals a hodgepodge of toys that includes a talking Elmo doll, a plastic dump truck, a wooden tractor, a cheetah on wheels, a caterpillar on wheels, ...

What is your parenting philosophy?

I tend to approach life with a journalistic eye. In part because I was a journalist for many years, but mostly because I am an inquisitive person. When I learned I was pregnant, I read blogs. I read message boards. I checked out pregnancy and parenting books from the library, and, of course, I grilled my mom (and dad) friends for advice. While I believe knowledge is power, I also know the "get-all-the-information-you-can" approach can lead to anxiety and frustration. This is especially true ...

Cultivating a toddler’s love of the great outdoors

Last week, my family and I rented a rustic cabin in Maggie Valley, a town of 1,150 residents surrounded by North Carolina's picturesque Smoky Mountains. It was the closest to camping we have come with our 19-month-old son. Each morning, my dad would take him for a walk to a nearby stream where he taught him how to skip rocks. Our little guy delighted in these walks. He picked up sticks. He chased ducks. He cried when it was time to come inside for lunch. Raising a child in a tech-obs...

Growing up on ‘Sesame Street’

At the tender age of 4 my family moved from Puerto Rico to Clarksville, Tennessee. My father enlisted in the U.S. Army and Fort Campbell was our first duty station. Spanish was my first language. My parents spoke some English but Spanish was all we spoke at home. The first words I learned to say in English were, "What time is it?" I remember bouncing around the house repeating that phrase over and over enjoying how different the words felt on my tongue. I started kindergarten shortly ...

Triangle area parks for babies under age 2

One of the best aspects of living in the Triangle are the great public parks. We are fortunate to have community centers devoted to the arts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, lakes, and miles upon miles of scenic hiking and biking trails. Our baby had his first swim lessons at the Buffaloe Road Aquatics Center in Northeast Raleigh. As a new family, it introduced us to all of the amenities public parks in and around Wake County have to offer wee ones. Since our son is only 18 months old, ...

Hitting hurts: Teaching babies nonviolence

The first time my 18-month-old son smacked me in the face I understood why. His daycare daily report listed a dismal 45-minute nap. On the commute home, he fell asleep in the car and went into a panic when I woke him up while removing him from the car seat. The evening further collapsed into ruin as I scrambled to prepare a dinner that I didn't get on table until close to his bedtime. He threw half of his meal on the floor, smeared tomato sauce in his hair and fell into hysterics when I ...