Cyber Monday Quick Target Guide!

If you are like me, I love a good sale, but I also don’t have time to look online for the best deals….so here is a quick guide that I am using to buy for my kiddos (and a few things for me) this year! Everything is from my favorite store, Target. So, if you are shopping TODAY (November 27) everything is an EXTRA 15% off the discounted price! Happy Shopping!

4-6 Year Old (Boy and Girl)


Me!

 

The Best Kept Secret of Back to School

Last Tuesday I was on my weekly outing at Target.  At first glance everything seemed to be normal and in place but after a few moments I was something different in the air.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first.  It was calm, the moms all had a little twinkle in their eyes.

Then I realized what it was.  School was in session and we all had gained our freedom back! After a long hard summer we could (kind of) do what we wanted to! There were NO school aged children in the isles begging their moms for toys or the sugary cotton candy flavored yogurt. All seemed right in the world again.

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Moments after I had my epiphany I felt a tap on my shoulder.  It was a fellow mom I knew casually from the gym.  She asked how I was and exchanged pleasantries and I asked if her kids were in school (she was flying solo).

“Oh yes. I miss them so much. I’m so sad!”

Liar!!!

I can see it in your face! You are relaxed.  You got showered and dressed without interruptions! You ARE WEARING MAKE-UP.  But of course I just smiled and told her that she deserves a few hours to herself and we went on our (very happy) ways.

This year September brought a few big changes to our household. Charlie has started full-time school and Henry is going to tot class two mornings a week.  That means I have FIVE glorious hours every week that I just have an (easy) infant to care for.  It gives me a moment to breath and remember WHY I love being a mom in the first place.

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So far during these few special hours we get together,  Whitney  and I have gone to Target (duh), taken a long walk and spent an amazing half hour getting a pedicure. What are my plans of how to spend the rest of these great mornings? I might get breakfast with another ‘childless’ mom, hang out at home and cuddle my baby or spend it at the gym. The point is I can do whatever I want! And that really has not happened in a long time. I will enjoy every moment of it without apology.

You see, there is this crazy thing happens to me when my kids are in school.  I actually start to miss and appreciate them! The saying that ‘distance makes the heart grow founder’ is so true. They are awesome kids and I realize that SO MUCH MORE when I’m not with them every moment of everyday.

So, mama, when that moment finally happens and you find yourself having a few hours to yourself.  Don’t be sad! Enjoy it and embrace it.

 

Three kids? No Big Deal!

It is 8:00 in the evening and my husband and I have just gotten all THREE of our kids to bed.  We are exhausted and also thrilled to have a few hours to do……well whatever we want to do! We recently have entered ‘zone defense’ parenting.  The big transition from two to three kids.  It is hard.  Even though our newest addition is a really good baby……just having another body to feed, bath, change, love and keep alive has kept us on our toes!

Everyone told me that transitioning from two to three children is no big deal. I think they were just trying to calm my fears. But it is a VERY big deal! And in a very different way then going from one to two kids. Going from one to two was emotionally difficult for me. I wanted Charlie, my oldest, to still feel loved while catering to a newborn’s needs. Not to mention Henry, my second, was a more difficult baby (hello colic)! But, going from two to three has given me new and more…shall we say logistical challenges!

For example: I literally only have two arms. I can feed the baby a bottle while playing cars with Charlie, but then don’t have another arm when Henry wants a hug so he’s not left out!

Two car seats fit perfectly into most cars, but three car seats takes a little finagling. We ended up getting a bigger car with a third row and I expected my five-year-old to be able to buckle himself in. Not so much. Several months later and lots of practice I’ve got it down pat. I can coral all three kids in one door and while I’m securing the baby carrier the other two get into position and from there I help them buckle up.  I can do it in under two minutes (that in it’s self deserves an award).

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Before baby Whitney cam into our lives as a family of four we could often sit down together for dinner. Now, without doubt, the second I sit down so our family can have a few minutes of needed together time the baby starts screaming.

It’s a never ending cycle of bottles, sippy cups, naptimes, tantrums, diaper changes and baths.

But also a never ending cycle of laughs, giggles, hearing ‘I love you’ and my favorite part. Seeing my boys love on their little sister.

So yes- it’s hard. But in a different way. I hear people say it gets easier…..I just roll my eyes.  Some parts get easier, but others get more difficult.

We are all in the trenches, mama! No matter if you have one needy baby, pre-teens in middle school or driving your first ‘baby’ to college.

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I’m Back!

It feels so good to be back writing! I have missed connecting with all of you amazing women! I have missed the friendship, support and honestly even the debates!

The past several months have been a world-wind! In April I had a beautiful baby girl (Whitney Catherine). Read about her birth story here! She’s Here! Whitney’s Birth Story We were also in the middle of selling our home and moving across town to what I can only describe as my dream home.

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I’m not going to lie.  It has not been easy, but I am so in love with life right now.  We are so lucky to have three healthy and happy children and a roof over our head. With all of the horrible and scary things going on in the world I’ve been thanking God everyday that we have these simple things that mean so much to us.

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So now that the school year is imminent (sniff, sniff, my oldest is starting junior kindergarten) I will be back on schedule.  And for those who know me, know I love a schedule!

I will be sharing my trials and tribulations on decorating my home (mostly by myself), parenting, having a life outside of ‘mommyhood’ and my attempt at balancing all of that withing losing it!

Thank you again for reading along and I can’t wait to hear from you!!

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I Hate Breast is Best

** I am not giving medical advice! I am just a mom and sharing my experience!**

I hate breast is best.  I hate nursing. There. I said it.  Those words have been simmering in my mind and soul for months, maybe years.  I have two boys (4.5 & 19 months).  And both of them are formula fed.  They are healthy, active, smart and sweet…….and might have had about ten ounces of breast milk in their whole life. I am passionate in my belief that Fed is Best, but still….as I am pregnant with my third child, I still feel that pressure from society, mom blogs and social media that if I don’t do it, I am a bad, lazy mom.

And let me tell you…..it really pisses me off.

I am not a medical professional.  I’m just a mom.  But, I can talk about my experiences and experiences that I have heard from other moms.  Yes, there are studies that show (or in their words, prove….) that breastfed babies are smarter and healthier then formula fed babies.

I say they are full of S***.

I have been told that I can outspoken and sometimes come across as brash when it comes to this subject.  And, I’m okay with that.  So many moms feel so much guilt about this, but don’t feel they have a voice to speak out.  I will be their voice. I have yet to hear an explanation to why it is better for me to keep trying to breastfeed my newborn that is continually losing weight and screaming because he is HUNGRY.  I want my child and the rest of my family to be happy and HEALTHY.

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Tummy full and sleeping.

I refuse to live in a state of fear that other moms will judge me anymore.

Picture this……me, a new mom leaving the hospital with a big, chubby, sweet baby boy. My husband and I had NO IDEA of what we were doing or getting ourselves into, other then the baby 101 class we had taken and the mom blogs that I had religiously read throughout my pregnancy.  We were winging it.

  • Breast is best!
  • Don’t give up!
  • Use this mysterious recipe for cookies that will for sure increase your supply.
  •  Here is the number to the BEST lactation consultant….she is amazing.  Only $100 per consultation.
  • Formula is disgusting! Do you know what is in it? Even if your newborn is screaming…..don’t you dare give him that poison!! He will be fat and dumb when he grows up.

I’m not kidding.  I heard it all.  And, the crazy thing is NONE of this advice came from my pediatrician!

About a week after being home in the middle of the night, I was doing my best to nurse a screaming baby for an hour and my husband came in the nursery.  The baby and I were both in tears. He gingerly took the baby and mentioned that we had some formula samples in the pantry.  Let’s just try it.  How can it get any worse then this? I agreed.  I was exhausted. He made the bottle and the baby sucked down the whole bottle and promptly fell asleep. We all did.  It was glorious.

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These two are formula fed and so happy!

The next morning the sun seemed to shine a little brighter, the baby smiled a little more and I was finally able to appreciate and embrace the moments of having a newborn instead of feeling the pressure and helplessness of not being able to nourish and sooth my baby.

And, I never looked back.

We love formula for my family.  And it has been wonderful that my husband is able to take part of the newborn bonding (and midnight feedings).  But, I will say this is just the experience for my family.  I truly believe that every family is different and they should do exactly what they feel is right for their own.  Is that breastfeeding until two years old? Yes? Then go for it! Is it formula feeding from the moment the baby is born? Then do it!

We all need to join together and stop the madness.  Let’s change the narrative that breast is best to fed is best.  Education and options give moms the ability to make decisions for what is best for their family.

So, instead of rolling your eyes at the mom with a bottle feeding her tiny baby, or the mom who is nursing without a cover….give them a smile…..that can go a LONG way.

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My Selfie Dilemma: Not Sure of My Face in a Blogger’s Word

I am new to blogging. And I love it! Most of 2016 I was a contributor to a very well established blog and was able to write on a regular basis about all things being a mom.  I got some great feedback from readers and realized I might actually have a voice that people would want to hear.

So I took the plunge and decided to do my own blog! And here I am. I launched it almost two months ago. I am learning by trial-and-error (many, many errors). Slowly I am finding my niche.  And also, slowly people are checking my blog out!

One thing that has been my biggest hurdle is the whole selfie picture situation. Yes, on my social media I have had profile pictures of myself, but not many were actual ‘selfies’. I would often have to crop my face from a group picture. I’ve just never been a ‘selfie’ kind of person.

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Make-up and hair selfie

It’s not that I think I’m ugly…..I’ve just always been self conscious of taking a picture (or multiple) and posting them for the sake of posting them.  I am completely in awe of my friends who can post a beautiful and interesting picture of themselves!

But, with that being said, doing a blog about my family and my life obviously was going to entail taking pictures of myself (or having someone else take pictures of me).  Maybe I am comparing myself to other more established bloggers and don’t feel my pictures and composition are as good as theirs.  It will take time.

So far, I haven’t gotten any horrible feed back (think: wow! You have a huge double chin! Or, hey! Your fly is open)! For some reason I have this nagging thought that people are laughing at me behind my back, but to me this is a slow, self discovery process that has taken me years! When I was little, I was so shy! I seemed to gain a voice during college, but it really didn’t come out until after I had children. If anyone is really laughing at me behind my back……guess what? I don’t care! Laugh away!

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No make-up and hours after I had Henry.  I love this picture taken by my husband.

I am still a total novice at taking pictures of myself, and being in pictures…..but here are a few things I have learned along the way :

  • A little make-up goes a long way.  Under-eye concealer, mascara and blush help me look and feel great.
  • You don’t have to look ‘perfect’ for every picture.  No one is perfect.  Not being perfect can be more interesting.
  • Natural lighting is your best friend.  Using a flash can sometimes wash out your face.
  • Be conscious of your background! No one wants to see a dirty bathroom or a messy pile of mail behind you (unless it is part of your story)!
  • My husband is becoming a great photographer! He has no qualms about taking pictures and doesn’t feel the pressure that I do to take a perfect picture.  Often his casual snap turn out great!
  • Sometimes emotion can outweigh getting the ‘perfect’ shot.  Even if you don’t think you look great, showing real emotion can be very moving.
  • Use filters carefully! They can  be your best friend or worst enemy.  I prefer a little softening, but nothing that makes me look less human.

Do you take selfies? What do you do to make them look the way you want them to?

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