Go AWAY, Winter!


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Are roses red?
Are violets blue?
No really, are they?
I don’t remember what’s true

This winter is long
It’s cold and ruthless
If my teeth keep chattering
Soon I’ll be toothless

Morning: the sun peeks out
Burnt yellow, like a yoke
But by noon there’s a blizzard
Mother Nature’s sick joke:

“Just kidding, little ones!
Go back inside
The freezing rain is on its way!
Your tulips will die”

Who else is over this sh*t?  

®Cristina Cole

The BEST Bath Toy


My boys are dirt magnets. They roll in mud, sit in puddles, draw maps on their bodies with sharpies. So they have a lot of baths. Typically at bath time I lay all the towels that we own on the bathroom floor. Why? Because this:

“Boys, please keep the water in the tub today, okay?”

“Okay mom!”

They can’t help themselves. They just love fun. My friend Jill told me about these “bath pipes” that keep her kids occupied till the waters gone cold. So I thought I’d give them a shot.

Boon Water Bath Toys are credited for keeping my floors dry. The boys are so busy pouring water down the pipes or arranging them in cool positions on the wall that water literally never leaves the tub. They stay in there so long that I can actually enjoy a whole coffee, WARM, while watching them have fun with these things.

I highly recommend these toys make it into your bath time routine! What are some helpful toys you recommend?

***Links will take you to Amazon where you can purchase product if you like. I am an part of the Amazon Associates Program.***

Have an Anxious Friend? Keep Them & They’ll Keep You Alive.


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Photo Credit: The Cut

If you were close to me in my tween and teen years, you may remember me having a weak stomach when it came to nerves. Whether exams were coming up, a semi formal, a new crush…my anxiety would inevitably attack my insides – shooting high levels of cortisol into my system, sending my body into panic when there was no real danger. This physical chain reaction would usually lead me to being physically ill.

Some people assumed I was bulimic, others thought I had the flu a lot…and then there were my friends who knew what was really up and just went with the flow. They didn’t ask questions because they knew I had no answers. I hate my anxiety.

There are perks to knowing someone who gets bouts of anxiety though. As an anxious person, I almost always have a plan B, C, D and E. If we’re in a building and the fire alarm goes off – and there is indeed a fire, I am the person you want beside you. As you were ordering your Starbucks coffee and telling me about the crazy morning you had, I was listening while also planning escape routes out of the building should something crazy happen.

It’s just something I do. Maybe I watch the news too much. I don’t see the harm in being mentally prepared for emergency situations. Some people say I’m wasting my energy. Maybe I am, but I bet you’d follow my ass out of that building when it’s time for plan ‘B’ and you’re too panicked to think straight. You’re Welcome. 😉

I Love You, Gro-Clock



I swear my 3 & 5 year old boys were farmers in their past lives. Every morning the little boogers were up before the sun. I loved their enthusiasm for the day, I just wished they could be enthused a little more quietly.

I began to understand though, that they just had no concept of time. They were awake and wanted to party. I tried explaining to them that they were up way to early, but they just didin’t get it… until I bought their Gro-Clocks.

It’s like something clicked when we set their clocks up – which is ridiculously easy by the way! The visual of seeing a blue star at night and a yellow sun in the morning really helped their cute little brains grasp the concept of what a decent wake-up time is.

I was able to set the time when “the sun would come up” letting them know it was cool for them to get up and party. Until that sun came up though, they were to remain in their rooms and play quietly.

Instead of the typical twelve numbers around the clock, there are twelve stars. As each hour passes at night, a star disappears. So eventually my boys understood that if they woke up and there were a bunch of stars, it was still the middle of the night and they had to go back to bed. This helped my younger boy, Joshua with his frequent night wake ups – little dude just didn’t know it was still the middle of the night.

The Gro-Clock really helped them understand the concept of time. I swear by these things! If your toddlers get up a lot at night or are early risers GET THIS CLOCK!!! It has seriously made a difference for us.

I got both of ours at Amazon. They’re cheaper here than other places I have looked and they shipped in no time at all – and shipping’s free after $25 – score! Get your Gro-Clock Sleep Trainers today. Sweet dreams, Mammas!

What are some of your favourite products that actually helped make life easier? Please share them with me!!

Is There a Cure for This Mommy Brain Thing?


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Focusing is something I really struggle with lately. I know that “mommy brain” is an actual thing so it makes me feel better about my lack of concentration. But it doesn’t make things any less frustrating. It’s annoying how easily an idea that just entered my mind fades away like cotton candy in water…and I’m left feeling as panicked and bewildered as this poor dude:

I get agitated when I think of an item I need to add to my grocery list but can’t find a pen to quickly jot it down. It’s that bad – if I don’t write down the important thing that floats into my mind within 30 seconds, it’s gone. It’ll pop up at some other time during the day, but probably when I’m driving or showering.

At least three times a day I find myself standing in front of the fridge holding the doors open asking out loud what the heck did I need again? Or as I’m heading downstairs to the cold room for a jar of tomato sauce, it may occur to me that I’d like something sweet with my coffee later. Naturally I return upstairs with all the ingredients for pineapple up-side-down cake but no jar of sauce. Frig! Downstairs I go again.

Please tell me some mommies out there can relate? Any tips of how to focus again?

 

10 Random Things I’d Tell My Twenty-Year-Old Self


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  1. Stop saying “I’m sooooooooo tired.” There are new mothers who hear you and may punch you in the face.
  2. Don’t take life so seriously. Have more fun.
  3. After you have your second kid, your waistline increases an inch the second you look at a cookie, so eat them now! Dooooo it!
  4. If you think you compare yourself to other women a lot now, just wait till you become a mother – you’ll do it a few hundred times a day. We gotta figure out how to stop this, it’s a bad cycle.
  5. Stop dieting. Just get in the habit of walking or running daily – it’s the only way.
  6. Stop looking at moms with their kids having tantrums and thinking: “I will never let my kid behave that way in public, EVER, period.” Because my darling, you can’t control a toddler’s emotions. So stop judging and start saving some money for therapy.
  7. Let go. Learn to let go of things you can’t control now. It’ll make you better at not sweating the small stuff as a new mom.
  8. Stop shaking your head at your sister-in-law, Lynette and wondering why she’s so moody after having your niece Adele. You’ll experience the wrath of hormones at war inside your body one day. And that’s when you’ll suddenly love her so much more.
  9. Baby wipes take that mascara off better than those Oil of Olay cloths you spend so much money on. You’re hilarious.
  10. Stop saying “I’m bored.” Be happy that you currently have nothing to do and enjoy staring at a wall while listening to nothing.

I Hate You, Parenting Articles


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I read parenting advice from all different perspectives. And with each paragraph I read I shake my head and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. At the end of the article I’m convinced that one of my children may turn out to be a serial killer. Who knows, maybe both will.

Why are there so many methods? How do I know which one will work?I believe that  all these different theories were written by people who think their own parents did it wrong. After years of trying to fix themselves they believe they’ve come up with the right way to raise a child.

I want to know how their children turned out…or better yet if they even have children. And if their children did happen to turn out to be brain surgeons or violinists or CEO’s of big companies – I’d like to know what these successful people really feel about their childhoods and how their parents raised them. I wonder if they gave me the password to their computer if I’d find a file with 52 pages of a book they’re writing about parenting and how to do it right.

I hate how these articles make me feel. I hate that I’ll always feel inadequate even when I’m doing an okay job. I hate that I question everything:

  • Did that three-day potty training week from hell scar him?
  • Is he going to marry a bitchy woman because I yell at least twice a day and he’ll find bitchy women to be comforting and familiar?
  • Will he develop a tick when he sees blueberries because of that morning we had a power struggle over eating two more blueberries before he was allowed to leave the table?
  • Will he be behind in kindergarten because he’s home with me and not in daycare like many other toddlers? He can only count to 14 and not 31, maybe I should put him in preschool twice a week.
  • Will he develop OCD because I try to pick those boogers out of his nose every chance I get?
  • If I ignore this tantrum right now will he grow up to be resentful and angry because I’m not validating his feelings?

No matter what I do I’m questioning myself, doubting every decision I make. And as if my own fears aren’t enough I read parenting articles that confirm them. The articles make it official – I’m doing it wrong. Well guess what parenting articles?

 

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Have a nice day 🙂

 

Unleashing My Inner Hulk


When Jacob whines, I want to grab a chair and throw it through the window. When he has a tantrum, I want to have my own tantrum too. I want to stomp and shout and cry and shriek and smack my head against the wall.

I never knew that I could feel such turmoil and violence inside of me. I feel like any second I’ll morph into The Hulk and start throwing furniture around the room. But while all these feelings are building up inside of me and my blood is reaching a hot, scolding boiling point, this is how I look:

internally screaming

I look patient and kind and understanding. Somewhere on my skull there is a throbbing, pulsing vein as I contain these feelings. They are pushed down into my gut for the time being. But they get their chance to be unleashed at the right moment. Whether it’s when I’m alone in my room and I scream into the pillow, cry while I’m showering, sob as I tell my husband about how horrible our two year old treated me today, kick the stuffed animal that’s in my path, scrub hardened food off a plate with way more pressure than needed…

There are many opportunities for me to unleash. And I never let one pass me by. Having my own little fifteen-second tantrums, while alone and out of earshot from my children, are what let me remain calm and collected during my toddler’s tantrums. I’m able to stay in a logical frame of mind – remembering that Jacob is only two and has yet to learn to control his emotions. I can stay calm and guide him through his frustration and anger, rather than react to it with my own yelling and screaming.

I also tell any moms who listen about how tantrums make me feel like my head will explode. I think it’s good for us to share these stories. It makes me feel less crazy when I know a fellow mom cries in the shower too. And better yet, I learn new unleashing techniques!

What are some of the ways you unleash after a day of listening to tantrums and whining? Let’s all help each other stay sane.  

20 Questions


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“Mamma?”

“Yes Jacob?”

“Can I wash the ants?”

“No honey. They’ll drown.”

“But they need a bath, Mamma.”

“Ants don’t have baths.”

“But how they get clean, Mamma?”

“They don’t, I guess. Ants just stay dirty.”

Jacob’s vocabulary is pretty extensive for a two year old. It’s one of the many reasons I’m a proud mommy – and also one of the reasons he exhausts me. I wish I had the time to document all the questions he asks me throughout the day. Some of them really stump me.

Lately I’ve been consumed with our one-month old Joshua. But now that he’s settled in and I’m able to get a routine going, spending more time with Jacob is getting easier. I can really see just how much he’s grown in the short time that Joshua has been home. I can see the little wheels turning in his mind as he becomes more aware of the world around him.

He’s always been a curious toddler, but now that he has the vocabulary to support his curiosity the questions never stop…and some of the are hilarious:

1) “The sky is grey Mamma! A storm is coming?”

2) “Is it Christmas?!!!???!!!” (Said when we had a small blizzard in April)

3) “Is the spider sleeping?”

4) “Is Pepper feeling sad?” (Said when our cat Pepper was stir crazy during winter)

5) “Can I see Joshua’s poo?”

6) “The ants live under the rock?”

7) “Are my feets too big for my boots, Mamma?”

8) “Is the puddle too deep?”

9) “Is the duck flying home?”

10) “Can the plane come down here now, Mamma?”

11) “Where does the bird live?”

12) “Where does the spider live?”

13) “What’s that?”

14) “What’s its name?”

15) “What’s that noise?”

16) “Your hair too long, Mamma. You cut it now?”

17) “You feeling grumpy, Mamma?”

18) “What’s a turtle say?”

19) “Is the zebra a horse?”

20) “Is Jacob just a baby?” (Said on Day #2 of Joshua coming home. And yes, you’ll always be Mamma’s baby)

Ever get stumped by your toddler’s questions? What cute things do they ask you?

 

THREE Ways This Pregnancy Is Different from the First


In case my 700+ blog followers don’t know yet, we’re PREGNANT! Before you read on, just know that I AM excited about it. The following post is just about my pregnancy this time around…and how it’s not as awesome as the first one.

Napping is Hard

When I was pregnant with Jacob and I was tired I simply got comfortable and drifted off into a nice little piece of heaven. This time around, I’m lucky if I can close my eyes for a few minutes without a matchbox car being driven over my forehead.

I Don’t Feel Like a Million Bucks

Just like my first pregnancy my skin looks great, my hair is thick and I have a nice glow. Sounds soooo terrible, right? Ha! Well during my first pregnancy I had time to pamper myself. So my nice skin could be moisturized, and I could put makeup on to accent my cheekbones and eyes. And I could style my hair into a fun messy bun, or large beachy waves.

Now I’m lucky to put chapstick on and my hair gets thrown into a ponytail. I’m too tired to try looking nice. And on the days that I want to put the effort in, my two year old decides he wants to put makeup on like mommy, and I have a bigger mess to clean.

My outfits are a joke. Track pants and sweaters are my go-to items. Fast and comfortable. In a nutshell it’s hard to feel like a million bucks these days.

I’m Not as Giddy as the First Time

Maybe it’s because I know what’s coming. Oh my, that sounds so foreboding! I don’t mean that I’m not looking forward to having a precious newborn arrive, I’m referring to the Dark Days that are the first 6 weeks post partum.

With my first pregnancy I had NO idea what to expect. I thought it would be like playing house. What a rude awakening I had. Being a first time mom was HARD! So I just feel a little overwhelmed about how much my new bundle of joy will need me, as well as how much my toddler will need me as this BIG change happens.

BUT!! This time around at least I know that it passes! I can remind myself that it’ll go by in a haze but that things WILL get better. And although it’ll feel like there is no end in sight, I will KNOW that there is because I’ve done it before and it MUST have been worth it if I’m doing it again.

How did you feel during your second pregnancy? Any tips on ways to lift myself up a bit?