11
    Apr
    2017
    0

    The Surprising Reason They Don’t Answer the Phone

    I got married later in life and didn’t give birth to children until two months before turning 35. Therefore, I had a lot of time in life where I was the single gal without kids. Feeling very Bridget Jones at times, I didn’t quite understand my friends who had children. I often felt belittled, unloved, and felt the friendships were neglected. Now I have children, and am coming to a new understanding. I have had a huge “a-ha” about a number of things my friends with kids were doing.

    NOW I GET IT!

    Here’s what I’ve learned!

    1. Why don’t you ever answer your phone? I always took offense to this, but now I know why. You don’t answer your phone because you literally can’t talk. You weren’t ignoring me, you were probably doing me a favor. Amidst the little demands and begging for treats, you literally would have sounded close to a person with turrets. We couldn’t have had a conversation, at least a fluid one, even if you had answered. I now realize you would have loved nothing more than an adult conversation, but there was nowhere private to go (not even the bathroom!).
    2. You’re Ditching Our Plans Again! As a twenty-something, childless lady, I found the frequent cancellations from my mommy friends to be quite annoying. Another realization I’ve come to find out about. Again, the cancellation probably had nothing to do with me. It had more to do with the small window in which everything is going well in your home. Is everyone healthy (the more kids in the family the less likely this is)? Were you able to get enough sleep last night or is some child keeping you awake? Is there a child event that has come up since making the plans? I now realize that all plans are made with the best intentions to fulfill, but motherhood is like the weather in Wisconsin…we can’t predict what’s going to happen from day to day.
    3. Where are you? This one was a huge pill to swallow. I always pride myself on being on time or early. So I found myself quite annoyed with my mommy friends. Why are you always late? I’m not keeping you waiting!! Again, I learned this one through my own practice. I now realize that children should add a 15 minute window with which to give grace. You can’t rationalize with a little person about not being late. I now realize my friends, where you were… you were begging a child to get on their coat. You were chasing down a toddler and holding them down to get their shoes on. You had everyone strapped in the car and then smelled something…poo. Who did it? I now know exactly where you were… you were sweating you @ss off, trying to meet me.
    4. Can We Talk about Something Besides your Kids?! You only talked about your kids. Now I realize it was because they literally are your entire life. As a stay-at-home mom, I now find I can add very little to an adult conversation. I’m not reading any books. I’m not traveling the world. I’m not in any extra-curricular activities apart from the swim classes I take for Tyler. From the time my head leaves the pillow, I’m pretty much spending every second with my children. So I get it now. Life revolves around these little buggers, and apart from how I squeezed in a shower, or the events of my morning workout, I have nothing else but my children to talk about.  Now I get that ten years ago, most of my friends were probably envious of the travel tales I could tell, or my hobbies, but they didn’t have anything similar to add. I feel the same way when my childless friends talk about a great night out, a new run they are training for, or happening vacation. My end of the conversation is either crickets or …. about my kids.
    5. You Never Keep in Touch. I found in my motherless 20’s I was always the one following up and keeping the friendships going. I had no idea what my friends with kids were dealing with. Now I get it. There are times I remind myself twice a day to call someone, but it still takes a week to execute. Unless you want to get a call at 5am, I have a hard time these days communicating. Even the best intentions, or making a plan of time to connect, can fall through at any given moment. And reaching out while the children are awake? Well see #1. I realize now that parents have a harder time keeping up with relationships outside the home. It’s not an excuse, it’s just a reality. I feel much better now that I realize it wasn’t me, and my friends of my 20’s weren’t out rocking better plans… they were at home trying to keep their households in line.

    Having my own kids has truly been an enlightening experience! To my old friends, I’m sorry I doubted our friendships and my worth to you. I now realize the impact kids have on your life, including friendships!

    4
    Apr
    2017
    0

    4 Tips For Traveling on an Airplane with a Toddler (And Baby)

    Recently, the Peterberries took a trip to Mexico as a family. The whole lot of us traveled, including 6 month old Kennedy and 21 month old Tyler. I did my research and brought a host of things to keep peace during the four flights it took to get there and back. Here is what worked well for our family:

    4 Tips for Traveling on an Airplane with a Toddler (And Baby)

     

    1. Choose Your Flight Times Wisely.  I paid careful attention, looking first for non-stop. Since Mexico was a longer flight, the layovers actually helped. What was also helpful was the timing of the flight. While at first I thought our times would be a hindrance,
      Awaiting boarding

      Awaiting boarding

      they actually worked out wonderfully. We had early morning flights and a 10pm flight. All of those flights Tyler, our toddler, slept. We took him out of his bed and left him in his pajamas. He was able to spend a bit of time awake, but as soon as we took off he fell asleep. The same thing happened on our flight that was around his nap time and the flight at 10pm.  That was 3 out of 4 trips where all I had to do was hold him. Anyone with a toddler knows that this is huge. Kennedy, our baby, was the same way. We gave her a bottle each time on the way up and she was sleeping for most of the journeys. The layovers were also great because Tyler could run around and expend some of his energy before getting back to a seated flight.

      IMG_8164

      Daddy and Kennedy enjoy sharing a row together!.

    2. Got Southwest? I’ve said this before, but I will never travel other than Southwest with kids. Why? Because it’s the only time their “choose your own seat” has helped me. Both Tyler and Kennedy are lap babies, but we have never had them seated on our laps. (Last Year’s Great Experience with Southwest!). On this trip the same thing happened. We sat at the back of the plane during family boarding and it never filled up. On two of our journeys, we actually had four ROWS of seats for 7 people! That’s huge when you have kids. I know it’s not a guarantee, but we’ve been pretty lucky with this on our travels.
    3. Keep Them Busy. This one applies mainly for the toddler. I was nervous about this, but I packed his preschool-sized backpack full. I had the front pouch dedicated to quick and easy snacks. And the big pocket was filled with these things that worked great for me:
      • Raid the Dollar Store: I went to our local Dollar Tree and was able to get a number of great things to entertain Tyler. Things included: crayons, stickers, coloring book, ball (we used it at the resort and for playing catch during layovers), and lots of kid friendly snacks. I also got a cool new sippy-cup that Tyler could use in flight and some snack containers to put the snacks (the rest I put in my suitcase).
      • Bring some of their favorites, even if they are bulky! We have a Chugginton train that holds trains inside, or in our case, Matchbox Cars. My husband thought I was crazy for making us take this. However, this toy was a lifesaver on and off the airplane. Tyler spent a lot of time playing with this toy and it saved us many a headache. In the end, hubby agreed we NEEDED that toy.
      • Other Fun Ideas: We really liked using the gel cling window decorations. They stick great to the airplane windows and IMG_8177Tyler had never seen them before. We happened to get Easter Eggs because that’s what we had, but any kind will do. I made a long process of taking each one off…counting them and naming their colors. Tyler spent a good amount of time on this cheap activity. We also got a portable Magna Doodle (from Target) and Tyler enjoyed this. It was easy to carry in his preschool sized backpack. We also included a few of his favorite books.
      • When All Else Fails, break out the Gadgets: I don’t like to use technology, but sometimes that’s what it takes. We didn’t really use this one on the airplane (because Tyler happened to sleep a lot), but did use it in the resort. We made sure to download a few of Tyler’s favorite shows from YouTube to our computer. That was great to have in case of emergencies.
    4. Don’t forget yourself. There may actually be a few small moments where you are able to breathe. I was happy I brought a couple magazines to read while the children slept. It was nice to have a moment for “me.” Don’t get crazy with this one (let’s remember it may or may not happen), but don’t neglect to pack something small you may enjoy if time allows.

    In the end, we made it safely to Mexico without any tantrums or crying in flight! I hope these strategies will provide you with the same pain-free travels!IMG_8439

    31
    Mar
    2017
    0

    4 Tips For Traveling to an All-Inclusive Resort with Kids

     

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Our family just got back from an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. I did research ahead of time and there were definitely things I’m glad I brought along. Other families looked over and said, “what a good idea” to many of my possessions.

    So here are 4 tips about how to make your all inclusive family trip a success.

     

     

    1. IMG_8219Pool Toys are a Necessity! When I started packing my husband thought I was crazy for everything I was insisting go into the suitcase. I didn’t end up packing everything I wanted because of this. And you know what? Those pool inflatables I didn’t put in the suitcase I ended up paying triple at the resort to have.

    Here’s a list of what we found entertained our kids poolside:

    • inflatable tubes
    • water guns (small ones from Walmart)
    • bubbles
    • sand pails and shovels
    • water wings for the toddler
    • swimming mat for the baby (post example thread)
    • Frisbee (the kids used this in the pool and on the sand to play catch– this was used the most)
    • sunscreen and aloe (we used 50 spf, reapplied, and still we burned!) IMG_8244

    2. For the Best Service, have more $1 than a Strip Club! We read this advice and I’m so glad we took it. We had about $100 in singles and used them all to tip the poolside service. Needless to say, we had GREAT service. Each time Pedro came back with food or drinks, he eagerly offered us even more. He was happy to do this knowing we would reward his excellent service with a couple of dollars each time. He even made sure to tell us where he’d be working the next day. It was clear that we were getting priority service, and this made for an exceptional poolside experience.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Propped against a chair and sleeping at dinner

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    3. Bring an umbrella stroller and leave the bulky stroller at home. 
    I mentioned this last year (Cruising with an Infant) and will say it again. The umbrella stroller is so convenient. It fits easily into a shuttle (especially if you need two of them). It’s convenient to push a little one down to the pool and you can also prop it horizontal for nap time. Those bulky strollers just aren’t necessary if your vacation is primarily by the pool!

     

    IMG_8301

    He hides the heat well, but look at those red, overheated cheeks!

    4. Consider Excursions. Yes, they are free for those under two (in most cases), but that doesn’t mean they will feel like a vacation. Seriously consider which excursions will be right for your family. For our family, traveling with two infants, we spent the majority of the time at the resort and only did one excursion (to swim with the dolphins). While it was a great experience, I did also spend an hour in the hot sun with two kids under two, so that the older kids could partake. To say it was hot and difficult is an understatement. I hoped before taking the trip to do more, but in the end I’m glad we kept it simple for hauling the family around.

    5. Bring what you need and save yourself the headache. I started packing early so that I wouldn’t forget anything and I would argue that having it all with me made things easier. I didn’t have to make any runs to the store for a necessity. If a child whined of sunburn, I handed them aloe. If a toddler whined he was hungry, I had a plethora of snacks (I had some if the husband or older kids whined about hunger too :). I had ample diapers, medicine just in case, and plenty of clothes even though there was laundry service in the room (but no detergent). My advice to keep the calm, and stay sane, bring it with you! IMG_8422

    Hopefully these tips ensure you have a great vacation as well!

    29
    Mar
    2017
    0

    Blueberry Pineapple Banana Puree

    Well this morning I decided to blend up some more baby food. I had this carton of blueberries that Chase didn’t finish before he went to hi
    s moms. I didn’t want to let them go bad because blueberries cost a small fortune during Wisconsin winters. The logical choice seemed like baby food. I didn’t want to go to the store, so I decided to get creative and put some things I had around the house together to make baby  a new blend.

    Let’s start by saying my food critic was very happy with this new blend!blueberry2

    Here is the recipe:

    Blueberry Pineapple Banana Puree

    6 oz blueberries

    1 can crushed pineapple*

    1 banana

    1/4 cup water

    * blueberry3I know that they say to use fresh or frozen fruit, but I was going with what I had in the house. Plus, I hate cutting fresh pineapple so this was probably going to be the only way Baby T was going to try pineapple.

     

    I threw all the ingredients in my Ninja blender and viola ~ another delicious blend! Surprisingly, the banana flavor really comes through over the pineapple.

    It made one ice cube try and two baby food jars. I like to reuse the old glass jars. I use a whiteboard marker to label and date them. Then I just wipe it off when I’m done and reuse them.blueberry5blueberry4

    22
    Mar
    2017
    0

    Who Stole My Pina Colada? A Lesson in Grace

    This morning I woke up all geared up for a family vacation to Mexico. As we packed into the minivan at 4am, I sat excitedly dreaming of my pina colada later that day by the pool. We bared the Wisconsin cold in our shorts, eager for the warm sun and fun ahead. So imagine my surprise when the lady at the counter said the words no traveler ever wants to hear, “you can’t get on that plane.” Those words knocked the pina colada right from my daydreams!

    I had made a huge mistake…a colossal mistake…a mistake that would cost my entire family. I had ordered the wrong type of passport. I had overlooked one detail, which would cost us our trip. I ordered a passport card for Kennedy and Chase and failed to notice that they could only be used for land or sea travel.

    As the conversations continued, I wanted to sink into the floor. My heart was racing…was this really happening? My ears echoed with my husband’s voice, “maybe we will have to forget Mexico…. we could go somewhere else?”

    I looked at the older berries and the look of disappointment filled me with dispair. Avery asked, “what about the dolphin swim?”

    My huband replied, “screw the dolphins.”

    I waited for it… I pinched my eyes waiting. I took a deep breath and held it in waiting…

    But it never came?!

    Where was the yelling? Where were the nasty remarks? No one said one thing negative to me! I had ruined our family vacation and no one was taking it out on me!

    Instead, throughout the day, I was continually given grace.

    Grace was present in so many people:

    1. Ticket Counter Ladies: They didn’t yell. They didn’t charge us any penalties for my stupidity. Instead, they were pleasant and helpful. They changed us to a flight for tomorrow. It took them at least 30 minutes of their day and yet they chatted with us pleasantly. They informed us of the option to try to drive two hours to Chicago and plead for an appointment to get a last minute passport. At the end one lady even said, “See you tomorrow!”

    Our journey wasn’t done. What would we do? Would we be lucky enough to get a passport?

    As we headed home, we realized that to get Chase a passport would be a process. Last time we needed his mother present and several of her documents. I took a deep breath and texted her for help.

    2. Bio Mom showed me grace! She said sure. She was friendly and helpful. She took time out of her morning (I’m sure she had better things to do at 8am) to come to our house, fill out forms, and take them to a notary. She went to three locations to get the documents notarized so that Chase had a chance at a new passport. I wasted her time and yet later that day she was so graceful that Chase remarked, “seems like you and my mom are getting along better these days.”

    Meanwhile the documents were getting notarized, I rushed Kennedy and Chase to AAA for new passport photos. Then it was several calls to Chicago to see if we could get an appointment. There were none available and things were looking bleak. But we decided we had to try the walk-in option. So we asked Avery to watch Tyler, piled Chase and Kennedy into the car, and headed down to Chicago.

    It was a long two hours. I sat pondering what I was going to be able to do to make it up to the kids. I said many prayers to God, asking him to please not punish the kids for my stupid mistake. Over and over, I berated myself for making such a stupid mistake. I expected the passport office to be like the DMV, with people who don’t like their jobs and are short with customer. Instead as we went through the metal detectors, everyone was friendly, commenting on Kennedy’s cuteness.

    When we got there, I took a deep breath as we walked to the podium. The lady met us with a smile and listened to our story. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes and prayed they’d bless our family with help. Again we met grace.

    3. All the Immigration Employees showed us grace. At the first of three checkpoints, the agent asked many questions and made sure we had all the required documents to pass to the next agent.  After her careful examination, she concluded our circumstance qualified for SAME DAY passport issuance…the tears began to flow. I hadn’t completely ruined our vacation! Next, she sent us to another lady who was empathetic and told us just last week she helped a man who had done the same thing, and said she saved his marriage. I wiped my eyes, sniffling. Chase put his arm around me and said, “It’s okay Sari.” His kindness (and real hug…we are normally just at a back-pat status) made me even more appreciative and emotional.

    They lady filled out all our paperwork and told us to return in three hours to retrieve our passports. Then she recommended a place we could eat lunch while we waited.

    As we found some lunch, the grace continued to pour in.

    4. The Hotel and Excursions showed grace. Our hotel was able to shift our stay. While it will cost us an extra night, we can still go. The dolphin excursion the kids were worried about… I was sure they had a no refund policy. I waited as this last piece had to be sorted…sure it wouldn’t happen unless we repurchased it. Yet again…grace. They happily moved our appointment to Sunday.

    As I looked out the window eating lunch at the cafe, thanking God once more, I saw the lady from the passport agency who helped us. She smiled and waved. That smile meant a lot… we are all human and make mistakes. She was able to get past mine, and soon, I was going to be able to forgive myself.

    On the way home…more grace. Family, friends, colleagues… people who were willing to make changes in their lives to compensate for my mistake. By the time we were home, 13 hours from the point we were told we couldn’t go to Mexico, we had all the issues resolved. The dogs were taken care of for our change of dates, the flights were booked, and all was sorted.

    Most importantly, the kids were happily talking about the trip ahead and laughing off the strife of the day.

    I thanked my family for the grace they showed. My brother replied, “I’m sure you would have shown us grace too.”

    Would I? Deep down I’m not sure I would have. Would I have remained calm as extra money was being spent, and a whole day was wasted if it wasn’t my mistake?

    I hate to admit deep down I probably know the answer.

    Tomorrow I will probably get to sip that pina colada because God answered my silent prayer and A LOT of people showed me grace. But today I was given an even more important reality check, and a glass of humbleness and gratitude for those around me (in addition to one much needed glass of wine!)

     

     

     

    21
    Mar
    2017
    0

    Body After Baby: Regaining your Pre-Pregnancy Shape

    body backHaving a baby has been the highlight of my life thus far. However, the part that is not so glamorous is getting back to your “normal” size. Having accomplished this in 5 months, and while still enjoying life, I’d like to share what worked for me.

    Disclaimer: I don’t have a magic secret formula. I don’t have a perfect body. I’m just a normal mid-western girl who likes wine and Cheese-Its and doesn’t want to give those up. This is how I lost those 35lbs each pregnancy in a reasonable time frame without giving up those things I love!

     

    3 Tips for Getting Back your Body:

    1. Fitness: For me, this was my focus. While I know they say that diet is more important, I’m not willing to spend my life rigid in my food. So I know that I need to be very active. Here’s what works for me:
      1.  Fitbit: My Fitbit is arguably my best friend. I have a small addiction to making my step goal. I firmly believe walking is good exercise and was able to cut 2/3 of my pregnancy weight gain simply by being active walking. While I was pregnant I aimed for 10k-15k steps a day. As soon as I left the hospital, I quickly resumed a 15k step a day lifestyle. Having two dogs helped, and many days I take two walks with the dogs. If you want to make a simple change in your fitness, walking is an easy way to do it.
      2. Les Mills on Demand: Once I hit a plateau it was time to take it to the next level. While I have a YMCA membership, getting two small children to the gym proved difficult (and I really didn’t want to leave a newborn in daycare). I LOVE Les Mills classes. It was great when someone told me about this outlet. Now I can stream all Les Mills classes on my Roku and it’s only $12.99 a month! What I love about it is that they have 60 minutes and 30 minute options for all their classes. As Chase says, with all the things I have to take care of and my part-time jobs, I really don’t have much more than 30 minutes a day. This makes it possible to squeeze it in first thing in the morning, or during a nap!
      3. Use Your Phone! There are so many great free applications you can get on your phone! I don’t even have a fancy phone, but love trying new fitness applications to keep things interesting. I use these here and there to mix things up in my fitness routine. Here are a few of my favorites:
          • Rock My Run- free music playlists
          • 30 Day Fit- a few different plans to target abs, arms, etc. Great to do in front of the TV at night!!
          • 7 Minute workout- Another quick workout you can fit in any time
          • 10k Trainer- Helping me get back into running shape after having two babies back to back.

     

    2.Food: Remember when I said that I love wine and Cheese-It’s? Well I am back to my normal and still enjoying these. I don’t do diet plans because the first moment I tell myself I can’t have something, I proceed to only think about food, and end up eating everything in sight. Here’s a few things that work for me:

    1. Plan ahead: Staying at home with two toddlers, there isn’t time to sit down and have a meal. I found that what I was                 putting in my mouth was junk or scraps from their leftovers. What helped me kick those last 10 pounds was planning ahead. For me that included making healthy meals ahead of time that I could quickly reheat. My favorite right now is a simple egg bake by Kayln’s Kitchen. I make it on the weekend and find both myself and the toddler eat it once a day.
    2. Make one change at a time: If you’re like me and fell to some pregnancy cravings, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. I found that eliminating one element at a time made change a lot easier. So maybe I started with eliminating brownies for breakfast (wish I was kidding), but making small changes each week helped me ease into things and not feel like I was dieting.
    3. Keep an eye on the clock: This one may seem silly, but it works for me. As a person who likes to graze as opposed to meals, staying at home all day can be difficult. I found I was constantly in the cabinet. What helped me (and still does), was to look at the clock when I eat. I make a mental note of the time I’m eating and count forward 3-4 hours. This gives me a time that I shoot for before stuffing my face again. This simple step helps me eliminate some of the mindless eating.

    3. Faith: Sometimes this can be the hardest, but most important step. It’s hard to be gentle on yourself when your skinny clothes are staring at you from the closet. But have faith that your body will get back to “normal.” I hated hearing this but it’s true: your body took 9 months of change to have your baby, it can take that long to get it back. Remember that your hard work will pay off and eventually you will get back in shape if you focus on fitness and food. Personally, I know it was hard to read about other people who were back to normal in two weeks. However, make sure your inner dialogue stays positive and you focus on your accomplishments!

    I’m happy to finally button those jeans again and continue working to be the healthiest I can be for my little munchkins!

    I’d love to hear if you have other strategies or ideas for getting in shape/staying in shape after a baby!

    15
    Mar
    2017
    1

    Why I’m Rocking Motherhood: A Stepmother’s Edition

    This week I was nominated by Adventures with My Littles to take part in the Rocking Motherhood challenge. Each rocking mom is asked to list 10 ways that they are rocking motherhood. The challenge was started about a year ago by White Camellias. To pay it forward, I have nominated these lovely mothers:

    As a mom, there are many days you feel you aren’t doing enough or that your are surely screwing up your children. This was a great way to reflect on the good things happening during motherhood and for me to personally focus on the the positives amidst the daily struggles.

    I think that it’s hard to say what exactly a mother does to rock, but I think it shows up in the behaviors of our children. So my list will include 10 Examples of Motherhood at its finest in my home!

    kids3So without further ado, here’s my Top 10 Examples of how I’m Rocking motherhood!

    1. I was pretty happy when my 1 year old started saying please! I did a silent fist pump when that started! I always say. “Manners are very necessary!”
    2. Our family is going to Mexico. It may not seem like a good example of rocking motherhood, but it’s how we made it happen, that is special. Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I work my butt off to ensure all the kiddos can come. I nannied children and braided dog toys (yep, you heard that right…probably at least 300 of them!) to raise the extra money to allow my step-kids to join us. My little kiddos were free, but it wouldn’t be a family vacation unless we ALL were there. I sacrificed my time and spending money, AND that will be a rocking mama moment when we are all on the beach together!
    3. Our 9 year old now requests to read at night. For a mom who set timers, had family book clubs, required summer readings, etc. this felt like I totally rocked at not giving up… AND I got a reader
    4. IMG_7971A conversation this week really made me feel like I am raising a loving family. We were discussing having Chase be an honorary godfather to Kennedy because it’s clear that the two have a very special bond.  Avery began talking about her bond with Tyler.
      • Avery: Do you think I have a bond with him because I’m his godmother.
      • Me: I don’t know.
      • Avery: Well I feel like I’m his mother. Even though I’m not the one who carried him or gave birth, I feel like I am.
      • Me: Well now you finally understand how I feel about you.
      • Avery: (huge smile) followed by hugs. Definitely felt like a blended family Hallmark moment.kids2
    5. When my toddler finished an art project last week, he packed up the supplies and handed them to me! In the constant fight for cleanliness in a 6 person, 2 dog household….this felt huge!
    6. Avery came home and told us about how someone referred to her as “having a lot of goals.” That was a “cha-ching” moment. Inour family we’ve done family goals, goal books, and image books (photos and captions of things we want for our life). If her peers know she has goals, it means these lessons were instilled in her! And that’s a life lesson that will help her for the rest of her life (an awesome example of rocking motherhood).kids
    7. Everyone warned my youngest would probably be difficult because my toddler is such a good baby. Instead, baby #4 has been the easiest. I’m going to attribute some of that to the calmness overall in the house. Yes, we all get uptight, but the majority of the time in my house Kennedy receives a calm mother in response to her cries or any distress.
    8. Our oldest loves to go to church and often is the catalyst of our going. On the few occasions we don’t, like when Tyler had Croupe last year, she calls and gets a ride there herself. As a child who tried to get out of church, I feel we are doing something right in that category. Though I also have to give that credit to the amazing church we attend!
    9. Children in our home do laundry, have chores, make meals, etc. In a world where many young people have the attitude of entitlement, we are teaching our children that it takes hard work and everyone pitches in.
    10. I hope that those who know me have countless examples of the last one…but I feel I’m rocking motherhood because I’m one of the pillars of a really strong blended family. I treat ALL my children equally and show love to all four of them. That means I’m rocking Motherhood and Stepmotherhood!kids 2017
    13
    Mar
    2017
    0

    Mother Confessions: I Loathe you Working Mom

    I have had a taste of stay-at-home mom life and I have to say that while I’m grateful, there are days I loathe the working mom. This is especially true in the dead of winter, spending many days stuck inside with lots of time to fill.

    I see you working mom, leaving your house in your business attire and high heels. I’m jealous. You are leaving the house. You dress up each day before you leave. You have a reason for high heels and a reason for make-up. I quickly back away from the window so you won’t see me in my robe and pajamas. Then maybe you won’t know I will still be in this attire, with no make-up or shower, until the afternoon or until someone in this house takes a nap.

    I loathe you working mom. I daydream of your meetings. Of your adult interaction. You are probably sipping coffee and laughing….at adult jokes. I’m sipping coffee too…and watching Baby Einstein. My work colleague can’t converse unless you count “bababa” as deep conversation. My other colleague is probably the most demanding I’ve met. He stands at the cupboard shouting, “Mooooommmmm” off and on all day.

    You have a jammed packed day. A stressful day. I miss stress. I miss having too much to do. I now look forward to laundry days and grocery trips so I have a sense of purpose. I robotically clean the house, play with the baby, and wait the return of the rest of the family.

    I am jealous working mom. You have a business lunch. Something delicious and healthy I’m sure. You have the choice, to eat in or eat out. My lunch consists of pureed peas and crackers, or any leftovers I quickly shovel in my mouth. There’s no time to feed my demanding colleagues while simultaneously enjoying a peaceful meal myself. I could eat out, but that would require nearly a suitcase for transportation…and lets not forget, I’m still in my pajamas.

     

    I see you coming home, tired from your day, and I loathe you. You are tired from a day of productive work. You’ve accomplished a lot in your stressful day and you are excited about seeing your family and spending those moments with your children. I’ve had many moments with my child, but my hopes for tonight are that someone will watch these children so that I may have a moment which doesn’t include blocks, babies, or balls. You’ve been gone all day. If I’m lucky I may have left the house once, to grocery shop or take a child to an activity. You look forward to getting home… I look forward for a reason to leave.

    I loathe you working mom. BUT- I also understand your plight is real! I know you could very well be on the other side of the street envying me (See: Loathing the Stay-At-Home Mom)

    So kudos working mom… enjoy all that you have accomplished today and enjoy your night with your child. You deserve it!

    28
    Feb
    2017
    0

    You Know your Daughter has become a “Tween”

    Well we’ve been living with a tween full-time for over a year now. I have come to find that a tween girl definitely shows different characteristics we hadn’t experienced before. Some days I really miss the young, innocent girl who has been replaced. Signs that show your daughter has hit the tween stage include:

    9 Signs That You’re Living with a Tween!

    1. You suddenly have an instant expert in the house. “I know” becomes the phrase heard most often. Normally this is the response when you give any reminders to this tween.
    2. You worry about their eye health… is that a spasm, a twitch? Oh no, that’s just another round of eye rolls heading your way.
    3. You move into new territory… embarrassment status. Case in point: Avery had a sleepover and seemed mortified Dad had a stain on his shirt (“What? It’s just some pizza sauce?”).
    4. Your level-headed child is replaced with a volcano of emotions of which are unexplainable. They storm through the door one day in tears and the next day in hysterical laughing. Don’t question it, just nod.
    5. You’ve been replaced …by their friends.
    6. You find yourself suddenly questioning their hearing. Why else would the volume of their voice suddenly only have one decibel…extremely loud. Soon your own hearing will be in question (“I’m standing right next to you, why are you talking so loud”)
    7. The GIGGLE! Need I say more. Why do they do that? Did I do that as a young girl? Who taught tween girls that it was cool to giggle over everything?!
    8. The word “like” is starting to make you cringe.  Like this, and like that, misuse of this word is driving English teachers mad. How many times can this word really fit into a paragraph or sentence?
    9. There are humans in the room… would they know? Probably not as they are always on those cell phones. They can text, they can Musically, but can they hold a conversation? Not always. I imagine lunch time in middle school is quieter than a silent study hall. Their mentality: why talk when we can text.

    All I can say is what I tell myself every day, “God grant me the patience to survive this tween-ager stage.”  I really love my tween and I know that while she can wear adult shoes, deep down there is still a little girl there. At the same time, I’m already prepping myself for the even more challenging teenage years that are just around the corner.

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