Aug 29, 2014

The Best MOMent Of My Day...

Even though I am guilty of saying the best MOMent (Mom loving moment) of my day is the minute nap time starts, or on Mondays and Wednesdays when I drop Ollie off at play school, or the minute bedtime starts... Even still, none compare to the very best MOMent... the MOMent that comes out of nowhere and fills my heart with joy and peace...



Right after my son turned one, he stopped wanting to be held. I guess he needed his independence, or to keep moving since his legs would take him where ever he wanted to go. Whatever it was, the only time I could hold him for more than 30-seconds was when I was nursing him to sleep. It was sad, I wanted to cuddle with my sweet baby. He wanted nothing of it.

My kid can be so full-on wild sometimes that I am sure he is possessed. Such is the way of the toddler, right? He's the king of testing limits, running wild and growing intellectually and physically by leaps and bounds, daily. He moves swiftly, like a ninja jacked up on sugar. He's constantly on the go from one toy or activity to the next. Of course, with an attention span that rivals a blowfly's, I'm not that surprised by the constant movement. But every once in a while, he will slow down, and crawl in my lap... And that's when my beautiful MOMent begins...

The Concepts Are In From The Interior Designer... I Need Your Help.

The concepts are in!!!  

Remember how I started working with the interior design firm, Havenly, to overhaul my big strange front room?  Well the concepts are in! And I need your help...

For those of you just joining me, Havenly interior design, is an eDesign firm that offers incredibly affordable interior design services! All you do is sign up, answer a few questions, send over photos of the room(s) you want designed, and then next thing you know your personal interior designer is calling you to make a game plan!

It's a three step process:

1. Consultation
2. Concepts
3. Final Room Rendering-- you even get a personalized shop with all of the pieces used in your room to make purchasing easy!


I am now at the stage where my interior designer has taken the information she got from my questionnaire and from talking with me on the phone, and come up with two room concepts for me to look over and comment on.

This is the existing room...

The room is 40 feet long and 20 feet wide. As of now, the dining room is on one side and sitting area on the other.  We have NO idea what to do with the room...
My friends, I need your help!  Below I have posted the two concepts. In each concept there are things I love so much, and other things not so much... I would LOVE to hear what you think!

What are your likes, dislikes and favorite pieces! 

Concept 1



CONCEPT 2

I would love to hear what you think.  What are your favorite pieces??

To read my first post about Havenly, and the process, CLICK HERE

To have Havenly design your rooms too, Click Here!


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My Toddler Had His First Swim Lesson! And I Learned A Big Lesson Too...

Last week, a friend called to let me know the place where her son has swim lessons was having a special day where he could bring a friend to join him, and wanted to see if I would be interested in letting Ollie join.

Free swim lesson? Yes, please!

I've heard horror stories of toddler meltdowns at the first lesson.  Heck yeah, I want a free test run..


On the morning of the lesson, I showed Ollie toddlers taking swim lessons on YouTube, then spent the rest of the morning talking it up big time. I made it sound like he was going to the party of the century, and he was gonna LOVE it.

It worked! Because he did LOVE it.

Well, he didn't love it at first. At first he thought it was some big scary business...

I walked him over to the side of the pool to where his teacher was already in the water sitting on the steps with his friend. She said it was best if I just handed him over to her, so she could walk him around inside the pool to get acclimated. Even though this was my first toddler rodeo at the pool, this was not hers, so even though he was apprehensive and clinging to me, I handed him over... He was not pleased.
OK. He Was Pissed. 
I told myself before we went that if he got hysterical, I wasn't going to push him. No way was I going to traumatize him on his first trip to a "real" pool. Even though he was upset and crying when I handed him over, it was about a 4 on the scale of 1-10, with a 10 being traumatizing screaming. His teacher carried him over to a basket of toys and gave him a little turtle to squeeze and play with. Thankfully, he stopped crying and calmed down within a couple of seconds of the turtle being handed over. Tear-free, he let his teacher carry him all over the pool, and then back to me at the steps. I nearly passed out when she sat him down on the step and told him to stay there seated, and HE DID! I was sure the second his teacher let him go he would climb out of the pool, and run to the safety of my arms.

Not even.

He was really enjoying himself! 
She came back to him with a little swimming contraption he could lay on to stay floating, but also kick freely. Sure enough, he climbed right on and was off kicking away.

I was so proud of my big brave boy.
Over the next half hour she alternated between Ollie, his friend and another little boy. The teacher was wonderful, and even though all three boys were at different levels with swimming, she was able to work with each one and keep the other two interested. The lesson was a HUGE success.  We are definitely going back. In fact, Ollie was ready to get back in the pool after the lesson was over, and has not stopped asking to go back since leaving.

I think learning to swim is such an important life lesson. Swimming is not only a fun thing to know how to do, it could save his life. I had every intention of getting him lessons next spring, but after seeing how much he loved it, I'm going to start him in lessons now. Plus, it will give us something fun to do to get our minds off of being stuck inside during the long cold winter months.

I'm so happy we went, and so proud of Ollie. My little brave fish...

In other related news... Ollie was not the only person who learned a lesson, I did too. You see how grainy and crappy those pictures are? It's because I have come to depend on my camera phone for capturing moments, when really, it doesn't capture them so well. This camera fail has made me realize that moving forward, I will bring a REAL camera to all of Ollie's big firsts and events.  Because these are big moments that I need to captured and saved forever, not just let them get lost in the shuffle of 4000 iPhone photos.



I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend... 
it's the last of the summer of 2014! 







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Aug 28, 2014

TinyHands Raccoon Treehouse #AppTasticThursday #Review

Some days, I am not sure what I would do without Ollie’s tablet and my iPhone. Thanks to both of them, I can get 10 minutes of peace and quiet in the morning and afternoon. The best part is that I think handing over his tablet, is much more educational than sitting him in front of the TV.  The apps he plays are fun, educational, and free of the nonsense TV can fill his brain with.  

The only problem with apps is the in-app purchases. That’s when things get tricky, and we all know the only way around that is to pay for the app. The question then becomes, which apps? Which ones will give us the most bang for our buck?  Let’s face it; our kids could rack up a million dollars in App purchases if we let them download whatever they want. So, when I was introduced to TinyHands, Raccoon Treehouse, an iPad App with multiple levels and layers of educational games, I couldn't resist checking it out!

The game consists of 12 beautiful rooms each focused on developing a set of basic concepts such as size, colors, numbers and patterns using everyday objects from the child's world such as clothes, food and many more.

The game is designed to enhance the following skills: 
- Sorting and classifying 
- Hand-eye coordination 
- Concentration 
- Visual perception 
- Vocabulary 
I am constantly looking for educational apps for toddlers, but it’s really difficult when you are dealing with someone who’s attention span is about 10-seconds.  I think this attention span is the reason apps are such a hit with toddlers. They are bright, fun, interactive and easy to follow.  Raccoon Treehouse takes all of those things, then adds in multiple educational games that toddlers can easily learn to play, using things toddlers’ love. 

We all now how my boy is with trucks…he also loves puzzles and putting things together. Something offered in a really fun way in this app!



Another great aspect of TinyHands Raccoon Treehouse is that each game has a couple of learning activities to it. So it’s not just counting or colors or shapes, it’s counting and shapes, or counting and matching. 

I love this. This one game alone has so much going on, but is so incredibly simple for my toddler to learn and play. Absolutely fantastic! 

TinyHands has made numerous educational apps for toddlers and children, and clearly knows what they are doing. 

The 12 boards were carefully chosen in order to represent basic elements from the child's world. 

Bathroom: Match polycubes by SHAPE. 
Dressing room: Match geometric SHAPES to dress the raccoon.
Living room: Place each everyday object in its LOGICAL place.
Watering Can: Classify geometric SHAPES. 
Playroom: Assemble toys by placing missing parts in their LOGICAL place.
Backyard: Sort fruits by COLOR.
Kitchen: Classify food and kitchen appliances by their purpose.
Dining room: Sort the raccoon’s dinner by matching SIZE and NUMBER.
Vegetable garden: Match fruits and vegetables by MEMORY.
Laundry room: Pair clothing items by SILHOUETTES.
Tent: Match geometric shapes by SHAPE and PATTERN.
Garage: Order different tools by SIZE.

Heard enough and want to get your toddler's hands on this app?  There are two versions for iPad, a free version, that of course has limited play and in-app purchases, or you can spring for the $3.99 and get the full app with no ads or pop-ups! 


To download either version now, CLICK HERE! 
 Look for this guy in the app store! 


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Aug 27, 2014

10 Things Working Moms and Stay-At-Home Moms Have In Common...

The other day while talking with a friend about the ridiculousness of the so-called "Mommy Wars", I realized that regardless of whether a mom is working out of the home or in the home, they are both essentially spending their day doing the same things.

For today's Top 10 Tuesday, I thought I would share some of my realizations, or really, proof that the mommy wars are a joke... 10 Ways Working Moms and Stay-At-Home Moms Have The Exact Same Day:

1. Mornings SUCK. Every morning, every mom is up way too early hoping to have enough time to make breakfasts, pack lunches and get everyone dressed and started on their day... Then spend whatever time is left trying to make ourselves look fabulous presentable.



2. We wipe asses all day. Whether it's a kid or a boss, someone needs their ass wiped.

3. We clean up messes all day... that we didn't make. Whether it's a kid or a coworker, someone is making a big mess we will inevitably clean up.

4. We can't get a thing done. Whether it's a kid or coworkers/clients, someone is doing their best to keep us from accomplishing one thing.

5. Lunch is an afterthought. Whether you are at home or the office, lunch constitutes wolfing something down so fast you barely taste it.

6. We entertain children and their silly ideas. ALL DAY. Whether it's your kid(s) or your coworker/clients throwing ridiculous ideas and dumbassery at you, it's happening to all of us. All day long.

7. At 5:00pm the work day is FAR from over. To a mom, 5:00pm means it's time to shift into night-mom mode; Make dinner, baths, bedtime, prepare for the next day.

8. Bedtime is the best time. The minute the kid(s) are asleep, all moms do the happy dance.

9. We spend the evening doing all kinds of things we don't want to.  Even though we all just want to sit down and relax, we can't until the dishes are done, the laundry is switched over, the clothes are laid out, and the next day is prepped for.

10. We crawl into bed EXHAUSTED! With all the ass wiping, mess cleaning, constant interruptions, poor nutrition and caring for our family's every need, how could we not crawl into bed EXHAUSTED?



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Swiffering Into The Hearts Of Family And Friends... #SwifferEffect #BigGreenBox



When we recently moved from our wall-to-wall carpeted condo, into our wall-to-wall hardwood floor house, I was so excited to NEVER vacuum again. I was so sure hardwood floors would be easier to clean and maintain. I was right about the easier to clean, but the maintain part was a little more than I bargained for. First of all, floors in general when a toddler is running wild, are bound to stay dirty.  And hardwood floors show that. From muddy foot prints, to tracked in grass, to crayons that miss the paper and hit the floor... I was noticing everything! I found myself sweeping and moping regularly.  Which, is not only annoying, but regular mopping is not great for the floors.

Then... a ray of glorious light shined upon my door, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, The Swiffer Big Green Box appeared... and my world changed...

<Insert singing angels>

You know that hysterical commercial with the old lady Swiffering yelling, "Look at this, Morty!"  That was me.  I couldn't believe I had a Big Green Box at my doorstep! Prayers answered... I swiffered everything... including FTD and his computer...

Contents Of the Big Green Box:
Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit
Swiffer Wet Mop Refills
Swiffer Dry Mop Refills
Swiffer Duster Starter Kit
Swiffer Duster refills

The box was packed full of everything I needed to clean my house in 2.4 minutes! And what's more... It's such an easy system to use, even a toddler can use it!  Oh Ollie...


It turns out, my new house is a dust and dirt bowl on hot summer days, so when it's time to clean, I let Ollie pick: Dusting or Sweeping? With the Swiffer Sweeper Dry Mop pads he can run all over the house pushing the Swiffer Sweeper and picking up the dust and dirt in his path. It's pretty amazing how the "Adhesive Dust Lock" system works. It sucks everything up like a sponge, and doesn''t let go!

If you own a house with Hardwood floors... BUY THE SWEEPER!


The Swiffer Wet Mop is a Game Changer on rainy days when muddy foot prints get tracked in, or worse, when Ollie "helps me" in the kitchen. Which really amounts to, everything being spilled and dripping onto the floor.  Rather than break my back on my hands and knees, I just grab a wet mop pad, attach it to my Swiffer Sweeper and in seconds the floor is mopped and clean! What's more, in a few more seconds the floor is DRY!  No corralling a toddler for 5 minutes while the floor dries. 

LOVE SWIFFER!!!

So, get this... as if the Swiffer Big Green Box Being dropped at my door was not enough... I was given a SECOND one to pass on to a friend in need... And did I ever know the friend...

Ollie's Best friend in the whole wide world lives directly across the street. Every week, we go over for a playdate or two, and in the process, Ollie and his best friend WRECK the house. If it's not cereal being spilled on the floors, it's markers or crayons on the floor... and well, everything in between!  So Ollie and I decided after the last time he went over and spilled his cereal all over the floor, it was time to fix the wrong... With a Swiffer Big Green Box...

Off Ollie and I went across the street, to win back the love and affection of his best friend's mom...


...In he went to get his mommy...


And we all lived happily Swiffering ever after...


Want some more Swiffer Laughs? Check out this funny video of how Eric Stonestreet keeps it clean when his mom comes to visit...




I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Aug 26, 2014

I Feel Like I Start Every Sentence With... No, Honey, We Don't...

Somedays, I feel like I start every sentence with, "No, Honey/Ollie, we don't..." And then finish with whatever dumbassery the toddler is up to. You know...

No, Ollie, we don't...
  • Color on the walls.
  • Terrorize the cat.
  • Go outside without clothes/diaper/shoes on.
  • Jump on the bed/furniture/mommy's bladder/daddy's head when he is sleeping.
  • Throw our toys.
  • Announce every time we fart/"take a dump". (FTD is responsible for this one.)
  • Eat cupcakes/cookies/ice cream for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
  • Climb up the drawers to get on the kitchen counters.

You get the picture...

So what is this, "We" business anyway!  It's not like I'm the one announcing farts!

I've decided that I say, No, honey we don't, because "No" alone is pointless.  Every parent of a toddler knows to a toddler, the word,"no" alone with no further explanation means, HELL YES, DO THAT SHIT!!!  So needless to say, I'll say any phrase necessary to get my toddler to listen and stop doing "that shit!" 

I'm convinced this "We don't..." business somehow makes more sense to him. Like our pack doesn't do that, so you shouldn't either, and then magically he gets it. I also realize most times he is only listening because I am either holding him back, dressing him or taking something away simultaneously to drive home the, "We don't..." 

What's really got me on this topic is the way I say it to him. It comes out in this pitiful tone that sound more like, "Oh you poor boy, that's dumbassery?" Where as, when he is super naughty he gets the full angry tone of, NO! You don't do that because it is dumbassery and you know it! 

So after WAY too much thought on this, I realized I say the two depending on wether or not I want to be grouped into the dumbassery...

For example:

If Ollie announces his fart, he gets..

NO, Ollie, we don't announce our farts... 

If ollie farts on the neighbor's dog, he gets 

OLLIE! NO! That's naughty! You don't fart on the neighbors dog!

(Yes, it's happened-- he laughed so hard he farted again, then everyone laughed, and well, thanks to the hysterical laughter by all, he tried every time he saw that little dog until the day we moved. Yes, that's a whole other post...)

So you see...  the moral of the story... actually, I don't know. Other than, raising a toddler is funny and annoying at the same time, and I say the most ridiculous shit out loud on a daily basis.  

**Ok, now it's your turn, I want to hear your latest, "No, honey, we don't..." I know you have one... every parent does!
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Are You In The Knowzz? #AppReview #AmazonGiveaway

Do you ever find yourself in need of a plumber ASAP or desperate for a last minute babysitter, but have no idea who to call, or trust? Well, there's an App for that! With Knowzz, you can find a plumber and babysitter that come HIGHLY recommend by your friends, colleges and neighbors, in seconds! Are you in the Knowzz?


 Knowzz, is an app available on iOS and android, that uses the contacts in your phone in conjunction with your Facebook contacts to put together a comprehensive list of trusted people in your community...

Once you download the app, you are asked to answer a couple of demographic questions, then you are on your way to being in the Knowzz!

With Knowzz you can... 
See who is the top recommended plumber by your community.


Forgot who your friend said was the greatest pediatrician in town?
Now you always Knowzz...


Want to Share your recommendations with friends?
Now you can in seconds...



 Never stress who to call again, because once you Knowzz... you always Knowzz!

To entice you into trying out Knowzz, the creators are giving away FOUR $25 Amazon gift cards!  Download and sign up below!


 To just download now (and still be automatically entered to win) CLICK HERE!

Entry-Form

* I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.
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Aug 25, 2014

KidCash: A BRILLIANT Way To Teach Kids Moral And Financial Responsibility! #ParentingGameChanger

* I was provided with a KidCash kit for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. As if!


When the genius mother behind KidCash reached out to me to conduct a review, I took one look at the product and said, I'm in! Any chance you have HusbandCash too?  

You all, I just absolutely LOVE this product, and all it can do for a family as a whole.  




"KidCashTM provides children with a smaller version of the real world, complete with currencies, tickets and bonuses that their parents define and control. It engages children in the kinds of productive and responsible behaviors today that allow them to effectively manage their lives tomorrow."  -KidCash Crew



The main concept behind KidCash is not only to teach a child about the value of money, but to also teach an understanding of how hard work, kindness and good behavior attribute to a better life...


Please take a moment check out this video explaining how to use KidCash. 


              



First of all, I LOVE Lisa. She is clearly an amazing mother, runs her household like a queen, and no doubt has two beautiful children on their way to an amazing future.


 I WANT THAT TOO!!!!

Here are the tools that come in your KidCash Kit...



  • Kid Cash Dollars
  • Detailed instruction booklet with tips for success
  • Worksheets for goal planning
  • Bank Books
  • Booklet of Violation tickets
  • Booklet of Bonus Bounty 
  • Allowance schedule planner








I think this is absolutely brilliant!
You can sit down as a family and talk about the things your child(ren) want, need and look forward to doing. 


I love both concepts. Violation tickets are a great way to curb difficult talks until everyone is ready to calmly discuss the issue, and Bonus Bounty allows you to reward your child for going above and beyond!
The entire kit works together to help your child with all aspects of his/her life, and gain a better understanding of how the real world works! Brilliant.



I love EVERYTHING about KidCash. I can't wait to start using this with Ollie and FTD. That's right, the husband needs this too.  
So get this, while, Lisa-the creator of KidCash, would certainly LOVE to sell a million and one copies of KidCash, more than anything she wants parents to realize just how amazing the tool is, so she is offering FREE downloads of the kit. Yes, totally free!  How amazing is that?  The download is in Black and white to save ink, but it still does the trick. She told me that the system did so much to help her household, that as a mother, she wants to help as many families as possible realize the greatness of the system too.  

"We built KidCash to help your little ones understand not only the importance, but the value in taking responsibility for their actions by setting up manageable goals, rewards and dealing with consequences that they can actually learn from. 
Happy Parenting."

-Lisa



For those of you who want to buy the complete kit, in color and with all the pages, coupons, cash, booklets, activity sheets and detailed instructions with tips for success, Through October 1, 2014 you can save 15% using the coupon code: 1sttimemomdad at checkout!

To download your free kit now, CLICK here!

To buy the entire kit in living color and all it's awesomeness at 15% off (Code:1sttimemomdad)CLICK here!





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Someone Get Me A Hot Glue Gun. I'm Totally Ready! #DIY

As some of you know, my friends insist when it comes to me and crafts, "DIY" stands for, Dumbassery Imminent You... poor thing. I want so bad to be crafty. I would love to have the ability to walk into a craft store and see the possibilities in the rows of fabrics, yarns and crafty things, or go to garage sales and find treasure in old furniture.

In an effort to change my craft-fail fate, I spent the weekend DIY-ing this thing I found in my shed left by the former owners of the house. I call it a thing, because I have no idea what it's called.  When explaining it to friends and neighbors I call it an..."Iron screen folding three panel thing..."  See, I told you I'm helpless, I can't even name the thing I am trying to fancy-up! So anyways, here is what I'm talking about...



Cute, right?  I will say this, I knew what I wanted to do with it the minute I saw it, so maybe I am not as DIY- hopeless as I thought...

Get this, the former owner had it in the GARDEN! It was so super dirty when I pulled it out of the shed...



First, I washed all kinds of dead vines, dirt and bird crap off of it. I guess she was trying to get something to climb through it.

To bring my vision to life, all I needed to do was spray paint it black. The only obstacle was the yellow gem like things. How do I spray paint it, and not them, AND not spend hours taping them?  My friends, the light bulb went off, and genius came through... teacher stickers...
You know who was more than happy to help!


Once the stickers were in place I sprayed the hell out of the screen.  Two and a half cans of spray paint later, my masterpiece was STUNNING!!!  I DID IT!!!

My sticker idea worked! 

Are you ready to see what this was all about???  



LOVE IT!!!


Isn't it beautiful?!  I am so freaking proud. I did it.  I had a vision, that actually worked out. 

HOLY CRAAAAAP!!!!!!!  


You all, I am hooked!  I want to DIY and paint EVERYTHING!  I also need a hot glue gun, because I hear that's when DIY gets really fun.  

Are you DIY hopeless?  Come along and learn with me, I am going to try to do a project or two every month!


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Aug 24, 2014

Sunday Book Review: It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of...

Author, Susan L. Zirilli, provided me with an electronic copy of her book, It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of... for review. All options are my own.




"Worthiness is a treasure. Open the door to your own treasure hunt filled with priceless riches called serenity, balance, fairness, abundance, and authenticity. A call-to-attention on feeling and acting upon your own intrinsic worth, this book will encourage you to lead a life of greater self-importance and allow your dreams to actualize, take root and BLOOM!" 
-Susan L. Zirilli

Before I had my son, I had a great sense of worthiness, maybe too much. I had nothing but time to indulge in my worthiness of anything and everything. I was a young professional with plenty of money and time outside of work to indulge in the things I wanted, when I wanted. Then, I became a first-time confused and overwhelmed mother. I was too busy to even think about my worthiness of the things I needed and wanted.  You know, worthiness of...

A hot shower
Hot meal
Spit up free clothes
An hour a day to myself
Five hours of solid sleep
Lunch with the ladies...

Within about six-months of losing all touch with my worthiness, I was miserable. Unfulfilled. I was 100% mom and milk factory. I was crazed.

It wasn't until my husband, tired of seeing me drained, miserable and well, bitchy, told me I needed to "Get out of the house for a few hours. Go shopping or something," did I realize that I was really in need of a change of focus.  I needed to stop trying to be a full-time 24/7 super mom.  I needed to find a better balance in my life between Motherhood and Me.

Over the last near two-years I have been working to regain my sense of balance. My sense of worthiness of...

A hot shower
Hot meal
An hour a day to myself
five hours of solid sleep
Lunch with the ladies...

In finding this sense if worthiness to take time for me, I became a better mother and wife.  I was happier and more relaxed. I was worthy of more than just motherhood, I was worthy of me and my time.

This is the message Susan L. Zirilli stresses in her amazing book. Not only are we all worthy of..., we need to act on it.  

An excerpt from, It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of...


These words are words we should read and believe everyday. We all are worthy of whatever it is that we need... 


The book continues, not with a long drawn out story or long winded cycle of this is how you achieve your life worth, like so many self help books do, but instead, is filled full of phrases of things you are worthy of.  Things like:

It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of... 

  • Of saying NO to ridiculous favors asked of you
  • Of asking for necessary favors.
  • Of Praying, Meditating and being present in your own life
  • Of crying because it makes you feel better.
  • Of being guilt-free of the things you really should not have to feel guilty about. (MOMS! This one is totally for us.)
  • Of removing the toxic energy in your life.
  • Of finally giving up on someone else so you can rescue yourself.
  • Of using two expensive tea bags in one cup of tea.
  • Of investing Time Energy and money on your own needs.
Ok, I could go on and on! The phrases are so amazing, and so many are relevant in my life. I now find myself from time-to-time opening the book to revisit some of my favorite phrases. I do this over coffee in the morning while Ollie is having breakfast. Reminding myself to take time for me, and that, today, I am worthy of... my happiness, time and treasures.


It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of..., is a fun fast read that you will surely revisit many times for strength, reassurance and a reminder to take care of yourself because you are worthy of it...


To get your copy of, It's Never To Late To Be Worthy Of..., CLICK HERE! 


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Aug 22, 2014

Easy Killer, He's Two...

My kid is full of energy, a HUGE risk taker, loves to climb high, go fast on the swing or his tricycle, talks back, digs his heels in, runs 10-feet ahead of me, is happy to be dirty, lives to give me mini heart attacks... loves to cuddle, laugh, be tickled, play catch, is kind and generous...



Parenting for me is CONSTANT trial and error.  My kid is awesome more than not. Yes, he is full-on 90% of the time, but he is two and fabulous. Somedays, my back aches from bending down to say, NO! We don't... a thousand times. And thankfully, somedays my arms hurt from all of the cuddles. It's give and take.

Truthfully, I absolutely love that my kid is full of energy. Of course, because of this energy, I have plenty of moments where I have to stay on him and be a mean mom, which sucks. But he is two, that's just how it is. For me.

Sometimes, telling Ollie, No!, and redirecting him (five times!) doesn't work. Sometimes, I have raise my voice to get the point across, or really just to get his attention. Sometimes, he goes to timeout, and yes, sometimes he gets a swat on the hand. He's a toddler, shit gets crazy from time-to-time.

My least favorite crazy time is when we are in the store and he is out of control. When people look down at us, I just want to say, Look at me, I am doing the best I can. Easy killer, he's two! This is not easy, and your shitty stare and head shaking are making it worse for ME! So bugger off! 

What I also want to say is, what you are not seeing right now is that my son is so incredibly smart, talented, athletic, kind, generous, shares his toys and cookies, loves to give hugs, and really is just as sweet as he can be. I am so incredibly proud of this. Some of his traits he was born with, some are from my stellar parenting skills. All are what make my son the dynamic little toddler that he is.

Parents of toddlers, this shit is not easy! So next time you see a parent in the store with a wild child, walk by and say, I totally get it! You are doing a great job.  The one thing that will make this phase easier is if we encourage each other, judge less and most of all, know that we are truly doing the best we can and this too shall pass... to adolescents where I hear things really get interesting... 


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Aug 21, 2014

24/7 Toddler-ing Madness

As most of you know, I have Ollie in a "Mother's Day Out" program twice a week on Monday's and Wednesdays. He goes from 9-1 and it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!!  Well, what you all don't know, because it's so hard for me to talk about is... The program shuts down for three weeks in August to completely clean the place, train teachers and prepare for the year. My friends, Ollie has been home, with me, since August 1st. He goes back August 25, or next Monday.

I
I'm not sure if I will make it...

Over the last three weeks of 24/7 toddler-ing I have learned few things:

1. Those two days a week, make such a difference for me. I can get things done, take a breath, call a friend, have lunch, do what I want without a crazy kid in the middle.   I have NO IDEA how full-time stay-at-home-moms of one and especially multiples do it.  If NEED my time. (I cannot recommend a Parents Day Out program enough!  We go to the church a couple of blocks away and LOVE IT!  Call the closest church, and schedule a visit.)

2. My kid is full throttle 24/7 and learning and growing everyday, right before my eyes. Some things are awesome, some are annoying...

Being that we have been together 24/7 I am noticing all of his changes, manners and that, without fail, if I say NO or don't do that, he gets gitty with excitement and does it... and that's not where the fun ends...


Lately, he is a talking machine. If he's not talking, he is singing. His vocabulary is fantastic, and for most everything he can communicate what he wants/ needs. But here is the kicker... He sounds Australian. Yes, FTD has managed to pull it off. For example, Ollie says, "Caaaaaa" instead of "car". I drew the line when I caught FTD teaching Ollie that "Z" is really "Zed."

Potty training is on his terms.  Some days, he is all about it. Others, not so much. I always ask, but don't pressure him. I was hoping to be out of diapers by now, but I'm thinking a couple more months, then push for it.

Toddler Tantrums are regular occurrences and from hell. Ugh. Just about anything will set him off. The level of freak out usually depends on how tired he is. Tired=Armageddon

Some of my other observations are...
  • He is obsessed with cars, car washes, trucks, butts, and getting in trouble.
  • He thinks he is the boss.
  • He announces what he is doing and thinking and needs. There are no boundaries or filters to what he will say.
  • He is constantly in the refrigerator and freezer looking for snacks. SUCKS!
  • He is doing this baby talk thing lately. SO ANNOYING!
  • He can sing all of the ad jingles on YouTube because I am a stellar parent. (Think: Wayfarer)
  • He still loves Mickey Mouse clubhouse. but will not watch more than 5 solid minutes of TV before running off to find a toy or trouble.
  • He loves to ride his tricycle... halfway on our walk then have me hold him and the tricycle the other half.
  • He is still a picky eater, but I'm thankful that I can get him to eat most any fruits, and a few veggies.
  • He loves to cuddle again. Which is awesome! 
  • He sucks at staying in his bed all night. SUCKS!
  • It's dance party all day everyday. Sometimes he doesn't even need a beat. He just sings and dances.
  • He has WAY too many toys, but somehow manages to play with each one daily.  I think it has something to do with the 10-second toddler attention span.  He can get through a toy box in 5-minutes.
  • He can run fast, climb high and jump on and off of everything. The kid is a heart attack to take to a jungle gym. 
  • He naps at noon and goes to sleep at 8:30... in a perfect world. It's more like give or take and hour... of me begging him to go to sleep!
  • He LOVES to color and make things. We have arts and crafts every day.
  • The kid is an absolutely adorable go-go-go independent brilliant pain-in-the-ass, and I could not be more thankful and blessed for this time I have with my bad ass toddler.






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Aug 19, 2014

BB Blocks: A Super Cute Way To Document Your Child's Milestones... #Giveaway

I received a set of BB Blocks to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own.

Something I have always regreted is not getting professional photos taken of Ollie when he was a newborn. I love those photos, and hate that I don't have my own. I know. Horrible right?  Still, it's not like I haven't personally taken four zillion photos of him since the day he was born. Still, none are great posed milestone shots. My neighbor just took her son to have his "3-year photos taken." The way she told me it sounded like, thats a normal thing for parents to do. Like, go get his 3-year flu shot. I just nodded, like, Oh yeah, the 3-year photos... 

Should I be having regular milestone photos? I download the photos I've taken of him regularly, but... well... I have only printed out a few. Is there something wrong with me? Should I be documenting with regular photo shoots?  Because, if so, crap!  I don;'t have the time or money for all of that.  But thankfully, now that I have these super cute BB BLOCKS, I can fake it tip I make it. Check this out...


Tell me that is not the face of a two year old devising his next round of mischievous toddler terrorizing! So cute.

The blocks are great to have around for playdates and sibling group shots and relatives. I've learned to leave the BB Blocks out so they are quickly accessible for a playdate photo bomb.

Each set comes with one larger block with "Weeks"- "Months- "Years"  and the two small blocks are numbered 0-9.

There are three different color schemes to chose from: Cotton Candy, Woodlands and Bold.  I have Bold.




If you want to document the whole family and need more than two blocks, you can also buy extra blocks separately. 



Want to get your hands on BB Blocks right now?  Good news, you can find them at a store near you!  To find a retail location for BB Blocks, or to order online, CLICK HERE.


Want to try your luck at winning a set?  Sign up below!




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