4/23/18

10 Tips For Hosting A Child's Birthday In Your Home

Hosting a child's birthday in your home may seem like an easy and relatively inexpensive undertaking. Think again. Shit can get crazy fast. I've learned this the hard way, a few times. Below are 10 Tips For Hosting A Child's Birthday In Your Home 


1. Make a birthday party food room. If you are going to host a child's party at your house, start with prepping your house for maximum destruction. Most of all,  Strive to keep ALL FOOD in one area, and prep the hell out of that area. Seriously, cover the floor if possible. Think, Dexter Kill Room. You might think I am kidding... I am not! Cookies, cake, and chips crumble EVERYWHERE!
2. Only invite enough kids to fill a police line-up.  Actually, maybe only half of a line-up.  There is NO reason to invite the whole freaking neighborhood and class! Especially because many parents will drop their child and run like hell. TIP: Think about how many kids you think you can manage, then invite HALF that number. 

3. Hide the good toys.  There is no, "You break, you buy," at a child's birthday party.  It's more like, "Leave out, you cry." 'Nuff said. 

4. Have a clear idea of activities.  A three-hour free-for-all will not go over very well on your sanity. Plan activities like party games, arts, and crafts, make the hubs dress up as a clown, learn how to make balloon animals... 


5. Serve Sugar-Free Food. You are dealing with kids. Sugar is BAD! BAD! BAD! Fruits and veggies are GOOD! GOOD! GOOD! Think: Gremlins



6. Give out cups with lids. Go to the 'everything is a dollar' store and spring for a few cups with lids and straws.  Then write a kid's name on it and maybe even throw a sticker or two on it for some fancy fun. DO NOT screw this up, these cups will be GOLD!  

7. Have a separate cake for the birthday boy/girl. OK, Maybe this is just my kid... so if you are a gambler then go ahead and skip this lesson, but before you go, allow me to tell you a little story...

Picture it: The lights are low.  The excitement in the room is bubbling over.  The cameras are ready to go off in a seconds notice.  Mommy (me) turns the corner with a cake lit up like a Christmas tree.  Haaappppyyy Birthday Tooo Youuu... (Fast Forward) YAY!  Blow out the candles... Candles are out.  Before I can even make a move, this happens...

So, let me ask you this again...
Are you a gambler?


8. DO NOT OVER DO IT. My biggest regret from Ollie's birthday party was not slowing down to actually enjoy the party. I was so concerned with keeping things in order, food on the table, the cake and cookies off the floor, and staying on track...  FAIL!  


Take time to stop and look around. To watch your child having a blast on his day.  To stand by your partner in parenting crime and say happy birthday to each other.  This day is for you too, don't waste it sweating and stressing!

9. Throw the party away. love the dollar store when it comes to throwing parties...AWAY! While you are there buying cups with lids and straws, for ten bucks you can buy all you need to decorate like a Boss too! Including, TWO massive cheap plastic tablecloths.  Get one for the table and one to cover the floor underneath it.  Then buy as much paper and plastic crap bowls and serving trays as possible, so when the party is over all you have to do is remove the things you do not want to throw away from the table, then take each corner, tie them together and drag that shit to the garbage!  Then, sweep all the crap onto the tablecloth underneath the table, then throw it away!  This made clean up a Breeze.   Do. This. 

10Save your pennies in a jar labeledBIRTHDAY, so next year you can pay someone to host the party. Now, I totally get why people pay the big bucks to host their child's birthday party at a venue. After you spend the money on decorations, food and post party therapy, you might as well just pay someone! You get in and out, no lingering friends or family to throw out of your house, no carpet cleaner to pay for getting cake, chocolate milk, and gummy bears out of the carpet, no toys to stash and then get back out... Yes, we will definitely be saving our pennies for next year!




4/20/18

16 Ways Celebrate Earth Day Every Day. #EarthDay2018

Happy Earth Day 2018!  


I've always been fairly conscious about the state of the planet, however, now that I have a child, I REALLY try to incorporate green living in everything; from eating, to cleaning, to limiting waste and overall consumption. It's imperative that I do all I can to reduce our carbon footprint. 


Below are a few tips I think are easy and eye openers to not only what we can do, but how easy it is to live green! Without further ado, 16 Ways Celebrate Earth Day Every Day.




1. Avoid the “vampire effect.” Even when not turned on, an electronic appliance that is plugged into a power source still draws energy. The Department of Energy estimates that America wastes 5% of electricity on the vampire effect. Unplug all unnecessary appliances, or consider using devices like Belkin's Conserve Energy-Saving Products that automatically eliminate the vampire effect.

2. Shower smarter. The average shower head spits out 2.5 gallons of water per minute. That means that a person who takes a 10-minute shower every morning uses over 9,000 gallons of water a year. Cut back by installing a shower head that is EPA approved. Look for the Water Sense seal of approval. Products like Evolve’s Roadrunner shower head, which flows at only 1.5 gallons per minute and conserves hot water until you are actually ready to shower.



3. ONLY run your dishwasher when it’s full and STOP prewashing. Most modern dishwashers don't need you to rinse the plates before putting them in. "That just wastes water.”

4. When away, drop the shades. Sun streaming through windows heats up space and makes an air conditioner work harder. During the day, especially when you are away, drop the shades!

5. STOP E-Waste. Did you know, when electronics are exposed to high heat they release toxic chemicals into the air, water and ground? This happens everyday in landfills. Before throwing electronics away, try selling old electronics on websites like Gazelle.com or disposing of them at proper locations around your city.



6. Shop Sustainable- By now you have heard of the trend to move to use Bamboo as a substitute whenever possible for wood. Also consider Natural home products like, stainless Steel which minimizes emissions by increasing its reuse and recyclability levels; Organic Cotton supports biodiversity and healthy ecosystems; Recycled Glass, simple, just reuse, reduce and recycle; and Cork promotes economic and social development in areas prone to desertification.




7. Recycle Old Clothes- If you’ve got something worn, torn or hopelessly out of style – don’t throw it away or let it pile up in the back of your closet. Bring it to your nearest H&M and help decrease the amount of fashion being wasted. Seriously, they will take bags of ripped, torn and stained clothes! For each bag of clothes or home textiles you hand in, you will receive a voucher with a discount for your next purchase. 

 There are three ways H&M repurposes unwanted garments:

  • Rewear – clothing that can be worn again will be sold as second hand clothes
  • Reuse – old clothes and textiles will be turned into other products, such as cleaning cloths
  • Recycle – everything else is turned into textile fibres, or other use such as insulation.
8. Fill the freezer: Don’t let your freezer run half-empty. It’s more expensive to run it while empty. TIP: Fill an old milk container with water if necessary to keep the freezer "full". That will make your machine a little more efficient. While you’re at it, clean the coils behind the appliance for even more of an efficiency boost.

9. Meat-free Mondays: Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide. Not only that, an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into making a single pound of beef.


10. Bulb swap: According to the EPA, if every American home replaced just one conventional light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes a year. 





11. Wash clothes in cold water and use the fastest spin speed available - Today's clothes washers and detergents are designed to effectively clean clothes in cold water. So skip the hot water waste. TIP: If you have a front-loading washer, select the highest spin speed, which will remove more of the moisture from your clothes, so your dryer won't have to work as hard! 

12. Upgrade the aerators on your kitchen and bathroom sinks - If you have an older faucet, install a new water efficient aerator for under $5 and you can cut its water use by up to 40 percent. Simply unscrew the current one on the tip of your faucet and replace it with one that uses no more than 1.8 gallons per minute for the kitchen faucet and 1.2 gallons per minute for the one on your bathroom sink. You probably won't notice the difference but your water bill will. Check with your local water agency as some provide efficient aerators free or at low cost.


It's really as simple as unscrewing the old aerator, and then screwing the new one back on!
13. Turn off your furnace when the cold weather ends - Like many other modern appliances, furnaces use electricity even when they're not operating. According to a Home Energy article, many furnaces draw 8 to 12 watts of standby power 24/7 when not in use. To eliminate this waste during the six or more months when you don't need heat, switch off the power to the furnace.

14. Donate Dollars To The Game Changers- One of the easiest ways to show our planet some love is to support the organizations that are promoting change and making a difference on a large scale. Here are a few respected organizations:

The Wildlife Conservation Network
The Sierra Club
The Conservation Fund
Earthjustice
Orca Network

15. Compost!  I know composting sounds like a lot of work, and for those of you who don't even have a yard or house plant, really can't see the point, but hear me out. All you need is a composting bin, that traps odors, amongst other things, and then start throwing your scraps away. Your compost will save thousands of pounds of waste from going into landfills, and help return much-needed nutrients to the soil. Chances are, your city has a place you can take your compost if you don't need it.



16. When You Clean, Go Green If there is one thing all parents have in common it's that we clean up messes. Lots of them. Daily. So imagine if all of us were using two to three paper towels or disposable wipes for each mess... Scary to think about! That's like a forest a minute! (Ok, not really. Or maybe?) No, wait!  It gets worse...Various household cleaning agents can contain toxic chemicals like ammonia, phosphorus, alkylphenol ethoxylates and petroleum. So when you wash your clothes, do the dishes and even flush toilet bowl cleaner you may be sending these chemicals back into the water supply affecting the environment and wildlife too! 

If you have any tips to share, please add them in the comments below. Happy Earth Day 2018! 

4/9/18

10 Ways Toddlers Put The 'T' in Toddler

Here's another repost from our beloved toddler days. 
Read: (How I survived with my sanity is miracle-ish.)





While talking with a fellow mother of a toddler, I made the joke that my toddler put the T in Toddler. Then I started rattling off a whole slew of other "T" words that my toddler fits, well, to a T! 

Below are, 10 Things the "T" in Toddler stands for. (Definitions, provided by the Merriam Webster Dictionary.)

1. Terrorize: v. To cause (someone) to be extremely afraid. If it's not what my toddler might say, it's what he might do that keeps me VERY afraid!

2. Tester: n. One that tests or is Used for Testing. Nothing gets by him without his own investigation. He needs to touch, question, play with... everything must be tested! 

3. Traitor n. 1. : one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty 2: one who commits treason.  A Toddler will throw anyone under the bus.  If they are not calling out someone, they are telling their business. 

4. Talkative: a. Tending to talk a lot or to enjoy having conversations with people. HE NEVER STOPS TALKING!

5. Tameless: a. not tamed or not capable of being tamed. The child cannot be tamed. Nope. It can't be done.  

6. Tantrum: n.  an uncontrolled expression of childish anger: an angry outburst by a child or by someone who is behaving like a child. I'd say Merriam and Webster pretty much just summed it up. 

7. Tardy: a. Slow in moving, acting, or happening. For some reason when I tell my toddler it's time to go, he hears, sit down and starts playing with toys. 

8. Truthful: a. containing or expressing the truth  A toddler will tell you anything you want to know. They will even tell on themselves!  They will also tell on you, so beware.

9. Thieves: n. One that steals especially stealthily or secretly. You have seen the toddler Rules of Possession right?


10. Theatrical: a. Behaving or done in a way that is meant to attract attention and that is often not genuine or sincere.  OhMiLawd!  The theatrics! A toddler can give an Oscar-winning performance at the drop of a hat. It's pretty amazing really. A toddler can go from full tear meltdown to excited and laughing back to meltdown. On queue they can do just about anything... but go to sleep of course.











4/5/18

Potting Training? Warning, There's A Sick Twist At The End...

Below is a repost from my days of potty training. I came across it and had to reshare it for both the parents currently potty training, and for the parents, like me, that enough time has finally passed that we can look back and laugh about the hell ride Potty training rollercoaster.



I love being a parent. It's the most amazing and insane experience in the world. Of course, it didn't take long (4.3 seconds) to realize being a mother was going to be scary, incredibly hard and beyond rewarding. It also didn't take long to learn that wishing for milestones was dumbassery.

I couldn't wait for my baby to learn to crawl, so when he finally did it, I cheered and clapped... and then lost him!  In seconds, he would disappear around a corner or under a table. It turned out, crawling brought new challenges.

Then, bored with crawling, I wished for walking.  #epicfail

Walking brought on falls, bumps, and eventually running, which proved to suck. The kid can outrun me.

Talking.  OMG!  I couldn't wait to hear his voice. #Fail

Then, one day, the word 'No' Popped out causing me to immediately regret my wish for talking.

So, now, here we are at potty training...

Hell yeah, I wished for it. Surely, there could not be any downsides to being out of diapers!  #Wrong #fail

My friends, having a newly potty trained toddler is SO FREAKING GROSS!


Having a newly potty trained toddler really means:
  • If my child is lazy, slow, preoccupied or just can't-be-bothered, he will go where he stands.  
  • My toddler is OBSESSED with the bathroom and toilet. He's desperate to play in it like it's a pool. 
  • Learning to, "pee like a bog boy standing up," is the equivalent of turning a pee filled fire hose on without holding it. 
  • I have to clean the bathroom at least once a day. Needless to say, I'm now buying disinfecting wipes by the PALLET.
  •  The butt wiping doesn't stop with diapers, in fact, sometimes it's messier.  Especially when he tries to do it on his own first.
  • I spend more time in the bathroom then any other room of my house. If I'm not wiping ass I'm cleaning it up or trying to keep my toddler out of it.
  • He's obsessed with potty language and humor. The other day he sang an entire song comprised of ONLY the words Poop, pee and butt. (This also may just be a boy thing since FTD still does the same thing.)

It's ridiculous the amount of time my kid spends obsessed with hanging out in the bathroom. If he's not trying to pee in the potty, he's trying to play in it. For the past two days, I have been laughing about the sick twist potty training pulled out. I was so sure it would all be OK once he was trained.

Oh how freaking wrong I was.

So, what words of wisdom do I have for those following in my footsteps?  Start stocking up on disinfecting wipes, because those little fingers are going to manhandle the potty.



4/4/18

20 Tips For The New Moms and Dads

Being a first-time mom, I had no idea what to expect the first few months. Most of the books I read said that parenthood would be filled with happiness (Think: rainbows and unicorns.) I'm here to tell you, don't bother with those books, becuse I'm convinced the authors must have written the books in the 60’s and 70’s when LSD was still legal. I am here to tell you, if you see a unicorn or rainbow it will most likely be because you have passed out from exhaustion or stress, hit your head VERY hard and went off to play with the fairies in unicorn land.

Being first-time parents is some seriously crazy sh!T. 



Below is a little list of tips and tricks I put together to help the unsuspecting new parent survive the first few months of parenting... with most of their marbles. 

  1. Try to keep a balance between parenting and partnering-- there are three people in this, don't push or be righteous about your ways. The truth is, the only predictable thing about a newborn is how unpredictable they are. Every baby is different, what works for one does not always work for the next. Be open to each other's methods so you can find the perfect one for your child.  
  2. Bask in the glory of being at the hospital, ask questions, sleep, eat, let the nurses help you.  I cannot recommend enough letting your baby go to the nursery while you sleep and have him/her brought back for feedings.  Trust me, the hospital sleep may be the best sleep you get for a few weeks. Or months.
  3. Newborns cry primarily over three things; hungry, wet/cold, tired. Check for all three first, and your guaranteed fewer tears. 
  4. Have no fear, you have superhero instincts! Not just mom, dad has superhero-dad instincts. TRUST THEM! 
  5. The baby WILL NOT do what you want or expect, so all ideas, plans, and routines must be thrown to the wolves. Chances are, your new bundle will let you know what’s up, about a second before it is 100% necessary for you to sort it out. The sooner you can get on a routine, the better. 
  6.  ALWAYS check your newborn's diaper before a sleep. Nothing sucks more than unessasry crying over a cold diaper mid-sleep.
  7. If you are breastfeeding, you can do it, sister!  Breastfeeding is hard, and a VERY VERY VERY selfless act. But, oh so worth it.
  8. The first few weeks of around the cock feeds are gnarly, to say the least.  Breastfeeding or not, there are loads of feedings in the 24 hour period--twelve to fourteen--so solid sleep is not going to happen.  You will quickly learn that while you think you have lost your sanity, you can still function. I
  9. EVERY time you feed change the diaper.  The last thing you want is for your baby to wake up mid sleep for a wet diaper.  How pissed at yourself will you be?  
  10. Switching your baby from wanting to party all night and sleep all day is a mission! It will take a while so be patient.  Naps in sunlight during the day, and little to no stimulation after dark is all you can do, baby will sort out the "rest." lol
  11. Having a baby is VERY stressful.  Chances are this will put your relationship with your partner/ Baby’s daddy under EXTREME pressure.  I have been even nastier to my husband then my pregnancy combined.  Yes, it is true I have screamed at him and even threatened divorce.  I have/had all these ideas in my head and my husband has/had his, we were very far apart on these ideas and have butted heads many times in the last 5 weeks.  We are doing better now.  I am also sleeping better…  
  12. SLEEP, EAT, AND MAKE “ME” TIME!  That goes for both mom and dad, and more than essential for the primary caregiver.  EVERY  DAY, you must eat breakfast and lunch, shower, use deodorant and ALWAYS put on clean clothes. Also leave the hose alone once every other day at least. Even if it is to drive around the block to hear your favorite song.  You are a mommy yes, but you are still YOU so make sure you remind yourself of that regularly.
  13. If someone offers to come over and help, LET THEM,  if someone wants to bring dinner, LET THEM!  You have to learn on your support group.  Call someone to let you nap if you have to.
  14. Sleep when baby sleeps! This is a little difficult for me.  I still have things I need to do around the house when he is asleep.   BUT!  I have learned that I have to nap with him in the afternoon or I am an exhausted agitated crank by night.  I make a “To Do” list and try to accomplish as much as possible in the morning and early afternoon then sleep with him after.  Sleep is so key during this time I cannot stress it enough!
  15. I tried to pull off a routine for nighttime that included bath, feeding and rocking.  I turn the lights low, reduce the noise and cut off stimulation once I put him down.  Unfortunately only I knew I was trying for a routine, Ollie and my husband thought it was a shitty idea and refused to follow the program.  I was pissed at first, but realized my son is only weeks old, not months and to have any expectations is foolish.  I have reduced my expectations to be stoked if he eats at midnight and sleeps until close to 4am so I will only have one middle of the night feeding.  Waking up only once during my normal sleep makes such a difference. I get up with him between 7-8am feeling pretty good this way.  
  16. By the end of the first month, things start becoming a little easier, not much but a little.  It’s hard right now because both you and baby are trying to figure out what the hell is going on and what you need to do to be happy.  I’m sure every baby is different but from talking with others I think the first month is about the same for all first-timers. It’s such a process and adventure.  
  17. ONE DAY AT A TIME!  One day will be complete shit, filled with tears, confusion and a possible fight with daddy.  The next will be smooth and wonderful.  Sometimes two bad days will come in a row and then two good days.  It definitely gets better... slowly but surely. 

Before you know it these days will be long gone, so try your best to embrace every bit.  Takes lots of photos, give lots of kisses and cuddles, and have faith in yourself that you are a great parent. 

4/2/18

Too Much Comfort Food This Winter? 5 Tips To Get Clean For Spring... #MondayMotivation



I am of the school of thought that the word "DIET" is a filthy nasty word. One that is is not allowed to be used in my house. EVER!  I think diets are gimmicks that trick people into thinking that it will be the answer to their poor nutrition and weight loss prayers. NEWS FLASH: Diets are pure bullshit! What happens when they end? Because all "diets" end. All I ever learned on a diet was that they turn me into a starving raging bitchface, and even though I lost a few pound of water weight, I usually gained it back in real fatty-fat-fat pounds binge eating once the diet was over. Total. Bull. Shit.


I also think diets help to breed food obsessed people. If you spend every minute of your day starving and obsessing about food, then eventually that will completely consume you. No. Bueno! That's why this month is all about learning healthy nutrition, and preparing the meals and snacks that will make you feel full and energized for more than 30 seconds. 







Here 5 things that will get you clean for spring...

1. DRINK MORE WATER!  This it the MAIN challenge. I truly believe just drinking 8 glasses of water a day will make you loose 5 pounds this month! Along with gaining great skin and better sleep! Seriously. Those 8 glasses a day are going to change your life. Promise. I'll tell you why on Tuesday...

2. Make at least one NEW healthy meal for dinner each week.  I do this on Sundays since I have time to prep and follow the recipe. By the end of the month that will be four great meals, almost a weeks worth... who knows, maybe you will keep up the habit until that is ALL you cook for dinner!

3. Stay active. Hopefully, last month's challenge helped teach you to incorporate some sort of movement into your day, even if it was not a full blown work out. 

4. Visit a healthy lifestyle website/Facebook page/ Pinterest board/ magazine at least once a week to learn a few "who knew" facts about nutrition and exercise.  I LOVE SELF Magazine the most. (No one paid me to say that, I have had a subscription for YEARS!)  There is also Shape, Fitness, Women's Health, Men's Health and for us moms, Fit Mom Diet is a website full of inspiration from other moms sharing their stories and healthy recipes. I know a few of you out there are Gluten free, check out their recipe for Gluten free pizzas! For the kids check out the greatest website, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, HealthyChildren.org! Knowledge is POWER.



5. Think of your body as a fine tuned machine.  Everything you put in has to be good for the machine, or it will fall apart and stop working. The same goes for your family. Make healthy choices.  Carrot chips instead of Lays. Grapes instead of gummy worms. Choose a healthier cereal this month.  Clean out those pantries. I think you will be shocked to find healthy choices are cheaper than you think. You can get two bunches of bananas or a pound of grapes for the same price as a bag of name brand potato chips! 




Your mantra for the month is: If I eat like Crap, I will Feel Like Crap!  




3/30/18

6 Sanity Saving Survival Tips For New Moms

I have no doubt that every mother will agree with me when I say, during pregnancy, the only thing you get more of than stretch marks and bad gas, is parenting advice.  Between the always ready to share been-there-done-that mothers, parenting books, and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What's more, you never know what to believe since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.

Looking back, I wish I was given more advice on how to deal with becoming a mother, and less on the three million different ways to rock a baby to sleep. I needed to know about the self-doubt and the failures that came along with motherhood, or that having a baby would take a huge toll on my marriage and personal life if I let it. After talking with numerous other mothers, I realized we all struggled with the same issues; things it seemed no one bothered to warn us about in between lessons on feeding, changing and rocking our newborn to sleep.  I've put together a list of the top six things we all agree are so important for new mothers to know.  Things we wish we didn't have to learn the hard way.

Ollie and I at his 6-month well-baby checkup.


1Listen to your instincts, not Dr. Google. With so many parenting resources available, most contradicting the next, don't get caught up thinking these resources know your child better than you do.

For example: If you know your baby is hungry feed him. Who cares if it has only been two hours and the book says wait for three. Screw that! Feed your baby. There is no reason to let your baby get hysterical trying to follow the guidelines.

I cannot stress this enough, trust what your gut and heart are telling you, because 9.5 times out of 10, they are spot on right. Every minute you second-guess yourself you and your baby will suffer.  Go with your gut first. Always.


2. The decision between nursing or formula feeding should not become bigger than World War III. First of all, Breastfeeding is NOT "Plug and Chug!" Nursing is hard. Extremely hard. There is no plug in and feed feature to it. It takes time, a fair amount of discomfort and practice for both you and your baby to get the hang of it. (I mean weeks, not days) Ask for help. Find a lactation consultant. Be prepared for a possible battle that will take all of your inner strength to make it through...

Second, BREASTFEEDING MAY NOT BE FOR YOU. THAT IS OK! You, or your baby, may have a medical condition keeping you from being able to nurse. You may hate it. It may just not be right for you. This is VERY common, do not think you are a failure.

Plain and simple-You will either nurse or you will not. Regardless of what you do, your baby will be beautiful and wonderful and smart and articulate. Do what is best for you and your child. Do not let anyone make you feel otherwise. You are NOT! a failure. DO NOT LET THIS RUIN YOU!

3. Listen to your baby's cues. While babies can only communicate through body language and crying, within the first week you will begin to notice behaviors and different tones of crying that are clearly trying to tell you something.  Babies will give you cues for hunger WAY before crying, including things like REM, finger sucking and reaching with arms and legs. When you notice any or all of those cues feed your baby pronto, or the blood-curdling screaming will be next! If your baby is tired some of his cues might be pulling at his ears, yawning and or quick jerky movements. 

Pay close attention to those different cues and within a week or so you will easily be able to decipher what it is your baby is trying to tell you, and most likely before he even starts crying uncontrollably.

4. Do not get caught up trying to be the perfect mother. There is no such thing! In order to be the best mother to your baby, all you have to do is try your best.  Parenting is filled with both triumphs and failures.  Do not be hard on yourself, or get discouraged if you fail.  Just like with everything else, practice makes perfect. If you fall down, stand up, dust yourself off and try something else.

Above all, do not be afraid to ask for help!  If someone wants to bring over dinner, let them.  If someone wants to come over while you take a nap and shower, let them.  Graciously accept all the help you can get, because chances are the person offering the help has been in your shoes before and knows a little help goes a long way during those first few months.

5Don't forget to take time for your partner. It is so easy to lose sight of your relationship with your partner during those first few weeks and months of parenthood.  Between the exhaustion from the sleepless nights, the demanding feeding schedule, and your normal household or work activities, it can be hard to find quality time to spend with your partner, however, it is crucial that you MAKE time.

For example, Every single day during those first few weeks, make it a point to be affectionate, say I love you if possible eat a meal together and then during that meal try to talk about anything but your baby.

The key is not to build a new life around your baby, but to blend your baby into your existing life together.


6. Don't forget to take time for yourself. It is absolutely crucial that you take time for yourself on a daily basis. Every day you need to make it a point to take a shower, put on clean clothes, and eat at least two wholesome meals. Then aim to leave the house for no less than 10 minutes, at least every other day. Even a walk around the block does wonders. Just get away from that baby to rejuvenate, or you will crash and burn.   

From one first-time mother to another... Motherhood is a journey filled with ups and down. In the wee hours of the morning, when you have survived for days on little to no sleep and you are sure you cannot survive one more minute... you can. You will. Just keep repeating, This Too Shall Pass, until it does... Hold on tight to every moment and enjoy the ride, because it really does go by so quickly.  And don't listen to the doctors and nurses about those first smiles being gas induced, your baby is stoked to see you. ~April


Motherhood is such an amazing blessing that is so incredibly rewarding.  


3/29/18

10 Things All Toddlers Have In Common

Since I'm currently dragging my family and three hundred pounds of shit across the world, I thought I'd republish an oldy but a goody to keep the laughs alive. 

Oh the good ol' toddler-days... I was sure they were going to kill me.


Here are ten amazing facts about toddlers. Facts I wouldn't have believed unless I witnessed them myself...




1.     Toddlers are one big mess making factory. They can stand still in an empty white room and still figure out how to make a HUGE FREAKING MESS! I sometimes think my Toddler has a magnet for crap embedded in his body, so the minute he walks through a room all kinds of crap comes flying out from every corner, and lands at his feet.  Even though I watch it happen, I cannot wrap my head around the fact that something so small can completely wreck everything in 3.2 seconds! 
2.     Toddlers think everything is awesome... for five seconds. The attention span of a toddler has to rival that of a blowfly. Every single new thing my toddler comes across is bad ass.  He HAS to have it. Then five seconds later, he is on to the next awesome thing.
3.     Feeding a toddler is like feeding a monkey. A picky, drunken monkey. Between the flailing arms, the poor spoon/fork usage, the food launching and the occasional bite that actually makes it into their mouth… yeah it's monkey business. Frustrating patience-testing monkey business.

4.     Toddlers have NO use for clothing. – My kid thinks shoes, pants and socks are the dumbest damn inventions. He has no use for them. My toddler would prefer to live as a free ballin’ nudist, and that’s all there is to it.
5.     Toddlers Have NO Shame. They will stop in the middle of a large crowd to concentrate on crapping their pants. They will fart in the arms of President. (I bet at least one has done it before… this year.) They will scream bloody she-is-kidnapping-me murder the minute you pick them up to leave the park and best wishes to those that think errands will be run in a timely clam orderly fashion. They have no shame and are happy to prove it. 
6.     Toddlers are 24/7 wrecking balls. If you love something or it is just expensive, a toddler will destroy it. DESTROY. IT. Again with the magnet theory. Toddlers have a homing beacon that seeks out expensive things, danger, and trouble.  
7.     Toddlers only have an ON switch.  The minute they learn something, that new function stays on! Walking, running, dancing, talking, repeating bad words… they learn it, and Man, it's SO ON!
8.     Toddlers like everything on repeat. I have read, and re-read, the same book for days in a row.  I have watched the same Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows so many times I know the words. Why, yes, I have tried other books and shows. He doesn’t want those, he wants his Trucks and Diggers book read front to back, then back to front...  OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Don’t even get me started on the books with buttons, but only one button will do OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I have also stood by while my toddler has gone up and down the slide four hundred thousand times. Repeat I tell you. Repeat.
9.     To a toddler, ‘No’ means proceed at your own riskThey know better, but if they really want to do something, they are going to do it. Toddlers invented the theory: It's far easier to ask forgiveness, than permission.
10.  Toddlers ensure that there is never a dull Day. EVER!  For example, yesterday morning we needed a few things from the grocery. So I made my iced coffee, got Ollie and I dressed, and left for the store. Once at the store, (shoes already off of course) the second I unbuckled him from his car seat he lunged into the front seat, knocking my iced coffee into my driver's seat, (MY seat!) then he sat in it to drive the car. (Yes. Yes, I did want to shed a tear.) With no towels on hand, I used a diaper to sop up the coffee. Then, I turn my sights to him. Of course, while I was focused on cleaning up the coffee, he was climbing around the car turning on every button and emptying out my bag. When I finally caught him, I somehow missed him crapping his pants between leaving the house and that moment. Did I cry? No. Did I lose my temper? No. This is just another day in the life of a parent of a toddler.   





Call me certifiable, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

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