Aug 1, 2014

It's Time For The Great Toy Clean Out of 2014!

My kid has WAY too many toys. He is two, and I am pretty sure he already has more toys than I had throughout my entire childhood. It's not that we spoil him--actually FTD does, but that's not the real reason Ollie owns a small toy store-it's because my sister spoiled the hell out of her two boys, and has passed the spoils on to my kid. Since free is free, I don't say no to the toys, but now that my house looks like Toys R' Us exploded in it, it's time to do a little clean out. It's time to dump the broken toys, donate the toys that are no longer loved, and clean up and fix the toys that he plays with.

It's Time For The Great Toy Clean Out of 2014!   
This is only a quarter of his bounty of toys.

Jul 31, 2014

Cars And Farts. That's My Life.

Oddly enough, I wanted a boy and FTD wanted a girl. He always dreamed of a daddy's girl, and I, being the aunt of three beautiful boys already, was happy to stick with what I knew...

1. Girls are drama--me being the Queen
2. Boys are content with a pair of shorts, Crocs and Hot Wheels--cheap and easy.

So when the ultrasound tech told FTD and I that we were having a boy, I screamed for joy. It's a Boy! Hot Wheels, Crocs and hand-me-downs from my siblings, here we come. Now that my son is a few days shy of two-and-a-half, I'm realizing that life is more than Crocs and cars. It's also farts, burps, bugs, worms, tractors, airplanes, boogers, dirt, mud, butts and go-go-go craziness. Maybe the grass is a little greener on the doll house side... surely not covered in cars, farts and dirt!

Boys are gross! How could I forget that? I have always known boys are gross, why on earth did I think my little boy wouldn't follow his destiny for grossness? How could I only think of Hot Wheels and Crocs, and not the bugs, mud and potty humor that make up the boys codebook of life? I am trying to go along with it, kind of like, Can't beat em', join em', but the mud, bugs, worms, frogs, farts, fart jokes, poop, poop jokes, and constant talk of butts and "taking a dump"... UGH! My nephews cannot talk about farts and butts enough. Needless to say, Ollie LOVES when they come over.

I like potty humor as much as the next person, but being notified EVERY TIME my son farts, is not necessary. What's worse, I'm having a hell of a time getting him to understand that he is being very naughty when he is laughs hysterically, and repeats way too many times to count, hahahahaha "Mommy I just farted!" Especially when we are in public, or I am talking to another grown-up. I suppose I should be happy he is only notifying me verbally. My sister's youngest used to back his butt up to her leg and then fart! Seriously. He loved it. He would fart then run off laughing hysterically. I have to admit, it was kind of funny.  Because it wasn't happening to me of course.

It's amazing how little boys are so textbook. They naturally love cars, dirt, bugs, worms, reptiles, trucks, tractors, trains, planes and potty humor. Even though FTD had dreams of his daddy's girl, he is right in his element, and could not be happier talking bugs, worms, mud and farts with his son. I on the other hand, not-so-much, I've never been that interested in mud, bugs, worms and farts. FYI: In a sick cruel twist of fate, those four make up a good part of my afternoon in the backyard.

Of course, I am so happy and beyond blessed to have my car and fart loving boy, but I can't help but think how I have quite the adventure ahead of me. He is going to be constantly dirty, obsessed with potty humor and if he is anything like his nephews, a dare devil of the worst kind. I'm thinking my only course of action is to travel with a, "Mother of a Boy" bag--Plenty of wipes for the mud and bug germs, a change of clothes for when he craps his pants trying to fart, or pisses himself from laughing at a fart joke, and a well stocked first aid kit. Oh yes, I have quite the adventure of ahead of me.

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Jul 30, 2014

Best. Toilet. EVER. #KOHLER #Touchless #InLove (FTD Post)

My friends, today *we* have a special treat for you. FTD was so blown away by the KOHLER® Cimarron® Touchless Flush Toilet, he co-wrote this post with me! He will be doing the talking, while I will be the Vanna White with the photos and writing the captions! All opinions are our own. As if! Without further ado, I will now hand it over to FTD...

FTD: The thunderbox, crapper, Lavvy, dunny, throne, can, the bog, thinking chair, poo pool, head, water closet, **insert politicians name's** mouth.  Just some of the awesome phrases I've had for the 'ole toilet over the years!

Let's face it ladies and gents - we seem to spend quite a large portion of our lives on and around toilets. Obviously, you girls spend heaps MORE time than us fellas, but the fact remains that for a busy family, it's usually the only time and place us hard working fathers can nip off for a quiet bit of self-reflection.

The humble toilet has certainly changed since the 1970's and 80's from the dusty Outback of Australia. In those days it was an outhouse. Think: A tin and wood shed, housing a splintered wooden seat. Then finally, the toilet came inside to tile rooms with ghastly pastel pinks and greens of the 80's, then the two button flush came on the scene... I thought I'd pretty much seen it all - UNTIL NOW!

The Future is here...
These people at KOHLER® have designed a masterful dunny. It's simply AWESOME! Featuring amazing touchless power flush, soft-glow blue LED nightnights illuminate the bowl, soft-close seat, clean design -this toilet is some fine engineering work. 

The toilet was shipped directly to our house, in three boxes. I was able to move all three boxes into the house from the front porch with ease. No way was I going to risk being toilet burgled! 
I was sure a big white toilet was going to be bubble wrapped
 and slapped on our porch.
Not. even! 
I installed the porcelain perfection in about an hour including ripping out the old thunder box and throwing the bloody thing out the window. The instructions were super easy to follow, the bolts lined up perfectly - After a few test flushes, it was ready for the family to take a spin. Starting with me of course. Naturally, I am the man of the house, I should be the one to sit proudly upon my new throne! 

You all, I nearly hugged it!
I nearly hugged a toilet.
That's how overcome I was with it's beauty and promise of germ-free toilet-ing!!
The KOHLER® Cimarron Touchless model was surprisingly taller than our old one too, which allowed me to firmly place my feet on the floor and therefore reduce knee-strain. Very comfortable! On completing my business, I gently waved my hand over the cistern and HEY PRESTO - Super quiet, super powerful, super awesome touch-free flush action! AMAZING!  

Just when I think the porcelain perfection can't get any better... It glows like the bloody Death Star at night! The soft close seat also comes equipped with a built in battery operated nightlight that runs on a seven hour timer! Gents- Never get in trouble with the ol' wife in the morning with this thing!  It's battery powered and designed to last about a year which is super awesome (I can change them when I do the smoke detector!)  There's a nice tactile hidden button on the back of the seat that allows you to set the timer...splash-proof of course HA! The light is noticeable in the dark but just enough to light your way - not overpowering at all which is really cool!
It's true! No more excuses with this toilet seat!
No doubt, a woman invented this seat!
(Also available from KOHLER®, a toddler transition seat.) 
Overall...I'm in LOVE with this thing and plan to setup a little table for my laptop and maybe a mini-bar too. Thank you KOHLER® for bringing dirtboxes, technology and arse-comfort together in my lifetime. Truly amazing!  Thank you for your time today, now go buy the super Dunny! 

Back to you my lovely wife...

FTM:  Always a pleasure when FTD writes... OK, and a little scary too, because I would like to work with KOHLER® FOREVER, and well, FTD's Cheeky Australian ways... you know. Scary! 

But he got it right, the new, "Thunderbox, crapper, Lavvy, dunny, throne, can, bog, thinking chair, poo pool, head, water closet toilet" is AMAZING!!  I couldn't believe it. And SO perfect for toddler potty training! Ollie LOVES LOVES LOVES to wave his hand over the sensor, so much so, we had to set up rules. We told Ollie he could ONLY flush if he USED the potty. After Ollie wanting to "go potty" more of the day then not, we had to amended the rule to, ONLY flush if you have been "productive". 
Dream. Come. True.

FTD and I feel so incredibly blessed for this opportunity to test drive the AMAZING new Cimarron® Touchless Flush Toilet from KOHLER®, and fully admit, we would not have been able to purchase the toilet otherwise. You know, just buying a 1920's fixer-upper money pit and all.  HOWEVER!!!!!  It turns out, KOHLER® has anticipated this budget issue and created a touchless converter kit that will fit most models of toilet, even ones that are not KOHLER®!

Curious about possible install issues with the converter kit, I read the reviews on various websites.
I was pleasantly surprised to find EVERY review said how easy install was.  In fact, the most negative review was by a person annoyed that they had to hold their hand "about an inch" over the sensor. Um... that's still touchless, buddy.  I personally can have my hand four inches above the sensor and still get the toilet to flush, but that's beside the point. This technology is easy to install, use and is all-in-all FABULOUS! 

I believe our work here is done... to get your hands off the toilet flush handle and over amazing touchless technology... CLICK HERE!
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Jul 29, 2014

10 Ways I Survive Bedtime With All Of My Marbles... Or At Least A Few...

For today's Top 10 Tuesday Post, I'm going to do a fair bit of bitching enlighten you to the things I think about during bedtime to keep me from losing my shit busy...

OH MY GOD YOU ALL!!!!  Bedtime.

I hate bedtime.

Hate. It.

I have enabled my son to become this incredibly annoying, manipulative, energy filled, wild-toddler monster at bedtime. He will yawn through dinner, but the second his head hits the pillow, it's like he is zapped with a RIDICULOUS amount of energy.  He is up and down, jumping and laughing, asking for water, begging for more cars to take to bed, wants to read one more book, needs more water, needs a blanket, then doesn't want the blanket, cries for daddy, cries for the cat, doesn't like his pajamas, needs to go to the bathroom, wants to sleep in mommy's bed, his foot hurts... then finally, he asks to be cuddled and rocked to sleep. This is EVERY NIGHT!

Please, if you learn anything from me, do not play into the toddler bedtime bullshit. If you've already failed like me, here are 10 things to think about during the struggle... Because, counting to five-hundred EVERY NIGHT...  TWENTY TIMES!!!!  Will surely make you crazy. Trust me, I know.


Without further ado... 10 things I do to maintain my sanity during bedtime. No, no, that's not true... I'm totally nuts by the end of bedtime. The following are 10 things that help me to prolong the insanity from setting in...

1. Invent a toddler bed capsule that keeps kids safe and busy while they are trying to fight bedtime. I dream of a bedtime bubble babysitter type thing that goes around the bed... Something that is Child Protective Services approved, plays music, smells like lavender and allows for recordings of your voice that alternates between, "GO TO SLEEP!" "Mommy loves you" and "Please, honey, mommy is losing her mind, it's sleepy time." Or whatever you normally say one-thousand times a night so your kid will feel comforted by your voice.

2. Dream of sleepovers away and summer camps.  Just knowing there is some hope for bedtime free nights, helps.

3. Make a Five Year Plan. With an hour a night that is mainly filled with nonsense, I work on my five year plan. Mostly, it's about maintaing my sanity through the next five-years of bedtime. Still, using that time to think about bettering the future is so much more productive than thinking about how much bedtime sucks.

4. Cherish the time. I try SO HARD to do this. I try to tell myself this will pass. One day he will stop wanting me to hold him, or need me for bedtime, and in some seriously jacked up way, I will miss the hour long struggle. But no matter how hard I try, after 45 minutes I'm ready to trade my soul to get the kid to go to sleep easy forever starting that minute.

5. Be the bigger asshole. Let's face it, bedtime sucks because our kids are, out-assholing us. Since they are the bigger asshole, they are getting their way. I know this. If I was an asshole, stood my ground, put him right back in bed a million times like that Super Nanny chick says, my life would be easier. Whatever, fine. Noted. I'm working on it. It's just that it takes practice to out-asshole a toddler for an hour straight. 

6. Get an audio book. Play it through the smartphone or mp3 on headphones while rocking away.

7. Learn to meditate. Imagine reaching enlightenment instead of insanity!

8. Set up a tag team system. On the nights Ollie is making me wish I lived in a padded room with forks with corks on the end, I call for FTD.  And vice versa.  We have to stay in contact on the hard nights, so we can "tap out" when the kid has won.

9. DO NOT COUNT! In order to keep me from thinking four-hours has passed when really it's only been two-minutes, I count.  I am SO SICK OF COUNTING.  Counting does not help.  In fact, it just pisses you off when you get to a predetermined number and your toddler is still singing the Micky Mouse Club House theme song.

10. Know that you are not alone. Knowing it's not only my kid, helps. There are hundreds of thousands of other parents across the world yelling, "GO TO SLEEP".  I'm totally comforted by that... Schlafen gehen! 去睡觉!Aller dormirVe a dormir! Спи! לכו לישון! Ga slapen! <-- I have to say, the Dutch "Go To Sleep!" is my favorite, becuse it says what I am thinkning... Go to sleep or mommy Ga Slapen!!!!

What do you do to keep your sanity at bedtime?

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Ink Jet Cartridge Back-To-School BONANZA! JUST $1!!!!!

No, your eyes did not deceive you! is offering $1 ink cartridges for a limited time to help  alleviate some of the RIDICULOUS back-to-school shopping burden! AND THAT'S NOT ALL!!  Free. Shipping.

4Inkjets must be run by parents who understand that back-to-school can be a very expensive time. From the four page supply list from the school, to the back-to-school clothes, to backpacks and lunch boxes. For most, the family budget is blown out by the second page of the supply list. So, to alleviate some of the costs, 4inkjets is offering one cartridge for one dollar for a limited time! All you pay is $4.99 for the shipping, or just go ahead and stock up, and get free shipping on all orders over $50!

I admit, I was skeptical. I was sure the $1 cartridges would be for ANY printer but mine... WRONG!  The deal is on everything from HP to Epson to Brother and even Canon! YEAH BOY! Plus, ALL of the multi color packs are super discounted.  And this goes on all year!

Still skeptical? Check out this little message from 4inkjet...

We're so confident that you'll love the value and quality of our products that if you're not completely satisfied, just let us know and we'll stand behind our one year satisfaction guarantee. "

To get your hands on dollar ink cartridges and deep discounts on multi color packs, Click Here!

*This post was brought to you today by 4inkjets, all opinions are my own.
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Jul 27, 2014

20 Defining MOMents of Motherhood. A.k.a. You Know You're a Mom When...

    Hearing your newborn baby's first cry is no doubt one of the most amazing and profound moments in a woman's life. But what about all of the other unforgettable MOMents of motherhood?  
    Like that MOMent when...
  1. You get your baby home from the hospital and realize, you have no clue what you are doing.
  2. It's clear that breastfeeding is anything but, "Plug and Chug"
  3. You realize you can survive off zero sleep for six months straight.
  4. You're standing in the store and realize everyone is staring at you because have spit up all over you. As usual, you didn't bother looking in the mirror before leaving the house.
  5. You find yourself in the shower at 4am because you have just been pooped, puked and peed on simultaneously during a "routine" diaper change.
  6. Thanks to your lack of sleep and inability to get out in the sun, your dark circles and pasty skin have caused you to be mistaken for the beginning of the Zombie Apocalypse.
  7. You try to summon the devil in the wee hours of morning in an attempt to trade your soul to get your baby to sleep.  
  8. You can smell a loaded diaper from across the playground, and have no doubt it belongs to your child. It's true... you can smell your own.
  9. You realize just how important the 'free cookie' at the grocery store is. 
  10. You learn just how dangerous a quiet toddler is. 
  11. Your make-up has been used to color on the wall and carpet. 
  12. It's undeniable that there's a hidden sensor in your couch that alerts your spouse and child you have sat down.
  13. You don't even bother closing the door when you go into the bathroom anymore. 
  14. Your child said "Shit", because so did you.
  15. Your phone is in the toilet, because all you wanted was three minutes of peace and quiet when you handed it over..
  16. You are certain you a better chance of winning the lottery, than cleaning the house with a toddler around.
  17. You stop caring what other people think, and raise your child like a BOSS!
  18. You think you are going to lose your sanity if your child does not stop throwing food, screaming for no reason, unloading every drawer in the house, trowing everything in his path, climbing on the coffee table and refusing to take a nap... ALL BEFORE NOON... but some how don't... DEFINING!
  19.  Motherhood has turned you into one badass warrior woman... 
  20. That MOMent you realize being a mother is the best thing that's ever happened to you.

That's my boy! 

What are your favorite MOMents?

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Jul 25, 2014

I Just Want People To Love My Yard. Is That Too Much To Ask? (1920's Update) #DIY

Happy Friday! I thought I would entertain you with some yard work nonsense to get you geared up for the weekend!How about a little, 1920's Fixer-Upper, updating! (In case you are just joining this party, FTD and I just bought a 95-year-old house that needs extensive renovations to be brought back to it's old charm, and to keep things interesting for you, my dear readers, I am documenting the wild journey. Links to past posts at the bottom of this post!)

It turns out, the inside of the house is not the only part that needs serious TLC, the MASSIVE corner lot yard needs it too...
Today, we talk jungle...
I LOVE to garden. LOVE. IT.

I first saw my future yard at the end of March, when most everything was still sleeping through the winter. I was happy to see that it appeared to be mainly trees and shrubs, making it fairly manageable.

I took this photo of the yard the day we put in the offer...
The other half of the front yard looked the same.

Then, the sun came out...

So much for being mainly trees and shrubs. It's a large jungle! 
OHMYGOODNESS!!!  Do you see that mess? I just kept staring and thinking, what in the world am I going to do with this! There was what seemed like hundreds of different plants fighting for the same spot. I was SO overwhelmed. I just started pruning, and even hacking at times--think jungle machete style.

The Euonymus bushes were taking over. They were even digging into our foundation! They HAD to go! The bushes in front of them being pushed out cheered me on...
I hacked away until they were stubs, then dug them up with a shovel.
'Cause, I'm crazy like that.

Once I was finished cutting everything back, I was left with an even bigger mess, and a clear picture of how wrong I was about the yard. It was an extremely mature yard, and clearly well loved and gardened at one point. In the words of my mom, "The landscape was planted by a very sophisticated gardener." My mom said the plants that were in the yard were chosen to ensure that something would be in bloom for 8-months of the year.



I said I loved to garden, not that I had a clue what I was doing!

There are NINE different types of plants just there alone!
And the ground cover is possessed!!!!
And the grass... that's a whole other post.
It's a process. A very long and confusing process... 
I kept pruning and chopping my way around the house. Actually, I have not made it all the way around yet. I've worked hard on the front, and part of the side. It's just SO MUCH yard, with SO many plants! Every weekend, in an effort to figure out what all of the plants are, I go to the garden center with few of the plant's leaves to try to match them up. It's like a scavenger hunt from hell.

FYI: It's a Day Lily...  I had to look that up too.

I've begun to set my sights on the backyard. SURPRISE... It's a HUGE mess too!

This pretty much sums up the entire backyard. Something going on everywhere. Some of the weeds are so big, I have had to ask if they are in fact weeds, or part of the landscape. 
The backyard is so out of control! Currently, there are two Dogwoods, a HUGE Blue Fir, two Cedar trees, three MASSIVE bushes, a big strange trellis like thing, twenty-seven shrubs varieties, a couple of Crape Myrtles, a rose bush or two, thousands of weeds, and God knows what else! And the thing is, I feel bad killing any of it, so I just trim everything back so Ollie won't get lost in the jungle. That's the best I can do until I figure out what to do with it all. It's ridiculous.

All I know for sure is that, after finding a shoe in the jungle, I've decided that I better not dig too deep...

Every weekend, I spend hours trying to make sense of the jungle. The other day, I decided that my yard had Borderline Personality Disorder, and that it was beyond help. Still, I try to give it the same therapy and peace that I get from gardening. Thankfully, my neighbors keep coming over to offer sympathy, and say nice things about the work I have done so far. Sometimes they even help!  

I take pride in my yard. I want it to be fabulous, and I want my neighbors to think the same. I don't want to be THAT trashy neighbor! You know the one... every street has that one person who never cuts the grass and lets everything grow like wild weeds. Somedays, I do feel like I am still THAT neighbor on our street, but deep down I know, they don't blame me. I only just inherited the crazy yard. They know it's going to take a whole lot of work to straighten it out. I just wish I knew what the hell I was doing!!!! 
Before and after... It's such a process.
 This weekend, while you are out in your yard making sure you are not THAT neighbor, just know, I am sweating and cussing right along with you...  

Me after a day in the yard.
While I feel like I could sleep for days, I'm still the Queen of the Jungle...
Want to know and see more about the 1920's fixer-upper, the renovations we have done so far, and the things we have learned?  Check out these other posts....
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Jul 24, 2014

The CDC Says Children in the 95th Percentile Are Obese. I Call BS On That!

A little over a month ago, while driving in my car listening to National Public Radio (NPR), I heard a discussion on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's stance on childhood obesity. The comment was made that, Children in the 95th percentile according to the CDC Growth Charts, were considered to be obese. My ears perked up immediately, because my son has been in the 95th percentile, or "off the charts," his ENTIRE LIFE! I was not only concerned about my son being labeled, Obese, I was concerned that his pediatrician had not said anything about this yet. Being the ever dutiful and over protective mother, I made it a point to talk with my son's pediatrician, the first chance I got! 

He is not even 2 1/2 years-old! He is a big strong awesome toddler!
Not obese!?! 

Before I get on to my conversation with the pediatrician, here is a little background on what prompted the conversation... According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

A child's weight status is determined using an age- and sex-specific percentile for BMI rather than the BMI categories used for adults, because children's body composition varies as they age and varies between boys and girls.
CDC Growth Charts are used to determine the corresponding BMI-for-age and sex percentile. For children and adolescents (aged 2—19 years):
  • Overweight is defined as a BMI at or above the 85th percentile and lower than the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.1
  • Obesity is defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.1
Immediately, I called bullshit. My son is not obese, he is just big for his age! He has always been a large kid, both in terms of weight and height. I nursed him exclusively "on demand" until he was six-months, then when the time came to incorporate solid foods, I prepared most all of his meals, or spent a ridiculous amount of money on the preservative free all-natural organic baby food.  My kid was at or above the 95th percentile in both height and weight through it all.

Then, at around 8-months old, my son was constantly hungry.  I nursed around the clock, and fed him protein, veggie and fruit loaded meals daily. Again, we found him to be on top of the chart. My doctor at that point did say to take his food away when I thought he was full, then if he yelled, give it back.  I tried that, ahas expected, my son yelled. Then at his 12-month check-up, we found he had sprouted nearly three inches. THREE!! The poor little guy was hungry because he was growing.  At that point, I threw all concerns out; My son was healthy, happy and eating a wide variety of fruits, veggies and proteins, and that was all that mattered!

A little more background, my body type is athletic. I am strong and sturdy, but being the girl that I am, I always "struggled" with my weight. I was never really over weight, I just always wanted to be thiner. As for FTD... Let me say this, on one of our last visits to the OB/GYN before Ollie was born, my doctor told us that every time we left the office, the doctors would joke about how it was a good thing I was having a c-section, due to of the span of FTD's shoulders.  My super sexy husband is the guy who looks like he has been at the gym all day, when really, he has been sitting on his ass. He has a great body type, and no matter how much crap he eats, he still looks great. Yes, I hate that too!

Like Father, Like Son
It's clear to us and our pediatrician, Ollie has inherited FTD's build. Ollie is a brick shit house that has been lifting his own body weight, with ease, since the days of tummy time.  MY KID IS NOT OBESE! He is who he is, a big strong toddler!

Finally, the opportunity presented itself to discuss the CDC's stance on obesity with Ollie's pediatrician. I told him all that had I heard and read, and he said this to me:

When it comes to infants to toddlers, the charts are just a range, and that's it! We judge obesity in young children by health. Is your kid in the 95th percentile because he is strong, and tall and eating healthy foods? Then, your child is not obese.  Is your child in the 95th percentile because he is kind of tall, clearly overweight and eating all of the wrong foods? Then, there would be cause for concern.  In Ollie's case, no your he is most certainly NOT obese.  HOWEVER! If you take him home and feed him fried foods, salty snacks and sugary drinks, then your son will be 'unhealthy', and that carries many more concerns then the label of obesity. It's important that you focus on your son's diet more than numbers. He is a great kid, feed him great food.

I mentioned that I was having trouble getting Ollie to eat his vegetables and some fruits. His doctor said to try the following three things:

1. Serve a plate that is 2/3 fruits and veggies and 1/3 protein.
2. It can take up to 10 times to get a kid to eat a certain fruit or veggie, so don't give up serving it up.
3. Get creative: hide veggies in sauces and fruits in smoothies.

Kids, will eventually try anything, but if all they are given are their favorites--chicken and french fries-- then they are missing out on a world of healthy and yummy foods. I'll admit, it took me a while to learn this with Ollie. I knew he liked pasta, so he ate it at least once a day. Now, I know he will not starve. I serve a little of something I know he likes, and then at least two veggie, fruit or grain selections at each meal. I want a healthy kid, and at only two-years old, that is 100% a reflection on the nutrition and opportunity for activity I provide him.

Parents, if you heard that story on the CDC's stance on Childhood Obesity, don't let it get to you, you know your child, their diet, body type and health. Or at the very least, talk to your doctor before starving your child. Let them be, and grow into the healthful adolescents they need to be. Focus on their health, not on the numbers. They are wonderful kids, feed them wonderful foods.

  1. Barlow SE and the Expert Committee. Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity: summary report.Pediatrics 2007;120 Supplement December 2007:S164—S192.
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Jul 23, 2014

No, Son, You Can't Take EVERY Toy You Own With You...

With only a few short weeks until my sweet little boy turns two-and-a-half, I have noticed some real changes in my toddler's personality and demeanor. While some things are definitely annoying, all have been a welcomed addition to my child's awesomeness. I am loving having this new independent, sometimes stubborn, but always busy, toddler running around. It's really cool to watch his personality, preferences and vocabulary develop on a daily basis. Here are a few of his new behaviors...

1. He INSISTS on taking as many toys as he can carry with him every time we leave the house. I've had to let him take his Thomas rolling back-pack on a few occasions just so we could leave the house with everything he insisted on taking! It's not like he has fear that his siblings will steal them, you know, not having any siblings and all. It's not like they have EVER vanished while we were away, I know, I pray for it sometimes. In fact, there have been occasions when we have come home from running errands and thanks to the HUGE mess, I have thought for a split second we have had a break-in, then I remember, we left the house like that! There is no other answer other than, my kid is a hoarder...

2.  Fearless. 100% Fearless. Last weekend, we took Ollie to a church carnival that had rides. Ollie could barely contain himself.  He wanted to ride EVERY ride.  So what did we do? Let him. At one point, while he was smiling at the top of the Ferris Wheel with FTD by his side, I thought, OH CRAP! Are we totally instilling a love of heights and fast rides into our kid WAY too early?  You know the whole, what he doesn't know... can't give us heart attacks? or something like that... He is a dare devil, always has been, and I'm terrified he always will be.  I wonder if I can just buy a suite at the children's hospital? 
Look, Ma, NO hands!

3. Entertained by his own image. My kid is in love with himself.  While most kids are asking their parents to play games on their phone, my kid is asking to, "See Ollie?!" The minute he gets my phone in his hot little toddler hands, he goes right to my photos and videos and spends the next five-minutes looking and laughing at himself. Not sure if I should be concerned, but for now, I'll happily take that five-minutes of quiet toddler free terrorizing.

4. The toddler is OBSESSED with water and car washes. Yes, you read right, CAR WASHES! My son begs to watch car washes on YouTube, and every chance he gets, give his own cars a car wash.  This is the most annoying of his new things.  Every time I turn my back on him, he is off to the bathroom sink to give his cars a car wash. The minute we go outside, he goes right to the hose holding a handful of cars begging me to turn it on. He refuses to take a bath without his cars... you get the idea, it is car wash central around here.

5. Still my little baby. I am so thankful that as he gets older, he is still a momma's boy. In fact, even more so! He wants more cuddles lately, stays a little closer to me, and always makes sure I am watching him. And the best, best, best part of it, he comes to me and gives me unsolicited hugs, kisses, cuddles and "I love yous" all the time.

What's your little one up to?
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Jul 22, 2014

10 Things I've Learned About Parenting... The Hard Way.

For today's installment of Top 10 Tuesday, I though I would tell you about a few parenting lessons I had to learn the hard way. Hopefully, I can save you from having to learn these lessons the hard way too...


Just kidding. ALL parents have to learn these lessons the hard way...

1. Parenting is ridiculously hard! Full Stop. If you are a parent, no explanation necessary.

2. EVERY preconceived notion I had before becoming a parent was so far off. I was SO SURE I was going to be the perfect mom with the most perfect kid. Not. Even. Close. Because, neither of those exist.

3.  Breastfeeding is not plug and chug. I had absolutely no idea that nursing my son would be the hardest damn thing! It was frustrating, painful and required a ridiculous amount of lactation consultations and pumping just to get the milk to flow, and the kid to drink it.  Yeah, it's anything but easy.

4. Toys will take over. Regardless of gender, toys will take over your life. Doll shoes will make it into the laundry, and Hot Wheels will make it into your pillow case. Toys take over, there is absolutely no way to stop it. Hint: Buy toy boxes, and storage shelves.

5. Potty Training is messy business. Regardless of the method you chose to get the job done, you will hate every minute, and find yourself, the bathroom, and possibly the entire house turned into the world's largest potty.

6.  Nap time is the new happy hour.  I used to decompress with friends after work, now I decompress VERY quietly on the couch... terrified if I make one loud noise my 'happy hour' will come to an abrupt end.

7. Toddlers can say, mommy/daddy/please and/or ask the same question four-million times in less than a minute. FYI: This will not stop until they are completely satisfied.

8. The attention span of a baby/toddler/child is about 4-seconds. This is the reason they can watch the same show or movie over and over... and over again... It's like watching a new show/movie every time, since the last time they "tried" to watch it, they got distracted. It turns out, you are the only one who is really watching the TV. This poor attention span is also the reason the minute you finish building the train track or doll house, they have no interest and have moved on to something new. It's impossible to keep up. 

9. Your child will outsmart you before two. Those little geniuses don't even have to know how to talk before they can trick you into doing, giving, or allowing them to do and have whatever they want.

10. Your kid is 100% positive that THEY are the parent, and that their job is to train YOU. Teaching them how wrong they are is the reason parenting is so damn hard. 

What lessons have you learned the hard way?
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Sneak 137 Extra Antioxidants Into Your Day! #Organic #Matcha #Giveaway

KissMe Oganics provided me Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

With so many choices between green juices, smoothies and health bars, my head spins.  Half of the time... no, nearly ALL OF THE time... I have absolutely NO idea what in the world is in them, and if I'll really benefit. I used to go to a leading smoothie chain, until I found out that most of the smoothie was full of fillers and crap to mask the flavor of the "good-for-you" stuff. So, when I was asked to review KissMe Organics Green Tea Matcha Powder, I was certainly apprehensive.  I mean, am I really the right person to review something I know absolutely nothing about? Not really sure, I called a close girlfriend who doubles as a FABULOUS chef, and asked her what Matcha was all about. Of course she knew, and said it was a really good thing, and that she would come over and help me make yummy things if I agreed to do the review. So, I emailed my KissMe Organics contact and said, "Let's do this!"

And I am so so so glad I did...

Do you see all of the claims that KissME Organics MATCHA Powder promises?  It's like miracle stuff.  So, after calling my chef friend, I called my mother... ex-hippy, to see what she knew, after all Matcha is nothing new. She immediately said that she recently heard a story on National Public Radio about how Matcha is the next big thing  At this point, I could not wait for my friend to come over and help me find innovative ways to sneak this powder into my diet...

My dear friend and chef, Miranda Stooksbury, came over with a bag full of healthy ingredients, to make three different things: Mojitos, Cupcakes and Panna Cotta.  Needless to say, I told her to get the mojitos flowing.  I mean, after all, a HEALTHY BOOZY DRINK???  YES, Please!!!

Super tasty!
The mint was able to still shine through the green tea flavor.
 I drank Two!

1 lime, juiced
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp. KissME Organic Matcha 
5 fresh mint leaves
Crushed Ice
2 oz. sparkling soda water
1 1/2OZ Rum (Optional)

Next *we*--I use that loosely since, I mostly watched--made the Panna Cotta. Think: Creamy yummy dessert. Almost like a mix between creme brûlée and jello. There is a chef out there cringing right now from that analogy. Sorry, dude. 

1 cup milk, fat-free 
1/3 cup water 
2 tsp. KissME Organic Matcha 

½ cup sugar 
4 tsp. gelatin powder
1/4 cup blueberries and raspberries 

Last we made Cupcakes!!!!!  My favorite!!!

These were SO SO SO Yummy!  Moist and fabulous!
Cake Ingredients:

2 ½ cups flour 
½ tsp. baking powder 
4 eggs at room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 
2 tsp. KissME Organic Matcha 
1 cup low fat milk 
1 ½ cups brown sugar 

So, what's my verdict on the KissME Organic Matcha?  First of all, I LOVE green tea, so I was partial to the flavor of it going in. If you love Green tea, no doubt you will love this! Still, it was well masked in the cupcakes and mojitos, and still delivered the energy boosting antioxidant benefits. That being said, did I instantly feel and energy boost or have clear skin immediately, no. And I using it every chance I get now, absolutely!  I am officially hooked on, KissME Organic Matcha. I most certainly recommend it!

To get your hands on the KissME Organic Matcha, CLICK HERE!

Want to try your luck at winning your own bag, Sign up below!

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Jul 21, 2014

YAY! I Have My Body Back! Wait... Is That REALLY A Good Thing?

I got pregnant two weeks after my thirty-third birthday. I stopped nursing three weeks after my thirty-sixth birthday. That's a solid three-years of continuously watching the foods I consumed and  restricting myself from certain "unhealthy" activities. (Think: crash dieting.) Now, nearly two months since the last time I nursed my son, I am finding myself still living like a nursing mother. Imagine my excitement when I come in contact with a food or activity that I realize I can take part in again! Think: Happy Hour!  Woo Hoo!  Or not...

I spent three years devoting my life to staying healthy to keep my son healthy. I ate as healthy as possible, took a multivitamin daily and NEVER drank until my son was asleep for the night. Even then, I never drank more than two drinks in a sitting, out of fear I would need to be on my game. I RAN from second-hand smoke like it would kill both of us, and questioned every plate of shellfish I came in contact with. I was in the mindset that I was a walking milk factory, and had to live by that.

Now, I am no longer a milk factory...

Now, I am a thirty-six year-old mother reconnecting with her body and love of naughty foods and behaviors! I'm like a kid in a candy shop ready to order everything...

After all those years of being so rigid, it's strange to have control back. It's strange to not have to think before I eat, drink or get invited to an early dinner. I keep finding myself in awe of being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I keep forgetting I can go out to an early dinner with friends, since I am no longer needed at bedtime. I love that I can have a super caffeinated coffee or tea whenever I want, without fear of passing that energy on to the already wild wild-child. While it's very cool to have this free reign, it's very different at the same time. 

Something else that is very cool and very different, is my recent weightloss. You see, I DID NOT lose weight while nursing. Quite the opposite. I packed on more pounds after my pregnancy. That's right, I continued to gain weight while nursing, not lose it. And now, I am not sure if it is because I am no longer nursing, or the fact that I am nowhere near as hungry, or that it's summer and I am more active, but the pounds are melting off. I have lost a full pant size since I stopped nursing  last month!


Pretend that's me doing the weightloss dance!
Needless to say, this new weightloss is wonderful, and freeing. I can wear my old favorite jeans again. I am in a medium size shirt thanks to the full-cup I lost up top! I am absolutely loving it, and am excited to lose more. Like the extra 15 pounds I need to lose to get back to my pre baby weight! The questions is, what lengths am I willing to go to now that there are no limits? Do I want to go back to my old ways of crash dieting my way to skinny, even if that means headaches, crankiness and zapped energy? Tempting... but, nah. I'm the mother of a toddler, ain't nobody got time for that! 

While it's nice to have the ability to eat, lose weight and party like a rockstar anyway and time I want, I learned over the last three years, it's not worth the brain damage. I've grown comfortable in my own skin. Sure, I certainly would like to look like that Saint's Cheerleeder on my 40th birthday, but no way am I going to starve my ass off to get there!

That chick, pictured with her two sons, is 40-years-old
a cheerleader for the New Orleans' Saints!

Who knew after three years of bitching about the restrictions, I would happily still cling to that way of life over my old pre-baby ways of poor choices and crash dieting? I'm healthy, happy and mindful of what I eat. Today, my life is about my health and family, not about crash diets and happy hours. Yes, I know I always say becoming an adult was one of the dumbest things I ever did, however, in this case, it's actually a win. One point, healthy mom lifestyle. Zero points, pre-motherhood dumbassery. 

A little note to nursing mothers... This will most likely be you too! <Insert Evil Laugh> XOXO
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Jul 20, 2014

July 20th is National Ice Cream Day!! What's Your Favorite Flavor? #Giveaway #Awesomeness

WHOOO HOOO July 20th is National Ice Cream Day! In honor of this super sweet (pun intended) day, Yay Lab's sent me a Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball to help celebrate! All opinions are my own...

Ice Cream is a staple in my house. The only problem is trying to pick a flavor! I love Strawberry Cheesecake and Spumoni. FTD loves Moose Tracks (chocolate ribbons and peanut butter cups), and mint chocolate chip. Ollie loves, well, all of them! The only problem is that I am not a fan of FTD's favorite and Vice Versa. I try to be fair when shopping for ice cream and trade off; buying either my fav or FTD's fav. Now, thanks to Yay Lab's Soft Shell Ice Cream Ball, we can MAKE our own favorites, and lose a little weight while doing it! That's right, I said lose weight making ice cream.

Allow me to show you how this magic ball works...

To make good old fashioned vanilla ice cream, you will need: Rock Salt, Ice, Cream (you can also use soy milk, almond milk, low-fat or fat-free milk...), Sugar, and Vanilla Extract.

The ball has two chambers that open on either side of the ball and are color coded so you don't forget which side holds which! White=Ice Cream Ingredients; Neon Green=Ice + Rock Salt

After 10 minutes of playing with the ball, inspect your ice cream and scrape the sides of the ball to mix the frozen ice cream with the not so frozen ices cream. Close the ball and get back to playing! This ball is kind of heavy so it really does create quite the arm workout when throwing back and forth.

Then, after about 10 more minutes (20 minutes total) it's ice cream time!!



 I cannot recommend this ball enough. It was so easy and so much fun to do. Ollie was amazed that milk went in, and ice cream came out. LOVE IT!!!!

In honor of National Ice Cream Day, Yay Labs, is giving away one soft shell ball on First Time Mom and Dad, and twenty-five on their Facebook Page!  Sign up below, then head over to their Facebook pagefor more chances to win!


Please VOTE for me!  One quick click and the vote is cast!  Click Here!
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Jul 19, 2014

Make Learning Fun With Movie Fact Reading Comprehension Task Cards

Today's post is being brought to you by a friend of mine!  Ashley Lafeur, a middle school teacher, and mother of a SUPER cute little! I have agreed to let her post today because she has created an amazing teaching tool that teachers, parents and homeschoolers can use to make learning fun!  I hope you enjoy...

Reading comprehension task cards are a perfect back to school activity for your kids. If you are a teacher, a homeschool parent, or even a parent who just wants to motivate your child to read, then these “Frozen”-movie fast fact reading comprehension task cards are for you!

            There are 20 task cards with brief facts from the movie- about the characters and events. There is a recording sheet with 20 questions about each card. All of my students were obsessed with the movie last year, and I wanted something like this for my incoming students because I knew they would be watching the movie and listening to the music this summer. Their background knowledge will be at a premium! I will say that students do NOT have to have seen the movie to be able to use these cards. The facts are on the cards and the questions come directly from the cards. They’ll love seeing the movie characters on the cards, which will be an extra motivator and fun piece for them!

            I simply place the cards around the room. My students put a recording sheet on a clipboard and carry it around the room to each card. They read first, then answer the question that matches the card number. You could also have students do this as an independent center activity, or you could do this as a whole class. It could be a team activity/game. As a bonus, students could also use the cards to put the events of the movie in order – if they do this, it could easily be a summarization activity!
            This packet is for sale for only $3.75 on my personal page at 

            Once you go to the link, you do have sign up, but it’s free and worth it! Please click the star beside my name and “FOLLOW ME.” That way, you can get updates on any new products I post!

Also, be on the lookout for “LEGO Movie” task cards coming soon!!!

Thank you to April for allowing me to share this with her readers! (My pleasure, Ashley!)
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