7/31/14

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.






7/29/14

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.

I HATE BEDTIME.

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?

7/25/14

With Cooler Months Ahead, It's Time For Family Adventures!

With autumn’s much cooler temperatures around the corner, I plan to get the family outside as much as possible. I have grand plans for hiking, camping, and maybe even a little canoeing or fishing! Between the hot hot hot days of August, and the bitter cold temps that set in by November, we only have a small window to get in as much outdoor adventure as possible.



Having a wild and constantly busy toddler, I am always looking for fun activities to do that will also let him expend some of his energy.  One of my favorite activities is to take him to a near by park to hike the trails, and experience the sights and sounds of nature.  I also love that we are semi-contained on the trails, so keeping up with him is not such a difficult task. 

One activity that I want to do, but have been too worried about how my toddler will react, is camping. We have a HUGE national forest close by that our friends camp at all of the time, but I have been too chicken to take Ollie. Well, now that he is almost three and the weather is perfect, it’s time for us to at least give it a try!

Another thing holding me back from camping is not having the gear! We need camping equipment, all of it.  Knowing this, while I am out shopping I keep an eye out for discount camping gear. Or at the very least, camping tents for sale. Needing all of it at once can get expensive, so any clearance camping gear I can find, I’ll take!

I’ve also been doing research on the best trail running shoes, just incase I find a super awesome clearance for hiking gear!  Truth be told, I am always researching the best of stuff, so I can be ready to buy it when the sale hits.  Like for FTD, I researched the best running shoes for men, so I would have all the facts I needed to talk him into them if I ever found them on sale.

Bottom line, When Autumn’s cooler temperatures hit, no way am I going to sit inside the house comfy in my cheap yoga clothes waiting for winter to knock at my door!  It’s time to start planning for autumn and all of the family friendly outdoor adventures there are to do!


What are some of your favorite outdoor activities in Autumn?

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.

Well.

Shit!

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....

7/24/14

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 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.

7/23/14

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?

Why My Family Is Moving To Clean Eating #Vegan


Going Vegan—What’s Your Motivation?

Ready to ditch that fattening, life-shortening, heart-choking, cholesterol-laden, hormone-soaked red meat in favor of healthier, happier, plant-based “meats”? Congratulations—and as isolating as the concept might feel right now, understand that you’re certainly not alone in your quest. Vegetarianism and veganism is spreading like wildfire throughout the world, and with very good reason. Not only has a plant-based diet been scientifically proven in numerous medical studies to be healthier than a carnivorous diet, but you’re also helping save the environment in the process.

I try to make every meal with at least two fruit or veggies from my garden.  It's so important that I teach my son yummy food comes from the ground, not a box!


Between the cost of animal and meat transportation, fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, toxic waste and pollution created by factory farming, and many, many other environmental issues, the impact that we as a carnivorous society have on planet Earth is substantial and heartbreaking. A single pound of beef can waste up to 2,500 gallons of water to produce! Think of all the good we could do for our planet if we all made the shift to a meatless diet. And today, it’s easier than ever to create satisfying, nutritionally sound meatless meals. If you’re worried you’re going to miss the taste of meat, there are dozens of meat replacement products on the market today. The best of the bunch nearly perfectly replicate the look, taste, and texture of real meat. Sometimes, the resemblance to actual meat is so striking that meat-eaters can’t even taste the difference.

Compassionate Meals

We as a modern society have been taught to physically and emotionally disconnect ourselves from the food we eat. That pre-packaged, mass-produced container of red meat you find under plastic wrap in your local grocery store bears no visual resemblance to the cow it originally came from, making it remarkably easy to forget that you’re eating something that used to be walking around. The meat industry often perpetuates this mental disconnect, either directly or indirectly; deliberately placing their slaughterhouses out in the middle of nowhere, shielding them from public view. This is because the meat industry knows that when directly faced with the reality of large-scale meat production, most people might reel back in horror and decide to abstain from eating meat altogether.

If you aren’t convinced, take a few seconds now to search for an image of a cow online. Now, while looking at that picture, ask yourself honestly if you could take the steps necessary to slaughter and eat that cow as a part of your day-to-day routine. If the answer is “absolutely not” or “not without getting upset or sick from doing it,” then you have taken the first step towards acknowledging the harrowing reality of the meat you eat. When coupled with the knowledge that you don’t need to eat meat to be healthy, this newfound reality can be empowering. Soy and pea-based meat alternatives to the rescue!

Dairy, Too

The dairy industry isn’t excluded when it comes to animal mistreatment. Dairy cows are typically artificially inseminated and kept perpetually pregnant in order to stimulate milk production. They are injected with hormones to produce more and more milk, and injected with antibiotics when they become ill. These chemicals can pass right through to the milk they produce. Any female offspring of dairy cows tend to become milk cows like their mothers, while male cows are usually slaughtered almost immediately to become veal. Typically, newborn calves spend little or no time with their mothers after birth, which is extremely stressful for both mother and baby. Egg production can be similarly unpleasant, with chickens pumped full of chemicals to produce more and more eggs. When a chicken stops producing eggs due to older age, they are typically slaughtered for meat.

Environmental Hazards of Meat Production

The bottom line is that massive factory farming has grown out of control, polluting the environment each and every day, squandering precious resources to feed and water these animals, and wasting thousands of acres of land that could be used for growing vegetables. The worst part is that all of this is unnecessary—medical studies have proven time and again that not only is eating meat not required for optimal health, but a diet with substantial amounts of fruits and vegetables and little to no meats or dairy can vastly improve your health.

Weight loss, lowered blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a variety of other health benefits have all been directly attributed to a purely plant-based diet. Furthermore, the conditions that the majority of factory-raised animals endure are certainly less than ideal, and in many cases are absolutely deplorable. Even “free range” animals are often kept packed together by the thousands in dark warehouses that never see the light of day. Just because the animal isn’t kept in a cage does not mean it gets to live a happy, stress-free life before being slaughtered.








7/22/14

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...

HAHAHAHA!!  

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?

7/21/14

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!

WHOO HOO!

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
AND
a cheerleader for the New Orleans' Saints!
GET IT GIRL!!!
BRAVO!

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

7/18/14

20 Things I've Learned From My Toddler...


I have learned a ridiculous amount of ridiculousness being the parent of a wild toddler... below are twenty worth mentioning... 


1.   Patience. 
2.  Waking up at the ass-crack of dawn repeatedly to play IMMEDIATELY, will in fact, NOT kill me. 
3.  Bribery is key when it comes to training and maintaining a toddler. FYI: In order to make it through the grocery store with a toddler, food items must be purchased and opened every three aisles. 
4.  A toddler’s attention span is nearly nonexistent. 
5.  Patience. 
6.  Even though I am in charge, the toddler thinks differently.
We will leave the park when I say it is time!

7. Just because you stop following them does not mean they are going to stop running away. And good luck if you think calling them to come back is going to work!
Bye bye, mommy....

8. Toddler is code for, Diva. Sometimes, Shithead. But mostly, Diva
9. Toddlers suck to feed. If they don't want it, you, the floor and/or the pet will wear it.... I would rather feed hungry alligators with my bare hands, than feed a toddler.  
GO GET ME A STEAK!

10. Patience.
11. There are no limits to what a toddler will stick in their mouth. None. Zero. 
12. Just when you think the temper tantrum is over, you realize that it was just a short pause before the real freak-out. No day is complete without a melt down in public.
Oh It's On Now!

13. Movies like Ice Age, Toy Story and Frozen, NEVER ever get old to a toddler, even after the five hundredth time.
 
14. Four hundred zillion pictures of a toddler are not enough.  You have to take more, so you don't miss anything. 
15.  Patience 
16. They will crap their pants anywhere, anytime, and most likely at the most inopportune time 
17.  WARNING: They will HAPPILY repeat every single bad word and behavior they witness. 
18.  Naptime and bedtime are on their terms, you screw up the routine or piss them off, and you can forget your precious naptime or bedtime. 
19.  It is near impossible to keep a straight face when they are being oh-so-bad and oh-so-cheeky at the same time--This one gets me every time-I have nearly bit my tongue off trying to maintain my angry mommy composure when he is being hysterically naughty.
20.  Patience.
Whhhhaaaa?




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