1/30/15

Parenting Lesson #412 Learned The Hard Way... Don't Screw Up Birthdays

I'm feeling like such an ass right now.  Ollie's birthday is going to get here before his presents.  Like 4-6 days before. #EpicFail

My only saving grace is that the kid is turning 3 and still has no expectations for his birthday...

In four days, Ollie will be three. (I can hardly stand it. How is he already three?!) With Christmas and his birthday being barely a month apart, FTD and I made a game plan for splitting up his big gifts between the two so we didn't go broke. The plan was to get Ollie a Choo-Choo table for Christmas, and a big boy bed for his Birthday.

Last week, FTD and I finally decided on the bed. It's a super cute fire engine bed with storage steps.   FTD and I have already had the conversation about how FTD's going to go sleep in it when Ollie kicks him out of our bed with repeated kicks. I told FTD I'd already be there since I usually get roundhouse kicked first.

Basically, we are getting the bed for ourselves...


Being the procrastinator from hell that I am, I JUST ordered the bed online thinking we could pick it up in the store.

Nope...

The bed is out of stock and has to be shipped to either my house or the store.

#Shit

 Out of curiosity, I checked to see how much express shipping was...

ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR DOLLARS!!!

What the hell?

I didn't want the bed that bad!  So, by next Friday it is... too bad that's four days after Ollie's birthday!

Dammit, I suck!

In an effort to fix my fail, I asked Ollie what he would like for his birthday.

Ollie: A cake with a candle.

OMG! How sweet is that?!

He's been to enough birthday parties to know, the birthday boy/girl gets a whole cake with candles to blow out.

After a little more coaxing, he said he wanted a trampoline like at his favorite toddler tumbling gym.

SCORE!  I go right online to find a store to buy it at.

No store in the city has one in stock.

Shit. Shit. Shit.

Why? Why? Why?

So now I have a bed and trampoline being delivered days after his birthday!


You have no idea how awesome this will be for the wild-one.
I also booked his birthday party for the following weekend to avoid conflicting with Super Bowl.

So, on his birthday he's not getting his bed, trampoline or party with his friends.

How's that for some serious first-world parenting problems?!

Don't worry, I have a plan!

On Ollie's birthday, FTD and I are taking him to his favorite place for dinner, at which time, I plan to tell him we are going to have a BIG birthday weekend with awesome presents,  a trip to the circus and a birthday party with his friends. Hopefully, since he has no expectations of a big birthday complete with lots of gifts, he will happily buy into my "birthday weekend" plan.

I still suck. Lesson learned.


1/27/15

Low-Fat Hacks For Your Favorite Game Day Snacks

In an effort to not completely sabotage my diet on Super Bowl Sunday, I put together a Super Bowl Spread that's packed with guilt-free goodness. Every single recipe is a twist on classic Game Day favorite. These hacks will leave you satisfied, and most of all, not feeling like you knocked over an all you can eat buffet.

Without further ado, today's Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Low-Fat Hacks For Your Favorite Super Bowl Snacks.

Don't Forget To 'Pin' Me!'
1. Chili

To tame this classic crowd pleaser, replace high-fat ground beef with lean ground turkey breast and lean ground sirloin. Load up on the veggies: peppers, onions, beans, tomatoes and fire-roasted corn. Top with reduced fat cheese and sour cream.


2. Homemade bean dips so good, no one will know they are bean!  


Make your own creamy (the creamier the better) dips by pureeing white beans with onion, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, or black beans with green chiles and cumin. The calories and fat are significantly slashed, plus you get a fiber boost with each serving. Serve with fresh veggies.  For a list of yummy dip recipes and nutrition info, click here.




3. Homemade Mini Pizzas LOADED with Hidden Goodness!


Keep the kids entertained with 'make your own mini pizzas.' Just don't let them see you layering on the veggies before the cheese. Save time by prepping the dough the night before. On game day, offer healthy toppings like low-fat mozzarella, turkey pepperoni and loads of veggies. 

4. Buffalo Chicken Salad


Skip the fried chicken and go for baked chicken salad for full flavor and a fraction of the fat!
To save time, I pick out the fattest rotisserie chicken in the deli. Chop in to small pieces and toss with buffalo sauce, greek yogurt or low-fat mayo and chopped celery. Serve with blue cheese crumbles and fat-free ranch dip. Recipe, Here.




Roast cauliflower until slightly browned and crispy. 
Serve with celery sticks, fat-free blue cheese or ranch for a nearly guiltless snack! 
Recipe, here.

6. Can the nuts and roast savory chickpeas!

These are so good I make them year round!
Recipe, here.


7. Don't forget the Game day Helmet O' Fruit! 



8. Fresh Baked Pretzels!
These are SO GOOD and low fat too!
Made with refrigerated bread sticks, so no prep! Recipe, here.



9. CHEESE PLEASE! Low-Fat Queso Dip!


Add chili, loads of veggies and reduced fat and/or fat free cheese! Step-by-step, Here.


10. The Ultimate Gridiron dip tray filled with yummy low fat healthy dips


Complete walk through, here.


Do you have a healthy game day favorite? Please Share!


1/22/15

THIS Is Why You Don't Mess With A Mother! #Bringit #OhNoYouDidnt

This morning I nearly dropped my coffee when I saw the dash cam video of a mother chasing down a bank fraud suspect trying to evade the police... I was like, WHAT? Then I heard why she chased the suspect down, and I knew instantly she couldn't help herself; her inner lioness came out...




Just so we're on the same page before I explode on this, here is the news story:
Headline: "Less than a week after running the Houston Marathon, a Texas mother (Miranda) tackles a bank fraud suspect trying to evade police."
It turns out, the woman Miranda tackled was the passenger in a car she witnessed  trying to evade police reaching speeds of 70 miles an hour... near the school Miranda's daughters attend! After seeing the car hit a curb and blowout two tires, and the passenger jump out and run, Miranda chased her down! First she cut the suspect off with her car, told her to STOP! and then jumped out and chased her down on foot! When she caught up with her, all 110-pounds of her crazy lioness ass SLAMMED the suspect to the ground!  

HAHAHAHAHA! She is my freaking hero! 

In the news interview Miranda said:
“I told my husband I didn't know where the strength came from, but I picked her up... she was probably twice my weight, and laid her down on the ground, then held her arm behind her, and sat on her until the cops got there. She could have killed somebody, and I said that to her when I had her on the ground"  
I'll tell you where the strength came from, her inner lioness

All mother's have an inner lioness. 

There is no doubt in my mind, the second she saw that car driving fast and crazy by her daughters' school, she lost her mind. So much so, she snapped into lioness mode and did whatever it took to make sure her girls were safe from that nonsense. 

You wanna see the eye of the tiger? Mess with a mother's child. Warning: It will be the last eye you see before yours get clawed out! It's no secret, all mother's have a wild inner lioness. The second you put her child in danger, she will pounce on your ass! 

I KNOW I WILL...

What do you think, was she crazy to get involved, or would you do the same thing? Have you experienced your inner lioness

Here is the news story if you want to watch it...

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player






1/21/15

CRAP! Am I Teaching My Toddler To Succumb To Peer Pressure?

Anyone with a toddler knows, potty training is from hell. Straight out of the depths of fiery frustrating I-hate-my-life-right-now, Hell. A potty training parent will say and do just about anything to get their toddler to crap in the can.

On a daily basis I do the following:

1. Beg and bargain with a two year old.
2. Dance like a maniac when my kid uses the potty.
3. Keep a large stock of treats and toys to use both as bribes and rewards.
4. Tell my son his, "Big boy pants" will catch on fire if he craps in them. (I was desperate!)
5. Saying,"Mommy, daddy, Jackson, and Cooper use the potty... Everyone uses the potty, Buddy, and you should too!"



It wasn't until Soccer practice yesterday did it occur to me that I might be teaching my toddler to succumb to peer pressure with my, "Everyone is doing it," statements...

Yet again, Ollie ran around like a maniac doing the complete opposite of the group, on the complete opposite of the field. Thankfully, this time it was much less embarrassing. However, at one point I walked over to the edge of the field when Ollie came close and said, "Dude, please listen to your coaches and join the group. Look, everyone else is listening."

I'm constantly trying to get my kid to behave or do something by pointing out "Everyone else is doing it, so you should too!"

GASP! This may be a huge fail!

For the first five years of my kid's life I'll be teaching him, "Everyone else is doing it, so you should too!," and then spend the rest of his life saying, "DUDE! If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you?" 

I may be over-thinking this.  But I really think there is something to this!  I don't want to teach my kid to follow the kids now, only to reprogram him later to be an individual and make wise choices on his own.

OK,  Maybe this is a bad example...


Bottom line: I'm going to avoid, "Everyone else is doing it," statements.  I'm just not sure how yet... they really seem to work!

What do you think?  Am I over-thinking this? Have you already thought about this?



1/20/15

10 Ways Being A Mother Has Changed Me... Into A Lameass

Let me just start by saying, I use to be so freaking awesome. I knew designers, pop culture, sports, my social calendar was hopin'... I was all kinds of bad ass.

Now, nearly three years into being a single-focus mother... not. so. much.



Without further ado, Today's Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Ways Being A Mother Has Changed Me... Into A Lameass...


1. The last three movies I've watched are Frozen, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, and some random movie playing on Disney that I totally got into to.

2. I couldn't tell you who is dating who in Hollywood, but I can tell you I hate myself for caring so much about Austin and Ally's relationship status though. FYI: The last time I read PEOPLE Magazine, I found my self staring at a bunch of strangers in fancy clothes. (I can't believe I just admitted to that...)

3. Sometimes, I wake up an hour before my family so I can sit on the couch and drink my coffee in silence. WHO GIVES UP AN HOUR OF SLEEP??

4. I'm a closet cookie and candy junkie. No really, I eat cookies and candy in the closet so I don't have to share... ALL OF IT!

5. An Awesome Friday night consist of me on the couch with red wine and HGTV.

6. Exotic cooking is me trying to find sly ways to get veggies into dinner.

7. I have no clue who is playing in the Super Bowl.

8. My Google search history reads like a paranoid mother. "Why does my Son..." "Can he die from..." "Can he actually yank it off..."

9. I constantly find myself driving around solo listening to toddler tunes. FYI: It's not until I start singing along do I realize it. Yes! I change it. I'm not a total lameass!

10. The last time I went out with girlfriends, it took us two drinks to turn into the town drunks, and all we did was talk about our families and cram our phones in each other's faces... "Look at this one, he was being so cute..." FYI:  Not one selfie was taken... Maybe I am a total Lameass...

How about you? Are you still a total bad ass, or has parenting turned you into a total lameass?



1/18/15

Today Is The Day. Everything Is Going To Change... For The Better...

Over the last near four years, I have watched my butt, appetite and indifference for exercise grow at an alarming rate. I'm 36, but feel like 100.  I have a hell of a time getting out of bed in the morning, I eat crap all day, and barely spend ten solid minutes moving each day. Sure I chase my toddler, but in short bursts.

You see, I've been lying to myself for the last four years...



Lie one:  I'm growing a baby, I need to eat these things... these naughty things I NEVER would have eaten so freely pre-pregnancy. (Weekly Dairy Queen Blizzard, Alfredo pasta, bagels, pizza... you know pregnancy staples.) #FAIL!

Lie Two: I'll breastfeed the fat off... I'm here to tell you, two years of breastfeeding did nothing for erasing my butt. #FAIL!

Lie Three: Chasing a toddler around will get me back in shape.  Not. even. close. #FAIL!

I am not alone in my lies, mother after mother supported them. 

"Trust your cravings, your body knows what it needs."
"Breastfeeding makes the fat melt off."
"Wait until you start chasing your toddler around, the fat will melt off."

Not only did I breastfeed, but I chased a toddler around for two solid years, and not one freaking pound "melted off."

Of course, I half-ass dieted and exercised intermittently over the last four years. In fact, last February I got back into yoga. I was going regularly 3-4 times a week for three months. The pounds did start melting off... then we bought a house. I traded my yoga mat for a paint brush and gardening.  While the weight at least leveled out, I was still twenty pounds up from pre-pregnancy.  Yes, twenty pounds!

You all, I am so sick of trying on fifteen outfits before a date night or girls night out just to find one that not only fits, but that I feel good in.  I am sick of feeling like crap inside. Most of all, I am sick of lying to myself.

I'm 36 years-old. Pounds don't just melt off anymore. It takes work and determination.

I'm finally drawing a line. I am going to reclaim my health and body. Starting today!



Over the weekend, I went through the cupboards and refrigerator and threw all the sugary high fat shit away.  I went to the grocery store and picked up healthy snacks for the family and plenty of fruits and veggies and lean meats for meals. I bought a pilates package from Groupon and rejoined my Yoga studio.

Let me be clear before I go any further, I am not on a diet or a crazy exercise kick. I'm changing my lifestyle.

I'm changing my family's lifestyle.

Diets end; Healthy lifestyles last.

The only way I will succeed at my weight loss and health goals is if I make a complete lifestyle change.

Being that I'm fortunate enough to not have any health or dietary issues, I am 100% in control of my body and the food that goes into it.

There are no excuses anymore.

No more lies.

I'm taking a stand, and holding myself accountable.  I have no one to blame for failing.

Today, I am setting in motion the standard of health and wellness for my family, and I feel really good about it. I know I can do this. I'm staying mindful of the food I eat and devoting three days a week to fitness working up to five.  I'm not talking about becoming a Yoga/Pilates/Zumba instructor. That's crazy talk! Just making exercise a part of my life, in a manageable way

Bottom line: Failure is not an option. I don't want to be this overweight and tired anymore.  I can, and will, get my shit together.

If you want to join me, get ready to kick off the first 30/30 challenge of 2015 on February 1st.  I'm two weeks ahead so I can test my theories and show you that it can be done.


30/30 Challenge 
Jump start 2015
February 1, 2015

Create a healthy lifestyle

This month get control of your crappy snacking, soda drinking and couch potato tendencies.
Clean out the pantry then restock it with healthy choices
Buy veggies and fruit not chips and candy.
Sign up for at least on yoga/spin/Pilate's class (working up to 3-4 a week)

Read more about the 30/30 challenge, here


Are you already jump starting your 2015?  What's working, what's not?

1/16/15

FYI: My Son is TWO. So Until He Turns Three (in 16 Days), DON'T CALL HIM THREE!

Post Disclaimer: The following post may read like a crazy rant written by a person who needs serious medical attention. Don't worry, I already know this, and from what I hear, acceptance of insanity is most of the battle. I am, after all, the mother of a crazy-ass TWO YEAR OLD toddler.


With Ollie's birthday around the corner, my family and friends are already referring to him as a, "three-year-old"  #Assholes

News Flash Family and Friends:  My baby is two, not three, so until he is three, he shall remain TWO.

Does this look like the face of a three year old?



It's so hard to believe it's almost been three years since I was the size of a small island...

It's hard to believe I still have not had a good night sleep.

It's hard to believe I have not  lost my shit like I threaten to do daily.

It's hard to believe Ollie doesn't have a sibling.  I was so sure I'd knock 'em out back-to-back. Now, there will be no more knocking.

It's hard to believe I still keep up his baby book.

It's hard to believe my ass is still so big.  Can I still call it, "Baby weight?"

Oh m gosh, sorry, this is not about my baby weight, this is about people calling my two year-old, THREE.

When people ask how old Ollie is and I say two, they look at me like, WOW! Two?

Yes, Two.  He won't be three until February. 

So, he's basically three then.

NO! He's basically TWO! 

So what if he will be three in a matter of days, he is still two.  Would you call yourself 40 one day before you turn 40?

No. No, you wouldn't.

Maybe it's me (usually it is), but I'm not ready to let go of Two. The time goes by so fast, so let me hold on to my last few days of Two.


P.s. If you are one of those people who hears Two, but pushes to find out the kid is almost three, DON'T CALL HIM THREE! They are only our baby for so long...












1/15/15

Helicopter Parents Need A Shock Collar #EpicFail


Something I left out about my recap of Ollie's first soccer practice, ("Toddler Organized Sports Are Anything But Organized") was the crowd of Helicopter parents hovering the entire practice!

On what planet is it right to hover over your child in the middle of a soccer practice?

#FAIL
When the coach initially called the children to the center of the field to begin practice, I expected the crowd of parents to come join me and the lady I spent the morning following around on the bleachers.

Wrong.

1/14/15

Toddler "Organized" Sports Are Anything But Organized.


I had such an eye opening experience at Ollie's first soccer practice. Oh, do I have a story for you...




We got to the practice with five minutes to spare. I've learned showing up early usually only leads to disaster in the form of a bored toddler, so as a rule, I aim for a five minute buffer, MAX. Since we had never been there, I wanted to leave time for the level of confusion and anxiety I was already feeling.

We walked in behind two ladies and a little boy Ollie's age. It was clear this was not their first time being there, so I decided to follow close. This worked out for navigating our way to sign-in and finding Ollie's name tag, but failed once I realized I was following her to the bathroom.


Thankfully, next to the bathrooms was the entrance to the soccer field, so we migrated with the rest of the parents and kids. Ollie's coach greeted us, and after introductions and pleasantries, he said, "Come on Ollie, let's go play soccer." Ollie barely glanced back at me before taking the ball out of the coach's hand and running out onto the field.  #peaceoutmommy

Much to my delight, the lady I followed in, sent her son onto the field right after Ollie, so I decided to follow her again to see where I should sit. We made our way to the bleachers, right as the coach called the toddlers, about a dozen 2-3 year olds, to the center of the field.

After ice breakers and rules, the coach described the first drill. Once he finished talking, Ollie takes off! But not with the other kids.

Quite the opposite.

In seconds, he's at the other side of the field, by himself, kicking and chasing a ball. FYI: The first drill is to make a turtle shell on your back with your arms by clasping your hands and "slowly" kick the ball.

Not my kid.

He has one speed; haul ass



I shook my head and started to get up when my new friend told me he was right on track for his first practice, and to let him run wild. She said the coaches would corral him every time they began a new drill, but when Ollie runs off, and expect him to, don't worry about it.

She told me today's only goal (pun intended) is to get him to have fun and like being there, and not to worry, every practice he will pay more attention and participate in the drills more and more. It turns out, this is her third kid, so she knows the ropes very well.

You all, no shit, Ollie did his own thing pretty much the entire time.  I was so embrassed at first. There's the group of kids in the center and then there's my boy... Doing his thing FAR from the center.  Sure enough, a couch would coral him back to the center for a new drill, and sure enough he would run right off once the kids started.

This pretty much sums up the practice:
Ollie chasing, tackling, kicking and carrying a soccer ball, while everyone else did mini-drills.
 
By the end of the 45-minute practice, I got over being embarrassed about having the ONLY wild-kid running around and not sticking with group. Of course, he will get better at listening and participating; preferably, sooner than later.

He is still two years old after all, so taking everything into consideration, I'm super proud of him! There's no denying he was having a great time kicking his ball and running freely. To Ollie's credit, when a couch would corral him for a new drill or water break, he always listened and joined the group. He just had no desire to stick around.




1/13/15

10 Tips To Get Organized In 10-Minutes #31DaysToGetOrganized

While watching my beloved Rachel Ray, she had a segment with Peter Walsh about devoting 10 minutes a day to getting organized. Being that I'm desperate to get my house and life in order, I tuned right in. The gist is that you spend 10 minutes a day, organizing a different area of your house. I love it! But that's not all... the tips I learned were fantastic! So good, I took notes.


Below are 10 tips I learned to both organize your home and prepare for parenting's inevitable moments.

1. Admit there is a problem to create the need for change. My name is April, and my life is a big  toddler crap cluttered mess.

2. Make a list. Get a pen and paper, and walk through each room of your house, making note of the things that need to be organized, or updated. Work from that list all month. Every day, pick one thing and devote 10 minutes to crossing it off your list.

3. Create an Emergency kit for spills. I love this tip. Create an emergency kit that's filled with stain and spill fighting essentials; Tide/Clorox stick, carpet cleaner, club soda, disinfecting clean-up wipes... you know all the things you scramble for daily!

4. Create an Essentials Kit: This kit differs from the emergency kit in that it's all of your go-to whole-house cleaning supplies in one easy carry-all. Wipes, furniture polish, glass cleaner, paper towels, sponges, wipes and most of all, a few garbage bags. The amount of time I spend juggling cleaners and having to run up and down the stairs to get things... yeah, this kit makes perfect sense. 

5. Hold people accountable. Delegate! Holy crap, do I need to drill this in! It's just that it's so much easier for me to do it myself! #Fail Since watching the show, I have made a list of weekly chores to see what I can delegate to FTD.  I'm also having Ollie help me pick-up his toys at the end of the day.  Yes, it takes longer, but I'm hoping that changes... to the point that I won't have to help and can do something else.

6Put yourself in a good mood. Peter Walsh said: If you don't enjoy doing something, it sucks, so find a way to enjoy it. He said to listen to your favorite music and dance while you clean. I totally agree. I love to listen to music while I clean. I just always forget to turn on the music. I'm now making a conscious effort to remember, because if I dance, I might burn a few extra calories in the process.

7. Start under your sinks. Start by cleaning under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Peter Walsh recommends, pulling everything out first, then sort through and throw away trash, and move things that don't belong to where it belongs. My tip: Add a stacking shelf and safety lock.

8. Declutter your closet. As much as I try to stay on top of my closets, I still have a problem with letting clothes go, even when I haven't worn them in YEARS! The tip is to turn hangers around so they are all facing you, then once you wear the article of clothing, turn the hanger around. After 6-12 months, if you haven't worn something donate, sell or gift it. It took me less than 10 minutes to turn everything around.  Even though I know what I don't wear, it will be cool to see what all is left at the end of winter.

9. Declutter the drawers. You know the lower third of clothes in your drawers? Yeah, me neither. I never get down to it, unless I go on laundry strike for more than a week. Which, doesn't happen. A great tip is to grab the lower third of the clothes in your drawers and go through it; if you wear it,  put it on top of the stack, if not, dump, donate or gift it.  Imagine being able to shut all of your drawers again...

10.  Stay focused on the task at hand.  I am so bad about starting one thing, then getting distracted by another. In fact, sometimes I do 10 things, but never finish one. I need to learn to stay focused on what it is that I'm doing, and wait to take the scarf and gloves to the closet.

If you want more tips, every day for 31 days Peter Walsh is posting a new daily challenge to clean and declutter your home. To see the segment and watch the tips, click here.

Do you have any home organizing tips?

1/9/15

Already Failing At Your 2015 Weight Loss Goals? Try This...

Earlier this week I posted about how I was pretty sure the only way I was going to achieve my 2015 weight loss goals was if every time I opened the refrigerator or pantry, a big fat hand came out and slapped my big fat face.

My name is April, and I have a problem with snacking. I love snacks. Especially cupcakes and Cheez-its. I could quite happily live off of both of them.

My biggest issue is not having a meal plan. I eat whatever is easy. Sometimes it's a banana followed thirty minutes later by entirely too many Cheez-its. Or for lunch, soup with way too many slices of cheese and crackers.  ...followed twenty minutes later with a cupcake.

Then there's the holiday nonsense I over indulged in... Let's just say I lost my mind way too many times at the dessert table.

I've had to draw the line. I've had to turn back to MealFit to get my family back on track.



Some of you remember last fall when I first partnered with Thomas Cox, the founder of MealFit. Thomas is a competitive Crossfit athlete and former college football player and coach. He's taken his knowledge from years of being a machine athlete, to create, MealFit; a 95% Paleo monthly meal plan subscription service.

Each week I get a full meal plan with healthy, figure- and kid-friendly recipes with a complete grocery list. Not only does it take the guess work out of what's for dinner, it also makes grocery shopping ridiculously easier. The plan also helps to cut down on waste too; I only buy what I need. 

While talking with Thomas, he told me about all of the new things going on at MealFit, including the new program for new mommies and those wanting to detox and re-boot their system, The NEW YOU 2015 Package.




  • 28-Day Teatox from Lyfe TEA to detox and  “re-boot” your system to get you off on the right start. 28-Day supply of Morning tea and a 28-day supply of the evening detox tea.
  • 28-Days of MealFit. Complete 28-day meal plan with the goal of Maximizing Fat loss and improving your fitness. This package includes a complete detailed grocery list so you are buy just what you need and not wasting money at the store.
  • 28-Days of at home workouts. 28 workouts that will walk you through the first steps of getting physically in the best shape of your life. This aspect will include 28 detailed workouts complete with a video that details the movement standards.
I don't know about you, but after the holidays my system needs a serious detoxing and re-boot. To sign up for the New You Package, click here.

Now, I don't want to go rubbing something in your face you can't use too, so with the blessing of Thomas, I'm posting a week of the Meal-fit Paleo plan, with grocery list, so you can join me in taking the guess work out of creating healthy meals and the stupid grocery list to match. 

One of my favorites on the list is the Crockpot Mu-Shu Lettuce Wraps!  YUM!


Mu-Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time: 8-10 min
Serves: 3-4
Click Here For Recipe


For your free week of MealFit, click here

And last, one lucky winner (Open WORLD WIDE!) will win a month of MealFit! During the month of February, each week you will get a meal plan with grocery list designed to feed your family healthy meals!  Sign Up Below!














1/8/15

My Toddler Is A Wrecking Ball With Feet

My toddler is a wrecking ball on feet. No, he's like that Sonic the Hedgehog the way he runs, charges and barrels down anything in his way!


He charges me and everything in his path, climbs on humans, couches, chairs, tables, steps and low walls then JUMPS! Seriously, if he is not charging, climbing or clanging, he's sleeping.

My friends, I am worn-ass-out!

If I'm not chasing, catching or corralling my toddler, I'm sleeping... with his foot and hands repeatedly being shoved in my face.

IT NEVER BLOODY ENDS!

It seems like the majority of the things I say in a day start with one of five things:

Stop that right now...

Get Down...

Don't Jump...

Come here right now...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I don't know what's gotten into him lately, but he's turned into a full-on wild boy. He is constantly climbing up things then jumping off. I nearly had a heart attack the other day when he jumped off, and easily cleared, three concrete steps! I'm not gonna lie; it was a very impressive jump. I kind of wanted to give him high-five, but not wanting to encourage that crazy-ass behavior, I held it together while explaining how jumping off steps, especially concrete ones, was incredibly dangerous

The worst of his new wild streak is the way charges me like a bull! He gets a running start from one end of the hall, then comes charging at me full blast. One day I'm standing in the hallway on the phone and, BAM!, he rammed me. This crazy charging continued for almost a week! While I think I've finally put an end to it, I'm pretty sure I'm permanently dented... And I'm not just talking about cellulite.

With only a few weeks until Ollie turns three, I see what the been-there-done-that parents meant about three and four being worse than two. When my kid turned two, he started testing limits. Now that he's near three, it's clear he is going smash the shit out of his limits and give me a heart attack in the process.

We've Crossed The Potty Training Line. #OnHisTerms #EpicFail

Well, my friends, we are less than two months from Ollie's third birthday, and much to my sadness, he's going to ring in three rocking diapers. Ok, maybe there's still hope for some sort of Divine holiday miracle, but I'm pretty sure I have very little to do with it, since the damn toddler has the ball in his court. Or should I say, diaper.

I'm so sick of trying to walk the fine potty training line.

You know; Be firm, but not too firm.

I've been working that angle for two years, and I'm here to tell you; there is no, "Hey, kid, go use the potty. Of course, only if you want to.", and then POOF he's pooping.

NOT EVEN!



EPIC FREAKING FAIL!

I've learned that if you want to potty train a dragon, stubborn mule, toddler, you need to get a game plan and stick to it.  And you HAVE TO DO THE FOLLOWING:

1. CONSTANTLY say, "Oi. Kid. Potty?" (or something like that) to your toddler ALL DAY LONG!

2. Offer a potty break at every seedy toilet you pass.

3. Bribe the shit out of your kid. I know parenting experts frown upon that, but those experts are wiping my kid's ass.

4.  DO NOT let them see you cry! Have patience like you have never known. You CANNOT get mad or frustrated. Potty training has to be the most delightful pain in your ass you have ever experienced. Think: Oh, honey, it's ok you peed all over the place; including me.  It's not your fault your daddy tried to teach you to pee standing up when mommy wasn't around to threaten his life. I'm proud of you for trying.

5. It's a job. Potty training is work. Hard laborious, annoying, frustrating mind-numbing anxiety-inducing work. But thankfully, like any job, you get paid... in not buying diapers or wipes again. Or so I'm told. I've also been told I'll be wiping his ass until he's five regardless of diapers, but I can't think about that right now.

So, what's holding us back?

The kid.

The kid is holding us back, because now that he has an opinion and agenda, potty training isn't very high on his priority list.

 If I ask him if he has to go, usually he will go. Otherwise, he's not volunteering. Unless, I let him run around free balling, and then he will usually go on his own.

Usually.


Potty Training is like being stuck on a train from hell driven by a toddler. My kid knows he has the ball in his diaper, and I'm just a pawn in the game.

Dammit.

Parenting.


1/7/15

Do You Still Follow Your Child's Milestones? #EpicFail

Good news!  It's time for one of my epic fail parenting posts. You know, where I tell you my latest parenting faux pas, and you laugh hysterically at me.

The issue at hand: Milestones

The epic fail: I stopped giving a shit.


As most of you know, I've had the honor of being on the writing team for the single most amazing parenting app I have ever seen. Yes, I'm a little bias because I'm working on it, but trust me, I would have never signed up for such a gargantuan project had it not been love at first sight.

The project has taught me so much about every single detail of newborn to infant to toddler development. It's also taught me about a few of my epic fails, and, thankfully, how to make up for them.

FYI Fail #1: There are things about my child's development that I can hardly remember. He is not even three yet!  How can I forget those beautiful moments already?

For example, I can barely remember Ollie's language development. It seems like he went from knowing only a few words to being fluent in toddler overnight. But somewhere in my foggy memory, I do seem to remember hanging on his every garbled word leading up to his first few clear words. Not that I can remember what they were.

Did you know: Between a toddler's first birthday and third birthday his vocabulary explodes; learning anywhere from 1000 to 2000 words?

I used to be so obsessed with milestones. Then somewhere around 18-24 months, when my little toddler became a walking, talking, self-feeding little human, I stopped obsessing. Maybe I just figured that since he could walk, voice his needs and eat when he was hungry, he had met all the requirements of a toddlerhood.

Fail.

Between newborn and five years old, a child's development is, for lack of a better word, miraculous!

Absolutely. Insanely. Miraculous.

Less than three years ago, I had a little slug that couldn't even move his head, now I have a bossy wild-child that insist on jumping off small walls.

The brain and the human body are a brilliant team that work together to make sense of their environment and adapt to it accordingly.  Hello, Evolution.

Thanks to the things I've learned recently, I'm paying attention to the dexterity in his fingers, his cognitive processing of new information and how he uses it, and the little things like running, jumping and skipping. I'm reading to him twice a day to help boost his vocabulary and imagination. I let him try new things, even if it makes me CRAZY watching him try and fail a thousand times before getting it.

Did you know: Scribbling is the foundation of learning to write. Never once did I consider a connection between the two.



Holy crap there is so much going on in my little guy's brain and body. I'm amazed by how much he can already do, and love watching the little strides he makes everyday towards his next major milestones.  While I don't obsess over the milestone matching a certain age, I do feel so much more informed knowing what to look out for. (Milestones matter from 0M-5yrs!)

Bottom line: Milestones do matter, and so do the little babbles, scribbles, skips, hops and jumps that get him there.  Lesson learned.

1/4/15

Sleep Training Update: The King Size Bed... EPIC FAIL!

Remember how a month ago, I had my sleep training revelation, Can't Beat 'Em, Buy A Bed Big Enough To Fit 'Em," where I decided to throw in the towel and accept the fact that the kid is NEVER going to get out of my bed, so I need to just buy a bed big enough to fit us all, comfortably. Well, I did it, I bought a big ass king bed. 



OK, so not that one! I found it while googling king furniture for ideas. CRAZY, right? It kind of scares me a little.  I'm more a sleigh bed kind of girl..., Since we are doing the reno on our bedroom (Remember, I that I wrote about too), I don't want to spoil the grand unveiling by showing the actual bed. 

Any ways, back to my big ass bed and toddler sleep training fail...

I was so sure going from a queen bed to a king bed would be the extra space FTD, Ollie, Professor the cat, a few Hot Wheels and a book or two, needed to sleep comfortably in the bed. There's nearly a foot and a half of extra room. That's enough to account for the toddler, a Hot Wheel and a book!

FYI: After researching and lying down on too many mattresses to think about, I settled on a "Hybrid"  Mattress; Top half gel and memory foam, the bottom half innerspring.  It's sold as, "The best of both worlds." For me, it was the fact I was torn between which to get, gel or inner spring, and the hybrid was super comfy.  I love it!

The bed was delivered last Friday.  I bought all new bedding, thanks to a doorbuster sale at Macy's.  Yes, I went to a doorbuster sale on Thanksgiving.  I'm a hypocrite, I admit it, but dammit I needed EVERYTHING-Mattress pad, Bedskirt, sheets, comforter, duvet, pillows... 

After letting the mattress air out a little (a.k.a off-gassing), I made the bed for our first big night of glorious sleep. I didn't even mess with trying to get Ollie to start in his bed, I let him crawl in wide awake and giddy with excitement.

There was SO MUCH ROOM!  We all fit comfortably.  I had no doubt I was about to get the best night sleep I've had since we tried to transition Ollie from his crib to a useless toddler bed four months ago. He has ended up in our bed EVERY night since! 

All was going well until I got roundhouse kicked in the head. Repeatedly.

When I finally moved Ollie around, so he was head up again, the headbutts began. Then the choke hold cuddle around the neck.  ALL NIGHT LONG! It was like he was making snow angels on a turntable for seven hours straight.

When I woke up the next morning, I looked over at FTD ready to cry about the night I had, only to find him looking as exhausted as I felt. It turns out, being that FTD was on the other side of the toddler turntable, he got his ass kicked too. 



The kid has so much room, he can flop, turn, roundhouse kick and death grip cuddle with ease. 

While I am definitely sleeping on the most amazing mattress in the galaxy, I'm not any further along in my drive to get a solid night sleep.  <Insert four hundred F bombs> 


So, now what?  


Back to Plan A... Keep taking him back to his bed. 


One thousand times a night.


Because, somehow, it's going to work eventually.


The Super Nanny said so.

Moral of the story: It's true, once you let the them in your bed, they will NEVER get out. 


There is some good news to my story; my dear friend DES, owner of Headleveler- The World's Only Made To Measure Pillow, is giving me and one of my fabulous readers a custom made pillow!!!



She actually already sent me my custom made travel pillow. It's a perfect replica of my pillow, but in travel size... or fits the toddler bed perfectly. Which is why I think she sent it; she knows I've had the enjoyment of sleeping on the toddler bed too many times. Though she swears it's important that I have a nice, hypoallergenic, germ-free, comfy, just-like-home pillow for when I travel... Plus,  Hotel pillows are kind of gross and offer no cervical support, so I certainly wasn't going to protest her kind gift. 

Here are some specs on it, because you just might have to have it right now, or maybe even win it!



Head leveler Travel Pillow:
Comes in 7 different thicknesses
Made to your height and weight specifications for contour fit
Promotes good postural habits and good health
Machine washable
Comes with travel case 
Of course, Headleveler pillows come in sizes that can be custom made to fit big and small and young and old too!



To get your custom made pillow in time for the Holidays, CLICK HERE!

To try your luck at winning a custom made Headleveler Travel Pillow with carrying case, sign up below!
Entry-Form

The Archives