15 Easy Fall Crafts For The Whole Family

With cool days, falling leaves and cozy weekends, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Family Fall Crafts This Year. The following are easy for toddlers to moms and dads, and most of all, crafts your kids can actually help with!  I have come across so many family crafts that NO child could do as perfectly as the photo. I avoid those. Because, if it were really easy enough for a child to do, then they would show the child's artwork, NOT theirs!

Sorry, rant...

Here you go, 15 Fall Craft For The Whole Family!

I love this Q-tip Fall Tree Craft.

This Autumn Handprint Tree is cute, too. Maybe combine the two and use the hand as the trunk, and q-tips for leaves!

I'm making these, Autumn Leaf Mason Jar Candle Holders my weekend project! These will be so pretty on my porch at night.

How CUTE IS THIS???  Totally making this Pumpkin Handprint Keepsake.

This Craft Stick Spiderweb craft is super cute, and I bet if you switched the spider for something Christmasy, it would double as a tree ornament too!

Halloween Tin Can Ghost, Cute and easy!

What a great idea! Glow-in-the-dark Pumpkin Craft.

Speaking of Sun Catchers, Don't have bubble wrap, try this Fall Leaf Sun Catcher Craft 

These Salt Dough Leaf Impressions are such a great idea. Definitely doing it on a rainy day.

Slime. My Son LOVES Slime. These Halloween Glitter Slime Monsters will be a party fav!

This preserved leaf mobile is adorable.

This Fall Leaf Painting is a great fall craft for the little ones. Use double sided tape and let him go to town!

This leaf people craft is a great idea for a family park activity!

Speaking of nature, what Fall Craft List would be complete without a DIY pine cone bird feeder?


5 Must Know Tips For Designing The Perfect Nursery

Last year, while writing an article for Parenting.com, about tips for designing a nursery, I had the great fortune to interview, Genevieve Gorder, interior designer, TV personality and super badass mom among many other things. During the interview, she made so many valid points about why to avoid pink or blue rooms, how to incorporate pieces that stimulate and soothe baby and why it shouldn't cost a fortune to design your dream nursery. Below are five tips to help you design and create a perfect nursery for your precious baby.

Consider Your Infant's Needs First

No matter what, keep the nursery airy, light and free of clutter. Stick to as many natural products and design elements as possible. Your baby won't even be able to see across the room for a couple of months, so think about health and cleanliness first. Fresh air, light and safe spaces should be your first concern. Also, babies grow quickly, so consider easy to change design elements. The last thing you want to do is paint and redesign your child's room every couple of months.

 This is a perfect gender neutral art piece. Credit: 76th & Newbury

Avoid matchy-matchy themes

Sticking to one color palate is not stimulating, it's boring. The nursery is your first opportunity to share the world, it's  colors, shapes, textures and sounds, so make the most of it. Sticking to gender-specific colors and toys creates a one-dimensional room. Babies need textures, colors and shapes to interact with, not just pink ruffles and blue bears. Start with a neutral wall color that allows for easy incorporation of different colors, shapes and textures, bold design elements. The neutral wall also makes it easy to change the room's design throughout the first few years of your child's life.

 I love everything about this shot of a nursery from 76th & Newbury. Spot on.

Include as many sentimental pieces as possible

Before you buy one piece of furniture, look to family and friends FIRST! And while you're there, look for folk art, antiques and other design elements to add a personal touch. Use grandma's old dresser for a change table, spruce up the old rocking chair on your parent's porch, beg borrow or just steal that mirror you've always admired at your mother-in-laws house.  Have an artist in the family, ask for a piece to add to the room. Who knows, many years from now, your child may use that same piece in her nursery. 

 LOVE this custom tree art from &6th & Newbury

Look to Nature 

One of my favorite tips from Genevieve Gorder during our interview was to use nature for design elements. She recommends walking around the yard or a nearby park to collect strong tree branches then wrap them in bold yarn colors in varying textures to create a sturdy shelf. One of Genevieve's favorite design element in her daughter's nursery was a large dried root from a tree that cost under $50. She hung it on the wall using a large hook and fishing line then hung photos and other child-friendly elements. Now, seven years old her daughter still cherishes her, "Tree of Life." (Shown below now hanging at the top of the stairwell.)

Photo credit: Genevieve Gorder

There's Only One Thing You Should Splurge On

Linens. Your infant will be spending a great deal of time sleeping on those crib sheets, make sure they are gentle, natural and hypoallergenic. Consider all linen options before buying off the rack at a big box store. All you need is two sets, and they'll be worth every penny. 

What's your best Nursery tip?

For more information, or to order the art shown in this post, please visit 76th and Newbury, here! 


12 Semi-Healthy Halloween Treats, Snacks + Dinners

Halloween doesn't have to be all about candy! Here are some super spooky tasty treats and dinner ideas to add a little wholesomeness to your Halloween Festivities.  

Semi-Healthy Halloween Treats, Snacks And Dishes...


How To Beat Holiday + Winter Weight Gain

How is it almost October? HOW?!?!?! 

I feel like I blink and it's a new month! It also doesn't help that since back-to-school week, my life has been on a steady routine, cycling day after day. Fall is defiantly upon me. So are the holidays, tailgating, chili-cook offs, cozy nights in with carbs and more carbs. However, if I don't do something to offset my future fatty food fetish, I'll be wearing my fat jeans permanently.

Which means... It's time to kick off the 3rd annual 30/30 Walking challenge! 

Starting October 1, 2016 through October 30, 2016, I challenge you to join me in beating winter and holiday weight gain and a slew of other crappy things. I promise, you're going to love this! 

So what is the 30/30?

I wish I could take credit for the 30/30, but I first learned about it on an episode of, The Doctors. The most popular 30-day weight loss challenges were put to the test. Many failed to show results, while others were too difficult to stick with, but one proved to be the real deal, The 30/30 Walking challenge.

In a nut shell: All you have to do is walk thirty minutes a day, for thirty days. Here's the best part, you can walk at any pace you want, snail slow or train for the race walking Olympic team--if there is one?  You don't have to diet, lift weights or fall on your face in a Zumba class. You can eat what ever you want, though a healthy diet is certainly going to produce better results. 

It's easy, no need to walk fast, at the same time of day, or even all thirty minutes at once. Just add thirty extra minutes of walking to your day. Walk slow, just walk. 

The walking challenge is a totally body, mind and spirt revamp. In 30-days you can lower heart attack risk, lose weight, add years to your life, sleep better and of course, better your overall health and mood.

(New mothers on maternity leave, this challenge is CRUCIAL for you. Your mind, body, mental health, raging hormones and newborn will thank you every step of the way. )

Just think... in two weeks you could be sleeping better, have lower cholesterol losing weight, and be a healthier, happier person.

How could you not want to at least try?

It's important that you find a way to easily incorporate 30-minutes (total) of walking into your day. The goal being to find a way to stick after the 30/30 is over.

Reel in your co-workers, family, friends, neighbors. Create a 30/30 group. If you have a fit-bit, see how many steps you take walking 30-minutes. Make that your goal the first week or do the 10,000 step challenge. The buddy system, is a great way to make this stick! Last year, I did the challenge with a girlfriend after we dropped the littles off at school. We still walk together in the mornings.

Here are a few ideas to help easily blend the 30/30 challenge into your day:

  1. If you take public transportation to work leave 15 minutes early and walk to the next stop or station. (I know, for those non-morning people this is a stupid suggestion)
  2. At lunch, walk 15 minutes away from your desk, eat, then walk back--maybe even the long way back.
  3. On the weekends, go explore a new (historic) town or nature trail with the family.
  4. Take the stairs all month, maybe even go up a few extra flights then come back down.
  5. Only need a couple things from the store? If one is close enough, walk there!
  6. On rainy days, clean or organize a closet for 30 minutes, better yet, go to an indoor mall for some retail therapy.
  7. Park in the furthest spot from the door 
  8. For a week straight, walk out of your front door and take a different street or path and see what you find.
  9. Download an awesome mystery ebook to listen to while you walk. TIP: Only let yourself listen to the book when walking, this might get those walks stretched out well past 30 minutes.

Once you commit to the 30/30 Challenge, tell as many people as you can that you are doing this to add accountability. Get a support group to help encourage and hold you accountable.

It's just 30 minutes for thirty days.  It's not hard or an on going commitment.  This is a challenge that you know you can do. The best part is that October first is a Saturday this year. This gives you a two day start without work/school complications.


Join me on the 30/30 and follow me on your favorite social media channel.

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Can you believe Summer '17 is almost over? Like all summers, it went way too fast. While, spring and summer are my favorite seasons, Autumn isn't really that bad. After all, its a time for football, chili cookouts, boots, cozy sweaters, hoodies and leggings and eleven other things you will never believe!  Keep reading for Autumn fun facts totally worth knowing...


1. Levels of testosterone in both men and women are at their highest in the fall. Scientists speculate the surge may be a result of ancient mating instincts (e.g., the fall “rutting season”) or that decreasing daylight somehow triggers it.

2. According to NASA, autumn is “aurora season” because geomagnetic storms are about twice as frequent as the annual average during the fall.

3. Cooler temperatures and less light during the autumn months signals the tree's leaves to stop producing chlorophyll, or the green pigment that helps capture sunlight to power photosynthesis. As the green fades, the leave’s other pigments shine through. 

4. Red and purple leaves are caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.

5. The word “harvest” comes from the Old Norse word haust, which means “to gather or pluck.” As people moved to the cities, “harvest” fell out of use and city dwellers began to use “fall of the leaf,” which was shortened to “fall.

6. The shorter days and cooler nights tells the animals to begin storing food in their nest/dens and fat on their body, before winter's death freeze arrives.

7. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) can lead to weight gain during autumn and winter. Lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage. Take a supplement before even consider sunbathing. It's safer, faster and healthier.

8. Autumn holidays include Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Patriot Day, Autumn Equinox, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day and Thanksgiving.

9. Each autumn, monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. to Mexico and some parts of Southern California. They fly at speeds of 12 to 25 miles per hour. Monarchs are the only insect that migrates during the winter to a warmer climate...  2,500 miles away!

10. The autumn equinox, or the 'First Day Of Fall' signals the aurora borealis--the Northern Lights--geomagnetic storms are twice as likely to occur during the fall due to cool evening weather.

11. The pumpkin was first named, Pepon, which means “large melon, by the Greeks,

FYI: How a Pumpkin grows!

What's your favorite thing about Autumn, Fall, Harvest?


This Combo Will Get Your Baby To Sleep, FAST!

**Today I am partnering with Fade Away Sleep Sounds to share my secret for getting my son to sleep, relatively easily! All opinions are my own.

When someone tells me they have a newborn or infant, I always ask, "How are you sleeping?".  Just their initial facial expression alone answers my question. The parents with infants who sleep through the night smile a huge proud smile, before carrying on about how great their child sleeps.

I was never that parent.  I cried when I was asked that question.

My son didn't sleep through the night (10pm-7am) until he was eight months old. The first six months of my little guy's life, he nursed around the clock sleeping in mostly 4-6 hour stretches. I would have lost my mind if it hadn't been for the bedtime routine and Mr. Giraffe's baby sleep sounds.

My sister, a mother of two boys, now nine and ten years old, had a bad sleeper, and learned the hard way to "stick to the routine like your life depends on it." She also insisted that I get a sound machine to soothe my infant to sleep. She was right on both accounts.

Did you know, it's hard for baby to adjust to the quiet world outside of mommy's loud tummy?

The problem was finding the right white noise for baby sleep! So many sound machines make this strange tempo sound. I needed a white noise or something familiar to my son when he was in the womb. Sounds like my heartbeat, blow dryer, vacuum or water running. 

In lieu of blowing up my blow dryer, I found a white noise machine buried deep in a stuffed giraffe, then paid WAY too much for it.  

All was great until one particularly gross tummy flu destroyed Mr. Giraffe. I dug out the sound maker and have used it by itself since. Even though the white noise got my little guy to sleep like a charm, no way was I going to pay for another overpriced stuffed animal!

If you have a rotten sleeper or have really long bedtime battles, I cannot recommend enough starting a bedtime routine followed by sleep sounds for babies. And rather than pay an arm and a leg for a stuffed sound machine, check out Fade Away Sleep Sounds. 

A dad invented it. He too had a crappy sleeper and loved his sanity.

Watch This:


The Fade Away Sleep Sounds tracks offer a unique feature with it's fade away to silence. This way parents can help their kids fall asleep on their own and at the same time wean them off of the white noise since a track lasts for only 60 minutes in total. The last ten minutes is a slow fade out that gently helps the child to sleep on its own. 

Parents always make the best stuff! We know what works, not the big corporate giants. 

I love entire concept and range of familiar sounds Fade Away Sleep Sounds offers.  You can listen to the tracks on their YouTube channel, here. Or start downloading Fade Away Sleep Sound Tracks, HERE!

I really cannot express enough how important the bedtime routine and the combo sound machine became to my son's sleep and my sanity. Four years later, when we travel, the routine and white noise has yet to fail me in getting the little guy to sleep. I stick to the bath, bed, books, lights out, sound machine on, and I plan to do this until he protests or I send him to college! 

What's your sleep secret? Which track would be best for you baby? Hairdryer, running water, thunderstorm, clothes dryer, electric fan, washing machine, vacuum? 


This Conversation Will Save Your Family's Life #NatlPrep

Is your family prepared for a natural disaster? A house fire? A terrorist attack? Do you have an emergency plan? Have you designated meeting points and a contact person? 


Me either. Until yesterday, I never even considered making a family emergency plan. I didn't even know there was such a thing. Thankfully, I stumbled onto Ready.Gov doing research for an article, and my life was changed. Possibly, saved...

Did you know, September is National Preparedness month? This year, Ready.Gov is pushing the initiative to:

Don't Wait, Communicate. 
Make Your Emergency Plan Today. 

Last night, I spent some time researching ways to be prepared and keep my family safe in a multitude of crappy scenarios. I found a wealth of information on how to make a family emergency plans, what I need to know, checklists and the importance of having a 72-hour survival kit. 

Below are a few of the resources I found useful for creating a family emergency plan.

First, POP QUIZ!  How prepared are you?

Second, What's in your Emergency Bag?  Here are a few things to consider packing...

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio                    
  • Flashlight and extra batteries                                                                             
  • First aid kit
  • Local maps                                                                               
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Depending on your needs, additional items could be added:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers                                               
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Fire extinguisher                                                                       
  • Matches in a waterproof container                                                            
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Books, games and/or puzzles
  • Paper and pencil
  • A first aid guide

Third, and the most important, What's the emergency plan? Rather than list all the ways to plan for various emergencies, I am going to send you to the very best resource I've found for making an emergency plan, Ready.gov. There's a wealth of information, downloadable checklists, tips, and even online games kids can play to experience various emergencies.  Click the image or link below.

https://www.ready. gov/kids/parents

How do you plan for emergencies? Have you experienced a family emergency and have a lifesaving tip? PLEASE SHARE!!!



Because Mommies Have Sensitive Tummies Too #DrinkPremama

This post was sponsored by Premama as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in the post are my own.

Sensitivity should be my middle name. I'm thoroughly sensitive from the inside and out. From my sensitive skin to my feelings, to my tummy, I am always dealing with one sensitivity issue or another! 

This was never more true than when I got pregnant. I struggled daily not only swallowing my prenatal vitamin, but it upset my stomach to no end. Knowing I had to take them, I talked with my doctor about other options. That's when I found out, hard pills are not the only way to take a vitamin. 

This information changed the game. 

First I tried a chewy vitamin, but the flavor was so yucky, I had to hold my nose chew them up, then wash them down with water.

I was so annoyed that something so good for me and baby, made me so sick!  

Thankfully, the wonderful people at Premama knew there were preggies in need of vitamins, delivered in a convenient non-pill non-nauseating way. 

Now that the hubs and I have started talking seriously about having #2, getting my health and diet in check are essential. And since my diet doesn't always deliver the vitamins I need, making sure I get my recommended daily intake is very important to me. 

What's more, Premama Prenatal vitamins can be blended in Smoothies! Check out these super food Premama Prenatal smoothie recipes!  *(Don't forget to Pin the images for later!) 

Berry Bomb Smoothie

 I seriously LIVED off smoothies when I was pregs with Ollie. 

Tropical Island Escape Smoothie:

If, like me, you struggle with swallowing pills or get an upset stomach from vitamins in the morning, definitely give the entire Premama a try. You and your growing baby will be so glad you did! I know Ollie and I were both stoked with I got my prenatal vitamin under control. 

Premama is so sure you will love their essential vitamin drink mix, they're giving away a  free sample of either Premama Lactation or Premama Fertility through September 29, 2016! ? To get yours, see below. 

TIP: Now through September 25, 2016, Premama is on super sale at your local Meijer Stores! To find a store near you, click here!


Creating Balance In Your Parenting Partnership

NOTE: This is the conclusion to yesterday's post, The Mistake So Many First Time Parents Make, where I shared a back and forth email between myself and a reader exposing the ugly truths behind control-freak (first-time) moms, and dads either not sure what to do or are getting away with doing the minimum. Today's post is a continuation of the email exchange, and the magic that happens when you communicate with your parenting partner to create a better balance.

Now, where we left off yesterday was me telling Kate, "It's important to be open with Will about feeling overwhelmed, but also know you take on too much by your own accord. 

This is what happened when Kate talked to her husband: 

KATE: Guess what?! Hubby is currently upstairs putting George to sleep for the first time... Fingers crossed.

ME: Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! Bravo. Small steps. I'm so happy for you!! Let me know how it goes!

KATE: 8:08pm, George is asleep, kitchen is cleaned up and I am sitting on the couch!!! Heaven! 

I look back to the first year of parenting where I was a scared, control freak first-time parent. I was so full of anxiety, I couldn't sit down. I was constantly rushing around doing one thing or another to ensure my son was well fed, cared for and in a sterile safe environment. Then, at the end of the day, I would plop down on the couch exhausted, resenting the hell out of my husband for not helping me. 

He insisted he would help if he knew what to do or I didn't bitch at him for doing things wrong. He also expressed frustration about me constantly standing over him telling when and what to do with his son because of the, "routine".

It's true, that routine was everything to me and having everything just right was important to me, too. Even though the new-parent anxiety was plentiful enough to keep me on the move, mentally and physically I was falling apart. 

What's sad is that my husband is an exceptional father, and fought me every step of the way to prove that. I just struggled so much with how his ways were not like mine, and at the time, I thought my ways were the best. I was such a bitch! (Sorry, baby. I love you!)

Please learn from me on this one, if you resent your parenting partner because you carry the majority of the load, take a look at the reason why. Is it because you won't let your partner do anything? Or when you do, you critique everything to the point of berating their parenting ways?  Or is your partner a lazy shit that needs a fire lit under their ass?

Regardless, if you are worn out and need help and it's sitting on the couch in the other room, speak up, step back, delegate. Something. Find a way to open the line of communication, like Kate did, to create a better parenting balance. Trust me, your entire family will benefit from you relaxing a little. 


The Mistake So Many First-Time Parents Make. And How To Fix It.

A couple of days ago, I shared a post, "Think Children Will Save Your Relationship, Think Again", about the changes my marriage and relationship when my husband and I became parents. My hope was that sharing my story would, hopefully, help at least one person going through the same things.

By mid-day, I was overwhelmed by the response I was getting from readers thanking me for sharing, or praising me for my honesty. I was right, many of my readers are going through the same relationship and parental woes. 

With the gracious permission of a reader,  I get to publish the correspondence we had via email about some classic mistakes first-time parents make and how we are working to fix them. And a magical, amazing twist at the end that will give you hope...

(All names have been changed to protect the AWESOME!)

Kate: Read your blog post today!  Please tell me this doesn't go on for THREE years?? Ahhhhh...

I am currently living in this agony... My son is 7 months old and I never felt so far away from my husband then I do now, but there isn't enough hours in the day.  I have too many roles, mother, wife, daughter, sister, employee, friend, individual.  Unfortunately, Mother and employee take priority.  I have to take care of my son and all the other roles are getting pushed off especially the wife role.  My husband and I were together for 13 years, married for 6 before we had our son.  Having him has been a HUGE change in our lives.  I can't believe how selfish we were before.  

I also resent my husband a lot, I am working on it, but it's hard.  He does the best that he can, but he works ALL THE TIME, so he is just not, not sure what the correct word is, "natural" with my son.  Where I know what he needs when he needs it.  I'm mom.  I know, I know, I need to let him figure it out  but I feel like I am the primary caregiver to my son and he gets to do whatever he wants ALL THE TIME.  Never considers me... This has been so hard on us.  We were rock solid before.  We haven't argued as much as we have in the last, I would say year, because I was a miserable pregnant person too.  Somedays I feel badly how I treat him, but others I just need him to take it, if that makes sense.

Thanks for your story as always... I just don't know if I could make it three years...


It's great to hear from you again. Sorry, it's under the circumstances of such a crappy thing. 

First of all, no, not three years. Especially, because you are talking about it now. It will get even better when you start talking about it with your husband about it!. Sooooo much easier said than done, right? lol

Ok, here's my two cents, not that you asked for them, but... well...

On the subject of resentment. I struggled so hard with this. I resented my husband for getting away with watching tv, while I was struggling to get our son to sleep, or make dinner, do the laundry and feed ollie. I also wouldn't let him do much because I beat him to it or I knew my way was better and faster. I created the issue with my control freak like ways. I learned, I couldn't resent him for the things I created. I started to delegate the jobs, and tried to not overdo it. I also learned to not let him do the laundry, because " sorting is a bloody waste of time." 

On the work part resentment. FTD works at a school for children with special needs and learning difference that emotionally and physically drains him. He leaves at 8am and comes home at 6:30. I HATE HIS WORK!  The place sucks him dry and sends him home an exhausted shell of a man. I am constantly telling him to stop overextending himself and helping everyone, then working late to get your own work finished. His family needs him! 

I digress...

When he's late, he does the bedtime routine. When he's early, I tell him I have "work to do" and need 30 minutes, then run off to hide somewhere. The key is to drop your son in your husband's lap and haul ass. I know that may be hard, but it's best. You want your husband to be "natural"? Then go away. Let him be a dad, without worry of you looking over him. This is also a man-pride thing. Do this for an hour on the weekends. The trick is to get your husband and son happy alone together for longer and longer stretches. This will give them time to bond while you find your shit. You know, the shit you lost at the beginning of the week! 

On the subject of growing apart.... work to make 10 minutes a night to talk to each other about your day, NOT about your child. After Ollie goes to sleep, Hubs and I walk around our house, or sit on the steps outside away from distractions. Since we don't have a regular babysitter, we also have date nights in on the weekend. Again, after Ollie goes to sleep, we order delivery food or take out, set a table, turn on music and drink a bottle of wine. It's great. The hardest part is making the effort, but damn it's worth it. 

And last, but certainly, not least, This too shall pass. The less your son depends on you and demands your time, the more you will have for each other. It's worth the wait to have a beautiful happy family. It's just so damn hard at first! 

Thanks again for reaching out. It's wonderful to hear from other moms who totally get it. I work from home, this is the most solid adult talk I have had all day! 

Take care and reach out anytime!

KATE: I couldn't have written this any better myself!!!!

I resented my husband for getting away with watching tv while I was struggling to get our son to sleep, or make dinner, do the laundry and feed ollie.I also wouldn't let him do much because I beat him to it or I knew my way was better and faster.

Although, Will doesn't watch TV, he "works" on the computer. I think he is really just playing.  Or he disappears out to the garage... Then, after putting George to sleep, which I have done solo every night for the last 7 months, but again, it's my fault, I do enjoy putting him to sleep, but I am pissed at the same time, but I still won't let Will do it.  I know how to get it done quickly with minimum crying.  Then, I am pissed that I have to come downstairs after George is out to the kitchen still a mess from cooking dinner and look at my husband sitting at the computer or out in the garage.  

It just makes me angry.  It is completely my fault too and I know it.  Like you, I am a crazy control freak, and Will's excuse for not cleaning up is that he won't do it right or put something away wrong and I'll get annoyed, but if it isn't done I'll get annoyed, so he really can't win either way...  I've got issues. Will is used to me taking care of everything around the house, but I just can't keep everything up to my standard anymore, and it is driving me crazy...  The easy thing to do is let it go, but that control freak in me just can't.

ME: Oh girl, that's just it, you're a control freak who's lost control. Everything you said was the same here! It's about letting of go control. Ask Will to " Please, load the dishwasher while I put George to sleep." The hubs does it every time I ask with no complaint. I don't know why I don't ask more? 

It's important to be open with Will about feeling overwhelmed, but also know you take on too much by your own accord. Start talking now, and once George is easier, things will be great!

The Hubs says the same thing about not doing something b/c I will bitch. For that, I have two choices, let him do it and deal with the imperfection, or do it myself and be pissed. It's a tough one sometimes.  😀

Tomorrow, I will publish the last three emails. I would do it now, but this post is long. Plus, what happened the next night was MAGIC, it deserves it's own post... Stay tuned... 

Stay up-to-date and follow me on your favorite social media channel and sign up for our newsletter of awesomeness, here!

SIDE NOTE: To longtime First Time Mom and Dad readers, it was this same reader who made me seriously rethink moving to LoveLifeDIY.com. I started this blog to share my journey and help as many first-timers as possible not face the same challenges I had, blindly.  I can't stop doing that! This was the email that opened my eyes:

Dear April,

I want to first say Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

I am sure you are wondering what this crazy stranger is thanking you for...  I am a first time mom at home on maternity leave with my now almost six week old baby boy.  I was literally going crazy from lack of sleep and dealing with a newborn for the very first time. I have never even changed a diaper in my life before six weeks ago.  I started googling crazy things in desperation like "tips for first time moms" and "open adoption agencies" (not even joking).  One of these searches pulled up your blog, for the life of me I can't remember which one, but I will forever be thankful for finding it.  I have just spent the last week or so reading your entire first year with Oliver.  Your blog made me feel so many things.  I laughed for the first time in weeks, I cried (well I cry over anything these days still, I am blaming it on lack of sleep), it gave me hope that I can do this, and it gave me joy.    

Your blog is keeping me sane.  So again I have to say THANK YOU!

Warm Regards,

Complete sleep deprived first time mom


If You Think A Child Will Save Your Relationship, Think Again.

My husband and I were so happy and carefree before Children. We took regular strolls hand-in-hand. Smashed many, many happy hours, followed by a quiet dinner. The weekends were magical days filled with whatever we wanted. We were so happy and madly in love.

Holy crap did our lives change the day we became parents. Especially, our relationship.

We went from cuddling to trading off sleeping and feeding. Our social life fell in the toilet. Nightly strolls were replaced by tag team rounds of getting a crying baby to sleep. Date nights turned into cold takeout we ended up eating separately because our baby would inevitably wake up as soon as the food arrived.

Sex. Um... Well... Who has time for sex when you have a new baby and every time you lay down you pass out.

This sad cycle carried on for at least a year before I started to realize how far apart my husband and I had grown. During that first year we were working partners. Our lives revolved around our baby and work. We were so exhausted, the thought of a conversation was just too much to deal with. The hubs turned to his computer during his free time, while I would blog and write my short stories.

Then, the bickering started. Of course, there was a fair amount during the first year, but that was more fear of screwing up our baby. The second year, we bickered more because we were miserable and annoyed with the current state of our relationship.

It felt like everything had changed, including us.

The third year of our son's life, by far, was the most difficult. I said the word divorce twice. The hubs threatened to move back to Australia. It was ugly. Too many heated conversations happened in earshot of our son. It was absolutely awful. We focused all of our time and attention on our son, and pretty much avoided each other.

I want to cry thinking about it. Which, I did a fair amount of too during those first three years. There were times, I really thought it was over.

I prayed and prayed. How could two people with the most magical story of meeting, who were so madly in love, turn into these miserable assholes passing in the night?

The saving grace was that, for all our fighting and differences, we had a few happy moments in-between, loved each other very much, and most of all, our son was beautiful, happy and healthy. At least, we were doing something right as a couple.

Then, four months ago, our son turned four years old. Almost like magic, he became more independent. He was able to dress himself, get his own water and snacks, use the bathroom and solo-play. He demanded much less of our time. Leaving my husband and I, more time to work on us.

At first, when trying to work through differences, we bickered and talked at each other. It was clear, the last few years had taken it's toll on our relationship. We were both angry and hurt. Essentially, we had put our relationship on the back burner. That being said, we never really had to 'work' at our relationship before becoming parents, so it was something we had to figure out. Together.

It took time, but we worked to re-open a line of communication, which, was essential. We agreed that we've both really sucked at being a couple, but that we were still super in-love, so all was not lost.  We both made an effort to talk, cuddle, find things we can enjoy doing together... And what's proved to be a game changer, once a month date night to get away and reconnect.

Our lives will never be the same as our pre-parent days. Going through this, sometimes dark and sad, process with my husband has taught me that having a happy family, marriage and personal life takes work and balance. LOTS OF IT. The key is to work on each, equally. The further things slide, the harder it is to pull them up again...

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