Monday mornings can be such a drag, especially after a Holiday weekend.
Luckily my son is being very good eating breakfast in his high-chair and letting me drink a HOT cup of coffee!
To be honest, I was having such a hard time thinking of what to write about for today’s blog post. Usually I have mine done far in advance but writer’s blog hit. My inspiration journal was just not doing it’s job and I couldn’t come up with a single thing I wanted to talk about.
So I thought for today, maybe we would just chat and get to know me a little better!
For those of you that are new, my names Amanda. I usually write the Monday posts here on Quirky Workin’ Moms.
I am 26 almost 27 in August. I’ve been married almost 2 years to a total sports fanatic that I have been with for 8 years! We have an adorable almost 1-year-old (silently crying while I say that) son who we just can’t get enough of! We are a pretty active family but most of the time you can find us on the couch watching The Office or Cheers on Netflix.
I am an avid reader and writer, I actually even have another blog more specific to the books I read called hanging with amanda. Anything romance or mystery/thriller is right up my alley. Even historical fiction as well!
I enjoy wine and margarita’s and the sunshine on my face. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, you can’t beat the beautiful colors in Michigan during the Fall. I absolutely LOVE dogs. We are hoping to get a golden retriever next year and it has me so excited.
Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde are two of my fav movies. Every time Sweet Home Alabama is on TV you can usually find me stuffing my face with popcorn and chocolate.
The simple things in life like family and friends just make me so happy and that’s usually how I spend my days when I’m not working!
I’m just really happy we are connecting with so many other moms out there and bloggers like us! It’s been so much fun and we are just getting started! Plus today’s post marks our 20th one and that is exciting!
It’s time to heat up my second cup of coffee and get this little man of mine down for a nap.
Do we have anything in common? I would love to hear more about you all and your favorite things!
I love summer! The sunshine and being outside all day truly does the body good.
The kids are out of school, and I FINALLY took some vacation time to enjoy these long summer days, and these warm summer nights. But what are you going to do with your vacation?
I love when we all go camping as a family. We have done a trip to St. Ignace to visit Mackinac Island, Port Austin to kayak around Turnip Rock, we even took a trip to our most favorite spot, Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio!
Summer Time is the best time to make lasting memories with your family. Some of my most favorite memories as a kid would be camping with my mom and my siblings, or showing animals at the local 4-H fair.
I wanted to share with you all some of my families favorite summer activities!
We love to swim! We are surrounded by so many beautiful bodies of water, and we are so fortunate to live just miles from Lake Huron. We love a good beach day. Just us on our “secret” beach and some snacks. It’s like heaven on earth!
We love to camp! Just last weekend for Father’s Day, we decided to pitch the tent in the back yard. We love going to different camp grounds here in MI too! Michigan is so beautiful and there is so much to explore, camping can be a good low cost way to travel and see your home state. Our favorite part would probably be the s’mores though!
Which leads me to our next favorite activity…
We probably have a fire going in our little pit 3-5 times per week. We don’t always have s’mores at the campfire, and maybe we’re just burning up some sticks after we picked up the yard, but we’ve made some great memories around the fire. We like to play little games like “Would you Rather?” or “Never have I Ever” while we sit around the fire. It’s such a good way to bond with our girls!
Our girls are little chemists, I’m telling you! Slime is the messiest, grossest, and hardest thing to clean, but the girls LOVE it! I need to buy stock in Elmers glue, and food dye. LOL! We are constantly making it, and most recently the girls found “Slime Baff”. Yes, you read that right. It’s a slime bath, and they can’t get enough of it!
I went to Five Below, and picked up some fun outdoor activities! We got Velcro ball, a new basketball, a giant checker board, and a frisbee game. It’s not super expensive, but it keeps them occupied. We even made our own paper airplanes, and had a little race. Dad won of course!
Summer comes and goes so fast, so we really try to make the best of it. It’s hard during the week since both my husband and I work out of the home, but what ever time we do have with them, we make it count!
What are some of your favorite activities you do with your kids? Or if you don’t have kids, what do you enjoy doing?
I say that because I think one of the hardest things about being a working mom is having to walk away to go to work.
My son is at the age where meltdowns have started and you could find me wiping tears from my eyes the other day when I had to leave for work and he cried and held his little chunky arms out for me.
Don’t get me wrong, working and being a mom is bittersweet. In one way it’s an outlet when you just need something for yourself and human interaction but on the other end it’s one of the hardest things because you feel like you aren’t present enough.
My son is 11-months-old so he is SO close to taking those first few steps and through this whole first year that was my worst fear, not being present for all those big milestones.
In this crazy life and these even crazier times I think that’s the one thing all of us moms struggle with, being present as much as we can. And I don’t mean just being in the same room. I mean in the moment, doing whatever silly things our kids are doing and just really being there!
We have work, we have laundry overflowing, a house to clean and everything else in the world to do but I am learning all those things are important, yes. But being with your children, making little memories takes the win!
So here are five great ways to be present for your kids.
My son is still little but I still love having a family day! I know in this pandemic it’s hard to get out and about but really, staying at home counts too! Get some burgers and hotdogs, start the grill. Turn on the sprinkler/splashpad. Have a pool day. Start a bonfire and indulge in tons of smore’s. Set up a projector in the backyard for a movie night. Go for a walk or to the park. Have a game night. Summertime is the easiest way to have family day’s so make the most of it!
Put Your Phone Away.
This is the biggest thing I am working on right now. Keeping my volume on incase of emergency but just setting it aside for the day. The last thing I want is my son to view me from behind a screen. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram can all wait until nap time or bedtime. I know how much of a struggle it is though, I am having a hard time staying away from my phone as well. Which makes me want to even more though, because it’s so sad how much these phones have taken over!
Find Fun House Chores Your Kids Will Help With.
I remember growing up, I used to love to help my nana clean up her house. I don’t know if it was because I was involved and felt like I was helping out but to this day I still enjoy cleaning! So find things your kids want to help you with around the house, even if it’s simple. You may be surprised at what they end up enjoying and helping with when given a chance!
Make Sure Your Ears Are Open.
I think one thing children want the most is for adults to listen to them. Like for us, communication is so important. Kids love to babble on about everything. Even our baby babbles, they love you to listen to them. To focus on them. Just listening is an easy way to be present with your children. Learn about their day, what they are thinking, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
It also opens up that area of being able to know what is going on, especially with your teens. It gives you a chance to ask questions, and to just be involved. Listening is such a crucial thing when being a parent.
You’ve probably seen a lot about self-care floating around lately. Have you ever had those days or weeks where your frustration takes over and you just can’t be there for anyone because you don’t even have time to be there for yourself? Yeah, me too! So that is why self-care plays such a huge role in parenting. To be able to be fully present with your children, to take care of them and do fun things with them you need to first take care of yourself.
Have a cup of coffee and turn your show on for an hour. Take a bubble bath. Read a book you’ve heard so many good things about. Buy a new outfit. Take a walk.
Self-care doesn’t have to be hard, and it really helps you focus back on what’s important, yourself and your family and not focus on the negative.
There are so many ways to be present with your kids. I am going to try my hardest to use all these tips and really make the most out of this Summer with my bub!
Giving our full attention to our children when we are home or spending a day with them should be easy, not hard!
Do you use any of these tips to be more present with your children?
If you have any other tips, please share them with us!
After becoming a mom, I love finding any useful hack that I can to make days just a little bit easier.
The days can be long with our kiddo’s but I am forever grateful for the genius mamas out there who have come up with some amazing mom hacks (Motherhood Sprouting)! I swear I spend lots of Pinterest time just scrolling through hacks and trying them out.
I will also tell you, my mind is blown by most of them.
So today I thought I would share with you the best mom hacks I have found and you will most likely be like me and think, HOW HAVE I NOT DONE THESE SOONER!?
Let’s check them out!
Bathe Your Baby In A Laundry Basket.
I know, I know sounds so weird! But I am telling you guys, I have huge anxiety about my wild 11 month old slipping in the tub and hitting his head so I have been trying to find the best way to give baths without an injury and when I saw this hack a lightbulb instantly went off in my mind.
THIS IS GENIOUS! And I can’t wait to try it because not only will it help with my slipping fear but his toys will stay right by him as well so he won’t try to venture out to get them.
Use Tape To Prevent Doors From Locking.
Another one of my fears as my son is getting taller and more curious is locking himself in a room! Right now he is so into climbing on doors and swinging them back and forth so once he starts walking around and can reach door knobs I am so using this hack to hopefully prevent any breaking down doors in the house.
DIY Stain Remover.
I just tried this on old sweet potato and carrot stains on my sons clothes and WOW! I am telling you genius, and so easy! No other stain remover that I tried to use fully got those orangey stains out so I am so happy I found this!
Mix a little and equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish soap and baking soda together. Let it sit for a little bit and throw it in the washer! Magic, I am telling you 🙂
Attach Cupcake Holders To Your Popsicle Sticks.
It’s Summer and popsicles are all the rage with the kids. The sticky mess though afterwards? Not so fun, especially when you are out in public so how awesome is this hack? I can’t tell you how many unused cupcake holders I have sitting around so this is on my to-try list when giving my son his first popsicle.
Put Water In A Pacifier And Freeze For Teething Relief.
Oh teething! THE WORST! My son started teething very early, as soon as he turned 4 months. He just turned 11 months and now has 8 teeth! So I can tell you, this is an awesome hack! Something to defiantly try on your teething baby.
Mom hacks can be total life-savers and we need as many as we can get.
Do you use any of these hacks yourself? Be sure to let us know the best hacks you have used that work.
We have lived in our house for 7 years now. What?! Little by little I’ve redone a part of the house.
Over our “quarantine”, we did a mini kitchen renovation!
I have always loved the look of open shelving, but I always wondered where I’d put everything? Don’t worry, a little purge helped, and we have PLENTY of room!
Our kitchen is so small, but it serves its purpose.
First I took off the cabinets. I knew I wanted the cabinets higher to accommodate a shelf under them, so we removed one cabinet, for the open shelves, and made the other one touch the ceiling.
Then I ship lap’d the walls. Calling all Joanna Gaines lovers! She is so inspirational in her simple farmhouse decor, I couldn’t resist!
Then came the shelves…. my husband is a genius. He made sure they were all secure but also supported my vision.
He measured and cut the boards. We used 2×8’s for the shelves. I needed them to be sturdy to hold my heavy plates & cups. I bought brackets from Home Depot to hold up the shelves.
I stained them the natural color because I wanted it to be light and airy in the kitchen. Before it was so dark!
Trying to decide on a light fixture was the hardest part. I had probably spent an hour between Lowe’s and Home Depot looking for the PERFECT light. It had to be bright, but also follow my “theme”.
Over all I’m so happy with the outcome.
I am currently remodeling the rest of the house. We know we eventually want to find a home a little farther out, but that’s pretty distant into the future, so now our little house is becoming our home!
I will keep posting my DIYs as I do them! Thanks for reading! 💕
This is always something I personally have struggled with.
Just think about it, a person that is going through the same thing you are at the moment. It’s 3 AM, and this is the fourth time you’ve been awake with the baby. You just WISH there was someone you could reach out to, someone that would understand the total body exhaustion you feel. Messy bun, yesterday’s makeup running down your cheeks because the tears streamed down your face, wet t-shirt from the spilled milk.
This is something that we STRIVE for. The perfect friend.
I’ve surrounded myself with so many people, it’s hard to say that I have that BEST friend. The person I tell all my secrets to.
For some people it’s your mom or sister. Someone you that has known you from the beginning of your life. Some one that understands every thing that has made you, you.
It could be the friend you met at the Mommy & Baby music class, at the downtown library. Kids who are the same age, and you know they would make a great long time friend to your daughter.
Maybe it’s your husbands coworkers wife. They are the couple who is older and wiser, and will always give you the best advice. Someone who you became friends with their whole family, and know that your village is getting bigger, and stronger.
Your high school best friend, that even though is worlds away, and when her world is completely different, you know she is always just a text or phone call away.
It could be a new friend. An unexpected friend. You know that she would never judge you, and would do anything to keep you and your family safe and happy.
The sister in law that is always there for your children no matter what. Someone you can share all of the best memories together. Watch each other’s kids grow up. Enjoy big life moments, like marriage, child birth, birthday’s and so much more.
And, your person. The person that chose you and you choose over and over. The one you know has seen all your darkest days, but will easily brighten them. The one you will do life with in the bad, and the good.
These are crazy times, and we all need that friend. So when I say “mom” friend, I don’t mean a friend that IS a mom. I mean any friend that you know you would never want to do life without.
These are my true friends. This is what my village is made of.
As a first time mom, I am like many of you. I thought I needed everything for a new baby.
I would spend hours scrolling and searching must need baby registry ideas and looking through the pamphlets of the stores I was registered at (while stuffing my face with Doritos, what were some of your pregnancy cravings?).
Because HELLO, it was a new baby!! It’s scary, you’ve never done this and you hear all the time that every baby is different so why not just get it all?
I am 10 months into this mom life now and I have a pretty vocal little man who tells you exactly what he likes and what he doesn’t like. The every baby different rule is so true though so of course even though these are what worked well for our baby, yours might be different.
Although I think I have picked a pretty standard must-have’s for babies so let’s get to it!
Pack N’ Play.
I highly recommend a pack n’ play! Specifically one with a bassinet attachment. That’s what we used for the first few months of the newborn stage and it was wonderful! He loved falling asleep to the soothing vibration setting and having a changing table attachment was easy for midnight changes and feedings. Plus a pack n’ play in general is just nice to have for travel, for play time, outside time. It’s so versatile!
Swaddles are such a must-have item. My son loved his swaddles but once he got a couple weeks old I ended up having to keep one arm out because he loved to touch his cheek and chin while sleeping. Swaddles are such a good blanket for your baby though when they are first born.
Once your baby is out of swaddles, I HIGHLY recommend halo sleepsacks. We have been using these for his blankets and I just love them. They are so soft and so easy to use and some even still have a swaddle type feature that work for that snug cuddle feel.
Fridababy Nose Frida.
I don’t know about you but I can never get those little bulb syringes to work for sucking out boogers and snot. The Nose Frida is such a lifesaver. Personally, I think it works the best for even those dry hard to get out boogers. Defiantly a must-have.
Any type of activity table, jumper is wonderful. For one it keeps your baby occupied for a longer period of time and it’s also a safe area to set your baby for a minute. Ones that turn into activity tables when they are a little older is also very versatile and nice as well.
Swing and Bouncer.
My son LOVED his baby swing. We had one that ended up being a swing and a bouncer. We could always rely on our swing if we were having a hard time getting him down for a nap. Plus, when he had his first cold I slept on the couch while he slept in his swing to keep him upright and it was a life-saver.
Car Seat and Stroller Travel System.
We have the Graco stroller and car seat bundle and love it! The snug lock car seat was perfect for winter when we had to carry him in and out or click him into the stroller easily. We love the big stroller as well, it’s been so fun watching him transition into this big stroller and love it! We did also purchase an umbrella stroller too just for a lightweight one to keep in our car.
We started this blog to help moms feel connected and not alone. Being a new mom is scary and not knowing what your baby is going to want or need is even scarier!
So I hope this eases your mind a little and helps you find a starting point, because you are not alone!
For all my seasoned moms, what are some of your must-have baby items?
Howdy, y’all! I reckon I’m ‘bout to show you my chicken farm!
Hahah, just kidding! I’m having too much fun with my chickens, sometimes I wish I had my own farm.
Fun fact: when I was growing up, my grandpa and great grandpa had a Hereford Farm. I actually showed steers at the 4-H Fair growing up! That was an experience on it’s own. It’s definitely something I wish my kids would be able to participate in if they wanted too.
Anyways, my chickens are now officially HOME! They enjoy their little house so much. It’s not 100% complete, as we are still deciding what we’d like to cover the coop in, and we have to paint it, but other then those cosmetic details it’s DONE!
Have I said on here that my husband is a genius, yet?! I kept showing him all these elaborate, chicken palaces, that were quite expensive, and he just would smile and nod. He knew that no matter what prefab coop I bought, in the end I wouldn’t truly be happy. He asked me what I’d want out of a coop, and he made it happen.
The first thing I wanted was a run that I could walk into to interact with my girls! He made it 8’ tall in the front, and 6’ tall in the back, so no matter where I go, I won’t be bumping my head!
I also wanted a door on the coop, so I would have easy access to the eggs when it’s time for them to start laying. Also, it will make cleaning A LOT easier!
Last thing that was a must was the slanted roof! It is eventually going to have a gutter system that will collect rain water for the birds! It’ll really help so I don’t have to drag the hose over every time I need to give them more water!
The process was actually quite simple. We started out buying just 20 2×4’s, four sheets of plywood, four metal roof panels, and chicken wire. All and all this cost around $250, and honestly is WAY better and more sturdy then any of the prefab models I saw online.
We started out with the bottom frame. We wanted as little waste as possible. The 2×4’s we got were 8’ long, so that’s what the bottom is, 8×8. Then we just worked our way up. With the slanted roof we cut down the back posts to 6’! Don’t worry, those 2’ we cut off, were definitely used!
After we had it all framed out, we started working on the actual “barn” part of the coop/run. Cody thought it was a good idea to raise it up, allowing the girls to have a spot under the coop to lay and get out of the sun! We used the two 2’ pieces we cut off and made a nice base for the coop, and then we enclosed it. This is where the nesting boxes will be. A nice quiet place to lay eggs!
Then we added the chicken wire! ALL THE CHICKEN WIRE! I think this was the worst part! It was just tricky making sure it was all straight. The staple gun broke mid way through, so I had to make ANOTHER Lowe’s trip!
The final step was predator proofing the coop! We couldn’t waste all our hard work on our ladies, to have them eaten by a critter. Now, we don’t live in a rural area, but we aren’t in the middle of a city either. We have raccoons and opossums for sure and they will kill the chickens if they get to them, so to combat that, we dug a “trench” a foot wide, and just a few inches deep, and we buried chicken wire. That way critters can’t try and dig under the fence!
We have to add a few finishing touches, and we definitely have to paint, but all in all, I think it turned out great! It was a lot of work, but I love it! That is truly all that matters, right?!
I love doing DIY’s, and you will probably read a lot about my little home projects! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Thursday! (:
Every morning when I sip my coffee I take some time alone to scroll through Instagram.
It’s maybe been ten seconds and I find myself scrunching up my nose and whispering, “how does she get her baby to sleep 12 hours every single night!?”
Or, “How in the world does this mom of three look put together every day when as a mom of one, I struggle to just blow dry my hair most days?”
I know I am not alone in this world of comparing and criticizing ourselves.
It’s just human nature.
No matter how much we talk about it though, why is there such a craving to still show only the glamourous on social media?
You never see the dark circles from night time feedings, from bad dreams that meant a night with a shared bed or just from no sleep at all because your mind won’t shut off.
You only see the beautiful hair, not the Ms. Trunchbull buns you know we all rock at least a couple times a week.
The unworthiness and the just not good enough comes on strong, and it lasts long as well.
We are all so unique though, and I think that’s an important thing to remember when you are a woman and a mom.
Sure, the girl you knew in High School might have a fabulous kitchen and the latest home upgrades, but she might not have the awesome cooking skills to utilize that wonderful kitchen like you do.
And yes, the mom who’s baby sleeps 12 hours each night is beyond lucky, but she also doesn’t get those 3am snuggles that even though you are dead tired, you cherish those snuggles with your baby.
Everyone has different strengths and your mind is one of them and maybe even the most important. Think of the positives in your life when you find yourself jealous of a positive in someone else’s life. The uniqueness that makes you, you.
I am just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to comparing myself to others, it’s a habit that sure is hard to break.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself or being jealous, I am going to try to better the areas in my life that have me feeling that way.
So next time you see those flawless Instagram pics, give yourself a break and remember what you bring to the table.
Don’t be so quick to compare and know that you are enough.