I feel like this year I am more thankful than I ever have been before.
2020 has truly opened my eyes to what matters most in life and it’s definitely not any type of material things that matter even one little bit. It’s people. It’s our loved ones. It’s “our” people.
And it’s most definitely health.
I know the holiday’s will be hard for everyone this year. There’s just no way of getting around it. But I still hope you can find joy and happiness in your hearts and I hope you can still enjoy this wonderful season and the memories it will still bring.
I thought today I would share with you all what I’m most thankful for not only this year but every day. Because no matter what, you can always find at least one thing you are thankful for.
I can’t even describe to you the love I have for my family. Not only my husband and my son but just all the ones so close to me. They show nothing but support. Nothing but love and a helping hand whenever you need it. The gift of family is the best there is and I am just so thankful for each and every one of them that I get to call mine.
The health of myself. The health of my family and my friends. Now more than ever I am so so thankful for health and I’m never taking it for granted.
Smiles & Laughs.
Oh how much I miss seeing a kind strangers smile. I am so thankful for the smiles I get to see this year. You never know how much of a good and infectious thing it is until it’s covered up.
Plus, laughs with my hubby and son have just been the best lately. My husband and I will crack up about something (he’s a jokester) and then all of a sudden our little man will start laughing with us. It’s so cute!
As much as I love a clean house, I know I am doing great as a mom when my house is filled with toys all over. It reminds me that I’m raising a sweet, playful and adventures little boy and I would take messes over a picked up, vacuum lines showing house any day of the week.
My husband and I are blessed with some amazing friendships. I am so thankful for the friends who are always a call or text away. They will never know how loved they truly are!
There are so many more things I’m thankful for in my life but I just thought I would share the 5 most important to me right now.
I wish you all nothing but a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. I hope your hearts fill with joy and magic and that you can spend it the best way you can.
I know we hate to admit it as parents but sometimes you just need a break from being so up tight and being frustrated!
No one needs it.
So I put myself in timeout this past week. I sat down and thought of what I need to do differently to be better. To be more present and more understanding.
My son is at the age where he is bossy and learning so many new things. And along with those new things is temper tantrums. Who knew terrible two’s would start at 15 months!
It’s been exhausting. I’ve been short tempered, I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve been working longer hours then normal. It’s just been an anxiety filled last couple of weeks.
So I put myself in timeout to figure out what needs to change and I came up with a great list!
Number one on my list was a social media break. It’s been fantastic! The relief of not seeing everyone’s opinions and problems can be refreshing when you need it. I can’t believe how toxic social media can be at times for your mental health.
I started my Christmas planning. I am a firm believer on do what makes you happy! And Christmas makes so many of us happy, so why not start decorating early this year?
I also started on my Christmas gift list. I love planning everything out and I really want to go small and meaningful this year. Especially the DIY gifts.
Taking time to get on my sons level and be more patient on what he is trying to tell me or show me even when he is doing it in a tantrum way.
Putting the phones down around my husband more and create time together even if it’s an hour of tv cuddles on the couch before bed. It’s crazy how much you can miss someone you live with when your schedules are always so opposite!
So do yourself a favor and put yourself in time out for a bit. Think of the changes you want to make as we come up on the holiday season and a new year.
There’s always room for improvement and to detox the bad out of your life! And who knew being in time out could be such a good thing as an adult!?
So, here we are back in quarantine. Yes, many things have opened in America, and now we have a third COVID spike happening in a lot of places. There are several reasons why you might have to quarantine, and it’s not necessarily because you have COVID-19. So, it’s something that we should all be prepared to deal with.
With this in mind- I am going to try to make this quarantine better than the last one. We all went a little crazy with the last one, didn’t we? Especially those of us that had to work at home. (Here is my post about working from home with kids.) I know that so many people have been stuck inside for unknown periods of time, and it can be such a struggle. But, do not give up yet! We can make this work for us and our families!
Here are some easy ways that you can manage quarantine as a mom:
1. Take a Break- I know this is easier said than done. Trust me. I know. But, part of being a good mom, a BIG part, means that you are in a good place mentally. If you’re annoyed or overwhelmed- then you need to find a way to take a break and regroup. But what do you do if you need someone to watch the kids? If you are uncomfortable with allowing someone else in your house, that is understandable. Then, the only option that I can think of is to put the kids to bed early. Make them run around for a while, give them a large dinner and send them to bed at 7pm. This way you can have a couple hours to yourself. I know that this may be impossible some days, but keep trying! You need and deserve time to yourself to do whatever you want!
2. Support Squad- Get yourself a support squad (that you can talk to about anything). Make sure that you have your besties ready in a group chat, Marco Polo, FaceTime, SnapChat, email- whatever! You do not need to be doing this alone. I would advise you to keep your friends and family separate. You may feel like you’re close to your MIL, but what about when you need to vent about your partner or talk about sex? See what I mean?!
3. Time Block- You don’t necessarily need a set schedule if you’re not that type of person. And honestly, a daily set schedule can get stressful in quarantine. But, do make sure that you have parts of your day blocked off for certain activities: play time, movie time, reading time, or everyone in their separate rooms- quiet time. Even a little structure is good for your kids. It will also help your sanity. Having a schedule, or some kind of plan, will give you hope when you think you just can’t take one more second, you don’t have to! Move on to the next activity!
4. Set Boundaries- This can be any type of boundary that you need. Maybe you limit snacks, time or spaces. Whatever works for you. But, let me tell you, you cannot live a free for all and have everyone make it out alright. It’s just not going to happen. With my husband and son, I make the kitchen off limits when I’m cooking dinner. They cannot come in for snacks or to bug me during that time. They can go anywhere else, just not the kitchen while I’m cooking. It’s a time that I look forward to every day.
5. Special Celebrations- When you don’t know what day it is in quarantine, and everything seems to be running together: no one’s showering, changing clothes or deciphering between meals… Then it is time for you to shake things up. You need something special to do! This may sound like extra work, but it does not have to be. Make it simple, but different. You could have a special movie marathon, like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones- anything in a series works. Or, you could have a fun theme for the day. Just make some kind of doable plans that will get your family excited. It’s always important to have something to look forward to!
6. Refresh and Revitalize- This sounds a lot like a shampoo commercial, but I think it’s something that the whole family needs to do often (daily if possible) when in quarantine. A great way to refresh is to go outside. I know that this one is a hassle, and it’s getting colder. I get it, but you will not regret the fresh air. Also, think about having family yoga or taking an online exercise class together. Do something that gets the blood flowing and raises everyone’s spirits.
Quarantine is definitely a time to let things go- but not too far! Don’t lose yourself or your sanity. Make a point to keep some law and order- or invent new tactics if you need to. When everything shut down in the spring, I didn’t have a plan for quarantine. I didn’t know what it would be like or how long it would last.
Now that I know how dark things can get, I don’t want to go there again. If I find myself in the same clothes for 4 days in a row eating lasagna while my 2 year old is watching the Simpsons naked at 3am, then I know I have let quarantine get the best of me. This is not the kind of mom that I want to be.. again.
Get a little bit of structure and spontaneity in the mix if you can. Stay positive and know that if we all follow guidelines and quarantine rules- we will be okay!
Wow, it feels good to be back on the blog this week!
I took a much needed break from the blog, and the socials. We have had a lot going on these past few months.
A lot of hard decisions were made regarding school, and work. I don’t necessarily regret decisions That I’ve made, but if I could go back and make those changes I probably would.
However, I am learning things about my expectations aren’t necessarily attainable or something I can make a reality. I’m trying to form this “perfect” life that is an Instagram highlight reel.
Having a clean, perfectly organized house was something that I have always strived for. Now don’t get me wrong here, my house is far from it. However, I do think that having a well organized house, definitely helps with having a happy environment. It is so nice that when we go to do a craft or want to play with our Barbies, that I know exactly where to go to find the stuff we need for the activity.
I’ve recently reminded myself that my daughters are not going to remember how organized, or disorganized at the moment, the house was, they’re going to remember how warm and joyful our home was.
I’m also trying to stop comparing myself to other moms or women in general on social media. Amanda has touched on this subject before, and she said it so well in this blog here. She also wrote a good one about Expectations v. Reality!
Let’s face it, our faces (no pun intended) are in our phones and iPads more now then ever. I find myself constantly scrolling through social media saying to myself how I wish I could have all those clothes she has, or I wish I was as skinny as her, or even asking myself why would someone need that many hand bags?!
The world of social media is a wicked one. People post the good, not the bad. I am trying my hardest to not compare myself. I’m taking more breaks from social media (and our blog apparently). I am enjoying the quality time I have with my family.
Being a mom is rewarding and hard as hell. Every mom will tell you that. There is no “perfect” mom. We all have our spectacular mom days, where you are exhausted because you did all the things your kids wanted to do that day, but we also have our imperfect mom days where you sat on the couch watching The Home Edit while they played (argued) for four hours in their room. It’s called balance, ladies and gents!
So, drop the hard expectations you have for yourselves and be the mom you want to be. Create the childhood you want your kids to remember.
I couldn’t leave the blog without wishing you all a Happy & Safe Halloween! It is hands down our favorite holiday. We are too excited! I will post our costume on our Instagram and Facebook, so make sure to follow us on there, but here’s a pumpkin picture!
I want to start out by saying you mama’s or dads who have to do it alone… you are pure super hero’s.
This raising kids thing? It takes a village.
What a scary week we had last week.
There is nothing worse when your little is sick and they have no way to tell you what is wrong. My heart was literally breaking last week when my bub got sick. Thankfully we are on the mend but holy cow.
You know what though? I literally have no idea what I would do without my husband, my family and my friends and that is where this village thing I am talking about comes into play.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and on my last straw, Elle Woods break down throwing chocolates at my TV screen, I am so happy for my husband. My rock. My shoulder.
When I have no clue what I am doing on this new mom life adventure, when I have so many questions and just want a seasoned mom by my side I am so happy for the ladies in my family and in my life (they know who they are!) coming to my rescue.
When I just want to talk about something other than motherhood, when I want to gossip and girl chat and send funny memes and talk about just life in general I am so thankful for my girl friends!
It just really takes a village in this motherhood game.
You need your people. You need those breaks. You need that support. You need a glass of wine or two every once in a while. You need a date night without the kids. You need to take care of yourself.
You need it all to stay sane. To not lose yourself. To keep that little fire that makes you, you.
These littles of ours deserve our unconditional love 24/7. So that’s why I’m telling you, create your own little village to help you be the best you can possibly be! And to help them too.
Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.
I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!
Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.
My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!
I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.
Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.
Make time for my husband.
We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.
Prepare for Winter
Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.
Get more organized
I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!
Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!
Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!
It’s been tough not surrounding ourselves with the many people we love, but also trying to find things to keep our girls occupied!
I’m gonna share some of the things we’ve enjoyed doing.
Painting, modeling clay, slime making, bracelet making! You name it, we’ve done it! We love doing crafts, it’s been something the whole family can enjoy. Our favorite has been the clay, though. The girls love making little sculptures, and painting them. I’ve already gotten a few new jewelry dishes. 😉
Lots of Reading
Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? I know we have really enjoyed it. A lot of our summer reading is done outside in our hammocks. It’s our favorite spot to chill. My youngest (A) loves the Mercy Watson series, written by Kate DiCamillo. My oldest (C) loves The Never Girls series! I will read anything, but I’m a true die hard Twilight series fan. I know 🙈
I know what you’re thinking, video games?! Really?! But we honestly enjoy playing so many video games as a family. Minecraft is one of our all time favorites. We also enjoy all of the Super Mario games: Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Mario Party, etc. I also started getting the girls into Animal Crossing, although that’s not a multi player so we don’t play it often.
Sprinklers and pools were a huge part of our summer fun! Riding bikes, scooters, roller blading, swinging on the tree swing, playing fetch with the pups! So much fun stuff to do outside, and the fun is honestly endless when you’re outside. We also have a wooded area on our property which is fun for nature hikes and scavenger hunts! In September all the mushrooms around the yard pop up, and it’s fun to go around and identify some of them.
It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all. Trying to find things for the whole family to enjoy can be challenging.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas if you needed them! ❤️
It’s crazy how some days you wake up and are like wow, I’m 27, married with a child. Dreams really do come true!
I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
My life has changed so much In the past couple of years though. My husband and I have always been home bodies but we loved our concerts, trips away for the weekend and going out with friends whenever.
We still did those things of course once we had bub but the feeling of wanting to stay home became stronger. There’s just something about laying on your own couch with a glass of wine and your fav show that make Friday nights so appealing these days!
But now the concert we had set for September is cancelled, thankfully our vacation for the year was in January so we still got to do that but it’s just so different. Even celebrating my birthday yesterday has just been so different.
I’ve learned so much In my 27 years. I’ve always had such a big support system growing up and it’s even bigger now that I’ve gotten married and I’m so thankful for all the family and friends that help guide me through this journey of life.
My biggest lesson and the thing I try to always enforce is “Always be Kind” which it can be such a small gesture but it’s so important. Kindness is everything and I wish more people knew that sometimes!
There’s a few other things I like to live by as well.
Just because it’s a bad day or a bad week doesn’t mean it’s a bad life. Things are always changing and it can always get better.
Family comes first.
A good cup of coffee can soothe the soul.
Put your phone down. The best moments aren’t looking at a screen. It’s what’s behind the screen that matters.
Sometimes you just need to stuff your face with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watch Sweet Home Alabama. Or at least I do!
Life goes by so fast, spend it with the people who matter most.
Your thoughts and opinions are your own, don’t force them on others.
Love yourself, flaws and all.
There’s so much else I have learned over the years but for right now those are the most important to me.
With everything that’s happening it’s just the simple things that matter the most to me and just trying to be the best wife and mother I can be for my boys!
I did have a fantastic birthday though! Majority of the day was spent with my bub and he just fills my heart up with pure joy.
Sitting at dinner the other night, and we were talking about how fast this year has gone by.
It could be because of COVID, and most of our year was “wasted” by “quarantine” or simply because our littles aren’t so little anymore and they are growing SO fast!
It’s hard to sit back some time and REALLY enjoy these little moments.
I’m not going to lie, I had a mini breakdown last week. Full blown toddler tantrum…
I finally had some time off of work, to enjoy my 10 year wedding anniversary (holy shit, how has it been 10 years?!).
Day 1 of vacation and I start getting texts from work (I can’t get away from this place). I really wanted to get away for the big decade anniversary, but let’s face it, two kids and a global pandemic later, and no one has the time or money for that shit!
To top it all off, my kids we’re making me INSANE with their constant arguing and pestering about every… little… thing!!!
I finally broke down, and LITERALLY called my mama crying!
She talked me down, and we laughed and cried. Finally she asked me if I remembered going to my aunts house for the weekend every other month or so… because she too had the same moments I had. Every mom, or dad, NEEDS time to be an adult, and enjoy alone time wether it’s with a spouse or by yourself.
Then she said, get yourself a Starbucks (or whatever over priced coffee you like), get home, and get on with your day because you are going to remember the time spent with your family, more then you’ll remember this breakdown.
That women was so right! We had an AMAZING day exploring Frankenmuth, MI (see picture below)!
Then on our ACTUAL anniversary, we shipped the kids to my hubs mom’s house for the night, we ordered take out, and watched ALL the bad TV we could fit into the 16 hours we had ALONE!!!
It was HEAVENLY!
ANYWAYS, Back to my original thought about how FAST time is moving… I just wanted to share that story because it was raw and real, and it is not all sunshine and rainbows here!
I am in the trenches of motherhood. I am at war with myself because these are their most formative years, and I want to make sure they look back on their childhood and say, ‘wow, I was respectful and respected, but we also had a GREAT childhood.’
I’m definitely not one to give advice. You will not see me at any baby shower telling that new mama-to-be how she should only breastfeed, and use cloth diapers because it’s better for the environment, etc.
However, I’m passing along advice from my mama who raised 6 kids…
“Take time for yourself. It is one thing to be so in love with your child and do everything for the baby, but you have to not lose sight of yourself as a woman to balance out motherhood.”
Sounds simple right?!
But how many days have gone by since you’ve last taken care of YOU?!
Let’s just try harder. Every day is a new day for growth and opportunity.
You hear it all the time, “self care”, but do you really do it?!
WOW! How many cliches can I put into one blog?! 😂
But, thanks for hearing my heart! ❤️
Amanda (the boss bitch that keeps me motivated) and I, want to do a Q&A with all our readers! So if you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below!
(The following is not advice, I am not a doctor or a dietician, these are only my personal views/experiences)
Weaning – What the fuck?
Ok can I just say the following may be considered a rant, it may be considered off loading or a touch too honest, but if you have a child, especially a fussy arse child with reflux and a CMPA then YOU my friend will probably relate to the following!
So I had my baby in a stressful environment, it was stressful due to the fact the kid was trying to but his way out of my bumhole for the best part of 12 hours before the midwives realised he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. But when he was here, I had flashes of this spectacular duck to water situation where all this motherly wisdom would wash over me like a waterfall on a secluded pond, but let me tell ya… I was wrong!
I trust my gut 99% of the time but dieticians, anxiety, GOOGLE SEARCHES, drs, lack of health visitors and friends personal worries unfortunately have their effects. If you know you know.
Now I started weaning my terror tot at just over 5 months, no I didn’t have drs say so, I didn’t have health visitor or dieticians agreement but let me just tell you, I’m his mum. I told the dr he had reflux, I told the dr he had a CMPA, and I’M the one who kept in touch with the health visitor who, once COVID hit, quite frankly couldn’t give a shite, so instinct is all I had, back to the caves we go! At first he was brilliant, he LOVED the purees, however my son is the type of child who learns fast but then gets bored quickly. So two days in and the refusal started, in all honesty look at my site the kid picks things up at the drop of a hat, masters them and then thinks sod it I know I can so lets stop.
Changes. People have said ‘oh soon as you feed him you’ll notice he’ll sleep better’ well, what a lying sack of shit that was. Soon as he started weaning BAM the mid night feeds came in, and I don’t mean feeding at midnight, no no, I mean 2,3,4,5am you name it we’ve had it! My son was sleeping 9/10 hour nights through, I look back on them times fondly. I thought shit, have I done the wrong thing, have I broke my baby? So I did what every good mum does with a good internet connection, I hit Google. And you know what I found? It’s NORMAL! Normal! Not to mention he’s at prime sleep regression age, like we just got over one what did I do in a past life to deserve this
. So now he’s slamming his legs in the night, he’s waking crying and he’s desperate for a feed. I know you’re probably thinking ‘are you sure it’s nothing else?’ Well, slap on your I’m sorry smile, because trust me he’s perfectly fine. Oh, other than teething, out of nowhere the little shit bit me last week and I realized he had sprouted not one tooth at the bottom front but two! My 5 month old now has 2 teeth, beats me on the regular and refuses to sleep. Can I sue him for this? Like if this was a relationship and it was his dad doing this it would be out and put abuse, but when it’s a baby people say it’s CUTE! You know what I’m saying if you have kids. They scream ‘aw the baby’, they rag your hair with their tiny raccoon hands ‘haha ohh he’s a cheeky one, but look how cute’ HE shit on ME and my friend goes ‘aw it’s cute though’ SQUEEZE YOU! How is walking round smelling like a soggy nappy cute? I digress…
So weaning, as great as it is it’s not as easy as people make it out to be. Reflux = a lot of research, dietician appointments (via phone atm, fuck you Rona!), and major guess work. We have now realised blueberries are a no no, with in 10 minutes he had launched them back up, but as many with a child with reflux know, it’s as if it’s perfectly normal to throw it back up. Mums on the case. Pears and apples are his absolute favourite but I still find myself eye hawking my son like a food stalker, because that’s kind of what we are. Also I have tried him with free from bread, this means free from gluten, soy and dairy, and whatever other ingredients they can’t have, I also used dairy and soy free butter to taste, for those who are so fast to say ‘you shouldn’t do that’ he had been weaning for 3 weeks and I had hold of it, and you’ll be pleased to know he licked it, took it off me and squashed it into his jumparoo whilst smiling, sooo, more fun for me. Nothing says piss off with your shitty fake food mum, like having to clean greasy crumbs from underneath a plastic monkeys arse
How did I know he was ready to wean? I did my research, I also got the dietician sheets from my friend whose daughter is 5 days older than my son and has exactly the same dietary needs as him. My son can hold his head up with ease, he was fully sitting up and rolling over. He was always reaching for our food and trying to bite it. He was also mimicking us chewing our food and on top of all of this, when we had food and he had a bottle he would completely lose interest in his bottle and throw it and go for our food. He has a brilliant appetite so I knew what was going on there, but as always you know your baby best I will NEVER tell someone how to parent, I’m not you and your child, every need and dynamic is different.
So what I take from this weaning is, slow and steady wins the race, go in with an open mind your child may not like what you’re trying first off (my son likes avocado but not bananas the weirdo!) And make sure you do your research. Honestly we have all of these wonderful resources at our disposal to not make the most of them is silly to me. It’s hard work, but after my own health visitor telling me my son may ‘just have a bug’ when he was having a reaction to milk he had been put on and get his age wrong, I decided his well being is completely on me. I wont rely on strangers to tell me how to raise him. And to be honest, he is flourishing, he is doing brilliantly (our doctor told me I’m doing a great job so I’ll take that) and I’ll only try him on natural things (bar the bread and butter he didn’t care about). You do you but make sure you are safe and only doing what is best for your family.
I hope you enjoyed this post, I’m nothing if not honest.
Until next time stay safe and don’t be a stranger.