Mommy Monday

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Guys. I know I’ve blogged about this before but OMG…my Pregnancy Brain is back. And not only that, its being mixed with a whole lotta Mom Brain as well. So when I saw this new parody from The Holderness Family, it spoke to my soul.

 

 

No lie, I poured coffee creamer in my mug the other morning and then put it up IN THE CABINET. Not the fridge where it belongs. The cabinet.

Imma go take a nap now.

Mommy Monday

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Last week we finally had a few days of GORGEOUS weather. After months and months of freezing cold/wind/ice/snow/threat of snow it was actually feeling like spring! I was so excited and so were the kids. We had a few errands to run one morning and when we got back home, the kids were itching to go outside (and I was ready for them to run off some energy)!

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I had a few bags to bring in from the car and kids would NOT stop begging me to go outside. “Not without an adult,” I said, about fifty times. But then I realized: You know what? I can see them perfectly from the window AND the glass doors. I only have a few bags of groceries to unload and put away. Our gate is locked. I’m letting them go outside without me for a little bit. 

I told them to get their shoes, watch out for each other, and stay where I could see them. As I put away frozen chicken and yogurt, I could hear the kids laughing through the screen door I left open and saw them running and playing together. It was so sweet. I had a few moments of much-needed peace and they were enjoying a little independence. I wanted to take a picture from the kitchen, looking out the window, but then I stopped.

I couldn’t post it on Facebook.

I couldn’t show anyone.

Why?

Because they might judge me. They might write mean comments or say things to other people about me, calling me a bad mother. 

Yep, you read that right. I was too scared to take a picture of my OWN children in my OWN backyard playing without me for a few minutes because I thought I’d catch flak for it from someone.

Do you think any of our moms thought twice about letting us play in the backyard by ourselves when we were kids?

Nope.

We had monkey bars, a trampoline, and a POOL. My parents would say, “See ya!” and shut the door behind us as my two sisters and I ran outside to play. They knew we’d take care of each other and if we got hurt, well…we got hurt.

That’s when I realized something: these are my kids. And I’m going to raise them how I dang well please. I saw an amazing quote on Instagram the other day: “It is not my responsibility to make you comfortable with the choices I make for my family.”

Mic drop.

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Eventually, I went outside and joined my kids. I chased them, we laughed, we played on the swings, and blew bubbles. I’m not so naive that I think there is no danger, even in my own backyard, to leave my kids outside without supervision for too long. All in all they were maybe outside for 10 minutes. Probably less. But I decided that I am not going to feel guilty about letting them have some independence so I’m not a huge ball of stress. If my kids go all day without eating any fruits and vegetables well that’s just the way it goes. They may skip a bath a few days because they just won’t calm down and Huff the Hubs and I are just too exhausted to deal with a Shamu-show-like experience in the bathroom. And there may be days that they watch more television than I would like so I can catch up on housework. But ya know what? These kids know they’re loved, they know they’re cared for, and they know they’re safe.

So cut yourself–and other mommas–some slack, mmmkay?

Mommy Monday

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Does anyone else feel like the past three months have been nothing but coughing, sneezing, and/or fevers? It seems like every time I log onto Facebook, I’m seeing someone post about how they’re getting sick/getting over a sickness/nursing a sick child (or husband). Here at the Huffman Homestead, we’ve been battling coughs and congestion since mid-January. Its to the point that, when we’re out in public, if I hear someone cough I fight the urge to spray them with Lysol.

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When I saw the latest song parody from The Holderness family, I related to it sooooo much:

 

*immediately chugs Emergen-C*

Mommy Monday

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One of my favorite shows in high school was MTV’s Cribs. It was basically a total ripoff of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous–another one of my family’s fave shows growing up. Anywhoo, the hilarious momma over at That’s Inappropriate thought it was time for some reality on reality TV and did her own spoof of those programs and LAWD it is so relatable:

 

“I do endless amounts of laundry in here and, if we’re honest, its completely soul-sucking.”

Agreed, honey. AGREED.

 

Mommy Monday

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One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start waking up before the kids so I could have time to workout, shower, and read my devotional before they swarmed me with demands for chocolate milk and Storybots. I did okay for a hot minute, but then life happened. Huff the Hubs would suggest staying up to watch something on Netflix or I’d need to finish a load of laundry that didn’t get done, or I was just so excited to have five freaking minutes to myself that I’d scroll through Pinterest or Facebook only to find I didn’t go to bed until midnight. Needless to say, finding time during the day to workout proved very difficult.

Huff the Babe goes down for a nap around 1:30 everyday but Huff the Tot doesn’t take naps anymore. We tried doing “Timer Time”–quiet time in her room for about 30 minutes so I could have a little bit of quiet/time to run on the treadmill but she just ended up under my feet, asking me what I was doing fifty times. Mommy needed something for her to do.

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The other day, I overslept and didn’t get my morning workout in. I decided I’d do it during HtB’s nap time and tried to think of something that would keep HtT busy for 30 minutes while I worked to get “shredded” with Jillian Michaels.  I remembered something I saw on Instagram and decided to give it a shot.

HtT loves playing salon and painting my nails. I figured I could keep her busy and help her work on some fine motor skills all at the same time with this neat activity!

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I traced my hands (well, I made them a tad bit bigger than my actual hands, just to have a bigger painting space) and cut them out of cardboard. I let HtT pick out different colors of nail polish from my stash and she set to work while I worked up a sweat in the other room. This worked WONDERS, y’all! She was occupied, she was creative, and she worked those little muscles in her hands! When she finished painting the nails, she even drew rings and bracelets on them! She later told me, “That was fun, Mommy! I want to do a feet one now!”

Well kid, I’ll probably be sleeping in soon so looks like you’ll get your wish!

 

How do you keep your kids busy when you want to workout/blog/scream into a pillow? Share in the comments below!

Thriving Thursday

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This month, every Thursday I’m highlighting goals I have set for myself this year. Last week, I talked about saving money consistently throughout the year. Today, I’m going to talk about another goal: be more intentional with my friendships.

Motherhood (heck, just adulthood) can be isolating at times. You’re either working your tail off at your 9-5, doing chores around the house, or spending time with your nuclear family. And, of course, there’s other things going on like sleep, hobbies, exercise, etc. How are we also supposed to maintain deep, meaningful friendships when we barely have enough time to sit down and eat a healthy meal?!

Its really difficult for my girlfriends and I to sync up our schedules because most of us have kiddos and chances are, those kiddos are in sports, dance, or some kind of extracurricular. While Christmas shopping on Amazon, I found these awesome friendship postcards and HAD to buy them!

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My goal is to send a friend a postcard every month, just letting them know, “Hey, I’m thinking about you and I’m so glad we’re friends even if we don’t get to see each other that often!”

There are other ways to show your friends they’re on your mind, too! Blogger Christie Zimmer has some awesome printables in her freebie section and one is titled: “10 Minutes to Celebrate a Friendship“. Print it out, fill it out, and mail it to your buddy! Maybe pop a $5 Sonic gift card in there so they can get a slushie? Or a $5 Starbucks card so she can read over your paper while she enjoys a caramel machiatto in the school pickup line! By taking just a few minutes out of your day, you can let others know how treasured they are.

And, honestly, it isn’t that difficult if you think about it. With Facebook, Facetime, texting, and Snapchat there are a ton of ways to stay in touch. We may not always be able to be in the same room with one another,  but its very important to let your gal pals know how much you cherish them and their friendship!

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Mommy Monday

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Anyone else get inexplicably stressed out or anxiety-ridden when their house is cluttered/messy? When Duplos have been scattered across the floor and the hallway looks like an LOL Surprise minefield, I can literally feel my chest start to tighten.

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When the Christmas decorations were all out, I felt like the walls of our little house were closing in. I couldn’t wait for the holiday season to be over just so I could have a sense of calm. A few days after we cleared the house of decor, my husband and I watched Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix. If you don’t know, Marie Kondo wrote the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing which quickly topped the best-seller list and has made believers out of her converts–even Emily Gilmore…

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Basically, Marie says that instead of decluttering and organizing room by room, you do it category by category. For example, you bring all of your clothes out and pile them. You touch each item of clothing and, if the item does not spark joy, you tell it thank you for being in your life and get rid of it.

Personally, the whole concept of whether or not something sparks joy/thanking a hoodie for being in my life concept is a little too “crystals under the bed to promote healing powers” for me. BUT, I think the idea of organizing by category instead of location is pretty smart.

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Huff the Hubs and I decided to try it out. He started out in our room with his clothes and I piled all of Huff the Tot’s clothes in the living room and we got to work. After we finished with her stuff, I moved on to Huff the Babe’s room and then I tackled the beast that is my own closet.

Y’all.

It was incredibly cathartic and relaxing.

We got rid of SEVEN TRASH BAGS–you read that right, SEVEN–of JUST clothes. Can you believe that?!

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Huff the Hubs bought the book because he wanted to know “the real method” to getting rid of paper clutter and books, so as soon as he reads that chapter (because Momma ain’t doing it) we’re getting started on those categories. If you’re looking to get organized and feel less clutter anxiety in 2019, I highly recommend trying out this process!

 

Mommy Monday

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Hey Mommas! How was your winter break? I’m sure it started out like most of ours: excited for the fun times ahead, filled with hope that everyone would get along/decorate those gingerbread houses with Joanna Gaines-like artistry, and everyone gathered around the table perfectly dressed and coiffed.

Then, Day Two came.

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I can relate.

You know who else can? The women over at WhatsUpMoms! Check out this hilarious video they made, describing exactly what winter break is like.

 

Solidarity, Mommas. Its almost over.

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Mommy Monday

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Well, Momma, we survived Thanksgiving! Now the holiday season has kicked into full gear and we’re only four days away from December. I know, I get a little {more} panicky and anxiety-ridden during this time, too.

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Don’t freak out! Its going to be okay. We just have to be sure to take care of ourselves even more over the next few weeks. Don’t know where to start? I have a some great tips that have helped me and a few that I’m going to try this year as well!

 

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Write It Down

I love writing lists. If I can write down all the things that I need to get done, with dates attached to them, it helps me to calm down because I can see that I actually have time to do them all. And if I don’t then I…

 

Ask For Help/Delegate

Repeat after me: “I do not have to do it all.” You do not have to wrap every single present yourself. You do not have to make every person in your family a handmade gift. You do not have to go shopping for every person either. You know that list you made? Cut it in half and give some of it to your husband or kids! If that doesn’t work for you, then try my next tip!

 

Just Say No

December is a crazy-busy month just with the holidays. But then throw in all the “extras”–Christmas pageants, Santa-related events, parties–and its just gets too hectic. Think about the traditions and events that are important to you and your family and then forget about the rest. If an event is going to cause you more stress and anxiety by going then DO. NOT. GO.

 

Eat Right

Some of my favorite foods come around this time of year and I am already ready to eat copious amounts of them. Having said that, something I’ve found is if I eat too many sweets I end up feeling sluggish, cranky, and have zero motivation. Mix that with the shorter amount of sunlight and its a recipe for seasonal affective disorder. A simple rule I follow when at parties and potlucks is eating what only comes around in December. For example, my mom makes amazing cookies, but she makes them at other times throughout the year and not just at Christmas so I usually skip those at the holidays. But her rum cake? She only makes that around Christmas/New Year’s so you better believe I’m digging into that! I also try to eat as healthily as I can about 80% of the time so the other 20% I can indulge. Its a great way to take care of my basic nutritional needs while also having some wiggle room.

 

Take a Vitamin

Its no secret that stress can lower your immune system, but mix that with the chilly weather and being cooped up indoors most of the day and you’ve got all the ingredients for catching a cold. Talk with your doctor about what supplements could be good for keeping your immune system in fighting shape! Around this time of year, I take a B-vitamin supplement in the mornings to help me have energy and keep the sickness away!

 

Slow Down

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can make a person feel like they’re constantly running. When we do this, we end up feeling spread too thin, getting irritable, and we start to resemble The Grinch. Slow down. Schedule breaks. How do you like to recharge your batteries? Do you like taking bubbles baths? Maybe watching a cheesy Hallmark movie is your bag. Or maybe you feel better after talking with your bestie. Whatever it is that you do to relax, be sure you do it!

 

What about you? What are some things you do around this time of year to make sure you’re not feeling frazzled? Share in the comments below!

 

 

I Went To Disney With Small Kids, Here’s What I Learned…

Last week, Huff the Hubs, the kids, and my in-laws went to Disney World. It was a magical (and exhausting) time! I tried to prepare for the trip as best I could, knowing that I’d basically have to bring our entire house with us and somehow make it fit onto a stroller while we walked around the parks.

A lot of knowledge gained through a Disney vacation is acquired through trial and error. So I’m going to share my accomplishments and failures so you can have the best Disney vacay ever!

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Make “Park Bags” In Advance

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Listen to me: you are going to want to fall into bed AS SOON as you get back to the hotel. You are not going to want to reorganize a diaper bag/backpack when your back is aching and you have the stench of sweat and sunblock. Plan ahead! I got 2-gallon zip top bags and filled them with what I thought we would need while we were at the park: diapers, baby wipes, a change of clothes for each kid, medications (like Tylenol, Benadryl etc.), and whatever else you think you may need.

 

Buy “Souvenirs” For The Kids Before You Leave

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to buy a “Walt Disney World” magnet before you go. What I’m saying is, your kids will ask for everything–and I mean eeeeeverything–in sight while you’re at the parks to the point where you will start trying to hide their eyes from the souvenir peddlers on the street because they will be like flies on honey with that stuff. My advice is: go to Dollar Tree and buy a few little figures of Mickey and pals to hand to your little ones when they want something. Its cheaper, its faster, and they have something in their hands to keep them busy during those long waits in ride lines. Also, if you plan on staying until the fireworks show, grab a bunch of glow sticks while you’re at DT! They even have Disney-themed ones! Such a money-saver (the glow stuff at DW was like $12 and up!) and you can splurge on something else later!

 

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

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I didn’t really drink water while we were there (unless I got it at the resort because, filtered water). Huff the Hubs had a Camelbak, but he used tap water and it was just too funky-tasting for me. Plus, I needed caffeine because I was sooooo sleep-deprived. But, I should’ve just sucked it up and drank the funk water. Or bought a 24-pack of water bottles and taken those to the park. I ended up get a heat rash because I was under hydrated. Its the worst. Don’t be like me. Just drink some water every hour to avoid dehydration and all the crappy symptoms.

 

Plan Rest Days

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If I could do it over again, I would’ve planned two extra days just so we’d have time to rest at the hotel in between going to the parks. We should’ve done a rest day every other day, but we only had a limited time and limited budget. Next time, though, we’re splurging for more days so we can rest and not be so crabby/sleep-deprived.

 

Pack Snacks 

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Even if you’re doing the Disney Dining Plan, you’re going to want to pack snacks for your kids. You’re not going to want to spend your precious snack credits on a Danimals yogurt you could get at home–you’re going to want to use those for a Mickey-shaped cake pop, yo! Go Go Squeeze applesauce pouches, Goldfish crackers (they even have Mickey Mouse-shaped ones!), and peanut butter crackers were our saving graces during this trip.

 

DO NOT JUST “WING IT”

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Before we left, I kept seeing all these posts about planning your Disney World day. I was like, “I’m not going to plan out every second of our day! I just want it to be a leisurely thing.”

That was the dumbest decision I have ever made, second only to the time I decided to have my baby shower TWO days after giving birth.

You NEED a plan. You need to know who wants to ride what, which characters are where, and how you’re going to execute all of it. I though it would take the fun out of it, but as it turns out, having a plan makes things run so much smoother and you’ll be a lot less stressed if you do.

 

Have you ever been to Disney World/Disneyland with little ones? What advice would you add to the list? Share in the comments below!