Mommy Monday

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This week, my sweet little boy turns one. I know, I can’t believe it either! It feels like yesterday I was waddling around saying, “Get this kid out of me!”

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It has been a blur of a year. Between Huff the Babe not sleeping through the night for his first nine months of life to me switching careers, to Huff the Hubs starting grad school and also trying to potty train Huff the Tot, the past 362 days (he’s technically not a year old until Thursday!) have passed by in a haze of diapers, nipple cream, and lots of Diet Dr. Pepper.

When I first found out I was pregnant with a little boy, I won’t lie–I cried. I was so scared. I knew NOTHING of little boys. I was raised with two sisters and all I wanted was three little girls. After seeing the major indication that we were expecting a boy, all I could picture was the rambunctious, loud balls of dirt that played on our street when we were kids. I saw the climbed fences, the desire to play sports (hard pass), and the difficult task of raising a son that was not a misogynist and treated women with respect. How were Huff the Hubs and I supposed to navigate this boy world?!

But then, I held that little boy in my arms for the first time.

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All of my anxieties cleared. (Well, not all. But I definitely felt more at ease.)

All I saw was my sweet little guy. The little one that I had felt inside of my for nine months. The little guy that I would snuggle as I nursed him at 2:00 a.m., bleary-eyed and full-hearted. The tiny boy that would lay his head on my shoulder and snuggle me with such affection. The little man that HtH and I would raise to be a good, Godly man who will hopefully show Christ’s love to everyone he meets.

And, yes, the little boy that will climb on everything and always be covered in some kind of goo, dirt, or slime (much like his older sister).

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I won’t lie, there have been some moments of being a boy mom that I hadn’t anticipated. Like the level of fear I had every time I changed his diaper while his plastibell was still on.

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Or finding a way out of answering Huff the Tot’s question of “What’s that?” while changing HtB’s diaper…

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And even though I’ve been more exhausted and, at times, more overwhelmed  and have less free time than I ever thought possible…

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It has still been an amazing year. And I’m so excited to see what kind of person our little man becomes!

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Happy {early} birthday, sweet boy! I love you!

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Mommy Monday

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Before I had kids, I read A LOT. There was a time I could be found most days with a book in my hand. Then I started ghostwriting. And then I had kids. And my reading log went from about 40+ books a year to maybe four. I’m trying to remedy that, though, which is why one of my goals for 2017 is to read more. I want to read, not only for my own benefit, but I want my kids to see me reading–I want to raise little bookworms!

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So any time Huff the Tot wants to read a book, I {most of the time} happily oblige. Here lately, her book of choice has been an old book of Huff the Hubs’:

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This book is all about Louis Pasteur, the inventor of the rabies vaccine (and pasteurization of milk!). HtT likes to read this book about 2,000 times a day, so it was no surprise to me when she came to me and said, “Mommy, my horse died. Her has the rabies germs.”

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Y’all, I can’t make this stuff up.

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And even though it may sound a bit morbid that my kid is pretending her horse died of rabies, I still think its awesome that my three-year-old is remembering and comprehending the story, as well as building her vocabulary! Those are just a few of the phenomenal benefits your kiddo gets just by you reading to them!

Do you read to your kids? What are some of their favorite books? Share in the comments below!

 

 

Mommy Monday

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I’ve been off my game lately when it comes to blogging. And showering. And fixing my hair. And doing laundry. Why, you ask?

Kids.

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE my kids. They are the reason I get up every day. (Literally. You can only pretend to be asleep for so long before your toddler knocks on the door, asking for chocolate milk.) But seriously, I love my kids with all my heart. They give me SO much joy! They also give me so many headaches. Because parenting is basically cleaning up after little dictators that push you super close to the edge of a cliff before swooping in and doing something so adorable that you forget all the crap they put you through. And then the next day it repeats.

To keep myself from going completely crazy, I like to read funny tweets from other parents to 1–let me know I’m not alone in this fight and 2–help me to laugh to keep from crying. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you, because, I’m sure you need a giggle as well!

 

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Seen any funny parenting tweets? Send them to me on Twitter at @thehuffmanpost!

Mommy Monday

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This weekend the fam and I went to the mall and had dinner at our staple–Chick-Fil-A. I know, I know; a mom that loves Chick-Fil-A? How cliche. But everything you’ve heard about how awesome they are is true. Plus, now they have an app with which I can earn points and get free food. The only two words I love more than “free food” is “long nap”. Anyway, I’m getting off topic.

So we’re at the mall… The rest of the fam goes to JC Penney while Huff the Tot and I go snag some PocketBacs from Bath and Body Works (buy three, get two free for the win!). Then we went to Candyopolis because yes, I resort to bribery to get my kid to behave. And a patient toddler gets a Tootsie Pop.

While we’re in the candy store I say, “Hermione, come pick out a sucker.” The worker hears me and says, “Oh, I love her name! That’s so awesome!”

“Thanks,” I say. “We’re big Harry Potter fans.”

When we go to pay for Huff the Tot’s candy-coated bribe, the woman asks, “So what are you going to name this one?” and rubs her stomach.

At first, I didn’t think I heard her right. “I’m sorry?” I asked.

“Are you going to name this one a Harry Potter name too?” she questioned.

I couldn’t believe what she was asking. Did I really look like I was pregnant? I mean, yeah, I’ve still got 10 pounds of baby weight on me, but I was actually feeling pretty confident about myself earlier that day.

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Thankfully, Huff the Tot started taking stuffed animals off of a shelf distracting me and another customer came in, distracting the store clerk.

We walked to JC Penney, me still in shock over what had just transpired and I tried to not cry/go back and punch the girl. Normally, I wouldn’t get too worked up about something like that. I’m of the school of thought where if you don’t like me, I really don’t care. I don’t have time or energy for that foolishness. But that comment hurt. Legitimately hurt.

I guess its because I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job of not completely losing my ever-loving mind every single day that putting any effort into my looks has fallen by the wayside. True, I have been doing strength training about 2-3 times a week, but that’s about it.

But seriously though, it took me nine months to gain the baby weight, it’s gonna take about that (or more!) to take off! (Probably more since I’m breastfeeding.) And not only that, but I’ve popped out TWO kids. My body is never going to go back exactly the way it was before kids. A nurse at the hospital when I had Huff the Babe said it best, “Your body is like a balloon that’s been inflated and then deflated; it’s never going to go back exactly how it was.”

The sooner we ladies accept that, I think the better off we’ll be. Jennifer Garner said it best:

 

And you know what? I should be PROUD of my body. I have run two half marathons, a full marathon, hiked up Diamond Head three times,  as well as carried, birthed, AND fed two babies with this body of mine. So yeah, I may have a bump. But you know what? I’ve also got AWESOME.

Mommy Monday

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Ever since Huff the Tot was about a year old, I’ve been looking for ways to help her get a head start, academically. When my sisters and I were kids, my mom would do flash cards with us of various phonics and sight words and both of my parents would read to us. (I credit all of this with helping to cultivate a love of reading with my sisters and I.) So as soon as I felt HtT was ready, we’ve started “Tot School”.

My oldest sister is a SAHM/homeschool mom. She’s absolutely amazing at it and her kids are crazy-smart! I would love to have the skill and patience to be a homeschool mom, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to plan hours of curriculum and make sure we actually accomplish said curriculum instead of just sit around in our jammies all day watching Netflix (which, to be fair, sounds like an amazing day!).

BUT, Tot School is definitely something I can accomplish daily! After some consulting with my sister (and Pinterest) I came up with a “teaching plan” that fit our schedule and Huff the Tot’s attention span. So I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite Tot School activities.

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Alphabet Flash Cards

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Like most little girls, Huff the Tot is obsessed with Frozen. These alphabet flash cards helped her learn her alphabet and recognize/name letters before she was two years old. And, bonus!, the fact that the flash cards were characters from her favorite movie kept her attention! You can get them here from TotSchooling.net! If Frozen isn’t your kid’s fancy, you can get superhero, animals, or Disney characters!

 

Letter Sound Worksheets

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Once I saw that HtT could recognize letters/sing the alphabet song multiple times without any mistakes, I knew it was time to progress to some early-reading encouragement and work on letter sounds. These printables from 1+1+1=1 have been so incredibly helpful! Each week, Huff the Tot and I cover one letter. We’ll do one different worksheet a day and every day we’ll sing a song I learned from my nephew’s Letter Factory toy! For example, on the days we do the letter A, I’ll sing (to the tune of “The Cheese Stands Alone“): “The A says a. The A says a. Every letter makes a sound, A says a!” We sing that song a few times a day and it really helps her to remember which letters make which sounds.

 

Sensory Play 

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For a long time, I thought sensory play had to be this deep, meaningful, expensive time where I would buy a sand or water table and we’d talk about the intricacies of science and all that jazz. But you know works great? Play Doh! I just hand her a few tubs, one of her Play Doh sets, and while I cook dinner the kid goes to town! She keeps her hands busy and I keep my sanity! (See, tot school doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing!)

 

Fine Motor Skills

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Again, helping your wee one learn fine motor skills doesn’t have to be some long, involved process. A few chunky beads and a shoelace and you’ve got yourself a fine motor skills activity. Bonus? I got Huff the Tot’s in the Dollar Spot at Target!

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many days that I feel as though the only educational activity we’ve done is watch three hours of Little Einsteins. With two kids, its tough to squeeze in Tot School everyday. I try to set aside time during little brother’s naps to go over as much as we can. But just because Huff the Tot and I aren’t sitting at the table doing a letter worksheet doesn’t mean there’s no way to pop education in throughout the day. I love the LeapReader Jr. my sister got for Huff the Tot and Starfall is a great site/app that facilitates learning (and also keeps the kid entertained when we’re at a restaurant or the doctor’s office waiting room!) There are so many blogs and websites out there (hello, Pinterest!) that can give you a ton of ideas that work for you and your kiddo!

Do you do Tot School with your wee one? What do you do? Are there any sites you find helpful? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday!

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Happy Friday, fangirls and boys! Even though its been a busy week, I have found some nerdy nifties to make your weekend be filled with geeky joy!

 

I’m sure most of you are ECSTATIC that it is finally #PSLseason and that means pumpkin flavored errythang! This year, though, its not just pumpkin that’s making the rounds, but butterscotch as well! M&M’s will be debuting their butterscotch-flavored candies very soon and–good news!–sources say they taste JUST. LIKE. BUTTERBEER!

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So even if you can’t get away to Harry Potter World, bust open a bag of these, pop in HP #1 in the DVD player, and don those robes! It’ll be like you’re back at Hogwarts!

 

When I was a kid, I thought I was a bad-a clothing designer because I was a Fashion Plates pro! Now, thanks to an awesome company called Picture This, kids can wear their actual drawings/designs!

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Picture This was founded by a mother who created a dress designed by her daughter. Her little one loved the dress and lit up when she told people, “I’m wearing my imagination!” Now kids everyone can do the same!

 

This year, Star Trek is celebrating their 50th anniversary! There’s a lot of limited-edition gear coming out, but I think my favorite is from RockLove Jewelry! Just check out this GORGEOUS Starfleet ring!

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Not only do they have awesome jewelry for Trekkers, but they TONS of fandoms to choose from!

 

And speaking of a-DORK-able jewelry, I’ve found an awesome new Etsy shop full of accessories for fangirls! PeachesandPebbles Shop has a great selection, including hard-to-find fandoms like Totoro!

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SO. FREAKING. CUTE!

 

 

Have a fandom find you want featured on FGF? Share in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter: @thehuffmanpost !

 

Mommy Monday

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If you’ve gone to a baby shower lately, you’ve probably seen some of the super cool products that are on the market for babies, toddlers, and mommas! I saw a post the other day about some UH-MAY-ZING gear for littles and HAD to share!

 

Star Kids Snack & Play Travel Tray

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This travel tray is PERFECT for those long road trips that you want your kids to be occupied with toys but don’t want to be spending your time dislocating your arm as you paw around the floorboard for that toy truck that Little Johnny dropped for the millionth time!

 

Sippy Sure The Medicine Dispensing Sippy Cup

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I don’t know about you, but I loathe giving Huff the Tot medicine. For some reason when she sees that dropper of Tylenol, she loses her every-lovin’ mind! She flails her arms around and ends up spilling most of it down her shirt leaving me to try and calculate just how much she actually got in her system. This would help SOOOO much with those battles! The Sippy Sure has a removable dosage cup so you can get your little one to take their meds without spilling it everywhere!

 

PhillUp Hangable Kid’s Cups

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These awesome cups were designed by parents that were sick and tired of washing tons of dishes everyday because their kids “needed” a new cup every time they got a drink of water. Phillup Cups stick to glass, metal, tile and fiberglass and are color-coded for each kid!

 

SnipSnap

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There have been so many times that we’ve gone out to eat, only to realize we’ve left Huff the Tot’s sippy cup at home. And, unfortunately, not every restaurant has kid’s cups or lids (though you’d think they would). Enter, SnipSnap. This handy little device can transform any cup or glass into a spill-proof kid’s cup! They come in Snug Spouts (AKA, sippy cups) or Snug Straws (in the picture above) for older kids!

 

MilkSense

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I don’t know about any other breastfeeding mommas, but I always hate getting asked the question, “How much is your baby eating at every feeding?” Uh, I don’t know. Its not like these milk makers come with an indicator that shows my kiddo ate four ounces. Until NOW. Meet MilkSense: The Personal Breastfeeding Monitor. This handy dandy tool calculates how much milk is in each breast before each feeding as well as after so you know how much he’s taking in! Awesome right?!

 

What about you? Do you know of any tech or gear that are helpful hacks for parents? Share in the comments below!