Mommy Monday

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Here lately, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to teach Huff the Tot about kindness and empathy. (Daniel Tiger is a GREAT resource for this! Plus, that kid has a song for errything!) I want her to be mindful of others as well as of her own emotions. I picked up a few books from the library, but this one was my absolute favorite:

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Its called, Have You Filled a Bucket Todayand it is AMAZING! The book describes how everyone, all over the world carries around an invisible bucket. And when your bucket is full (of good thoughts and feelings about yourself) you feel happy. But when your bucket is empty, you feel sad and lonely.

The book goes on to explain how we can fill other’s buckets (and, in turn, fill our own) and become “bucket fillers”.

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It also tells how there are some people who try to take good feelings from others’ buckets, thinking they can fill their own buckets but that will never work. These people are known as “bucket dippers”(i.e., bullies).

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This has been great for Huff the Tot! I’ve read it to her several times and she has said, on more than one occasion, “Mommy, I {insert something here such as “pick up my toys”, “draw you a picture”, or “build you a castle”} and I will fill your bucket up!”

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There are a TON of activities on the book’s website as well as on Pinterest! So you can keep the learning going with fun coloring pages or crafts! I think this would be a GREAT porject for an elementary school class as well! Heck, I think everyone in the nation could use some bucket filling nowadays!

 

Have you ever read this book? What did you think? Have you read one that covers the same premise? Share in the comments below!

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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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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Anytime I get on Pinterest to find some sort of fitness pin, I see all kinds of workouts that are designed to help people get into shape while watching their favorite shows/movies. Like this one:

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So I started thinking: “What if there was a workout like this but for moms?” I couldn’t find one, so I thought up a few exercises to help you mommas out there add some fitness to your day!

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Sound familiar?

 

Mommy Monday

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Before Huff the Hubs and I got married, I was very much an early bird. There was a time in my life which I would get up at 4:30 a.m. and run 2-3 miles, everyday, with my sister. We had to wake up that early so both of us could shower (we were still living with Mom and Dad) and be out in the door in time to be at work by 7:30. I did that for a solid two years.

Now?

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Seriously though. With Huff the Babe not sleeping through the night for the better part of last year, there was no way in Hades I’d be able to get up at 4:30 (though, chances were I’d already be up anyhow) and workout.

But once we FINALLY got that little turkey on a sleep schedule, life became much more manageable. One of my goals this year is to wake up an hour before the kids get up so I can workout, eat breakfast, and get myself ready for the day. I’m only a week in and I’ve got to tell you, it has made a WORLD of difference.

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I’ve found I feel much more ready to face the day when I’ve had a chance to get stuff done before the kids wake. Not only that, but I feel like I’ve been spending more quality time with the kiddos because I’m not distracted by trying to get a million things accomplished. And, best of all, I can nap while the kids nap in the afternoon!

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This season of life is tough, but this change (waking up early) definitely makes it much more manageable.

Try it for a week–I guarantee you’ll see a difference!

 

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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Yesterday I had a parenting conundrum. No, it wasn’t whether or not to let Huff the Tot eat Goldfish crackers she found in her car seat, it was something much more serious. Here’s the story:

Yesterday when I went to pick her up from her Sunday school class, her face was red and I could tell she had been crying while she was sitting in the teacher’s lap. “What happened?” I asked as she ran toward me. The teacher then filled me in.

She told me that there was a young boy new to the class that Sunday. He was autistic and was shouting. Huff the Tot and some of the other kids got scared and a chain of crying took place before the boys’ father came to pick him up.

(Before I go on, please know that I am not saying, “Oh my gosh; why didn’t they do something to shut that kid up? He was obviously distressing the kids!” That’s not what this post is about. So calm down and read the whole post. Anyway, moving on…)

Huff the Tot is not one for loud noises (though, ironically, the kid basically has no “inside voice”) and gets freaked out pretty fast when someone’s volume goes up. I nodded encouragingly to the teacher, told her thank you, and Hermione and I left. As we were walking to find the rest of the family she said, “He was being loud, Mommy. I didn’t like it.”

I found myself at a loss. How was I supposed to respond to that? How do I describe to my three year old about autism and children with special needs? Luckily my sister, who teaches fourth grade, was there and said, “He wasn’t trying to hurt your ears. Sometimes kids can’t control their voices and they get loud.” Huff the Tot seemed to accept that answer and moved on. I, however, couldn’t.

I knew this wouldn’t be the last time that I had to explain difficult things to my daughter (or son, when Huff the Babe gets older). I feel like I could handle a conversation about physical handicaps with the kids. After all, the episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood this morning was about Prince Wednesday’s cousin, Chrissie, who wears braces on her legs.

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They ask Chrissie questions about her legs and she answers them in simple, easy-to-grasp kid language. They even sing a little song: “In some ways we are different, but in so many ways we are the same!” I feel like its much easier to explain physical differences; differences kid’s can see. Its much more difficult to explain abstract concepts to toddlers.

And this is where I get to my point: How do I explain autism and the like to a toddler? When we’re around children with special needs, I don’t want to pretend like they are not there. They are created in the image of God just like my kids and I want my children to know this. I don’t want them to look over people. I want them to understand people, be kind to people.

So I’m calling on you, Mommas–especially Momma’s of children with special needs: how would handle this (or like the situation to be handled)?

 

 

 

Helpful comments only. If this is where you want to get into a debate and be disparaging, rude, or condescending, you may go to another blog.