Mommy Monday

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This weekend, I described my #threenager as a “rabid monkey hopped up on speed”. And y’all, its the truth. I don’t know what it is about three-year-old’s but they are CRAY. My dad usually says, “What do you expect? She’s only been in the world three years!” But still. The way a toddler can go from sweet to downright unhinged is insane! I seriously think this is a way a toddler’s mind operates:

 

“My mom just walked into the bathroom and shut the door. She’s probably in dire need of my attention. I better go open the door twenty-seven times to make sure she’s okay.” 

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“What is this thing they keep calling ‘bedtime’? I’ve NEVER heard of this phenomena! I’ll probably never be able to eat anything ever again! I’ll ask for an endless parade of snacks and cups of water, because this is my first bedtime EVER.” 

 

 

“How dare my mom ask me if I want chicken nuggets! Of course I don’t! I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!” *PB&J placed before child. Child sees sibling eating nuggets* “I MUST HAVE THOSE CHICKEN NUGGETS! PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY IS GARBAGE!” 

 

“I’m really tired. I don’t think I’ll nap. Instead I’ll just scream, cry, kick, and throw a tantrum whenever someone so much as looks in my direction. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”

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“Wow, Mommy cleaned my room so well! She even organized my books. I think I’ll dump them all out on the floor.”

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“Mommy’s carrying the diaper bag, her purse, my brother, her car keys, and a drink. Yeah, I think I’ll ask her to carry my blanket and cup, too.” 

 

“My Daddy’s driving. Now would be a good time to tell him I need my shoe that I purposefully took off and threw into the seat behind me. How should I let him know? Ah, got it! I’ll scream bloody murder! That’ll work!” 

 

“I see Mommy about to lose her last thread of patience because I painted the walls with my markers. I better go give her a hug so she doesn’t come completely unglued.” 

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Sigh. Gotta love those little maniacs.

Mommy Monday

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Motherhood is hard. Its really, really hard.

Imagine having a job in which your boss NEVER leaves your side. He’s always a half step behind you, asking you what you’re doing or what you’re going to do next or if you have any updates on that project you’ve been working on even though you literally told him 10.8 seconds ago that there had been no change.

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Imagine your boss follows you into the bathroom, then touches the toilet, and puts her hands on your face. Then, she requests you cook her lunch. But not the beautifully prepared Pinterest meal you spent time and effort on, she wants a sandwich. Without crust. And with jelly. But not strawberry jelly. Then, when you hand it to her she’ll flip the table over because you cut the sandwich into triangles not squares and the shape of the sandwich is directly correlated to its taste. Basically, triangles are crap and now your sandwich is crap.

Then, your other supervisor makes a gigantic mess in the breakroom. Guess who gets to clean it up? Oh, and you still haven’t had time to sit down at your computer to check emails or make a list of all the things you need to accomplish today because your bosses have keep you busy from the moment you walked in the door. By the time you have a second to breathe and get stuff done, its time to leave.

 

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That’s what motherhood is like.

Now listen, I’m not complaining. (Well, maybe I am a little.) I love my kids. I’m so glad and blessed that I have them and I honestly wouldn’t want my life any other way (though I think I could do with a little less feces and spit up throughout my day). This illustration was just to get you to think. Think about what the moms in your life are going through–especially moms of littles. They’re dealing with tiny dictators that don’t care whether you’re tired or hungry or stressed or PMSing or worried about how you’re going to pay the mortgage. They only think about themselves. And the moms? They’re thinking about them too. Moms carry so much on their shoulders (I know dads do too, but Mother’s Day is this weekend, so back off). They have to keep a record of who ate what, when they ate it, when they last went potty, when they’ll need to go again, whether or not there are diapers/wipes/snacks/sippy cups/change of clothes/a favorite lovey/blanket in the diaper bag and oh, they also need to remember to feed themselves, keep themselves hydrated, and somehow fit all the needs of keeping a household running into their already jam-packed schedule.

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All I’m saying is, if you’re lucky enough to still have your mom around, thank her. Thank her for all she has done. And if you see a mom that’s about to lose her ever-loving mind in the middle of Target, go buy her a cake pop or a unicorn frapp from the Starbucks at the front of the store and tell her she’s doing a good job. I guarantee you it will make her feel like a million bucks.

 

 

Mommy Monday

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Sometimes, as a mom, you have to just embrace the crazy around you and laugh at the ridiculousness that will inevitably happen. At least, that’s what I try to do when my kids have ground Cheerios into a freshly vacuumed floor or unwound an entire roll of toilet paper. Which is why I am loving my latest Amazon find!

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This hilariously true-to-life coloring book, #MomLife: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book, is full of pages that describe what every mom deals with. There are pages for those (literal)”Oh crap!” moments:

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And for those “Is-Your-Father-Home-Yet-So-I-Can-Have-A-Glass-Of-Wine?!” moments:

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Other pages are included and are hilariously titled:

  • Congratulations on Your New Vajayjay
  • I Look So Peaceful when my Kids are Sleeping
  • Potty Like a Rock Star
  • I Breed Nonsleepers
  • No Talkie Before Coffee
  • I Love you to the Moon and Back
  • Mommy’s Juicebox
  • Wine Rhymes with Friday
  • Blowout
  • Not My Circus Not My Monkeys
  • Serenity Now

 

See? Perfect for us! Now we just need the time to actually sit down and color!

 

Mommy Monday

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Something I’ve been working on lately is trying to not freak out about every little mess the kids create. I know what you’re thinking, “But Jessica, you seem so easy going…” Oh yeah, I’ve got patience for daaaaayyyyssss….(#sarcasm)

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I think I’ve come to grips with the fact that the living room and my kid’s rooms will never be sparkling clean for more than ten minutes at a time and that my car will perpetually have goldfish cracker dust and chocolate milk splatters everywhere. But when it comes to dirt/mud/grass/anything that should stay outside coming inside, well…that’s a whole different story.

The other day Huff the Tot wanted to play outside. Even though it had been a little rainy the day before, I figured it would do us all some good to get outside. I grabbed Huff the Babe’s bouncy seat and we all went outside for some sunshine. While HtB played happily in his seat, HtT was running around, looking for butterflies. I decided to get some steps in and just walked around the yard. It got quiet and I looked over to see HtT digging in the mud and using it to “paint” on the fence. Her pink pants were now a lovely shade of brown up to her calves and her hands were caked in mud.

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I was about to say, “Stop! Get out of the mud! You’re making a mess!” but I stopped myself. She wasn’t hurting anyone, she wasn’t in any danger, and I reminded myself clothes can be washed. Instead of scolding, I walked over to her and said, “Hey sis, whatcha doing?” She looked at me and, for a moment, I think she thought she was going to get in trouble. When she saw I wasn’t freaking out, she smiled wide and said, “I’m painting, Momma! Look! Its us!”

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My heart was so full! A moment later, my resolve was tested again. Huff the Tot eventually grew tired of the dirt and started swinging on her new swingset. Suddenly she jumped off and shouted, “I HAVE TO GO PEE PEE!” and ran to the back door.

CRAP! I thought. She’s going to get mud everywhere and I’m going to have to clean her off and ack! I gotta get the baby! 

Being the control freak I am, I ran and grabbed her up before she could go inside.

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I had her kick off her flip-flops and let her go to the bathroom. “I’ll be there in a second!” I called to her. “I need to get Bubby inside!”

A million scenarios ran through my mind and they all came to the same ending: there was going to be dirt and mud everywhere. I knew there would be a teeny little footprint path all the way to the bathroom as well as handprints on the walls. (Try to keep a threenager from touching the walls with dirty hands. See how THAT goes for ya…)

After I got HtB inside and settled, I went to the bathroom to help HtT. This is what I saw:

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I very easily could’ve freaked out. My head immediately went to: “She’s going to be soaking wet! She shouldn’t be sitting on the counter, what if she fell?! Great, now I’m going to have to clean the sink for the second time today…” But, I took a breath.

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Again, she wasn’t in any immediate danger. She was doing something helpful. She took it upon herself to clean herself up–my kid was exhibiting initiative and independence, how could I possibly be mad about that?!

I didn’t get on to her. I grabbed my phone, snapped a pic and said, “You’re doing a great job cleaning up!” My daughter beamed at me and said, “Thanks, Mommy! I’m a good helper, huh?”

It did my heart good to see my kid so excited. Would she have been so willing to be helpful had I gotten on to her outside and put the kabosh on playing in the mud instead of letting her just be a kid? Thankfully, I won’t know.

Now I’m not saying I’m perfect because lawd I know I’m still a control freak and like things done a certain way. And I may not ever be 100% okay with mud, dirt, and gunk. But, for now, I will revel in my tiny victory and use it as motivation for next time.

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Try It Tuesday

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I’ve been seeing a lot of DIY sensory play in my Pinterest feed lately (probably because of the glitter bottles I made a few weeks back. Which, by the way, worked like a charm!) so I decided to try another one!

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Its homemade silly putty! Here’s what you need:

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~Yogurt

~Corn starch

 

That’s it! Oh, and a willing assistant to test said putty. Which, I had on hand:

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Start with a cup of yogurt and 3/4 cup corn starch. Mix together. If its still sticky, keep adding corn starch. If its too grainy, add more yogurt. Keep doing this until you reach the desired consistency.

I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the process because corn starch is the devil and it gets everywhere and makes you lose your mind because of its ability to cling to clothes/hands/the floor/everything within a 2-mile radius until your home looks like Tony Montana’s desk in Scarface.

But, finally, I got the consistency I wanted!

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It kept my little assistant busy for a hot minute while I unloaded/re-loaded the dishwasher. She really enjoyed it when I got out a few cookie cutters.

 

When she lost interest, I put it into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. THEN it was enjoyable for Momma. Mostly because it felt like a stress ball, lol. That’s when I thought, “Hey! This might be a good sensory play-type thing for kids! They can squish this together and keep their little hands busy!”

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All in all, it wasn’t my favorite Try It, but definitely not my least favorite! Have you ever tried this? What were your results? Share in the comments below!

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!

Mommy Monday

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Y’all, its been rough around the Huffman Homestead lately. Huff the Hubs was out of town all last week and this week, leaving 7 1/2 months pregnant me alone with Huff the Tot. Thankfully, I’ve had family and friends to help me out. Pretty sure I owe about 8 different people fruit baskets after these two weeks are up!

I haven’t been sleeping well. Mostly because Hermione hasn’t been sleeping well. Her normal bedtime is 7:30 p.m. However, my little Gryffindor hasn’t been falling asleep (slash staying in her bed) until about 10:30 p.m. And then she wakes around 1:00 a.m. And again at 7:00 a.m. She fights her naps with everything within her. She’s also been flipping out during bath time. Seriously; its like she’s part cat or something.

Needless to say, I’ve cried A LOT over the past 7 1/2 days.

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I’ve also been praying (A LOT) that Hermione would nap and sleep at night.

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And it seems like all of my prayers have been answered… except the ones regarding Hermione’s sleep. Yesterday, I had a full-on meltdown about it. Why was He not answering my prayers? Why was he letting me suffer? (And yes, I sure did say suffer. You try being pregnant with a non-sleeping two year old and you tell me how YOU’D describe what you’re going through.)

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Then, I started thinking about it. I remembered a quote said by tons of people many times: “When you pray, God’s answers are normally ‘yes’, ‘no’, or ‘wait’.” But then I thought, “What if there’s a fourth response? Such as: ‘I’m teaching you something.”

That’s when I realized God was working on me during these two weeks. And what has He been teaching me?

 

Grace

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Its tough sometimes to remember that kids are just that, kids. They don’t know as much as adults do because they haven’t had the same experience we have. As my dad so eloquently put it, “She’s only been on Earth two years! Cut her some slack!” So that’s what I’ve been doing. Those times at night when I’m so exhausted I can’t remember my own name and she’s been out of bed twenty times, I repeat to myself, “She’s only two. She’s only two. Show her grace, but be firm that she’s sleeping in her own bed.” Its actually helped A LOT.

 

Patience

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I’ve never been a patient person. But these past two weeks (and, really, the past two years of being a parent) have really helped me refine my patience. I’m in no way close to being as patient as some, but I can feel God working on me in that area.

 

Self-Control 

Though I have totally cried just about everyday, I feel like my self-control is being polished. Nothing makes you dig deep into your reserves of self-control when your child is kicking and thrashing around and you’re still able to stay calm when you just want to pull a Beast:

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And even though I know I still have A LOT of work to do with myself, I think having this perspective will help me out the rest of this week, as well as when Huff the Babe makes his grand entrance into the world.

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(Sidebar: To all the military wives/moms and single moms out there, I salute you. I know I’m only getting a tiny taste of what you deal with on a daily basis and that makes me want to salute you, girl.)