Mommy Monday

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Huff the Babe recently turned two. If you’ve never been around a two year old, its a lot like this:

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So, needless to say, when we go out in public it takes a lot of mental and physical preparation. Basically, make sure you’ve stretched, properly hydrated, and have on clothes you don’t mind being stained.

Sometimes when we’re out to eat or shopping I can easily ignore his and Huff the Tot’s bickering, whining, or begging for things. Other times, I don’t handle it so well. Mostly because of the looks I get from other people. So when I saw this video circulating on Facebook, it really hit home:

 

Y’all, we’ve GOT to support each other. Motherhood can be such a rewarding role. But its also really, really hard sometimes. And you know what makes it even harder? Eye rolls, deep sighs, judgy stares, and “whispered” comments to other people. These things just make us feel like failures. And guess what? About 90% of the time, most of us already do feel like we’re failing: we’re not feeding our kids healthy enough, we allow them to watch too much TV, or we’re not spending enough time with them.

Here are some simple ways we can show support to other Mamas:

Give a knowing smile to a mom that’s dealing with a tantrum-throwing toddler. 

Tell her, “You’re doing great, Momma!”

Call up a mom friend and offer to watch her littles so she can go grocery shopping in peace. (And then maybe she’ll even return the favor later!) 

If your house isn’t equipped for little ones, tell the mom you’ll go with her and wait in the car with the kids while she runs errands! (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people do this for me! IT. IS. AMAZING.) 

Buy a $5 gift card to Starbucks and keep it in your wallet. If you’re out and about and see a mom having a rough go of it, slip it to her so she can treat herself later. 

If you see a mom with a restless kiddo and you’ve got your kiddos too, offer to walk around with her at the store so the kids can keep each other company and entertained! Who knows, you (and the kids) might even make a new friend! 

If your kids are in school and you don’t work, call up a mom with littles and ask if she needs anything. Even if she says she doesn’t need anything, at least she knows you were thinking about her! 

Buy a momma and her kiddos lunch while you’re out to eat. (This one could get a little expensive, BUT, if you get say, a Chick-Fil-A gift card and add a little money here and there, you can totally do this!) 

Do you have a neighbor that has kids? See if they want to go for a walk with you. 

I love it on those rare occurrences that both of my children are calm and listening when we venture out and about. I also love it when a stranger compliments them on their behavior. I know it encourages them, but it also REALLY encourages me.  So if you see a kiddo doing great, recognize it! You will absolutely make that mom’s day–I guarantee it. 

 

Do you have any other ways to encourage moms? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

 

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The other day, I was talking to a friend, mourning the fact that I haven’t been doing regular Tot School activities with Huff the Babe. I mean, when Huff the Tot was his age, I was doing alphabet flash cards, color songs, and reading at least five books a day to the girl.

“Poor Huff the Babe,” I said to my friend. “He’s getting the raw end of the deal.”

“It’s just the curse of the second child,” she said. “They don’t get as much as the first.”

Which is the cold, hard truth. With your first kid, you have a lot more time–there’s only one of them after all! So many things change once you go from one kid to two. Or two to three!

 That’s why this video from Story of this Life really hit the nail on the head!

 

What differences did you experience going from one to two (or two to three? Or three to four, you brave soul!)? Share in the comments below!

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!