Three Things

Three Things (previous TT post here) on the blog today include sharing about our roller coaster “firsts” and how each child had a different reaction. Also included is the cutest blue and white tie-waist top and my three favorite lunchbox Instagram accounts!

Funny Firsts

Three Things

If you’ve caught my posts about Capitola then you know our family goes every year and that also means we go to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk every year! With the kids meeting some of the height restrictions, this year was full of attraction firsts! Audrey was finally able to ride the Big Dipper and she loved it! I quickly realized we have a little thrill-seeker on our hands. Little miss would have gone on every twisting, upside-down, tummy-dropping ride at the park if she could have! Jack on the other hand was a little uncertain. Scroll below to see Audrey pictured first on the Pirate Ship and then, Jack. Two totally different reactions! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way his squishy, little face looked! His eyes practically popped out of his head and he was holding on for dear life! Thankfully, Grandma held on tight and made him feel safe. No tears, but it’s definitely a funny first I’ll never forget!

Three Things

Audrey in the upper right corner wanted to sit in the back (with Uncle Kev) for extra fun!

Three Things

Excited but unsure about what’s going to happen.

Three Things

That face!!! Priceless!

Blue Tie Shirt

Three Things

Adore this all cotton tie-waist shirt! As fall approaches it will pair cute with wedges and distressed denim! Snag it here for $20!

Three Things

Three Things

Lunchbox Inspiration from some favorite Igers

Three Things

If you pack lunches for your kids then you will share in my struggle! The kids get so bored of the same thing, but these three Instagram moms know what they are doing! I love following them for menu inspiration! Check them out if you need some easy and healthy ideas to incorporate in your routine. I also recommend letting your kids look at the images with you because not only does it get them excited but it actually helps encourage new food choices! @superhealthykids @easylunchboxes @weelicious

Three Things

Three Things

 

When Mom Gets Sick

A few weeks back I was lying in bed one night feeling absolutely awful, body aches, fever, ya know – just miserable. I remember praying that neither of my children would wake, that our puppy would actually sleep through the night, and that somehow, magically, I might miss the sound of my husband’s alarm clock. Unfortunately, everything I hoped and prayed wouldn’t happen, happened. As I slowly crawled back in bed for the third time, I couldn’t help but think of all my Mommy friends and the raw truth about being sick as a Mom! But first let’s talk about how a Mom actually gets sick.

Every Mom can relate to this blog post. Many Dads can too, but for this post I focused on my ladies! Working Moms, single Moms, SAHMs, it really doesn’t matter! I think it’s safe to say, as Mothers, that we actually dread being sick far more than cleaning up our children’s barf, snotty noses, diarrhea bums, or any other side effect that comes with having a sick child. We (Moms) are pretty good at taking care of sick children, and are also very cautious about spreading germs. So in theory, we should be able to avoid getting sick, but 4 out of 5 times this is how and why we get sick…

  1. Child comes home from school feeling sick. Depending on severity of sickness, Mom spends the next few days/nights caring for child. There is a lot of love and hugs nurturing your little bean back to health. Sleep is the last thing a mother worries about. Mom is aware that child number 2 will probably get sick next. Mom does her absolute best to keep children from sharing anything and spreading germs! But, this is like trying to keep the Real Housewives of Orange County (or any RH series) from fighting – Impossible!
  2. Sick child number 1 is finally doing better and Mom looks forward to a night of rest. Oh Mom, what were you thinking? A night of rest, lol! That was a great joke! Conveniently, child number 2 wakes up sick the same night child number 1 is doing better. The entire process starts again. Better pick up some extra coffee – gonna need it.
  3. Mommy adrenaline kicks in and you manage to get through a week of 3-4 hours sleep a night. Nothing really changes in your schedule. You still work, manage the household, meals, laundry, etc. It’s all good, you’ve got this Supermom and you’re not complaining! You continue to remind your husband and yourself these 3 things. 1. Don’t touch your face! 2. Wash your hands constantly! 3. Don’t eat or drink off anything that isn’t yours!
  4. Thankfully, the kids are better! They are back to jumping off beds, making messes, and fighting over everything. Good thing, because these were the things you missed most when they were sick and sleeping oh-so-quietly on the couch. Ha! You post an adorable Facebook picture that the kids are better and even though it was a hard time, you cherished the extra cuddle time. We are mothers, we always find the good.
  5. Although tired, you’ve done a pretty good job at staying healthy, but Dad just called from the office and is sick. Home he comes. Poor guy. He crawls in bed, turns on a movie, and sleeps for a long long time! Like the doctor says — > Rest is the key to a fast recovery! Sooooo, you nurse Daddy back to health bringing tea, soup, and trying your best to keep the kids busy and out of his space so he can get better. But, you can’t help remember the last time you were sick and the doctor told you to rest up. It’s always hilarious when a Mom is sick and friends or doctors tell her to go home and get rest. I mean really, it’s just such a funny concept. Mom, rest, ha! Another great joke. The only people who won’t tell you to go home and rest are other Moms. Why? Because they know two things. 1. None of the other family members will survive without you! 2. Nothing will get done!
  6. Dad is on the mend after resting like the doctor says! Phew, good thing most of your family follows the doctor’s orders. “Ge’ez Mom, you really need to listen better.” Anyhow, you’ve been so good about doing EVERYTHING to prevent getting this bug, plus you pray nightly that you will avoid it. You’ve lovingly cared for each family member, all you ask is to simply NOT GET SICK yourself.
  7. After a week of sleep deprivation and pushing your body to the limits, prayers aren’t enough. Not to mention that while your children were sick it didn’t stop them from touching everything and constantly sticking things in their mouths. It also doesn’t stop them from repeatedly coughing or sneezing in your face, and wiping boogers all over your clothes and body. What were you thinking? All the hand sanitizer and echinacea tea in the world couldn’t keep this bug away! But the truth is you did love those extra cuddles.
  8. Surprise! Lucky you! You’re sick and this is what your family thinks WHEN MOM GETS SICK! (from my fav Pinterest images)

Mom_Sick2 Mom_Sick3 Mom_sick4 Mom-Sick5 Mom-Sick6 Sick_Mom1

Oh and this is what Dad thinks when you get sick….

Mom-Sick7

To all my Superhero Moms and Dads (because I know that many of you do this too), May the force be with you when your household gets sick!

This Week’s Toddler Talk

TT_2

Lately I haven’t been very good about documenting the funny things our kids say. Usually I laugh so hard and think to myself, “There is no way I’ll forget this conversation”, but then time goes on and I remember it was funny, and I remember most of it, but I can’t remember our exact words. That’s why I started this series. To better document memories and the funny things my children say, and to inspire others to do the same. But first, anyone else feel like the “Mommy brain” forgets too much? My own Mother has the best theory about “Mommy Brain” and I want to share it with y’all. When I have a forgetful moment, like losing my keys and then finding them in the refrigerator next to the milk, or forgetting where we dined for our anniversary the week before, her theory makes me feel soooooo much better. In the most generic terms, it goes something like this,

“The thing with motherhood is that you have to remember it all, every little detail for every little thing, YOU ARE the memory for your entire family, so sometimes things just gets shoved out. You simply have NO MORE space to remember it all! So don’t beat yourself up! You will forget things, but you are completely normal and to answer the question most mom’s think at least once in their lives, NO, you aren’t losing your memory! You’re just a mom.”

Thank you, Mom, for always putting things into perspective and reminding me I’ve got this mom thing. Now, let’s move on with some Toddler Talk.

–> Jack started a new preschool this year. During this conversation, we are driving to the school drop off and he isn’t very excited to go. Jack came up with a new and improved plan for preschool. 

Cupid: Mommy, I don’t want to go to school.

Mary Poppins: Awww buddy, it’s only for two and a half hours.

Cupid: Nooo, I miss you too much at school. (with the saddest puppy dog eyes)

Mary Poppins: I know lover, I miss you too but it’s good to go to school.

Cupid: (looking excited) Mommy, I have a new plan. Do you want to hear?

Mary Poppins: Sure buddy. What’s your plan?

Cupid: How about you are my teacher? We can have pweschool (preschool) at home and I can learn with you.

Mary Poppins: Well, that is a smart idea but won’t you miss all the friends you are making? What about the great art and science projects? And the fun music teacher?

Cupid: Nope. I won’t miss my friends. You can be my teacher, my Mommy, and my bwest (best) friend. We can set up stations for art and science, and we already have music instruments and a Kaaweeoki (Karaoke) thingy, so that’s easy. Plus, I can have peanut butter and jewee (jelly) for lunch at home. Let’s just do pweschool at home! Okay, Mommy! (huge smile)

Mary Poppins: Ohhh Jack, mommy loves you and you are so smart.

–> Jack is OBSESSED with the shows Octonauts and Paw Patrol and wants every toy that involves these cartoons. He has developed a strategy to get all these toys.

Cupid: Mom, I want all the Octopods for my Playset and the Barnacles Steering Deck, and I want the Paw Patroller, and can we buy the Paw Patrol Leappad game. I want all the toys that my friends have!

Mary Poppins: OK these sound like fun toys, but you just had your birthday and received many great toys.

Cupid: I knooow (in a whiny voice) but I weally (really) want these toys too.

Mary Poppins: How about we put them on your Christmas list?

Cupid: OK (thinking for a minute)…Mom, how about we have more lists? We can have a Halloween list, a Christmas list, and ohh we need a Fall list. Remember how we just celebrated the first day of Fall? So we need a list for that too!

Mary Poppins: (laughing) Jack, are these lists for your toys?

Cupid: Yes, I can have different lists for all the holidays, so we can get all the toys.

Mary Poppins: (cracking up) Jack, we only get gifts on our Birthday’s and Christmas. Sometimes Easter, but we don’t do lists for every holiday.

Cupid: (disappointed) What? So my only lists are Christmas and my Birthday? But, I like more lists! Can’t we just make more? How do I get those toys?

Mary Poppins: Giggling because if I were a toddler this makes complete sense! Just create more lists and then the toys come. LOL!

Back to School – Tips for Your Morning Routine

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Back to school is an exciting time for all! A good friend said it best on her Facebook page, “First day of school! Yay! Parents be popping champs everywhere”. The idea of champagne sounds amazing but a fancy coffee (meaning not from my Keurig) and a quiet morning after a successful send off is as good of a celebration as any in my book! I’ll cash in on the mimosa over a ladies brunch on the weekend. The truth of the matter is though, the first week or two of Back to School is often complete mayhem in the mornings. Getting out the door on time is a struggle and we all seem to become a hot mess. Congrats to those mom’s who nail it on the first day, but this is just not our family. It takes a few practice runs to get out of the lazy summer morning habit and back on track with a more timely regimen. Routine! Routine! Routine! You’ve heard it before, but today’s post is a friendly reminder about how to de-stress your morning by implementing a solid routine. We seem to have things back on track and I’ve finally had my fancy coffee and quiet breakfast celebration. Below are a few of my favorite tips to help you with the morning struggle.

  1. Do it the night before – This is by far the most important tip to remember and implement. Ask yourself, “What can be done the night before to save time in the morning?” When you really stop to think about it, you realize so much can be done the night before. Once you create this habit, your morning will be much calmer and organized. Pack lunches, lay out clothing, have homework or school papers signed and in school bags, tidy up the house, do all dishes, and bathe the kids the night before. Don’t forget about YOU! Pick out your clothing, shower and do your hair the night before (if you can). The less you have to do for yourself, the more you can be free to deal with any hiccups in your morning routine.
  2. Mom get up 15 minutes earlier – This was hard for me because my son likes to climb in my bed early in the morning to cuddle (and often falls back asleep in my arms). Like many mom’s I cherish this time SO MUCH! I would let it last as long as possible because I’m dreading the day he stops this morning ritual and becomes too old to want mommy cuddles. I should probably prepare my husband for a complete meltdown when this unavoidable moment happens, but let’s get back to my point. The problem with this situation, is that I’d be scrambling to get out the door because I laid in bed with my son too long, and everyone paid the price. Lesson quickly learned/remembered–> Summer is over, mommy! I still cuddle with my son, but I make sure that I’m in charge of the wake up time. If he is still sleeping, I slip out 15 minutes earlier to make my coffee and start breakfast. The key is to stay ahead of the morning schedule.
  3. Teach children to DIY – Encourage your children to wake up and immediately dress themselves in the clothing that you conveniently laid out the night before. If they like to choose their clothing, then let them pick an outfit the night before. Put cereal and bowls accessible so that they want to help get breakfast ready. How many times have you heard, “I can’t find my shoe(s)!” Have your children put their shoes by the door the night before so that you don’t waste 5 minutes searching for the missing shoe(s)! Create a chart listing out the morning routine, post it on the refrigerator and encourage them to do as much of the list they can, all on their own.
  4. Reward when ready – This relates to #3. If they are ready on time or earlier, then praise them for doing much of it themselves and consider using a reward system. Maybe they get to watch 5 minutes of a cartoon, choose dessert that night, or read an extra chapter of Harry Potter. These rewards work great in our house. My personal favorite is the cartoon because it gives me a few quiet minutes to finish up anything for myself, and it keeps them from wrecking havoc on the house that I worked so hard to tidy up the night before. A reward system encourages children to repeat a positive behavior which in turn will create good habits. A calm and organized morning is definitely a good habit to create!
  5. Manage bedtime – During the summer months kids are often up later than during the school year. It takes a little time to readjust from those late nights, but focus on getting them back in bed at the same time every night. It’s easy to forget how much the bedtime routine impacts the morning routine, until you start struggling with a grumpy over-tired kid in the morning. Eat dinner earlier, read earlier, eliminate any technology or TV before bed, and make their bedrooms as dark as possible if the sun hasn’t set yet. I always love when the time changes and we “Fall Back” because bedtime becomes much easier. BTW, the time change happens November 6th of this year.

Mornings set the tone for the day so implementing these simple tips/reminders can help make your mornings happy, healthy, and focused! Happy Back to School all!

Separate Vacation Time

Separate Vacation Time

After a month off to enjoy summer vacation with my family, I’m back! Anyone else feel like they blinked and summer was over! It went too fast, but what a great couple months we had with Audrey and Jack. Hoping y’all had a wonderful summer full of yummy bbq, lots of sunshine, and memories to last a lifetime. Speaking of vacation, today’s blog is all about a new approach to how you might vacation once in a while.

Vacation time, it’s the time of year the entire family looks forward to. Whether it’s a summer week spent at the beach, or a winter weekend skiing the mountains, family trips are always full of fun. Like most families, we always vacation together but this year I decided to include a different type of family vacation. I decided to take a three day trip with just my daughter! A little mommy-daughter journey. At first, it felt odd to be without my husband and son but it didn’t take long to start feeling the benefits of a little one-on-one time with little miss. Rather than sharing the fun memories created from our trip (which were many), I wanted to focus on the benefits of taking a vacation/short trip with one parent and one child. These are my top four reasons you and your partner should consider solo trips with each child.

1. No competition – If you have more than one child then odds are, your children compete about EVERYTHING. Who has the bigger ice cream sundae, who runs faster, who get’s in the car first, who get’s to read with mom, who get’s to read with dad, who colors the best, and so on. Just the other day my kids were arguing/competing about who pees faster. I mean…really? You do your best to make things fair for each child but of course someone is always complaining. We all raise are kids to be grateful for what they have, but the truth is they are always worried about what everyone else has. When your child has no sibling to focus on competing with, he/she will be more focused on the moment and considerably more thankful for that ice cream sundae, regardless of its size.

2. Quality bonding  – When you travel as a family, the focus moves around. Each sibling has different interests that you try to fulfill, and you’re trying to spend quality time with your partner, but it’s a juggling act for everyone in the family. Simply put – Your attention is always divided and sought after. I loved having the opportunity to focus on and bond with just my daughter. Everything from eating with just her, singing songs in the car with just her, sharing first adventures with just her, to sharing a bed with just her. Being able to give all my love, affection, and attention to one child was rewarding on so many levels.

 3. No sibling bickering – When there is no competing and no divided attention there’s no arguing and therefore, just fun times. Yay! As a mom of two, I’m constantly breaking up battles and disciplining, which is expected, but it’s REALLY nice to have a break from all that. A little one-on-one time removes those stressful parenting moments and gives you the time to just have fun. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy having both my children together because I do, and I relish in seeing them bond, but all siblings argue. We’ve had family vacations where our children bickered All DAY LONG, and it has spoiled a fun day. I’d be lying if I didn’t share that sometimes I couldn’t wait for my kids to go to bed after a day of bickering over ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Pretty sure I’ve even prayed (while chugging a glass of wine) for bedtime to come, ha! When you spend time and money to take a vacation, the last thing you want to do is wish away the day, but the truth is, sometimes kids are tired and things don’t go how you planned. Traveling with just one child gives you the opportunity to encourage your child to appreciate and value each day of vacation time spent together. Even if your child gets upset about something or becomes over tired on your trip, every scenario is easier to handle without a second or third child melting down as well.
4. In depth conversations – We traveled from the Bay Area to San Luis Obispo, so we had three hours of travel time which meant lots and lots of opportunity to talk. I think I’m a good mom. My kids and I talk all day long, I spend time playing with them, I’m active in their schools and activities, and most importantly I’m focused on raising good human beings. But with a busy family schedule, it’s rare that I have a few days alone with just one of my children. During our travels, Audrey and I had lengthy conversations about what she likes, her friends, her fears, her dreams. Our children are constantly growing and evolving, so we (parents) may think we know everything gong on in their wild imaginations but you’d be surprised what you can learn. Our alone time gave me a little more perspective on her growing personality and I loved every second of it.

I’m not suggesting that y’all start taking separate trips on a regular basis. My most cherished time is when our entire family is together creating lasting memories. Maybe next year my husband and daughter will go off on an adventure, and maybe the following year my son and I will. Maybe our trip will be for three days again, or maybe it will be for one night only. There is no special formula on how you choose to have separate vacation time, it’s what works for your family but I highly suggest giving it a try. The benefits listed above apply to children of all ages. Whether your kids are toddlers or teenagers there are many positives to traveling one-on-one. I think parents feel guilty leaving another child behind but I’m here to say–> Don’t feel guilty, feel the joy you will get out of your one-on-one time. Embrace the opportunity to bond and build upon your relationship with each child. Think of the adventure and memories you will create while exploring a new town or city together. Our mother daughter trip will be a special memory in my heart forever, and I can’t wait to have one with my son!

Separate Vacation Time

Separate Vacation Time

Separate Vacation Time