Month: January 2016

Getting yourself ready with a toddler in tow!

getting ready with a toddler aroundGetting ready with toddlers around is near impossible. They are needy and they get into everything! Now that I am on number 3, I have become an expert on getting ready and entertaining a toddler at the same time.

The trick to getting ready with a toddler is simple, include them. Toddlers just want to feel like they are being helpful! Toddlers like to be involved! The process usually starts while I am in the shower. (more…)

How to survive being snowed in with kids!

survive a snow storm with kidsIt’s coming…the mother of all snow storms! We have had a mild winter so far, so it is only fair that we get hit hard with snow this weekend. Having 3 little kids and facing a blizzard can be scary if you are not prepared. Here are some things we are doing so we can make it through the storm!

Stock up
PeaPod delivered our groceries yesterday. Our Amazon Prime delivery of wipes, toilet paper, water, and diapers arrived yesterday as well! We are all stocked up and ready to go!

Fire Wood
We loaded up the fire wood holder last night. The town is sending us updates about possible power outages, so we are all stocked up to keep warm!

Generator
My husband will be out plowing, so he set up the generator for me just in case we lose power. Fingers crossed we don’t lose power…but good to be prepared!

Snow Gear
I pulled out all the girls’ snow gear…boots, hats, gloves, and snow suits. I know they will want to play in the snow. They have already tried it all on, so we are ready to go!! Going sledding? Click here for sledding safety tips!

Shit to do
Keeping the girls occupied for the next 2 days will be tough if we can’t leave the house. I stocked up on crafts. 5 Below and the Dollar Store are great for crafts! I also have gifts from birthdays hidden, I will pull those out. All kids love new toys! Click here for my list of things to do with kids inside!!

survive a snow storm with kidsAlcohol
Yup, I am stocked up! Once the girls are in bed it will be me, a glass of wine, and my shows! With big storms like this, I may not see Brett for a few days…thank God for wine and On Demand!

Stop going to the food store

Stop going to the food storeSeriously, it’s 2016…are you still going to the food store? I never realized how much I hated food shopping until I had kids. My girls think the food store is an All You Can Eat Buffet! I make sure to feed them before we go…but some how, they are STARVING when we get to the store. It is hard to focus, I buy things I don’t really want, I forget to buy things I need, Franki usually eats my list, Nicki and Joey fight over who is going to push the cart…it’s a shit show!

So my solution…no more food store. YUP, you read that correctly! Where do we get food? Again, it’s 2016, food comes to us! There is a barrage of ways to get food and paper products delivered right to your door. Some people complain about delivery fees. Here is my response to that. First, if you spend enough (which a family of 5 can easily do) you get free shipping. And second, it’s worth the extra money just so I don’t have to leave my house with my tribe to suffer through the experience of shopping!

Amazon Prime
This is probably my favorite thing of all time! I am actually afraid that Amazon will drop us because we order so much…all the time! How does Amazon Prime work? Free shipping for starters! You pay a flat rate once a year and get frees shipping on all your Amazon Prime purchases. We buy our dog food, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, and pretty much anything else I can think of! Most of the time, the product will be at your door within 2 days of ordering.

There are better ways to shopPeaPod
I LOVE PeaPod! I use the app when I do my shopping. I stand in my kitchen and go through my fridge and pantry while shopping. There is an Order Genius that remembers everything you order and gives it to you in a list. So I can just click through and re order what I want. Also, there is a place to scan the UPC code on products you are running out of. Once the order is placed, pick your delivery time, and bam it is delivered at your door. They will even bring it into your house and help put it away…we don’t do this. But I know several older people that use this wonderful feature of the service!

Fresh Direct
This is another great service that will deliver food and alcoholic beverages to your door! Love this! They have a way to sort through and pick organic and all natural products too! They really make shopping easy. Check it out and see if they deliver to your area!

hello fresh. Meals right to your door!Hello Fresh
If you follow my blog regularly, you know that I LOVE Hello Fresh. They take the thinking out of preparing delicious meals! All the ingredients are delivered right to your door and ready to go! Thinking about trying Hello Fresh? Use this code (PGK2TY) and receive $40 off your first week!!

There are so many options to get what you need delivered to your door! Stop the insanity and start utilizing these amazing services! Do a little research of your own…ask around…find our what works for you and your family.

Want to fight better?

tips for fair fights with your partnerLiving with someone is tough. Disagreements happen. If you are reading this saying “wow, we never fight…life is always perfect” then stop reading. This post is not for you. This post is for the real people, in the real world that aren’t living in la la land. My husband and I have been together for over 10 years. I would be full of shit if I said we never fight or argue. We have fought…we have yelled….we have hurt each other’s feelings. Most important, we have learned. You never lose. You either win or learn. Over the past 10 years, I have learned…I have learned how to fight fair with my husband.

Get Undressed
Yes, I am serious. If you and your partner are having an argument, start taking off your clothes. This really only works if you are in the privacy of your home…stripping in public is frowned upon. My husband finds it very difficult to be mad at me if I am undressed. Have you ever tried to yell at a naked person before? It is actually sort of comical!

Agree to Disagree
Just because we are married does not mean that my husband and I agree on everything. We are two very different people with very different opinions. There are times that we just say “alright, we don’t agree on this”. We have the understanding to listen to each other’s side and then we say “ok, I understand why you feel that way, but this is how I feel.” We always end up saying “as long as you understand why I feel this way, that’s what matters”. Sometimes, a person just wants to be heard and understood.

Tips on how to fight fair with your partnerNot In Front of the Kids
Please for the love of your kids…do not fight in front of them! It happens, I get it…but if you can control it, put it on pause until you are out of ear shot of the kids. If you do have to get into it in front of the kids, make sure to make up in front of them too. Also, remind your kids that people fight and disagree but it doesn’t mean you don’t love each other. I remind my girls that sometimes they fight with each other and they still love each other.

Keep it Relevant
Do not bring up things that happened in the past when arguing. Keep the topic of the argument/discussion relevant and on topic. This may seem difficult. Sometimes you get so mad and want to defend yourself, so you might feel like bringing up a past event. Don’t do this! Stay the course, stay on topic!

Don’t Hit Below the Belt
When people get angry their first reaction is to make the person that is making them angry feel pain. Once you say things, you can not un-say them! Choose your words wisely and don’t attack your partner. The argument you are having will end but what you said will stay with them forever.

tips on fighting fair with your partnerCool Down
I am a very forgiving person. Usually I am ready to move on within minutes of getting into a heated argument. My husband, is the complete opposite. I have learned that even after we have hashed everything out and come to a compromise, he still needs time. I respect this about him and give him space after an argument.

Laugh
Yes, laugh…not at the other person…but with the other person. After my husband and I are finished with the argument and we have had time to cool down, one of us is usually cracking a joke. Joking shows that we have moved on from the anger and are ready to heal. Usually I will look at him and ask if he is still being a grumpy troll…this will get a smile…and life will return to normal.

tips on how to fight fair with your partnerTouch
It is so important to reconnect after an argument. A simple hug can make all the difference. Touch helps you to reconnect with each other.

Think About the Past
After a fight, I think back to when my husband and I first met. I remember the butterflies and the fun we had. I remember why we got married in the first place. Think of a happier time!!

Save time in the morning

Every minute in the morning is precious! Trying to get myself ready and 3 little girls is no small task. I am lucky that my husband helps in the morning. We work together to get everyone ready and out of the house by 7:00 am. I get the 2 older girls ready and he gets our youngest (22 month old) ready. Early on with our oldest I figured out a way to make getting dressed easier in the morning….matching outfits.

When I am putting laundry away, I make outfits. I fold the pants and shirt together and place the outfit in the drawer. This allows for the child to “pick out” their outfit. I don’t know about your kids, but all my girls have always been very active in picking out their clothes. This way, Franki just has to open her drawer and grab an outfit. All my husband has to do is help her to put it on and she is good to go! This takes thinking about of the process and speeds it up tremendously!

make outfits to save time
When folding laundry, I make outfits by folding shirts with matching pants
make outfits to save time
Drawer filled with outfits! Ready to go!

How a mom would spend her millions!

make-money-without-websiteLast night my husband and I fantasized about winning the $1.5 billion dollar jack pot. It was fun, we sipped wine and drifted off to an easier life…a life we made up as we went along. We shared different views on how to spend the money. My husband wants to buy beach houses, ski houses, a boat, and lots of other fun things. Me? I want a few simple things…nothing fancy.

A chef….a chef would be the first person I hired to be apart of my household team. Yes…you read that correctly, I would have a team. A chef is the number one person I would hire, not because I don’t like to cook but because it takes up so much of my time. Imagine (because I did last night) imagine thinking about what you wanted for breakfast or lunch or ChefPlateup vsmdinner and POOF there it was…made just for you. Oh the glorious moment when that becomes a reality. And even better then having someone make me meals, having someone make meals for the girls! Is it me, or do all kids want to eat all the time?! Seriously, I am cleaning up from one meal and they come strolling into the kitchen looking for their next meal!

A housekeeper would be next. And to be honest, I love my cleaning ladies….so I would just tell them to quit all their other jobs and move in with us. I really don’t know what it would be like to have a clean house all the time…maybe that is why it is a fantasy! I know there was a time before kids that our house was clean, but it is such a distant memory.

1735321_hairstylist_jpeg_jpegae773476d20873a08979a53a23abf497A stylist team…yes, it would take a team. Let’s face it, I am not 20 anymore…it takes more then lip gloss to make this gem shine. So I would hire a team. A hair stylist, a make up artist, and someone to dress me. Wait, scratch that….I would really just wear designer yoga pants, so no need for the fancy clothes! Yoga pants? Hell yes…have you worn them? They are glorious…I don’t care how many billions you have, yoga pants are where it is at!

And the list for who I would need to join our lives ends there. Really, it would just be people to help make my life easier so I could focus on what is important…my girls! Vacation houses and boats are definitely nice…but not really worth anything if you don’t have special people to share them with!

You won the Power Ball…now what!?

powerballYou do realize that you have a better chance of being eaten by a tiger while swimming with sharks during a snow storm in Florida, than you have winning this Power Ball? But hell, I bought a ticket…gotta be in it to win it, right!?  My co-workers and I were discussing what we would do with all of our winnings…it feels good to dream! But wait, before you get all “let’s go buy an island” get your head on straight and figure this out!

Shut Your Mouth
Tell no one…no one! My husband and I have already discussed that we would not tell anyone that we won. It would be hard…of course it would be hard you just won more money then you will ever be able to spend in your entire life! But, keep you mouth shut!

Know the Law in Your State
Some states make you come forward and your name becomes public knowledge. To me, that is bull shit! Seriously, why don’t you just give directions to the winners house and pictures of their kids out while you are at it! Find out what your state says about coming forward. If you can remain anonymous, do that! If you can’t, consider creating an LLC and have one of your attorneys come forward on behalf of the company to accept the winnings. Attorneys? Yes, you have them now…see below.

Get a Lawyer
Shit, get a team of lawyers…you can afford it now! Find a team of experienced lawyers that know finance. Make sure they understand tax laws and anything else that has to do with finance. And most importantly, make sure you trust them…you don’t want to get robbed blind!

Change Your Name
OK, so that is a little extreme…but remove yourself from social media and change your phone numbers. What about people that you want to contact you? That is the beauty of changing everything….just give out the new information to people you want to stay in touch with!

Go Away
Book a flight somewhere quiet where you and a trusted companion can figure this out. My husband and I said we would just book a flight and leave the next day without telling anyone. Just grab the kids, our luggage, and go figure out of new lives together. I am a big fan of lists…so I am sure a list would be involved!

 

Great toy for Special Needs

I received the Loopty Loo toy from B Toys in exchange for my honest opinion.

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When I first took it out of the box, my girls were interested in it. The interest did not last very long for the older girls, but Franki (20 months) was interested in it. She likes to shake it and roll it on the floor. I also have taken it in the car when we have errands to run, Franki likes to play with it in the car. I don’t mind it in the car because there is no way to make a mess with it! BONUS!

Great for Special Needs kids!!
Last week my friend was over with her girls for a play date. The Loopty Loo was sitting on the living room table. She picked it up and said “this would be a great toy for my kids.” She wasn’t talking about her daughters though, she was talking about the 5 high school boys she teaches that have autism. “Really!?” I never thought of that. She explained that the toy was perfect for fine motor skills. The bright colors and different textures make it very appealing. She shook it and said “I could see M doing this all day, just shaking it. Turning it over and over.” I told her to take the toy. If it was a hit in her class, she could keep it!

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The toy was and is a success! As soon as she pulled it out of her bag, one of the boys in the class immediately eyed it up! She gave him the toy and he loved it! He sat for a long time, very focused on moving the beads up and down…great hand eye coordination skills! Another boy in the class loves to roll it on the floor. She said they have created a game with it, rolling it to one another. The Loopty Loo has become very popular in the class. All of the boys in the class enjoy playing with it! I told her to keep it…she was very grateful!!

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If you or someone you know has a child that has special needs, consider this toy for the holidays. It is small enough to take anywhere. It is very sturdy too. The boys have dropped it several times and it has not broken.

I was able to stop down to her class the other day and snap a few photos of the boys playing with it!! I WISH I could show their faces…they really do enjoy playing with this toy. They are so focused when they have it too.

Sledding Safety 101

If you are lucky enough to live in an area of the world that gets snow…you are probably gearing up to go sledding! The weather forecast is calling for snow in our area within the next few weeks…and I can’t wait! I love snow. I hate the cold…but I do love snow! Having kids during a snow storm is great. I love watching how excited they get!

There are a lot of fun activities to do in the snow….but sledding is one of my favorites! Now that the girls are getting bigger, we can go out and enjoy sledding! But, before you head out the door, here are some safety tips!

Dress Appropriately
Hypothermia is no joke and can happen….especially to little kids! Layers are your friend when going outside to play in the snow. Put on tight fitting warm pants and shirts and then add snow suits on top. If you don’t have snow suits, have kids wear sweat pants and layer with athletic pants. Make sure the pants and coats are somewhat water proof. Being cold is one thing, but being wet and cold is a recipe for disaster!

Sledding safety tips 101

Bring Extras
Bring extra gloves and socks! In case you or your kids gloves or socks get wet….it is good to have an extra pair, or 2, or 3! You don’t want your fun to end early because of a wardobe malfunction!

Designated Areas Only
When I was a kid we would go sledding in a cemetery by my house. It had a GREAT hill…but man looking back, that was so wrong on so many different levels. First off, there were so many things to get hurt on…grave stones for one! Secondly, that is disrespectful. A lot of towns have designated areas to go sledding. Make sure to sled on hills that are clear from obstacles.

sledding safety tips 101

Hydrate
Yes, even though it is cold, you can get dehydrated! Have drinks and snacks available. Make sure to have everyone drink plenty of fluids when you are all done too! I say once you are done because trying to go to the bathroom with lots of layers on is tough!!

Choose an Appropriate Sled
Different children have different abilities…make sure to pick a sled that is appropriate for your child. Joey can barely steer her tricycle, so I am not going to put her on a disk sled….I would make sure to put her on a sled that you can steer and I would probably go down with her! Nicki would have no problem steering and could go alone…but I want to make sure the sled has steering.

Have Fun
Enjoy the time you are spending with your kids…have fun…get some hot chocolate after!! And take pictures and videos if you can! You are making memories!