We are going to Disney in less then 2 weeks! I seriously can not wait. I have been to Disney several times in my life and I LOVE it there. My husband has been a few times also. But our girls, have never been! I seriously tear up just thinking about them walking into the park for the first time. Everything about Disney is so magical! Everything, except the idea of flying with 3 little kids! This will be the first time my 4 year old and 2 year old have been on a plane. Are you traveling with little ones? Want some tips? Check these out! (more…)
I don’t know any mom that goes to bed at night thinking “wow, everything today went perfect…just like yesterday! I did everything right and my kids were perfect too!” If you are out there, please email me…we need to talk. For the rest of us, the struggle is real. And I am not talking about trying to get melted marshmallows out of the car seat or figuring out what to make for dinner. I am talking about every day….second guessing, comparing, doubting, and feeling bad about…well almost everything. But, today…today will be better. (more…)
Brett and I were laying in bed one Sunday morning and, like clock work, the girls came running in at 6:30 am. We Rock-Paper-Scissored to see who would have to go turn the T.V. on for them. I lost. As I clumsily got out of bed and very blurry eyed turned on the T.V. I thought, there has got to be a better way! (more…)
I was picking up Nicki from school and the weather was beautiful! We had a few minutes to spare so I let her play on the playground with her friends. I watched as she pulled herself upside down on the hanging bar. “Let go Nicki!” I shouted. She glanced back at me in horror! “I can’t let go, I might fall!!” She shouted back to me. So I told her to try letting go with 1 hand. “Try one hand Nicki!” She got herself upright and ran over to me. “Mom, are you crazy? Do you want me to fall?” She was genuinely upset. “Nicki, you could have done it if you let go with one hand. And how will you know if you don’t try it?”
Nicki asked me if I knew how to hang upside down. Me, of course…I was the champ at hanging upside down in my day! When I was in high school, I used to hang upside down in the workout room and do sit ups. I was up for the challenge! I handed my cell phone to Nicki to hold. One of my mom friends was standing there in shock. “Girl, you have your dress pants on and heels!” Hmm, I did. But looking at the excitement on Nicki’s face, I knew I couldn’t let her down. I went for it. It was a lot harder then I remember. But I did it. I got upside down.
“Let go mommy, let go!” Nicki cheered. And I did. I let go. Man it felt good. I felt like a kid again. For a split second, I felt free. When I got off and returned to the side walk with the other moms, my friend informed me she had taken a few pictures. I had no idea. I love these pictures. They are real, true, in the moment. You can see me…letting go!
Nicki handed me back my phone and ran over to the bar. She got herself upside down and looked over at me. She quickly took her hand off the bar and returned it just as fast! She hopped down, she was so proud of herself. “Great try Nicki, next time try for a little longer!”
Letting go isn’t easy, even if you have done it before. Don’t hold on to things that cause you pain and sadness. Let them go, feel free, and see things in a new way.
One of the common problem parents have is getting their children to eat. When I sit around talking to other parents, this is a major topic of conversation. With my three girls I have seen a roller coaster of eating habits. One day they love something and the next, they hate it! Some times they will try anything I give them. And other times the refuse to try anything new. I have learned a few things over the years…seeing trends along the way.
Involve Kids in Cooking
Kids are more likely to eat the foods they help make. Or at least try the food! It is not easy having young kids help in the kitchen…but I have learned some tricks to making it easier! Measure things out and let them pour and mix.
Children are nervous to try new foods, they are afraid they won’t taste good. So when they are faced with a huge portion of something to eat, their first though is “crap that’s a lot of something I might not even like!!” Keep food servings small…even bite size! Click here for some fun bite size recipes to try with your kids.
You know how it goes…you are strolling through a store and they offer bite sized samples on toothpicks. You hand one to your child thinking they will never eat it and BAM they love it! You get excited, you buy a bag of this wonderful food, and when you get home no one wants to eat it. What happened?! Toothpicks…toothpicks happened. Get some fun toothpicks and let the kids eat their food with toothpicks! They will think you are the coolest parent EVER!
Give them what they like
Put something on their plate that you know they like. If your child isn’t crazy about meatloaf, make a favorite side with it. When you put their plate together, add just a little bit of everything. Tell them that once they finish everything, then they can have more of what they want if they are still hungry. I say put a little bit because you don’t ever want to force your child to finish a huge plate of food. And you don’t want to teach them that finishing a huge plate of food is healthy behavior.
Until Nicki was 4, she thought every meat product that she was given was chicken. Yup, that’s correct. Fried shrimp, sausage, meat loaf….all of it was called chicken! Why? Because we knew she liked chicken, so why not use that to our advantage! Unfortunately, she got smart and caught on! If you know your child LOVES one type of food, lie and tell them that what they are eating is just that.
Don’t tell them what’s for dinner!
I don’t tell my kids what’s for dinner until the plate is right in front of them. This gives them less time to complain and tell me how much they don’t like it. Well, mostly Joey. She is 3 1/2 and at the age where she is voicing her opinion about everything….especially food! So when asked “What’s for dinner?” I reply, I am not sure yet…I will figure it out and get back to you!
Serve Dinner Late
If I am making something new or something I know they aren’t crazy about, I serve dinner 45 minutes later then usual. This way, they are starving. And there is less resistance from a starving child to eat what they may not like. Also, NO SNACKS for at least 2 hours before dinner time. And no juice or milk before meal time. If they fill up on juice or milk, they aren’t going to be hungry enough to try something new or eat something they might not like!
Eat with your kids
You can’t expect them to eat it if you don’t! Don’t tell your kids to eat their vegetables if you aren’t. Model what you expect. Turn off the TV and sit with them and enjoy a meal. Talk about their day. Talk about your day! Enjoy the time together.
Last Saturday I was trying to get a million things done. During the school year, the weekends are the only time I have to get anything accomplished. I asked the girls to play in their rooms for a little bit so I could get some stuff done…like take a shower, do some laundry, etc. When I got out of the shower, Franki was waiting for me. She put her arms out and said “Hi mommy” and gave me a big hug! I returned her hug and said, “Ok, go play with your sisters.” She ran off and was gone for about 2 minutes.
When she returned, she went behind me and started pushing me out of my room. I told her to wait a minute and let me get dressed. Once I was dressed, she went behind me again and started pushing me out of the room. She pushed me down the hall into the room where Nicki and Joey were playing. “What’s up Franki?” I had a million things on my mind, I just wanted to give her what she wanted and get out of there. “Sit, sit” she said while tapping the floor. I complied. She was so excited!
She grabbed the basket of Mr & Mrs Potato heads, dumped them out, and jumped on my lap. “So fun” I told her. Once she was engaged, I scooted her off my lap and stayed for a minute. Then I tried to sneak out of the room to throw laundry in the washing machine. Franki jumped up and beat me to the door. She pushed me back and asked me to sit again. So I did. I sat, I played, and I made Mr & Mrs Potato heads. I looked over at Franki and she was having so much fun. Soon I forgot about the laundry and was really involved with playing with her. We played for about 10 minutes. Then, like a typical toddler, she was on to something else. But those few minutes made me realize, give them 10 minutes. The laundry can wait!
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the things I think I need to be doing in order to be a good mom. When in fact, to be a good or even a great mom the only thing I need to be doing, is giving them my time. So put the sponge down, leave the laundry, and play with your kids. Give them 10 minutes! Give yourself a 10 minute time out!
I love visiting our local farms…I love supporting them and I love that the kids get to see animals and do different activities. Farm visits are great for the whole family! After visiting several times over the past few years here are some things I learned.
Make sure to put a fresh diaper on your toddler right before you leave. There are usually porta-potties at farms…have you ever tried to change a diaper in a stinky hot box? Ugh, gross! I have mastered the “standing up” changing of the diaper. But still, if I can stay out of the Porta-John, even better!
Go Potty at Home
Yes, you! Sometimes I am so busy telling my kids to use the bathroom before we leave the house that I forget to go myself! Make sure to go to the bathroom so you don’t have to squeeze into the hot box from hell with your kids while you go pee pee! It’s a good idea for everyone going to the farm to use the bathroom before you leave.
Hand Sanitizer Wipes
The farm we go to has hand sanitizer stations, but I am not a fan of letting my girls use hand sanitizer. I like using all natural hand wipes. Clean Well makes great ones and you can buy them on Amazon, Diapers.com, or Drugstore.com.
I always bring a water bottle for each girl and a small snack. The farm has stands to purchase food, but I like to save my money and bring my own snacks. We only stay for an hour or 2, so my girls are ok with just a small snack.Some farms may not have food to purchase or they might not have anything your child likes. So bring food…hungry kids are cranky kids!!
The Fall weather has been great so far but when the sun is hiding behind the clouds, it gets a little chilly. I put the girls in long sleeve shirts with a zip up hoodie on top. I also bring a heavy jacket for each girl, just in case.
I like to get to the farm as soon as it opens. I am not a fan of crowds. Waiting on line with little kids is a form of torture. Getting there early means getting to do all the popular activities without having to wait and without there being a million kids in the bouncy house! We also still take naps, so if we get there by 10 am, we are out of there by 12:30 and home for nap time!
There are going to be so many photo opportunities at the farm! Make sure to clear out some older pictures from your phone. Or if you have a nice camera, bring it! Make sure it is charged and ready to go!
This goes without saying but, have fun! Don’t set any expectations for the day…don’t try to do everything…just let the kids lead you around and have fun!!
We don’t keep candy in the house. I have the willpower of…well…I actually have no willpower with certain types of candy! So my solution is to get it out of the house as fast as possible. I usually bring it to work and watch as a huge shopping bag filled with candy dissipates in a matter of hours. But if you don’t want your children to resent you forever because you took their hard earned candy and gave it away to co workers, here’s some ideas on what to do with leftover Halloween candy.
Same idea as fresh berries and herbs from the garden in the summer. Throw some of your favorite chocolate pieces in the freezer for desperate times. You know, like in May when it’s late and the kids are in bed and all you want is a Butterfinger. You will be happy that delicious nugget is in the back of the freezer! Frozen candy can also make a great addition to milkshakes. Nothing says healthy like a banana Butterfinger smoothie!
Christmas is right around the corner. You know what that means, gingerbread houses! Don’t buy those expensive kits. Grab some Halloween candy, a tub of vanilla icing, and a box of graham crackers and you are all set!
The holidays are coming. Put some of those candies to good use and look like a fabulous host! Put Halloween candy out for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just make sure to check that you aren’t using ones that are wrapped specifically for Halloween….no one wants to know they are eating your old Halloween candy. That would be a total amature move!
Save all the non chocolate candies for your kid’s next birthday party. Pinatas are expensive to fill. But not if you start stocking up now!
Some of the main ingredients of trail mix are M & Ms, raisins, and pretzels. Check out your Halloween candy stash! I bet you have the makings of an awesome trail mix in there. All you will have to add is the nuts and you are good to go!
Yes, this is a real thing…it’s called Halloween Candy Buy Back! Check out the site to see if a dentist in your area participates in this program. You bring your candy, and they send it to troops overseas! No cavities for the kids and the troops get a treat! Win, win!
Let’s face it, it’s free candy…you can’t pass that up! Keep a few of your favorites. Throw some in your car or purse for a quick sugar fix too! Just don’t forget they are there…nothing like having a melted Twix in your purse!