Four Ways to Pretend You’re Surviving the Toddler Years

They’re so much fun right?  I’m convinced the “terrible twos” is a phrase we moms use to not completely go crazy and call them devil children.  “Oh he’s just going through his terrible twos,” is something I find myself saying.  Although I’m not sure if I’m saying it to the people who are giving me weird looks, or two myself.  Either way I’m saying it, loud and proud.  On Sunday I had an encounter with a sweet mama in the hallways of church.  She was dropping off her older son, and her sweet and adorable three year old was hiding in a little doorway alcove screaming her head off.  The mom looked slightly frazzled and I looked at her with a knowing smile.  The first thing she said to me was, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” I laughed and said, “been there, done that, and doing again with my two year old.”  I gave her a little squeeze on her arm and said, “you’re not alone.”

The first “mistake” she made was saying “I don’t know what’s wrong with her!”  Please raise your virtual hand if you’ve done this.  I know I have, and you aren’t raising your hand then you’re totally lying! So what do you do to pretend you’re surviving?  After having three kids I can officially say I’m getting better at these younger years.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m totally clueless about what’s coming up.  That is for my friends with older kids to sort of figure out and then clue me in on thanks Sarah (go buy some of her amazing purses and accessories at Hands Full Creations – she has three boys between the ages of like 8 and 11..help a sister out.

1) Don’t say you don’t know what’s wrong with them.  The absolutely best way to handle to survive anything that comes your way in parenting is speak the truth!  can i get a witness!!??!!  Say, “my child is currently going crazy,” or “if I wasn’t out I’d be hiding in the closet eating frosting right out of the container,” something along those lines.

 photo photo3_zps471378d5.jpg
 crying because he would rather drink juice all day long then water

2) Learn the power of ignoring.  Find your inner mom zen.  Now whether you do that by busting out the yoga mat while your child is screaming in the other room, yelling “mommies going to take a shower” and then secretly locking yourself in there while the shower is running and playing candy crush, or eating frosting right out of the container.  Find your mom zen and ignore the fit.  It’s parenting gold I tell you.  For the most part kids will react to any attention you give them, whether it be good or bad.  They also know you’re mom, they totally have your number and know how to push the buttons.  Case in point, my kids almost always behave better while with friends or babysitters.  I’m talking, “oh my gosh, Brian is the sweetest, quietest, most respectful child I have ever seen!!”  I’m sorry, who are speaking of?  Don’t get me wrong, for the most part he’s all those things; but the last time we had a friend out I was literally telling him, “please don’t act like this, your friend is going to go home and tell his mom how crazy I am!!”  I later fount out that she was secretly thinking the same thing when my kid was other there.  So back to number one, talk about it!!!

 photo photo2_zpsb41411b4.jpg
 crying because his sister in on his side instead of going around

3) Girls night/date nights:  Do it, do it now, do it often.  Coffee dates, dinner dates, dragging all the kids to Chick-Fil-A and then sending them all to the play area and praying they stay in…do it!!  Talk about how crazy your kid is being, and if you’re hanging out with the right people then they will probably start doing the same.  I love spending time with adults, but seriously who wants to spend time with someone who pretends their kid literally never does anything wrong.  This chick ain’t got no time for that!  And since when did grocery shopping at 9 o’clock at night become the best thing ever?  I hate sacrificing time with the hubby, but for this I’ll do it.  Find some good friends to swap kids with so you’re not paying for sitters all the time and go out!  Heck, go out on double dates!  Just do it!!

 photo photo1_zpsd8026752.jpg
crying because he can’t put his shoes on the right feet

The best thing about my little guy is on top of all the crazy he is the sweetest, most loving, best hug giver and cuddlier.  He does everything with extreme passion.  So that leads to my final thought….

4) enjoy the snuggles, the giggles, the hugs.  Relish in the moments when he picks up his toys, puts his dishes in the sink, goes potty like a big boy and plays well with his siblings.  That is really the secret to getting through the rest of it.

and just because I’m nice, I thought you’d like to see my latest video “Real Tales of Motherhood: Phil Phil wants my coffee.”

Do you have a toddler, or a crazy kid?!  Tell me all about it!?  Or do you have a tip? I’d love to hear it!
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Four Ways to Pretend You’re Surviving the Toddler Years

They’re so much fun right?  I’m convinced the “terrible twos” is a phrase we moms use to not completely go crazy and call them devil children.  “Oh he’s just going through his terrible twos,” is something I find myself saying.  Although I’m not sure if I’m saying it to the people who are giving me weird looks, or two myself.  Either way I’m saying it, loud and proud.  On Sunday I had an encounter with a sweet mama in the hallways of church.  She was dropping off her older son, and her sweet and adorable three year old was hiding in a little doorway alcove screaming her head off.  The mom looked slightly frazzled and I looked at her with a knowing smile.  The first thing she said to me was, “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” I laughed and said, “been there, done that, and doing again with my two year old.”  I gave her a little squeeze on her arm and said, “you’re not alone.”

The first “mistake” she made was saying “I don’t know what’s wrong with her!”  Please raise your virtual hand if you’ve done this.  I know I have, and you aren’t raising your hand then you’re totally lying! So what do you do to pretend you’re surviving?  After having three kids I can officially say I’m getting better at these younger years.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m totally clueless about what’s coming up.  That is for my friends with older kids to sort of figure out and then clue me in on thanks Sarah (go buy some of her amazing purses and accessories at Hands Full Creations – she has three boys between the ages of like 8 and 11..help a sister out.

1) Don’t say you don’t know what’s wrong with them.  The absolutely best way to handle to survive anything that comes your way in parenting is speak the truth!  can i get a witness!!??!!  Say, “my child is currently going crazy,” or “if I wasn’t out I’d be hiding in the closet eating frosting right out of the container,” something along those lines.

 photo photo3_zps471378d5.jpg
 crying because he would rather drink juice all day long then water

2) Learn the power of ignoring.  Find your inner mom zen.  Now whether you do that by busting out the yoga mat while your child is screaming in the other room, yelling “mommies going to take a shower” and then secretly locking yourself in there while the shower is running and playing candy crush, or eating frosting right out of the container.  Find your mom zen and ignore the fit.  It’s parenting gold I tell you.  For the most part kids will react to any attention you give them, whether it be good or bad.  They also know you’re mom, they totally have your number and know how to push the buttons.  Case in point, my kids almost always behave better while with friends or babysitters.  I’m talking, “oh my gosh, Brian is the sweetest, quietest, most respectful child I have ever seen!!”  I’m sorry, who are speaking of?  Don’t get me wrong, for the most part he’s all those things; but the last time we had a friend out I was literally telling him, “please don’t act like this, your friend is going to go home and tell his mom how crazy I am!!”  I later fount out that she was secretly thinking the same thing when my kid was other there.  So back to number one, talk about it!!!

 photo photo2_zpsb41411b4.jpg
 crying because his sister in on his side instead of going around

3) Girls night/date nights:  Do it, do it now, do it often.  Coffee dates, dinner dates, dragging all the kids to Chick-Fil-A and then sending them all to the play area and praying they stay in…do it!!  Talk about how crazy your kid is being, and if you’re hanging out with the right people then they will probably start doing the same.  I love spending time with adults, but seriously who wants to spend time with someone who pretends their kid literally never does anything wrong.  This chick ain’t got no time for that!  And since when did grocery shopping at 9 o’clock at night become the best thing ever?  I hate sacrificing time with the hubby, but for this I’ll do it.  Find some good friends to swap kids with so you’re not paying for sitters all the time and go out!  Heck, go out on double dates!  Just do it!!

 photo photo1_zpsd8026752.jpg
crying because he can’t put his shoes on the right feet

The best thing about my little guy is on top of all the crazy he is the sweetest, most loving, best hug giver and cuddlier.  He does everything with extreme passion.  So that leads to my final thought….

4) enjoy the snuggles, the giggles, the hugs.  Relish in the moments when he picks up his toys, puts his dishes in the sink, goes potty like a big boy and plays well with his siblings.  That is really the secret to getting through the rest of it.

and just because I’m nice, I thought you’d like to see my latest video “Real Tales of Motherhood: Phil Phil wants my coffee.”

Do you have a toddler, or a crazy kid?!  Tell me all about it!?  Or do you have a tip? I’d love to hear it!
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Military Support Series: The General’s Kids

I am very excited to highlight this particular military support organization as it now has a special place in my heart.  Only a couple days ago I announced that I was coming on board as Programs Manager for The General’s Kids.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the organization and work alongside one of the most committed and dedicated military wives, and mother, I know.  Jaqueline to me, was just the blogger of a wounded solider.  And when I say just, I don’t mean just by any stretch of the imagination.  With two very small children, that was no small feat.  It was out of the struggle they experienced that this organization was borne, and it is quickly growing to accomplish some amazing things.

The General’s Kids, L.L.C. was designed for our nation’s little warriors. Whether they are infants or teenagers, facing the life-changing injury or illness of a parent leaves a lasting impression. There are so many wonderful organizations out there that benefit wounded warriors and their families, and children often benefit from these. But at The General’s Kids we are proud to focus 100% on the children and young siblings of the wounded, ill, and injured. We can help connect children and teenagers of various ages with others across the country who are going through similar struggles, provide sponsors who will send encouraging cards or care packages, and will soon be able to offer financial assistance for things like special interests or school funding. Children living the Wounded Warrior life are faced with a harsh sense of reality. We intend to help bring back some of the things that help comfort and lighten these kids’ hearts. Our goals are big and extend all the way up to wanting to fund Disney vacations and college scholarships. Our belief is that whether there are 10,000 wounded warrior kids or just one, each and every one is a priority and deserves to have their sacrifice for our freedom acknowledged.

I have seen The General’s Kids provide hand-made crochet/knit blankets, or small stuffed bears to children at Walter-Reed, which I in particular love.  Often times these children are coming here very quickly and without the ability to pack up every little thing.  Having something special given to them, even if they don’t fully understand can be so beneficial.  Frequently our facebook page will put a call out for items for children that are coming to Walter Reed, like portable dvd players, small toys, video games or board games.

school supplies for little warriors
One of my favorite stories from The General’s Kids is the story of a little girl named Isabelle, who asked for gift cards for her birthday and gave them all to be donated to little warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center!  It’s stories like this that make me want to be a part of this organization.  Something as simple as this can make the day of a child whose life has been turned upside down.
 
At The General’s Kids they are so many ways you can give back – We have a sponsorship program, a pen pal program, care packages and just simply donating…even spreading the word is so helpful.  We don’t discriminate here at The General’s Kids…it doesn’t matter what branch of service, or military status (active/guard), or the type of injury.  Even if the child’s parent has returned to active duty, the pen-pal program would still be very beneficial to the child.  But we need your help to make sure we can help as many little warriors as possible.  Please check out our programs page and the FAQs for more information on all the programs.
Take a minute to like The General’s Kids on facebook, share the page with as many people as you can!  Share the website as well!  If you are an organization that is looking to sponsor, or give back and wants to partner with us, we would be so honored and blessed to have that help!  I know I have a lot of crochet and knitting type friends too…whip up a blanket and we’ll make sure it gets to someone in need.

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Family Portraits

I love family pictures.  It might just look like just the same picture year after year, but its so much more than that.  When I look at the family pictures that we’ve taken over the years it speaks to people we were, the people we’ve become…how our kids have grown, and how they change so much in just one little year.  It happens so fast, in the blink of an eye.  You can’t stop it no matter how much you try.  The giggles, the faces smooshed between two chubbie little hands.  Little voices calling, “mommy” and warm snuggly bodies in my bed when daddy isn’t home.  Every year I will take a family picture and every year I will take a picture of my kids on their birthday.  I might be the only one that keeps them, but I know when I’m old my hands will probably still finger those sweet faces on paper and be glad I decided to do it.

 2007
 2009

2010

2012
Here’s a sneak peak of this year’s, although I don’t want to give it all away because these are for our Christmas cards this year 

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The Shandle…A Germ Fearing Mother’s Dream… *review*

This is probably the weirdest things I’ve ever reviewed.  I mean, it’s not weird bad, its just not something I would have ever thought of.  But seriously, its amazing!  All my germ-fearin’ mamas out there…don’t be shy…you will love this.  And even if you’re not you will still love it.  May I introduce to you..The Shandle

I know…”say what?!” 
The Shandle, is a nifty little device that you stick to your toilet to make for easy lifting and lowering.  The coolest, “why didn’t I think of that” invention ever.  It’s easy, ‘peel and stick’, waterproof decals make toilet training easier for the little ones, and toilet use easy for your older ones.  My two-year-old, who is just now starting to become interested in using the potty, can use it easily.  I love it.  There’s no risk of him smacking his finger, smacking another part of his body, or touching anything I don’t want him too.  Plus, they are cute!
The Shandle isn’t just for kids.  It comes in all sorts of colors and designs to match most decor.  You can go modern, simple and clean or funky!  I’m a fan of the Hampton Head Collection.

This simple product was created by two dudes that saw a need, and came up with a simple idea.  They are now both new parents and will certain come to appreciate The Shandle for the potty training phase of life.  

You can snag a three back for $9.99.  Check out The Shandle’s blog too.

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