Friday, November 14, 2014

Top Ten Signs You're a Toddler Mom

We recently bought a minivan.  Yes, a minivan!  It's something I said I would NEVER do.  But then I had kids.  And thus, came the other signs of mommyhood....although less cliché and obvious as a minivan! :)  So here we go, David Letterman style!

10.  Taking a bath in your bathtub requires cleaning out the abundance of bath toys first, then using the convenient Disney Junior bubble bath.  That's a whole lotta' work just for the kids to knock on the door to see what you're doing, and when you'll be out.  So you just skip it and take a mommy shower.

9. You know exactly what the term "mommy shower" means. That it takes you precisely 6 minutes from start to finish: Wash, shave (yeah right), hair, and dress all in less time it takes to get shoes and socks on ONE kid.

8. You try very hard not to sneeze...for obvious reasons, that only a mom would understand...

7. Sneaking a small meal or a snack means never, ever making eye contact. Unless you want to hear the words, "Can I have a bite of that?" followed by giving up your food.  This also applies to sneaking all the good Halloween candy.  ;)

6. Running through the parking lot while your kids are in the plastic racecar shopping cart screaming, "faster, faster" is totally normal!  Or am I the only weirdo that does this??

5. You plan an extra 10 minutes in your schedule just in case someone poops right before walking out the door.  That's not true.  Someone always poops at the last minute and you're pretty much always late.

4. Your day requires more negotiating than a high power executive.  It starts at 8:30 just trying to get your toddler in their car seat, and ends with how many more bites of dinner in order to get up from the table.  Let's not even get started on bedtime....

3. Having kids turned you into a hypocrite and a liar, as you yell for them to, "stop yelling!!" and the, "I'm not going to tell you again!"  I lied.  I will tell you at least 2 more times. 

2. Knowing that just because your kids are potty trained, doesn't mean your days of wiping butts and cleaning up pee are over.  "Mom I need help wiping!"  "Look, Mom I made a waterfall!"  Did I mention I have boys?

1. You consider most or all of these to be true, but you wouldn't change it for anything in the world.  Well, maybe the negotiating part....

Monday, April 14, 2014

Perfect DIY Gift for a New Mom

So last week I decided to put my Pinterst boards to good use.  I mean, who doesn't love Pinterest?? Especially for a gal like me who doesn't have one creative bone in her body!  And don't even get me started on the 'secret boards'.  Is it weird that I'm collecting ideas for a nursery for a child that I may or may not have in the future?  What about the baby shower I am planning, for the next one of my friends who happens to have a baby?  Wait...Don't answer that first question!

Anyway, if you are addicted to Pinterest like I am, chances are you have found many great ideas.  In this case, it involved a coffee mug from the dollar store, and a sharpie.  I must admit, the reason I pinned this originally was due to the caption that, let's just say, is pretty accurate for me.  See for yourself...

This particular pin came from, but like many things on Pinterest, the link takes you to no-man's land.  Then there was the mug I found that was a perfect gift for a friend, but was later removed by Pinterest as requested by the owner.  Well jeez!!  Luckily there are tons, and I mean tons of pins about DIY coffee mugs.  I was saving this little tid-bit in my back pocket, but it finally clicked when one of my girlfriends had her baby.  Who needs coffee more than a new mom??  Pretty sure no one!  So I headed to the ever-reliable Dollar Store and picked up a few mugs, pulled out the sharpies, and called my most creative friend over to help.  What??  I told you it wasn't my forte.  My creativity is recruiting! Thanks, Kyleigh!  :) 

I remember how fun it was to be called "mommy" when I had my first son (and still to this day), so I went with that.  Then I and added some coffee and a little flair.  Not only is this a perfect gift for a new mom, it is a very reasonably priced as well.       

Choose the mug and colors you want to use
Note: I have since discovered that OIL BASED Sharpies will last the longest and give you the best results, so be sure to make the investment.

 Add your design and bake at a high temperature (400-450) for at least 30 minutes
Let cool for 1-2 days before using or gifting
Add some K-Cups or any other kind of their favorite tea or coffee 

And of course, make it pretty!

You could even make gifts for Valentine's Day, Boss's Day, or let the kiddos go to town for Grandparents' gifts.  The possibilities are endless!!  So, now that you all know what gifts will be showing up at your door, I'll just wrap it up by saying thanks to Stella's Mommy, Nicole for letting me show off your gift.  And of course for letting me snuggle with that sweet baby!!   Love you both!

Side note: I have started a Facebook Page in order to stay connected in-between posts.  I will eventually only post links to my blog on my page instead of my personal page, so be sure to head over to license2mommy and click "like" and share with your friends!  Don't make me invite you!!! :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Put a Little Spring in Your Step

Does anyone else have Spring Fever?  As if this winter wasn't bad enough, now we have the tease of  some warm weather to just push us over the edge.  But don't worry, I have some amazing news that will put a little spring in your step. ;)

Regardless of Mother Nature's inconsistency around this time of year, there is no doubt that it's time for a new spring wardrobe.  I am so excited to announce that I have joined the Closet Candy Boutique team as an affiliate!!  I could hardly contain my excitement when I received the email.  This is one of my favorite boutiques...ok, my favorite boutique!  So I was so thrilled to be able to share the love with you.   You might remember my Mommy's Favorite Things post a while back where I mentioned how cute and comfortable their clothes are.  And their collection has only gotten better since then.  Here is just a very small taste of what I am drooling over right now...

 So now that you are hooked, let me just make the deal sweeter for you.  Not only do they have the cutest clothes and accessories, but they have FREE shipping!  Not enough??  Ok, well how about 20% off until midnight tonight??  Thought that would get your attention!  In honor of an employee's birthday, they are running a sale for the rest of the day.  Now you know why I chose today to share my news with you!  So don't miss out on this sweet deal!  Be sure to follow this link to visit Closet Candy Boutique, (this is how you can tell them I sent you). :)  Start browsing, fill your shopping cart, and enter promo code 'birthday' to redeem your 20% off.  I know what I'll be doing as soon as I get the boys to bed!  Hoping for an early bedtime, because I know the best stuff will be gone fast!! 

Happy shopping!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What She Doesn't Know

So... I went on a little hiatus recently.  I wanted to take a break from blogging and Facebook after witnessing so much social media negativity.  After reading some pretty mean-spirited comments within a Mommy Swap group, I decided it was time to delete the Facebook app from my phone.  Then I stumbled upon a post from a blogger about how her house was usually a mess from her two little ones.  She stated that she couldn't be friends with someone who expected her house to be clean when they came to visit.  By saying, "We can't be friends" she is obviously putting  playful spin on her topic.  I loved the message she was sending, and after reading the comments, so did many other moms.  But lo and behold, Negative Nancy thought it was important to comment about how this mom "must be lazy" if her house wasn't clean.  And so began the domino effect of negativity.  Don't ask me why I was so concerned by these comments that obviously had no effect on me.  I guess it just made me sad.  Anyone who has followed my posts in the short time I have been blogging knows that I am a huge believer in supporting one another, especially fellow moms.  It's not an easy job, and it makes it much harder when we have Judgmental Judy putting her two cents in about everything.  But it took a stressful trip to Target to realize that I started blogging for a reason.  And if it meant even ONE mom would be comforted by my words, I was going to continue.  I know you are curious, so here's the Target story...

We needed to make a Target run for a few things (which always turns in to much more than a few things), so we decided to go as a family after church on Sunday.  This is a rare treat to have Daddy with us because usually it's just me and the boys.  But what was meant to be a fun family outing quickly turned into a mound of stress.  It started a soon as we walked in the door.  While I was trying to return our brand new DVD player that all of a sudden quit working, Eric was letting the boys pick out a treat from the One Spot.  Luke chose Goldfish crackers and decided to try to open them himself.  And as soon as I approached the cart, I was greeted with a shower of orange fish-shaped crackers, thus, leaving a huge mess all across the floor.  My hubby and I exchanged a wide-eyed glance and  started picking them up as quickly as possible.  Next up was some bickering back and forth between the boys, followed by some very loud crying.  And we hadn't even made it to our first destination.  By the time we were finally about to get to the register, let's just say we were all a little on edge. 

I just wanted to get finished and get to the car as quickly as possible.  So, when Cooper asked me to get a (rather expensive) coloring book I replied, "Don't ask me for another thing.  You are getting nothing."  Just as the words left my mouth, a woman walked by and gave a rather loud huff as she looked back at me.  And there I was, a stressed out mom who had just been judged, by a woman who was a complete stranger and only witnessed 2 seconds worth of parenting by yours truly. 

 What she doesn't know, is that it was literally the 30th time Cooper had asked me if he could get something.  What she doesn't know, is that he had gotten used to getting spoiled with toys and treats after his recent potty training success.  What she doesn't know, is that as soon as we got home, I sat Cooper down and explained to him about not getting a new toy every time we go to Target.  What she doesn't know, is in that same conversation, I apologized to him for the words I used, telling him I could have chosen nicer ones.  What she doesn't know, is that I heard that sound she muttered all day, and felt more guilty about it each time I heard it.

By the end of the day, I prayed to be able to let it go, and to work harder on choosing better words.  I also prayed for the stranger, who I knew nothing about.  Maybe she was also having a bad day.  Maybe she couldn't have kids of her own and was angry at the way I spoke to my little blessing.  I couldn't tell you.  Regardless, I prayed for her.  I didn't want to judge her the way she had judged me.  I know for sure that I never want to be that person.  I never want to make another mom feel the way I felt that day.  So I also prayed I never would.  You never know what another mom is going through, or any other human being for that matter.  No matter how big or small.  So the next time you're tempted to pass judgment on someone, take a moment and say a little prayer instead!

Note:  The "We Can't Be Friends" post was recently followed up with "Clarifying We Can't Be Friends".  While I hate the fact that she had to answer to the naysayers, and clarify her original post, I love the fact that she did it.  Follow the links to read for yourself!!


Friday, January 31, 2014

Stress LESS

It is no secret that I have been a huge supporter of Crystal Paine's book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.  I felt like it was Christmas all over again when I received my paper copy in the mail.  It has completely changed my day-to-day life, especially as a stay at home mom.  The words came out best in an email I sent to a local business, suggesting that they add Crystal's book to their Mom's Book Club.  I wrote, "I am not a paid spokesperson, just a mom who loves this book and wants to share the joy with other women."  It couldn't be more true.  But I experienced another truth this past week, and I thought it was important to share. 

After you finished the book and implemented Crystal's tips, you have officially said goodbye to survival mode.  Felt great didn't it?  But saying goodbye to survival mode doesn't mean you have said goodbye to all stressful days.  She says it herself in the subtitle: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore your Passion for Life.  You might have eliminated the things that were causing you the most stress, but the fact is, you are bound to have a bad day every now and then.  It's just the way it goes.  Last week was particularly challenging for me, for instance.  Regardless of setting a morning routine and being more organized, you can't prepare for your kids to get up several times in the middle of the night.  This was something that was completely out of my control, but something that affected me physically and mentally.  I. Was. Exhausted.  And so were my kids.  Which made for a very cranky combination.  We played, we did crafts, we tried to get out of the house, but somehow it always came back to someone yelling...myself included.  And naturally I began to beat myself up about the way the week had gone.  I felt guilty that the house wasn't clean and that there were things left undone on my to-do list.   And I really felt guilty about ignoring my kids to work on a rapidly approaching fundraising event.  (Where was this book before I said "yes" to being co-chair?!?).  :)

By the afternoon I was officially in breakdown mode and desperately needing a nap.  Then I received a text form a good friend who was also going through her own (breast pump triggered) breakdown.  I immediately told her to let it all out.  That it would get better and she was a good mom.  We had a heart-to-heart via text, and it was just what I needed.  Then, as if on cue, my sister came over to give me that extra little push.  She witnessed my growing lack of patience, and eventually saw the tears form in my eyes.  Even knowing my sister wouldn't judge me, I felt like the worst mom in the world.   But she told me the same thing I told my girlfriend.  "We've all been there.  It will get better."

We can take all the steps in the world to stress less, but we are bound to have an off day every now and then.  And that's ok.  Embrace the bad days.  Cherish the good days.  Thank God for every day.  And be sure to have a good girlfriend or a sister on standby!!  :)



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Perfect Snow Day Craft for Toddlers

Here it is.  Yet another snow day!  I am by no means complaining, and I welcome the extra time with my kids, but cabin fever takes on a completely new meaning when you have 2 very active toddler boys.  Especially when Daddy is traveling...oh, and when your snow day follows a holiday.  Have I set the stage well enough for the need for this activity?  Ok, we can move on then! :) 

It was just before 9:00. The boys had already been up for over 3 hours and the day was crawling.  We were on Disney Junior overload and had our fair share of movies and electronics over the past few days.  I thought about going to the library, but I was too much of a baby to brave the cold.  So of course, I consulted my Pinterest boards for a fun snow day activity that would occupy the boys and pass the time.  Nothing stood out.  I even let Cooper browse a little bit, but he was less than impressed as well.  I remember seeing a snowman craft somewhere that you make with marshmallows, so I searched for that.  I found something similar, but not exactly what I was looking for, so we just decided to "wing" it.  Luckily, one of my first tasks as a stay at home mom was to stock up on craft supplies, so we had everything we needed to make the perfect snowman.  Here is the list of what we used
Construction paper
 Mini M&Ms
Pipe cleaners
I traced circles onto the paper and added the glue, so the only thing the boys had to do was add the marshmallows...and eat a few along the way.  Then We added mini M&Ms for the face and buttons.  The pipe cleaners were perfect for the arms because we were able to stick them in the side of the marshmallows.  We finished it up by cutting a construction paper top hat, and adding some "snow" to the ground.  I experimented with a few options for a scarf, but it looked cute enough without it, don't you think?!  :)


We had a blast making these. And it was the perfect toddler activity because they could snack as they go. This is key when you have 24 hour snackers like my growing boys. 
If you have a favorite snow day activity, I'd love for you to share!  Thanks for stopping by, and stay warm!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: Book Review

I think we all have gone through stages in life where we are merely trying to survive.  I especially experienced this feeling over the past year in my first year as a stay at home mom.  I mean, the fact that I had planned on writing a blog post titled, How I Survived my First Year as a Stay at Home Mom is a pretty tell-tale sign, don't you think?  But lo and behold, the Good Lord intervened once again when I asked for His help, and made me a member of Crystal Paine's launch team for Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.  Trust me when I say that reading a copy of the book was only the start of my launch team duties.  For the past few months, I have had the privilege of not only interacting with Crystal, but also so many wonderful people within the launch team.  I have found so much peace and comfort throughout this process, and especially within the book, so it is my honor to share this book review with you!

She gets right to the point by telling you to stop trying to do it all.  Crystal paints such a vivid picture of that moment when this truth hit home, and follows it up by saying...

"I wanted to run away from it all.  I was exhausted.  I was stressed to the max.  I felt stuck.  I desperately fought the urge to yell, throw something, and cry-all at the same time."

Sound familiar??  It was time to make some changes, and luckily for you and me, we can learn from her escape through each and every chapter.  Overcoming challenges such as job losses and low income, and a subsequent suffering marriage allows readers to relate as if you are discussing the topics over coffee at playgroup. 

She gives her best stuff, by suggesting to create a "Best Stuff" list, as well as a "Personal Priorities" list.  Which helps us to see what is most important, and allows us to only say "yes" to the things that matter most.  And her "15 minutes per day" approach to reaching your goals has been life changing.  Imagine having a basement that has been ransacked by two toddler boys and a goal to get it organized.  I felt completely overwhelmed until reading the goals chapter, and realized that just 15 minutes each day could have a huge impact.  Not just an impact on achieving the goal, but on my sanity as I attempt to accomplish that goal.

Even though she is known for sharing deals and money saving tips on, there is so much more to the book than that.  You'll find everything from how to cut out "time and energy suckers" to how to get out of the "comparison game."  And although most view her as an expert, it is comforting and reassuring that she is admits she's not perfect, reminding us that no wife and mother is.  
"Have I become Superwoman?  No, not in the least.  I've just learned a lot of tricks to running a home efficiently.  And I've become a lot more adept at multitasking, juggling, and delegating."

Crystal sums it all up beautifully in the final chapter of  How to Kick Start your Success, leaving you with the tools and resources you need to take tackle your goals and "restore your passion for life." 
After reading this book, Crystal has inspired me to be a better wife, mother, and Christian in so many ways.  I have focused more time on what matters most, and have seen drastic results.  And I know you will too!

So get your copy using the link below and let's Say Goodbye to Survival Mode together!!