As I sat down to whip up a post after a very long, tiring day of mommyhood, I came across an older draft that I had forgotten about.  This entry was written after a rough day, one of many more my future as a mom would hold.

This day was one for the books!  After struggling to fall asleep at 1 am, I get a 2-3:30 am wake up call from my baby girl who decides it’s time to play. At 8:30 am, my tired self is up getting on with the morning as planned.  I get Ladybug and myself ready for an hour long commute to visit my sister and her son for a shopping adventure and lunch.  As we head out to the car, baby girl decides it’s a good time to go #2.  Sure, why not? So, back inside we go, change diaper, redress and head out again.  Okay, 20 minutes on the road and we hit traffic.  No prob, I have an episode of Sesame Street running for Ladybug in the backseat.  Another 20 minutes goes by and I hear her vomiting.  Awesome.  I pull off the freeway, and examine the situation.  It is everywhere!  I pop into the backseat to change her into spare clothes and clean the car seat in a gas station parking lot. At this point, I’m crying.  Just an overtired, overwhelmed mom-meltdown.  Alas, my sister arrives and comes to the rescue, meeting us for lunch nearby. Ladybug takes my full attention at the table of course, so looks like I’ll be taking my lunch to go. Thinking my day is turning around, and then, BAM…I drop my sandwich container in the parking lot. Looking at that yummy sandwich lying there on the ground is the saddest AND funniest moment of my day.  My sis and I laugh as I realize I’ve still got half a good day left.

Moral of this story: We ALL have bad days that are amplified by lack of sleep, cranky kids or bad luck.  It’s important to know that nothing is forever and things will turn around.  Besides, there is always another momma having a worse day, so chin up and have hope. Oh, and laugh about it.

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Chalkboard-Birthday

Let’s be honest, shall we. It’s not always rainbows and lollipops with our kiddos.

Chalkboard birthday signs share adorable facts with family and friends and have become extremely popular. They are always loaded with cute catchphrases and favorite things, but what if they were a little more…real.  This sarcastic chalkboard sign is perfectly funny and probably a little truthful.





Thank You, Toddler!

September 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in Everything In-Between | Toddlers - (0 Comments)

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No, this is not a sarcastic post. Today is my son’s second birthday, and I feel especially grateful for having him in my life. I want to take a moment to thank my big boy for all the wonderful things he does to brighten my life…even on the rough days! You may remember my post over a year ago thanking “baby” for 15 random-but-great things, and here are 15 more things I am thankful for now that my son is a toddler:
  1. Thank you for drinking water out of your sippy without spitting it all over the couch and yourself (I know how much you love to spit).
  2. Thank you for eating something today other than Cheerios and fruit.
  3.  Thank you for getting into your car seat today without fighting me–that also goes for your highchair and the stroller!
  4.  Thank you for asking me to read your favorite books to you before bed, and for the cuddles that come with story-time.
  5.  Thank you for giving me hugs and kisses unsolicited just to show me that you love me.
  6.  Thank you for telling me you’re “all done!” — rather than throwing your food off the high chair tray.
  7. Thank you for not eating chalk, crayons, or dirt today!
  8.  Thank you for pooping.
  9.  Thank you for not pooping in your sleep.
  10. Thank you for taking a nap today.
  11. Thank you for laughing that ridiculously adorable laugh. I’m pretty sure it made my day.
  12. Thank you for saying that new word today! You reminded me of how amazing you are, and how you’re learning something new every day.
  13. Thank you for being a curious, courageous, excited little toddler. Even with all the tantrums, I know it comes from a good place, and I’m so proud to be your mommy!
  14. Thank you for running around the playground for 30 minutes, letting me catch up with my mom friend–you don’t even know how much I needed that today.
  15. Thank you for giving me a reason to go to the juice bar and get my favorite green smoothie. Sharing it with you just makes the treat more legit!




Most of us ladies have seen the funny “Hey Girl” Ryan Gosling memes by now.  A good looking man saying sweet things…what’s better?  How about a good looking man saying THESE sweet things. And congrats to Ryan and Eva Mendez on the birth of their new baby.

Fatherhood, Gosling style.

Special thanks to Mom.me for these funny memes.

 





Over-Attentive or Aware?

September 16th, 2014 | Posted by Kristin in Everything In-Between | Toddlers - (0 Comments)

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Okay, I know I can’t be the only mom in this boat.  My parenting style is definitely more hands on with a huge focus on social etiquette and acceptable behavior.  While I understand that kids will be kids, I also believe that manners and politeness are necessary.  Something that today’s youth is sadly lacking.  I was brought up with manners and I believe it got me far in life, which is why I am somewhat strict with my 2 year old daughter. And along with that, I am the rule-following mom who wants to lead by example. You could call me an over-attentive parent or helicopter parent, and I’ll accept the label.  It is a parenting style that relaxed mommies may roll their eyes at, but I KNOW there are others like me out there!

Today I took Ladybug to a fast food establishment with an indoor playground.  I used to cringe at these places – the germs, wild kids, stinky feet…no thank you! However, as my girl is getting older and needs more physical activity, I find myself limited to options.  With the 100 degree heat and no indoor playgrounds or splash pads in the area, this is one of the only fun (and free) places to take her. I chose a late morning time assuming there would be less kids like the last time we went.  No luck.  While we were the first to enter the play area, 5 other kids were right behind.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, I am all for Ladybug learning to share and take turns.  In fact, we work on those skills regularly at the park and at gym class. But this was different.  First of all, the kids were all unsupervised.  Moms all sitting outside the enclosure and casually glancing at their children through the window from time to time is NOT supervising.  I was sitting as I always do inside, on the designated benches, where I could not only see but hear what my child was doing.  It is a clearly posted rule and for so many reasons.

Second, these kids were all about 3-5 years old in a play place designed for 3 years and under (also clearly posted in bold lettering on the sign). So of course, the older kids were playing as older kids do – loud and fast. Again, I am not saying that the way they were playing was wrong, because it is absolutely normal preschooler behavior and I’m all for it! But this area was made with toddlers in mind.

The kids weren’t to blame here. The moms who sat outside on their phones, oblivious to the situation, they were the problem.  Believe me, when I planned to go to this establishment I had every intention on turning Ladybug loose as I caught up on my messages and social media.  But I had an obligation to my kiddo first. Not to mention the other children were a distraction as they threw wadded paper at me and asked me a million questions.  Funny how I quickly felt like the babysitter.  Did these mothers see me sitting there and assume I’d supervise their children? Or are these just the same moms that sit on their phones at the park while little Johnnie pushes Billy off of the swing?

I loath these parents.  That’s right, I said it.  You birthed this kid and you are 100 percent responsible! Yes, we mommas all get tired and need breaks, I get that.  But this is not the way.  Most moms will say that they all need to learn to adapt to the behavior of others and that scared, apprehensive children need to toughen up.  To a point, I see that.  I tell Ladybug that if a kid is bothering her, to walk away and play somewhere else or to say “no thank you”. Why should we force our kiddos to play with others when they are uncomfortable or anxious about it?  Some children have sensory disorders, high anxieties or perhaps they’re on the autism spectrum and we cannot expect them to adapt to the wild behavior of others. Loud noises, fast or sudden movements could be very traumatizing to sensitive kids like mine.  In fact, she asked to leave the play place today because the kids were “too scary and loud” and asked to go to a book store instead.

In a nutshell, I wish parents would be more considerate of others. The relaxed parenting style has several benefits and I am not knocking it. However, the lack of respect and awareness is a problem. And all I can do is vent and use it as a teachable moment for ladybug. Since we cannot change things or avoid social situations, I’ll just see it as life lessons for my growing girl.

In closing, parents, let’s be a little more courteous out there. Some of us actually like to follow rules and some of our kiddos are a bit more sensitive. Let’s make parenting enjoyable for everyone!





Conversations between toddlers aren’t quite as funny and in depth as these, but what if they were…

Thanks to HowToBeADad.com, this genius and spot-on piece shows us what Facebook would look like if it were overrun by toddlers.

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Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

September 11th, 2014 | Posted by Lauren in Feeding | Recipes for Mom - (0 Comments)

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

This recipe is addicting! Not just because is DELICIOUS, but because it’s easy, can be eaten over several meals, and my toddler will eat it. What more can you ask for? Cilantro lime chicken soft tacos are my “go-to” meal when I host play dates at my house, because there’s no fuss setting it up in the slow cooker, and I even have time to slice and grate the taco toppings before guests arrive. Plus, I make enough to serve this for dinner that same day — yes, I eat it twice in one day because it’s that good!  Feeling extra ambitious? Serve this dish with homemade salsa!

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 limes squeezed into juice
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Let’s Do This!

1. Place chicken in slow cooker

2. Pour spices, water, cilantro, and lime juice on top of chicken

3. Cover slow cooker, and set on HIGH for 3.5-4 hours, or LOW for 6-8 hours

4. Shred cooked chicken with two forks, and return to juices in slow cooker

5. Serve in soft corn or flour tortillas with yummy toppings!

 Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Recipe





park it

This is not a joke. Park outings are serious business! For most of us Moms (especially SAHMs), a trip to the park/playground may be the big outing for the day–so it’s important we make it count! Bubba and I have always visited parks; when he was a wee infant, we regularly took the Bob out for walks and jogs, had picnics and play time on a large quit, and simply enjoyed being outdoors. Once the kid started to walk, it was a whole new ballgame! ALL he wanted to do was run…and run…and run! Up until about 14 months, parks with playgrounds were not necessary. But once my child discovered climbing, swinging, and exploring, it was ON! Now  we visit parks with playgrounds at least once a day, every week.

I feel as though I have become somewhat of a park “regular” around town–making me kind of an expert on park etiquette and park survival tips.  And guess what? I’m feeling generous today, so I will share this park/playground wisdom with you.


Come Prepared

The following items should be in your car/diaper bag  every time you head to the park/playground:

  • Handwipes/hand sanitizer - Because everything they touch at the park is crawling with germs. Seriously.
  • Stocked diaper bag – This includes extra diapers and wipes, of course!
  • A ball – because for crying out loud, some kid will always bring a shiny ball to the park, and every kid will go bananas for it–especially your kid!
  • Sand toys – for the same reason above…plus, they are great toys to share with other kids, which is a great way for you and little one to meet other kids and Moms!
  • Snacks – Easy, park-friendly snacks include: yogurt/puree/applesauce pouches, crackers, chips, bananas, etc. A snack-break will keep your kid happily playing, and you will avoid the meld-down on the drive home.
  • Water - For baby, and for YOU! Offer him water at least twice per hour, and definitely give it to him before or during the drive home…he’ll need it after all that running around!
  • First Aid Kit - I never thought about having a kit in my car–until my son took an awful fall at the park, and another mom rushed to her car to grab wound necessities. I was grateful, but felt like an irresponsible parent at the same time. Today, I keep a travel kit in my car, and have actually had to use it a couple of times for minor cuts and scrapes.
  • Blanket - Any old blanket or quilt will do! Having this in my car has really come in handy when we are hanging outdoors. It’s nice to have an option to stop, rest, and picnic while playing at the park. Plus, it encourages your busy little one to sit and take a break.
  • Towel - This item is especially handy when the park is a little wet–for TWO reasons:
    1. To dry off slides and swings
    2. To dry off a wet/muddy child who decided to jump in a puddle!
  • Spare clothes/socks - Because the above scenario has happened once or twice! Plus, a diaper blow-out may also occur, so be prepared!
  • Light jacket or hoodie - Pretty self-explanatory. Who wants to run all the way home to fetch baby’s jacket? Having a jacket or hoodie will also allow you and the munchkin more time during late-in-the-day park trips.
  • Stroller - Because you never know where an outing may take you! What if you want to grab a juice or lunch nearby?
  • Sunscreen – Self explanatory. It’s so important to protect their delicate skin! Apply when you get baby dressed for the day, if that’s easier, and bring extra in your bag. Also, son’t forget to put sunscreen on yourself as well!
  • Hat - Just as the above explains, it’s important to keep kiddo sun-safe. Even if he won’t keep it on his head, keep trying to get him to wear it. Mine finally tolerates his sun hat at 23 months!


Other Helpful Tips

  • Write your family’s last name (with a Sharpie!) on every toy your bring to the park! - One time our ball “disappeared,” and my friend spotted it in the bottom of another Mom’s stroller. I’d like to believe it was a simple mistake–and because my name was on the ball, there were no questions of who it belonged to. And yes, I got it back!
  • Don’t “park-it” too close to lunch, nap, or bed time – This outing may end up in melt-down mode while playing–or during the drive home! One time, my kid was hungry AND tired (I wasn’t paying attention to the time), and he was tantrum-ing so hard, he refused to get into his car seat to go home! I literally fought him for 20 minutes, before giving in and walking with my screaming child to a nearby restaurant to feed him lunch. Oops!
  • Don’t micromanage your child’s play at the park - I am famous for this. I try to coax Bubba into doing what the other kids do (slide, swings, etc.), and sometimes all my child wants to do is collect leaves and sticks. Let him! This should be the time for exploration and exercise. Follow his lead while keeping an eye on him, and you will both get the most out of the trip. What if your little girl wants to sit on a swing the whole time? I say, let her! As long as others get their turn, there’s nothing wrong with allowing your little one to play their way. One day she will shock you by running straight to the slide instead.
  • Brought toys? Be prepared to share! - There’s a camp of parents who are literally against making their kid share. I say to those parents: don’t go to a public park with toys! Keep your belongings at home where no other child will get excited and curious and want to check them out. Because, guess what? Kids are curious! And what’s wrong with that? Sharing is a huge developmental milestone for toddlers, and studies prove early play and positive interaction between children (most likely sharing toys) breeds strong social skills, adaptability, and better behavior all-around.  With that said, there is nothing wrong with telling the curious child and its Mom that your child is playing with the truck right now, but maybe in a few minutes he will be done, and you can take a turn. From there, you monitor the sharing, and ask for the item back as soon as you feel it’s time. I’m willing to bet that other mom will think you are a rock star…because you are!

 





There is nothing funny about losing comic legends. Robin Williams and now Joan Rivers – two comedic geniuses who always kept us laughing.  If they taught us anything, it is that we should never stop laughing. We may pause during life’s challenging moments, but after the storm, we should continue the laughter. So, we’d like to pay homage to one of the funniest comediennes of all time. This laughs for you, Joan.

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Mastitis

It’s awful. Those who’ve lived it will tell you it is painful, miserable and inconvenient. Many nursing mothers will face mastitis, and for many first-timer’s, it’s hard to know when you have it. Symptoms often resemble the common cold or flu…but then you feel that horrible pain in your breast. Yep, you’ve got mastitis.

The first two times I had mastitis began with horrible body aches and a fever which led me to think I had caught a cold. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt the pain in my breast. By the fourth and recent time with mastitis (that’s right, FOUR awful times!) I knew what it was immediately. And fortunately, I knew how to deal with it better.

My first mastitis episode happened at about 4 months into nursing my baby. The second episode hit just before my daughter turned one. The third time was around 18 months, and this fourth case of mastitis came at 27 months. I honestly didn’t think it was possible considering I barely nurse my little one anymore. Just goes to show that plugged ducts can happen to nursing mommas anytime. And you are especially susceptible if you’ve had mastitis before.

For those of you experiencing your first bout of this painful beast or those who want to be prepared for it, here are some quick references and tips that could help. Stay healthy out there ladies!

What is mastitis?  “Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the breast” -Mayo Clinic.

How do you get it?  When your breast gets full to the point of engorgement it can lead to plugged ducts or mastitis. Infrequent nursing, tight bras/shirts, stress or fatigue, oversupply or latch problems, anemia – all are common causes.

Symptoms: All or part of  the breast is extremely painful, warm, tender, swollen and red. Also, flu-like symptoms such as body aches, fever and chills.

Common Treatments: Cabbage leaves, warm and cold compresses, plenty of fluids and good nutrition,  go bra-less, pain reliever, gentle massages on affected area, rest and NURSING!

Length: If treated early on, you can avoid major infection and be over it in a matter of days. Left untreated, mastitis can cause infection that requires antibiotics and may take longer to recover from.

Tip – Caring for baby during recovery is tough, so use help wherever you can get it while you recover.

Detailed info on causes, symptoms and treatments of mastitis can be found on askdrsears.com.