Halloween

I grew up in a fairly religious household up until I was in my teens. We wore shorts over our one piece swimsuits and under dressed, our shorts were no higher than fingertip, our jeans had to be pinch able on the thighs, our necklines could never dip, and we never EVER went trick or treating. We weren’t necessarily prudish, after all, we had friends that were allowed to do all of that stuff. Heck, we gave out candy at Halloween, we just weren’t allowed to go. I’m not really sure the whole reasoning behind why my parents didn’t let us go (it may have been a safety thing), but in my mind, it was celebrating the devil and that was bad! But then we grew up.

     Once we got older, my parents beliefs changed (thank god), and we were soon seen wearing more revealing, but always modest, clothing. We were also allowed to go trick or treating. Now that I’m married with kids, I take them out on Halloween. Free candy! Who wouldn’t want that!? And when your kids are too young to eat a lot of candy, that’s free candy for YOU! But seriously, if you are one of those stuck up religious folk who don’t believe in “celebrating the devil”, get over it! You’re not sitting around in a cult chanting and worshipping Saran! And if you are, get off my blog! Lol but really, it’s just a time when people dress up scary and go get free candy… So do yourself a favor and go have some fun 🙂 at least pass out candy! 

   
 

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Virtual picture hoarder

We all have a few of those to-die-for pictures that just can’t be let go of. It’s either that baby bath tub picture or the spaghetti dinner photo. Whatever the situation, it’s too cute to toss. But can you ever have too many favorites?

     I, ladies and gentlemen, am a virtual picture hoarder. I can take thousands of pictures with the intent to print them for the photo album, but they end up collecting pixel dust (see what I did there? Lol) in my phone. Months later, my phone is alerting me that my storage is almost up so, I have to clean out the pictures….. Yeah right…

     One after the other (sometimes the same picture just a different color), I find myself unable to delete the pictures because I’m afraid of losing that one special photo. I guess it’s a curse of having the cutest kids ever, but I’ll just say, if I printed them all out to put into books, I’d have way too many picture books!

     Now, not all of the pictures are special, or even legible for that matter. Many of them are products of my toddler gone wild with my phone. I find head shots, which are actual pictures of just the top of her head, feet shots, carpet pictures, you know where I’m going with this. But it’s never just one! It’s usually 4-5 of the same thing. Sometimes it’s like looking at a frame by frame movie. Each picture is slightly different, giving the idea of movement. But even some of those are too funny to get rid of, so then what?

     I’ve begun downloading my pictures into snapfish, an online photo store. You can download your pictures and later order copies and even make products such as mugs or blankets. It’s an easy way for me to get rid of my pictures off of my phone without actually getting rid of them. Will I ever go and print out copies of every picture? Eh, probably not. But just the thought that I have that capability, and that my favorite pictures aren’t lost, puts my crazy photo-hoarder mind at ease. 

So, don’t stop taking pictures, just find an alternate storage space for them 😉

   
      

Distance makes the heart grow fonder 

I know so many women who don’t like to leave when their husbands are home or when they’re going to be off work. They spend every second they can with them, and feel like they’re doing something wrong if they don’t. Well, let me give you something to mentally chew on.

     Now, I’m not saying I don’t like to spend time with my husband when he’s home, in fact, it’s just the opposite. I love when he has a day off and I hate being gone from him, but a trip here and there actually strengthens our relationship. When I’m gone, he gets a chance to see what all I do for him, and I get a chance to remember how important our time together is. I force myself sometimes to take trips, sometimes several back to back, simply because I love how close we are when I get home. 

     I take a lot of mini vacations to see my family a few hours away, and Chris hardly ever gets to come with me. Sure I miss him like crazy, but since I’ve been taking these trips, we’ve gotten to where we don’t take each other for granted and we appreciate all that the other does for us. It’s important to remember who you are on your own and remember that your husband is your best friend. 

     Sometimes you have to get a chance to really miss someone to remember how important they are to you. So I urge you, spend a few nights away from your spouse every once in a while and see just what it does for your relationship.

  

Banana Muffin Morning

This morning started out much differently than I originally wanted. Chloe was up at 6, then before either of us could get back to sleep, the baby woke up at 6:45. I fed her which led to being up for another hour with all the diaper changing and what not. So, once I got the baby happy again, and she crashed, Chloe and I decided it was time to get up. I brewed a nice, fresh, hot pot of coffee and got both of us a fresh, homemade banana muffin that I made last night. I got my coffee, and we headed outside to enjoy the cool morning air only to find out that it was 54 degrees outside, just shy of “cool”. So, back inside we went. We bundled up, and headed back out. That is where we are at this moment, and I’m am strangely okay with the fact that I was woken up much earlier than I wanted to be. 

     Sure, I’m freezing my butt off, even with pants, socks, and a jacket on, but I miss mornings like this. There’s just something beautiful about the sounds that surround you in the fall mornings. There are birds singing, dogs barking in the distance, and the faint sound of tires against asphalt from the nearby highway. The best part about a morning like this is that you can just sit and ponder whatever your happy self feels the need to ponder. Or, you can just sit and let your mind be empty and not have to think, or worry, about a single thing. The morning doesn’t last long, so enjoy an hour or so of peace. Don’t let yourself fret over what the day may hold, just breath and let your mind enjoy a few moments of calmness. 

Thank you, Mom, for teaching us how to relax and enjoy the morning. You never did anything to teach us, you showed us by example. 

  

Bake therapy, cost effective.

I have been around quite a few stay at home moms, and I have seen a variety of coping mechanisms. For my mom, anytime she was stressed out or just needed some time, she would go shut herself in her closet and we knew not to bother her. It was her way of calming down and doing something for herself. 

     We all need something like that, and preferably something that doesn’t cost money! Goodness, if I shopped everytime I got stir crazy, I’d be broke!…. Oh wait… I am lol but for other reasons haha! Anyway, I needed something that I could do that made ME happy and was fairly doable, so I have chosen food! Sure I have to watch what I make or I will gain 10 lbs, but that’s part of the challenge and makes it fun. I have to find ways to cook healthy for my family, but make stuff they will actually enjoy. I also have to find a way to make it feasible, and I have been having so much fun!

    Here are some ways I have been cutting back cost wise. 

– I make homemade when I can. I make homemade flour and corn tortillas, pancakes, pudding (sometimes), laundry soap (which isn’t actually food but it’s definitely a cost saver), and several other things. 

– I buy off brand of everything. Sure there are certain times when the more expensive brands cannot be replaced, but for the most part, you can get over the fact that it doesn’t taste exactly like your favorite brand.

– I cook in bulk. When I make something like soup or spaghetti, I will make a lot and we will eat off of it for a few days. A pot of stew will feed us dinner then lunch for several days. Not in a row, but it will last in the fridge about a week.

There are other ways I cut costs, but these are the main ones. Now, it’s not easy to be cost mindful and eat healthy at the same time, but sometimes you can go for the cheaper healthy. Sure, you could eliminate eating fresh veggies (because we all know that’s not cheap), but instead, you should try some of these methods.

– Buy lettuce by the head and cut it yourself for salads. Not only is it about $2 cheaper than a bag of salad, but you get more as well. 

– Stick to the less expensive fruits such as bananas, grapes when they’re in season, certain brands of apples, and pears. Also, if you eat a lot of apples for example, a lot of the time you can buy them by the bag and pay less. Stay away from citrusy fruits like lemons and limes because those you will end up spending an arm and a leg on.

– Buy generic brand wheat pasta. It’s only a few cents more per box than white pasta, but it is so much better for you! I have found that there really is no difference in flavor between generic and name brand when it comes to pasta, so don’t be so picky.

– Make your own sauces. Our family loves spaghetti, but sauce is not cheap. One day I was forced to buy the cheapest can of tomato sauce I could find, and we ended up loving it! It was over $2 cheaper which meant I could buy more, and tasted much better. We also make our own gravy, white and brown. We make our own cheese sauce as well.

– Find a good bread recipe. It’s so much tastier! Here’s the one I use http://laughingspatula.com/easy-homemade-rolls/

The best way to go is to Pinterest for recipes if possible and try to cook at home. 

Since I’ve started cooking more, I’ve been experimenting with new recipes and things I’d never tried to cook before. I have gotten more confident in the kitchen, and we have been eating pretty great lately. The best part is that we eat cheaper!

Today I made cream puffs! I’ve been afraid to cook things like that because I had never tried before. They came out great!  Don’t be afraid to try new things, you might just be surprised!

   

Half closed? I say half open.

As a mom, there’s not a lot that you get to call your own. You share your food, drink, bed, bathroom, shower, and pretty much anything you lay your hands on. So it’s safe to say that when it comes to sleep, you don’t get sole ownership of that either.

Now, for some people, that might not be such a good thing, but I’ve learned to find reasons to enjoy this aspect of being a mom. I never have to worry about eating too much because half of it gets eaten by my 2 year old. I always have a fresh drink because I have to refill it fairly often. I never get bored in the bathroom, and I don’t even get the chance to “take too long” in the shower. Now, when it comes to sleep, I have had a pretty hard time giving that up. It’s not easy when you start falling asleep while your baby is still attached to your boob, but you still try to do your best.

Lately, Chloe has been coming into our room in the middle of the night having to pee. At first, I would get so frustrated that she was awake AGAIN, but eventually I had to decide that I couldn’t change the fact that her bladder calls at horrible times. On a good note, she’s been waking up dry in the morning, so I can’t really complain. Then there are the great moments that make all of the dark, sleep deprived induced, circles under your eyes worth it every time. Like when your toddler climbs in your bed at 7:00am, gets right in your face and sweetly proclaims “Good mornin’ momma!” while giving you hugs and kisses. Or when you are woken up at 3:00am by your baby who is hungry, then when you pick her up and look at her, she smiles a huge, toothless grin. There are beautiful moments even in the middle of the night, you just have to find them.

In the end, it’s all in how you look at it. You can look at it with eyelids half closed, or you can see the bright sides and look with your eyes half open. (see what I did there? eh? eh!?) But seriously, if you are constantly expecting to be frustrated by not getting “you” time, then you will always be disappointed. Learn to enjoy the time you have with your babies because it doesn’t last near long enough.

HAK – Lindsey

  

Oh what a day

Today started out like any normal day would… Kinda.

I woke up at 7 to my toddler climbing in bed with us. We quickly fell back asleep until my 2 month old woke me up so I could feed her at 8. While feeding her and looking at my calendar, I realized that my husband was supposed to be at work at that very moment, even though he thought he didn’t have to be there until 9. So, with baby on boob, I rushed in to wake him up which woke up my toddler. So that started our morning.

It was a good morning. We went to the park and took a nice walk with a friend, then we went home and had lunch, flew a kite, and then my girls took a nap. While they napped, I got dishes done and laundry folded. I was feeling very accomplished and satisfied with how my day was turning out. Both girls had been in fantastic moods all day which was keeping my spirits high as well. When they woke up, I fed the baby again then we went to run a few errands. By the time we got home, it was about 3:00 or so, and that’s when things started to go a little south…

Chloe has been doing great with potty training, but for some reason, today she just was out of her element or something. We went through several pairs of panties today. Well, she peed all over the kitchen floor, then went and peed all over the bathroom floor. So at this point, I’m doing my best to get the pee cleaned up before she starts tracking it all over the house. At around 5:00, it was time to start dinner. So I’m pan searing some chicken, boiling pasta, and trying to feed the baby all at the same time. I finally get the baby fed and I lay her down in the living room so she could finish filling her diaper. Chloe then informs me that she has to pee so, excited that she told me before she wet herself, I rush her to the bathroom. When she was done, she cleaned it up all by herself (which she had peed AND pooped). For this, she was rewarded with a prize of two little Smarties. So, I’m finishing up dinner, and Chloe comes in very proud of herself and tells me that she put “it” in baby’s mouth. I asked her what she meant and she smiles and says “put candy in baby’s mouth!”. I FREAK out and rush into the living room to find the baby, still laying on the floor, trying to spit something out. I finger swept her mouth and retrieved a Smartie from her cheek! Chloe was so happy that I had gotten the candy back for her! (don’t worry, she didn’t get the candy back). I was mortified… Granted, I probably should have thought all of my actions through a little more, but can’t a momma get a break every once in a while? So, after I handle that situation, I put Chloe in her highchair (away from the baby) and gave her dinner. Don’t worry, the crazy is NOT over…

While she’s eating, I went to finally change the baby’s diaper and I hear Chloe starting to throw her food onto the floor. I went over and asked “why did you throw your noodles on the floor?” and she replies (with a much too sweet simplicity) “no mama, not noonles, chicken!”….. I look, and sure enough, she had thrown only the chicken on the floor. Trying to keep from laughing at the fact that my not even two year old had just corrected my questioning, I ask “okay then, why did you throw your CHICKEN on the floor?”. Again, she simply replies “I dinint want it.”. Well of course…. why else would she have thrown it off of her tray?

After dinner, we sat in the living room floor, and started playing with the baby. I said “here, I’ll just put a blanket down for baby to play on”, and as soon as I get it spread out, Chloe sprawls out on it and says “Oh THANK you mama! Thank your for the blanket!” and begins to roll around on it. I tell you, this girl cracks. Me. Up… At this point, I’m crying laughing so hard at things she keeps doing, so I call my mom to tell her about it, and Chloe sits on my legs and pees…. yes, PEES ON MY LEGS. Then she looks up and smiles and says “mom, I peed”. Yes Chloe, I am VERY aware that you just peed! So I send her to the bathroom to finish going potty ON her potty and, minutes later, she returns and holds out her hand. I look, and my child has brought me her POOP!…. Just hands it to me like a gift and says “look! I poo poo!”…. Safe to say it was bath time.

Chris had informed me earlier that he was going to be home late from work, and after the poop incident, I was doing all I could to keep calm and just take one thing after the other. these types of things went on until her walked in the door, and then she turned into a sweet angel! No peeing in her panties, no arguing (much), goes potty IN her potty, and goes to bed without a fuss.

I swear, Chris probably thinks I lie about all of the crazy things that girl does all day because every time he comes home, she turns from crazy child to sweet little daddy’s angel. But at least she was being sweet all day!

I just want to conclude my day with a few bits of advice. First, don’t leave your baby on the floor while your 2 year old is running around with small objects of food. Second, if your toddler is in the bathroom alone, go check on them after 5 seconds of silence. Third, video tape your child’s crazy behavior so that people believe you when you tell them all of your stories. I hope this helps for all of you moms with two young children (or more). You should know that I am now veggin’ out on my couch with both girls sleeping… I have survived.