Mom Life

Easiest way to become a morning mom

Moms are overworked, overtired and over stressed.  Most moms do not get time to themselves.  Ever.  They pee with a small child crying on them.  Then minutes later they snap at the small child because they are fed up and need a break.  This is a problem.  This was me.  I was miserable by 9:00 a.m. because I didn’t do the one simple tip for making you a better mom.

 

  1. Wake up before everyone.

Yes, that’s it.  If you can wake up before everyone else in your house, you will have better mindset for the whole day (or at least until lunchtime.)  I know you are probably tired and want sleep a half hour longer.  You’ve probably been up all night struggling to get your kids to sleep in their own beds and stop waking you up at night. Don’t do it. Don’t sleep in.  Don’t let the demon child be the one to wake you.  Wake up first.  

 Checkout this tip if your kids don't sleep.

 If you’re really ambitious, you can get a quick workout in.

When I say quick, I mean quick.  I do 10 minutes on the treadmill  or a quick yoga flow.  I know it’s not much but trust me, it helps.  Then I put my music on,  make my coffee, check my emails and social media, and shower if I can.  Sometimes the social media sucks me in and the demon child wakes me up before I get a chance to shower.  Guess what, that’s OK!!  I am already in a good mood from my half hour of much-needed alone time.

I won’t be yelling at my child because I am already awake and full of energy and good vibes.  Not only that, but my children won’t be sadly competing with my phone for my attention because I already looked at everything I needed to on it.  My focus can be primarily on them instead of constantly distracted.  

The problem when you don’t wake up before your kids, is that you are not happy because you are not focused.

You are checking your phone. You are wondering when you will get a chance to shower and get ready.  You are annoyed you didn’t workout again for the 345th day in row.  You’re mad because your kids are demanding all this shit for breakfast when you haven’t even had your coffee yet.  Don’t let the mornings defeat you.

WAKE UP FIRST!

Do yourself and your family a favor: WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR KIDS!!

 

DIY and Crafts, Mom Life

Painting paper shades

This is a really easy and creative way for kids to add their personal touch to your home decor.

These shades will make a great addition to your toy room or children’s bedrooms.  The kids will be so pleased to show them off, knowing that they were hand crafted by them!

All you will need are:

  1. Paper shades
  2. Paint of your choice
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Stencils (optional)

I bought some Redi paper shades. You can buy a 6 pack of them here.  Original Light Filtering Pleated Paper Shade White,

They are super cheap and easy.  You don’t have to measure in advance you just cut them with scissors to size. As always, I just eyeballed mine.

I had fabulous ideas in my head but am not an artist and had no stencils, so I figured this would be a project the kids can do with me. That way, if it looks awful I can blame them.

We used different shades of blue for each one.  For the first we dipped the brushes in paint and splatted them.  The next one we drew lines on.  The third we did circles.  I wish I would’ve thought it out more but everyone was having fun putting their own touches on.

redi paper shade, painted

I’m not sure how long paper shades last. I don’t recommend using so much paint or being too rough like my kids were because these are only paper.

See what I mean about being artsy? It would look totally cool if they were stenciled or had a neat design.  Either way, I still think they turned out great!  To make it even more fun, paint different ones for holidays and birthday. Red, white and blue for the 4th of July, Halloween themed and Christmas would be perfect.

This post was taken from my old 2012 old blog.

DIY and Crafts, Mom Life

4th of July skittles experiment 

Red white and blue skittles We thought we’d try the America mix skittles experiment since the rainbow skittles experiment is so pretty. This is perfect for a quick 4th of July project that anyone can do.  You can buy a giant pack of these skittles on amazon here.

You only need 3 things for this

  1. Plate
  2. Skittles
  3. Warm water

This one was done by my 3 year old. We were working on patterns so she put 3 red, 3 white and 3 blue in a circle all around the plate.

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Once this is done add the warm water to the center until it touches the skittles.  The dye from the skittles will start to spread within a few seconds.  This is when I realized 3 white ones in a row wasn’t going to work because there was no color.  So I removed some or moved them.

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It was cool to watch it spread.  It was the easiest project we’ve ever done.  We also stirred it up at the end to watch it turn into a purple. Don’t worry, we didn’t let them go to waste. You can still eat wet skittles and they taste great!

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Mom Life

Why formula might be your best option

I always thought I’d be one of those moms that breastfed my kids til they were 18 and going off to college. I also dreamed of pumping and donating a million ounces to babies in need. I tried so hard with all 4 girls and each baby actually got easier but it was never what I imagined.

Before my milk even came in my nipples hurt like hell and looked like raw chewed up ground beef. Nothing like the women in the breastfeeding pamphlets/videos with perfect Hershey kiss nipples. This continued for about 2-3 weeks except they were now even more raw and cracked and pretty much chewed all the way through from a baby that has no teeth.

Yes, I tried

    • Lanolin
    • Calendula Cream
    • breast milk
    • cold packs,
    • warm packs,
    • vinegar,
    • Neosporin,
    • any other thing I read that was supposed to help.

With Ava, it was the worst, my nipples bled and the poor baby was spitting up blood. She started as an aggressive eater and still is. Then she developed thrush. I quit very early with her.

When my milk came in with all 4, I would wake up feeling like I was drowning in my own milk because they leaked so badly. I tried a pump but that made it worse to the point that I seriously felt like I was going to bust and it hurt like hell.

Not only was this natural way of feeding extremely painful, it was time consuming. Really, you’re going to take 60 mins to eat, it doesn’t even take me that long for a 7 course meal (ok, fine, I’ve never had a 7 course meal) then sleep for 45 mins then want to eat again. Then,right when I’m finally getting the hang of it and actually nursing in public like I’ve always dreamed instead of having to take off my whole shirt like I did at first- I have nothing left. I go from drowning to dried up.  Without warning.

I was determined so I tried the

Nothing.  Plus, the baby wasn’t gaining.  I gave up.  I felt great! formula feeding is fine

Formula feeding was the best decision I ever made.


I was now able to be happy and enjoy my baby  and my life without worrying about my supply or how much their gaining or how much pain I’m in.  I wish I would’ve started formula from day 1.

 If breastfeeding is not working out for you, STOP.  Switch to formula.

There’s no shame in it, really there’s not.

Mom Life

Things to do with your kids when you’re broke. 

People always comment on how much I do with my kids.  I have a fear of doing nothing.  They think we have money to spend because we’re always out and about but we are a family of six living off 1 income.  If I had a ton of money, trust me, we would be doing way cooler stuff.

Here’s a few things we do for cheap or free that are available in basically every part of this country.


Go out to donuts!  

Who doesn’t love a donut? It’s cheaper than going out for regular food.  Kids love sugar and it’s a super awesome treat.  We try to check out non chain donut shops and go to different ones throughout the year. Tip- don’t buy them a drink.  That’s where the money adds up.  Water please.

Go to the library.

The library is so cool.  My kids love it.  There’s more than just books.

  • Go to storytime.
  •  Let them play with the toys there.
  •  Join the summer reading program.
  • Free movies
  • Obviously, let them pick out books.  Free fun for a rain day.  Look up your library’s website and find all they have to offer.

Go to the beach.

 Another free and favorite place.  We have to pay to park some places but that’s about it.  Bring snacks and drinks. You can Read up on my snack schedule.  Stay for an hour or two and be done.   It’s really easy to do, even with four kids.  I used to stress out about beach days but now we do it on a regular basis.

Go to the park.  

Look up all the parks in your neighborhood on the park district site and try to go to a different one each time.  That’s what we do.  The kids sometimes request to go to their favorite parks.  Have a picnic there for even more fun.  Better yet, do the playground scavenger hunt.

Garage sales.

My kids love garage sales. I love garage sales.  It’s not free but it’s cheap.  Give them each a dollar and see how well they budget it.

Go to an animal shelter or pet shop.

So much fun to love on animals you know you’ll never get.  Let everyone pick out their favorite and give them new names.

Vacation bible school.

 Here’s one that your kids can do without you.  During summer you will see signs every where for vacation bible school.  I take advantage of Jesus and send my kids to all of them for free.  Gives them something to do and gives you a break.

There’s a million ideas and these are nothing new, just a few of my faves and things mostly everyone has near them and can afford.

What are your favorite free activities?

DIY and Crafts, Mom Life

Playground scavenger hunt

As if going to the park isn’t fun enough, some kids get bored easier than others..

This is a 2 part could possibly last all summer scavenger hunt.

First you will need to print a list of all the parks in your neighborhood.

You can go to the parks and rec website for your town.  They should provide you with a list of all the parks in the district.   You can also add elementary schools to the list because most of them will have playgrounds.

I always end up taking my kids to the same parks; the 3 major parks in our town and the one closest to us.  Since we are home all summer, why not make an adventure out of playgrounds.  You can try to go to all the parks and cross them off the list as you go.  I f you want, that can be it!!  The scavenger hunt could be just finding and going to all the parks.

Be sure to look cute at the park by shopping these super cheap finds. Serious good deals for stylish kids.

 


If you are up to a challenge you can bring a separate scavenger hunt list.

These are things you can find and cross off, rather than picking up and bring home.  You can go with things you  find at a playground or certain playground equipment or both.

HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED

Things/people at the playground

Find a real dog.

Purple flower.

Lady drinking coffee

Newborn baby

Pink water bottle

A grown man swinging.

This part is the playground equipment hunt.

Steering wheel.

Telescope

7 swings.

Green Twisty slide

Metal slide

Tire swing

Numbers 1-10

Blue tunnel

Red Tunnel

Green tunnel (basically try to find all tunnels you can crawl though in various colors at various parks)

Rock climbing wall

A motorcycle ride on

Ride on animal

YOU CAN TAYLOR YOUR LIST TO WHAT YOU THINK YOU AND YOUR KIDS WILL HAVE FUN FINDING.  THESE ARE JUST A FEW TO GET YOU STARTED.

Let me know what you come up with!

 

 

 

 

 

Mom Life

2 tips to manage your summer snack budget 

All the kids are home and all they seem to do is eat.  I wonder how they survived the school year, eating only a shitty packed lunch at 11 am and no snack all day.   Someone is asking me for a snack at any given moment throughout the day.  Not only for them but for all the neighborhood kids.

I need to put an end to this fast.  Although, I don’t have a summer routine; I will be the enforcer of a snack routine.

Number 1 tip to manage a summer snack budget

Have a Snack schedule. 

2 snacks a day and that’s it.  Everyone will eat the same snack at the same time.  Like it or leave it.  I will save so much money doing that.  Right now, she wants this, she wants that.  She realizes she likes the other persons better.  I feel bad and let her have that too.  Next thing you know a whole box of granola bars, 2 packs of strawberries and a bag of chips are gone.

Number 2 rule to my summer snack budget

Stop feeding their friends.

 I know, I sound like a bitch and I hate to be that mean parent but guess what, go home and eat.  Although, I’m glad you’re here playing, most likely I didn’t invite you so it’s not my responsibility to feed you.  Hell no, you are not getting an ice cream bar.  Do you know how much those cost? Plus, there’s not enough to feed my whole family in a standard size box.  The most I give neighborhood friends from now on is a freeze pop and water.  I mean, if it’s a scheduled “playdate” or I know the kids and parents and my kids go over there regularly, that’s different.  I’m talking neighborhood kids who pop in and out all day everyday.

Mom Life

Number 1 way to get a toddler to sleep in their bed. 

I have four kids  who all sucked at sleeping at some point.   Right now I only have one who doesn’t sleep well and even worse, doesn’t fall asleep well.

We’ve tried everything.

Ain’t no melatonin strong enough for this girl.

Here’s a few things on the list.

  1. Lay on their floor
  2. Lay in their bed
  3. Lay in the hallway
  4. Let her pick out a bed
  5. Let her help build her bed and paint it
  6. Switch rooms

The list goes on and on and somehow she always ends up in my room.  I don’t mind that she wakes up in the night and comes to my bed but the falling asleep part pisses me off.  Every. Single. Night.  It is a struggle beyond belief.  I don’t want to sleep in her room or in the hall.  I don’t have time for that.  Bedtime is my time.   It’s that one hour of time to myself when everyone else is sleeping and I don’t want to spend it laying on a floor.      

Here’s what we did and here’s what worked for us.

Judge all you want.  I’ll be sleeping so I don’t care.

Get a tv for their room.

Put a freaking movie on and walk away.  Goodnight.  Amen.  Buy them this Preschool Prep Series Collection .  You won’t regret it.  Put on an educational movie, a boring movie or whatever it takes to make them stay in their bed.

Why haven’t I thought of that sooner?

Mom Life

Is it a brown recluse bite 

Warning: INFECTED BROWN RECLUSE BITE some of these picture are gross.

Last year the baby had what looked like a large blister on her foot (not pictured).  I wondered how I didn’t notice it sooner. I think it’s because it wasn’t there sooner. It appeared suddenly. Then suddenly (within a day) it looked like this…

If your area has spiders, spray this  around your house. It works amazingly well. 

SERIOUSLY, GET THIS now to prevent your baby’s foot looking like this. You can spray it while you’re home inside and outside.

It stayed like this for 2 weeks, maybe longer. We questioned what it could be.  I thought it was a blister from putting her shoes on without socks.

Someone mentioned a spider bite.  I researched the hell out of spider bites. We finally decided to take her in because it looked infected.
Her doctor couldn’t believe I had waited over two weeks.  He said he had never seen a scab like that before and especially one that had lasted weeks.  He wasn’t sure If it was a brown recluse bite.  He prescribed her an antibiotic and said see you next week to monitor it.

I think this was also in the treatment plan:

  • Put an ointment and bandage it during the day
  • Leave it open to air out at night

(Not sure when this was taken but it was somewhere in between the first and third pic when I thought she was improving)

A week came and went with little improvement.  He told us he was still unsure what the cause was  but a scab that lasted over 3 weeks would probably need to be seen at the would clinic. He prescribed another antibiotic to cover all bases and set up another appointment for next week.

2 things I learned from this:

    • Always wear socks with shoes
    • Spray your house for spiders 

The scab did not improve and she spiked a fever while on the antibiotic.  Within a day it looked like this.  I panicked and took her straight to the ER.

This is not normal.  It is clearly infected and eating away at her flesh.  I was certain the Poisonous spider venom had gotten into her system and was slowly killing her.

The ER Doctor agreed it was not normal and was researching what it could be.  He said he had never seen anything like it and it was probably a spider bite.  He was going to admit her and put her on an IV of antibiotics because clearly what she was on wasn’t working.  He asked what my doctor thought.  I told him the doctor had a plan to send her to the would clinic on Friday.  ER doc said he wanted to stick to that plan because he was afraid to open the scab.  He prescribed her another antibiotic (which I didn’t give her) and sent us home.

The next day I gave her a bath and the scab started to fall off.  I pulled it off and to my (and everyone else’s) surprise,  it wasn’t gushing with puss and was not eating through her foot.  It was semi perfectly normal scar tissue.

We saw the doctor one more time and he was happy with how it looked.  It only took 2-3 months before the scab actually went away but ended up healing with minimal scarring.

 

No one ever officially said if it was a spider bite. What do you think?  Brown recluse or not?

Child Modeling, Mom Life

Casting and Audition Tips For Kids


My kids have been doing this modeling thing for 6 years. With all 4 girls (yes,I have 4 girls) now involved, it’s safe to say I have experience in taking kids to auditions and castings.

If you haven’t gotten started yet check out this post Getting Started in Childhood Modeling and then come back to these tips.

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Here’s a few tips I’ve learned  for taking kids to castings and auditions  :

Don’t take it too seriously.  Sure, it’s a job but more importantly- They are kids. If they don’t want to do it, don’t pressure them.  Kayla took a break at one point because she was sick of missing school on a Tuesday, which was art class. If art class is more important then so be it.   Another instance, the baby went to an audition for Gerber® , she cried, they kept waving toys in her face and trying to get her to smile. She was done and I told them sorry,  I’m not gonna force her to do this.  The baby tried on the sleepers below from gerber and Cierra did the Toddler Clothes.  I was surprised they actually go up to a size 5T.  Click  the image  below to see…

Keep going to them.  You will Go on more  castings/auditions then you will actual jobs.  It can be discouraging but eventually you’ll get something or maybe you’ll get lucky and get a direct booking (basically meaning you are booked based off of just your picture.)

Bring snacks.  Good for the car ride. Good for the waiting.  Sometimes you are in and out, sometimes it’s a huge unorganized Cattle call and you will wait.  Unfortunately, children like mine get HANGRY.  Always bring  snacks.
just in case.  As a parent you should really always have snacks on you at all times because kids don’t stop eating ever.

  • This little container is so cool. Great for multiple snacks and even for holding formula if you have to bring a baby along.

Don’t eat red/blue or anything that colors your mouth and tongue.  We made a mistake of getting slurpees on the way to an audition.  Bad choice.  We needed to stop at Walgreens to get toothbrushes and toothpaste and brush in the bathroom sink.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to there.  There will be traffic no matter when and where you go.   Better off early.   Stop at Walgreens (my favorite place), get food, waste time but don’t be late.

Dress cute for castings but not too cute.  They are looking at personality more than outfits.  I find that basics are the best, unless the casting calls for specific looks.  You can check out a few good options here.

  • (Sorry I have no idea why all these shirts are showing up multiple times)

    I used to stress out about what my kids would wear to auditions but now I realize, it doesn’t matter.  They are kids!

    • Don’t be pretentious.   They are kids!  It’s suppose to be fun.  No one likes a bragger.   I really do care about how your kid is in 50 million lessons.