A Throwing Up Thanksgiving

A Throwing Up Thanksgiving

Does it sound disgusting? Good. Because it was.

This Thanksgiving I was thankful for pink, plastic trashcans, any sleep available and that whatever monstrous flu bug hit our family only lasted a few hours … each.

Starting the week of Thanksgiving, during my daughter’s birthday brunch, my one-year-old got sick. No big deal–he’s a baby and babies throw up all the time. It was probably that cupcake he ate earlier.

Later that night, we headed to my husband’s parents’ house, who happen to have two of their daughters with their husbands and between each other eight children staying with them.

The one-year-old gets sick again. All over grandpa.

We go home. Think next to nothing of it, because the baby’s acting find aside from his two episodes. The next night we take the kids over to grandpa and grandma’s again to hang out with family after a problem-free and happy day.

This time, our three-year-old throws up, all over grandpa, during Looney Tunes. Twice.

She comes home and spends the night next to our bed, throwing up into a pink, plastic trashcan.

Of course, the next morning, I’m sick and have to call into work. The pink, plastic trashcan is now my best friend, too.

The next victim is my husband, on the day before Thanksgiving, which is the day of a surprise date night that’s been planned for over a month. He sleeps all day and feels well enough to go out. Just barely.

On Thanksgiving, my husband’s HUGE family gathers. We here rumblings of others who may feel sick, and from Thanksgiving day to Saturday afternoon 3/4s of the entire family has thrown up.

You may not think this is a big deal, but take into consideration, there were around 50 people at the Thanksgiving gathering. That’s a lot of pink, plastic trashcans filled with puke.

So, in the spirit of giving, thank you, family, for sharing in this year’s Throw Up Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping that next year we have a different theme.

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Wading Through Motherhood

Just BreatheMelissa Matters - Wading Through Motherhood

There are so many words bouncing around in my head that it’s difficult to begin. But I vow to always begin and strive to finish strong, because if there’s anything the past couple weeks have taught me, it’s that sometimes the very best of us are gone, suddenly, leaving behind our most beautiful families and friends, completely shattered. And because that’s so, living life to its absolute fullest should never fall by the wayside.

So, I’ll put my thoughts down for you to devour and understand, in a way that I hope makes you live life a little fuller.

Whoever says you can’t develop friendships via social media isn’t doing it right.

Those were some very true words (maybe not verbatim) spoken by a wonderful blogger I originally “met” on Periscope.

I’m generally not the type of person who immediately enjoys something the first time I stumble upon it–it took me three-fourths of my college career to like my now husband, most of my adult life to acquire a taste for red wine and generally several plays of a new song on the radio to really appreciate it–but Sarah from Ruffles and Rain Boots is just one those people that I really enjoyed and related to from the first time I listened to her on Periscope.

One of the most powerful topics she brought up, shortly after Melissa Matter’s from Wading Through Motherhood passed, was that of developing relationships on social media.

Although I never had a chance to meet Melissa in person and although my interactions with her were strictly online, it was still such a shock and sadness that came over the community of bloggers and mothers I’m a part of as we found out the news.

That feeling is real. There is no question. And because I had the opportunity to connect with Melissa through her blog and through her platforms, I am so, endlessly, thankful.

She was a beautiful, kind, intelligent and caring person. And her blog brought happiness, helpfulness and a much-needed, relatable and kind outlet to so many.

Live life to the absolute fullest.

Because you truly never know how much time you may have. Since Melissa’s passing, I’ve been kicking myself for all of the little things I complain about and take advantage of. It’s selfish of me to waste the life I have left when so many deserving, beautiful individuals, mothers and/or wives, like Melissa, no longer have that opportunity.

Although there’s no way to change what’s happened, I truly believe we should learn from Melissa’s words: wade out into life and take advantage of every single opportunity because today, we still have that ability. And I refuse to let that go to waste.

Wading Through Motherhood.

Melissa’s writing was so beautiful and relatable. I would highly suggest you take a minute to go read some of her posts. I’d just recently gotten to know her and began reading her blog over the past year, and when she passed, I went to her blog and read back through all the archives I hadn’t seen before. I’m so glad I did.

I want to leave you with one of my favorites. It was her first. It’s simple, it’s comforting and it’s just so encapsulating, appropriate and bittersweet:

When I was about 16, we took a family trip to Hawaii. In Waikiki, the water was warm and shallow; I felt as if I could wade for miles through the clear water. It was then that I cut my ankle on some coral reef. Now, in my mid-30s, I still have a few faint scars on my ankle. The scars are a reminder of the fun I had that day but also remind me that even wonderful things have their drawbacks.

Motherhood is often like wading through unknown waters. You don’t always know what lies beneath the surface, however you keep going. One day, the water may be clear and warm. Other days, it may be frigid and rough. And, sometimes, you may get hurt or even scarred from a bad parenting experience.

Living in Southern California, I’m often wading through the shallows at the beach. My daughter is getting older and venturing out further into the ocean. My toddler son, still timid,  likes to splash in the wet, muddy sand. I love experiencing all these firsts with them. As I “wade” through motherhood with my children by my side, I realize there will be highs with the lows, just like the rise and fall of the tides.

May Melissa continue to wade and watch over her children as they venture out further into the ocean of life.

For those looking to extend a helping hand, a GoFundMe page is available here.

To the family of Melissa Matters, I am so deeply sorry. She is a beautiful soul. Please, continue to wade. 

Broken Arms and Fire Alarms

Broken-Arms-and-Fire-Alarms

Yesterday was an interesting day for my family. And yes, it did include both a broken arm and several fire alarms.

It all started at work with a text from my husband.

Text

To which, of course, I immediately called him.

Our son’s been attempting to get out of his highchair for a while, and for the past week, my husband and I discussed finding the straps to his highchair … but never actually did it.

And it happened. Our almost 1.5-year-old got out of his highchair and tumbled onto the wood floor.

When I called my husband, I almost thought he was kidding. Like a sick, ‘oh, you should’ve gotten the highchair straps out sooner’ kind of a joke, but he wasn’t. O

Our son wasn’t crying much after the initial fall, so amazingly, neither myself nor my husband were panicked or overly worried. He was in and out of the doctor’s office in just a couple hours and came home with an adorable little cast on his arm.

You’d think that would be enough excitement for one 24-hour period, but you’d be wrong.

All was well in our house, both of the kids went to bed by 9pm and slept soundly. And even I, for the first time in three days, went to bed before 2am, and for the first time in weeks, fell asleep before 11pm.

I have an ongoing joke with myself and most moms–who often agree, except it’s not a joke. I’m being very literal when I say:

Every single time I go to bed early, it happens to be the one night an event occurs that keeps me up most of the night. Tweet: Every single time I go to bed early, it happens to be the one night an event occurs that keeps me up most of the night via @homemadeexp

So continues my unwavering roll of never sleeping more than 5 hours at a time.

Around midnight, our power went off. No big deal. That wasn’t going to stop me from sleeping. The event that was going to stop me from sleep occurred at 2am when the power came back on and all the interconnected fire alarms throughout the house went off, waking the ENTIRE family.

We got the fire alarm shut off, but not the children. Not until 4am at least.

So, as my husband and I finally settled back into bed, he said, “What a night” to which I replied, “Broken arms and fire alarms” and promptly laid awake another half an hour excited about what a perfect post title that will be…

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5 Things to Stop Saying About the Crying Baby

5-Things-to-Stop-Saying

We’ve all gone out to eat or gotten on an airplane to see an adorable smiling baby, and before kids, our thoughts are generally somewhere along the lines of wondering if or when the crying will set in.

And that’s fine. As parents who were once child-free, we get it, but children are a part of this thing we call life. You were once a baby for crying out loud–pun intended–and if you don’t have the ability to civilly endure a couple minutes of noise from a tiny human being, life may get rough.

So, in an effort to help us all deal with it better, here are 5 things to stop saying about the crying baby:

Someone’s not happy. No, really? I think we can tell–there’s no reason to be that person who awkwardly brings up obvious things for forced laughter from everyone in earshot.

Why won’t he just stop crying? Oh, I’m sorry. Are you having to do anything but sit there and endure a little bit of noise while someone else struggles to find the actual reason their baby won’t stop crying and fix it in a huge, embarrassed huff because of people who are judging them like you? No, so just sit tight and it’ll pass in probably two minutes or less.

I hate going ______ and hearing crying babies. Well, then, cut your ears off or stay home because over 50% of Americans have kids (including your parents) and chances are they’ll always be in existence, probably wherever you go. Unless it’s the library or a rager at 3am, stop complaining.

I can’t believe she’s just letting her baby cry. Yes, because there’s a way to stop her baby from crying but she decided to just let her baby do it anyway, constantly, in public, so everyone would stare and judge. No, actually, probably just specifically to ruin a couple minutes of your precious time.

I feel so bad for them. No, no, don’t feel bad! All any of us parents want is for everyone to pay zero attention–whether that be judgement or pity–and continue on with whatever they’re doing like nothing’s happening. Like being flustered and worried about who’s annoyed isn’t enough, we don’t need your ‘oh, poor you’ looks unless you want to come over and offer a helping hand or kind words.

We’re raising the next generation’s society, and we know they can be annoying. Trust me, WE KNOW. But the annoyance of cliché, overused comments from grown adults is preventable. Help us out. Come up with more creative ways to dis our crying babies. Or at least wait until you get home to complain!

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5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

The 1-year-old absolutely loving some all-natural Ruby Rocket’s, which I may add completely melted on my watch and I had to refreeze … so this pop looks NOTHING like the original shape! There is a glorious photo below, however, as well! 

With kids, I think it’s a given: there will be snacking. As much as I–as an adult–would love to be a breakfast, lunch and dinner type of gal, it’s just not really plausible when you’re on the go, working and/or constantly feeding little ones throughout the day.

The positive thing is that snacking is good fuel and it doesn’t have to mean eating unhealthy. Personally, when I think of snack, I think of the want to indulge in something like chips or sweets, but fortunately, there are ways to still feel like you’re indulging in a snack and be fueling your body in a healthy way at the same time.

Here are just a few “indulgent,” delicious and healthy snacks that I prefer for myself and little ones.

Terra Chips A much healthier version of chips made from slices of vegetables–sweet potato, parsnip, etc–and probably my favorite snack, even “chips,” hands down.

Ruby Rocket’s Veggie & Fruit Pops No added sugar is what, to me, makes this snack the absolute best. It’s all veggies and fruits. There are three kinds that I absolutely LOVE: Galaxy Green, Rock-it Red and Gravity Grape. A cool, refreshing treat on a hot day.

Ruby Rockets

Delicious and healthy Ruby Rocket’s pops. Photo Courtesy of Ruby Rocket’s!

Rice crackersOrganic Valley Raw Milk Cheese  Rice crackers and cheese are my favorite go-to for a bedtime snack if I just ate too early or stayed up too late and can’t shake the ‘need a snack’ thought as I’m tossing and turning. Protein is proven to be a helpful aid to sleep and raw milk cheese is that protein for me before bed if I need something to snack on.

Dark chocolate super bites These are just heavenly goodness. Anytime I’m craving sweets or chocolate in general, I feel more than comfortable whipping these up and enjoying. These super bites often double as dessert, as well. and are probably one of my kids’ absolute favorite.

dark-chocolate-detox-bites-8

Photo courtesy of The View from Great Island

Edit: I had to add a fifth favorite that had completely slipped my mind until so many commented and mentioned it!

Hummus or Guacamole Amazing and healthy. I try to do these dips with veggies like carrots, celery and cucumbers, primarily, but hummus is also SO good with naan and guacamole with homemade tortilla chips.

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Disclosure: I received one of the products mentioned above for free with the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and that I consistently use or believe in, personally.

5 Things That Are (Mommy Needs A) Break-ing Mommy

Breaking Habits

Throughout the week, I find the words “mommy needs a break” popping into my head–oh–about every hour. And I often turn to the same comforts, vices, what have you, when I do find the opportunity to take a break.

On one hand, I think what mommy really needs is a break from my breaks, because the things I’m turning to really aren’t that beneficial in the long run.

On the other hand, I know and often sometimes do many of the things I need to be ultimately, big-picture happier and healthier, but I also just want my breaks to be legitimate, mindless, indulgent breaks.

In the words of One Republic, “Every thing that kills me makes me feel alive.” And here are the 5 major things that are breaking mommy.

Staying up late. Lately, I’ve seen a quote circulating around Facebook that reads, “I’m so tired but I’ll probably be awake until 3 a.m. for no reason,” and I couldn’t relate more. Every morning I’d beat myself over the head for staying up so late if I wasn’t so exhausted, and every morning I swear tonight will be the night I go to bed early. Yet, every night 1 a.m. rolls around, and there I am, wide awake, doing absolutely nothing.

Drinking caffeine. Hello coffee, goodbye control. As much as I love my coffee, I must admit it’s become a vicious cycle that leaves me in dire need of more energy and leads me to adding another cup to my daily regimen. I feel like I can conquer the world … until I need another cup of coffee. I think I also just figured out why I stay up until 3 a.m. “for no reason.”

Drinking alcohol. And if I’m being honest with myself: yes, that still includes red wine. It shouldn’t because the doctor prescribes some people a glass of red wine before bed, but in reality, that was not a prescription I received, and even so, that glass shouldn’t equal half the wine bottle. It does counteract the caffeine though, so cheers!

Being a foodie. That’s actually FOODie, with a capital F-O-O-D. I love eating, making and trying all kinds of food. It’s what I do when I’m bored. It’s what I do when I’m celebrating. It’s what I do when I’m with family. It’s what I do when I’m PMSing. And least importantly, it’s what I do when I’m hungry. I swear, I’m going to eat healthy starting tomorrow…

Keeping up with the Kardashians. No, I don’t actually keep up with the Kardashians [insert overrated, cliché, judgmental, disgusted noise here]. I do, however, love keeping up with the latest gossip, news(feeds) and of course, all of my favorite t.v. shows. Does all of it really matter? No. Does it take precious time away from all the other things I could be doing i.e. productiveness and ability to change the world and better myself as a human being? Yes. But the next episode starts in 15 seconds and the remote is just so far away. I’ll stop tomorrow.

 

 

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15 Completely Illogical Reasons Mom Wants Another Baby

 

15 Illogical Reasons Mom Wants Another Baby

Photo courtesy of Tabitha Odle, Alathea Photography

There’s no denying that there’s a longing–no matter how illogical or fleeting–each time a chapter in life comes to an end. Especially when it’s time to decide whether you want to continue having kids or be done.

It’s during that decision making process, or even after you think you’ve made the decision, that you begin to notice the little, ridiculous things that make pregnancy and having a new baby seem suddenly and unrealistically awesome again.

Here are 15 reasons that make mom-ing seem wonderful all over again.

1. There are so many toys and an entire playroom that need a few more years of use–otherwise, your either hoarding kids’ toys or giving them away, and that seems like a waste of an entire room full of toys.

2. That one time one of them actually did something sweet that brought tears to your eyes.

3. There’s an outfit at Target you want your kids to wear, but they’re all too big now.

4. You’ll do everything perfectly this pregnancy–yoga, classical music, clean eating, the works.

5. You secretly look forward to the hospital stay after giving birth.

6. All of your babies have hit the stage where they’ll no longer cuddle.

7. Because you want at least one pregnancy where the gender remains a surprise.

8. For 9 more months, the eternal baby bump you have will actually be because there’s a baby in there.

9. There are endless amounts of awesome announcement and reveal video/photo/post ideas bouncing around in your head.

10. Being required to meet with an OBGYN 20+ times throughout your pregnancy will also double as a checkup anytime your hypochondria kicks in.

11. There are so many names you still want to use.

12. The firsts never get old, and there’s only one way to get more.

13. There’s a higher chance at least one of them will take care of you when you’re old.

14. There are plenty of nursery themes you have yet to execute.

15. So you can take advantage of all the new developments and items you wished you’d had when your other children were babies.