Currently | May 2017

What a busy week this one has been! It seems like the lead-up to a long weekend is always hectic, and this has been no exception. Plus it’s just that time of year. School is ending, the sun is out, and a ton of programs are on their final weeks before summer break! Am I the only one who feels like they’re celebrating (the end of) a bijillion things?!

It’s busy. But super fun.

Here’s a round-up of what I’ve been doing this month. (This was what I was doing last month, but then I corrected myself here.)

Currently | the May edition

Currently I’m…

// Working on: So many things!! I’m doing a lot of volunteering for our local MOPS chapter, we’re working with Isabelle on weaning/sleep training, we’re working on Clara with potty training (more on that topic later…), and I’m attempting to be a more consistent blogger so I have an outlet away from whining and tantrums and clingy babies… And just, you know, life stuff! I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, except the chicken that somehow just keeps going and going and going.

// Eating: At this very second I’m eating greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, granola, and blueberries. Have you ever tried yogurt + peanut butter? It’s delicious, plus it’s higher in protein and lower in sugar than ‘regular’ flavored yogurt.

// Drinking: Lattes and LaCroix. But not mixed together. I’m not that nuts or sleep deprived – yet.

// Reading: I’m reading this one (The Shoemaker’s Wife) and I’m only on the first 100 pages, but I think it’s going to be good!

// Wanting: I just bought myself this (a Gathre picnic mat!)  as a belated Mother’s Day present, so I don’t have a wishlist item right now! Actually, I bought two – one midi size and one large size.

// Listening to: Lots of podcasts! I’m keeping current on Up and Vanished and am loving getting caught up on Dear Sugar and Modern Love.

// Planning: Our summer to-do list! But I’m also trying to stay relatively unplanned / unstructured this summer so we can say ‘yes’ to more playdates.

// Loving: I said the same thing last month, but the sunshine we’ve had in Seattle lately is a total game changer. I even let both girls skip naps the other day so we could go to two playdates, one of which was to the zoo! I had the best day with so many mom friends and the girls had a lot of fun. When the sun’s out for the first time in forever we need to (literally) soak it in!

// Feeling: Energized and a little bit overwhelmed! My to-do list still seems pretty long, but I’m trying this new thing (half-joking) that involves checking things off of it quickly. I tend to put off unpleasant tasks and keep writing the same things on my list day after day, which is mentally exhausting. Now I’m trying to really do the quick (sometimes mundane) tasks right as I think of them, instead of putting them on a list that I have to keep thinking about.

// Watching: The Bachelorette! Which you know if you read the last post. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the guys this season, though. And I picked Michael to win it all and he’s already gone soooo yeah, I have no clue what’s going to happen! I agree with Rachel’s first impression rose, though!

// Looking forward to: So many things. Honestly, I can’t wait for summer and to be at the playground and eating outside and just spending time with the girls in different settings. It’s so great to be able to get together with friends and have the kids play in yards and at water tables and on trampolines… my mama heart is so happy. More of this, please! Last summer was really hard because I had a newborn and she was so.freakin.fussy (especially in the heat) so I’m optimistic that this summer will be better. Now Isabelle just needs to learn to walk to give her knees a break!

Wow, I wrote this entire post during naptime, after I had already cleaned the kitchen, did some volunteer work, and made myself a snack. I am feeling great about this day! (Which is an improvement because this morning was NUTS and I put the girls down for naps two hours early! Yes, it was that bad.)

Shoot, just as I typed that sentence, Isabelle started yelling. I totally jinxed myself!

Do you have any plans for this long weekend?! How has your week been?

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First Impressions of The Bachelorette Contestants

I’m sure you already know this, but the new season of the Bachelorette starts tonight! I know I can’t be the only one who still watches this show, right?! Tell me some of you are going to be watching it, too. And if you don’t watch it, just skim right over this post – I’ll be talking about parenting/mom related things again soon. But right now, this is where my mind is.

I just spent today’s entire naptime going through all of the Bachelorette contestant bios to select my final four men, who I shall cheer on throughout the season. And then I realized that the fantasy league I’m in might let me change my guesses all the way into the finals so maybe this ‘research’ was a bit premature and unnecessary. OH WELL. I’m still considering this to be time well spent.

My initial thoughts on the contestants for Rachel's season of The Bachelorette

(Original photo from ABC)

In case you’re wondering my thoughts on these men based solely on their internet bios…

Here’s the rundown of my initial thoughts for The Bachelorette contestants

Adam – A threesome was his most romantic gift? SAY WHAT? No sir.

Alex – One of his worst attributes is ‘unapologetic’, which I don’t think is going to go over well. Oh wait, he once ate a live salamendar?! NO. Next.

Anthony – Education software manager from Chicago? So far I like where this is going! OK nevermind, he chose his mom as someone he would like to be for a day. I’ll put him as a ‘maybe’.

Blake E. – An aspiring drummer from Southern California? Next. (Also, engaged to a ‘crazy girl’ for 48 hours?! What the heck?)

Blake K. – This is the second contestant who has mentioned ‘The Rock’ in his bio, and I’m only to the letter B… strange. And another nod to a mom. I mean, I like moms and all, but in a Bachelorette bio? It’s a non-starter for me. Moving on. (Sidenote: When he says his ideal mate is “Great smile long and fit” what does that even mean?!)

Brady – Male model. NOPE.

Bryan – He’s a bit older and he’s a chiropractor and his answers contain actual words and sentences and make sense… maybe.

Bryce – He caught a girl’s hair on fire when he was having sex. And he’s a firefighter… so that’s extra questionable. He can’t form a coherent sentence so I’m not even reading this entire bio.

Dean – Well I guess he’s allowed to mention his mom since she passed away. But… this guy is boring so he won’t be making my team.

DeMario – This guy clearly has a lot of personality and LOVES pop culture, as there are like 15 celebrities mentioned in his bio. I’ll put him as a ‘maybe’ because he’ll probably be fun, and to be honest, I’m beginning to think I’ll never get 5 good guys out of this cast!

Eric – He’s a personal trainer which means he must have great abs. I already like his chances. He wants to go to New Orleans during Mardi Gras which I think was where Rachel and Nick went for one of their dates… right? Maybe this is a sign of good things to come. Or a disaster. He’s a strong maybe.

Fred – Well, he really had me interested until I saw that his biggest date fear is having his card declined and he also loves it when his date pays for herself. Nope, nope.

Grant – He seems full of himself, but maybe that’s a good thing on this show, at least to get through the first few rounds. He’s a maybe.

Iggy – Consulting firm CEO? Is it a successful firm?! His answers aren’t TOO strange and I actually think he’s probably pretty smart. Plus, his question/answer to: If you were stranded on a dessert island, what would it be made of? Banana float… get it?? made me smile. I shall think about keeping him.

Jack Stone – An attorney! I feel like this has to be a plus. OK, I like all of his answers because I’m also a John Grisham book fan and he isn’t going to share the wildest thing he’s done in the bedroom BECAUSE WHO WOULD SHARE THAT?! (Some of these men, apparently.) I’ll keep this one on my list o’ favorites, too.

Jamey – Well he doesn’t have female friends and his ideal mate looks like a model. Nope.
Jedidiah – He has a Bible verse as a tattoo and we know Rachel is a Christian so maybe this is a good sign… Wait, he built his parents a 5000 sq foot log home?! WHAT?! I want to see this on the hometown date! Gosh this guy seems interesting. Is he going to be too weird or outdoorsy or boring, though? Time will tell…

Jonathan – He’s a tickle monster as an OCCUPATION?! No.

Josiah – An attorney? Tell me more… Oh AND a Bible tattoo. I like where this is going. He seems to have good values, so strong yes on this one.

Diggy – It seems like so many of these contestants are from Chicago! I love it! But… he seems a little too party-ish and pretty immature so I don’t think he’ll get too far.

Kenny – Professional wrestler? Another mention of ‘The Rock’! What the heck, guys?

Kyle – “Gluten? Not really sure what it is or what food it lives in” Is this actually a question? How is the word “Gluten” a question?!

Lee – Meh, boring answers. I feel like there’s always a wannabe-musician from Nashville as a contestant.

Lucas – Occupation is ‘whaboom’? What? I don’t think I want to know.

Matt – I like him! He volunteers, he likes Wedding Crashers, and he admires his parents’ marriage. He’s officially drafted to my team.

Michael – Another scripture tattoo and a (former) professional athlete! Wooohooo! Also, Denzel Washington is another fan favorite of these guys. This guy seems confident but not arrogant so I’m picking him for sure.

Milton – “What do you hope to get out of participating in this television show? Real answer? Discovered.” At least he’s honest! Moving on…

Mohit – Tabasco is his answer for wildest thing done in the bedroom? That sounds painful.

Peter – Another business owner, which I like. Plus, we have the same favorite TV show (Modern Family) and he’s competed in some Ironmans… OK, he’s drafted.

Rob – A law student, hmmmm. I’m not sure I love the ‘student’ part of this. Gosh I actually like his answers except that he wants the woman to pursue him which is kind of not going to happen on this show. I’m not sure if I’ll draft him.

Will – He won’t be someone’s second choice for love, which isn’t good because on this show he could pretty much be someone’s 30th choice..

Overall impressions

Are these guys all from Southern California or Chicago?! It seems like it! There are a lot of guys who just want to be famous in here, which is what I think of everyone from SoCal or Nashville. I  just can’t believe this is the best they could come up with for Rachel. PUH-LEAZE. They all love Denzel Washington and The Rock and most of them can’t even write in full sentences. I don’t understand why they don’t have better bios! They know this stuff is going to be online, right?! All things considered, I had a hard time narrowing it down but…

For my top 4 contenders I’m going to pick:

  • Josiah
  • Matt
  • Michael
  • Peter

If I could pick a bigger team it would include Iggy and Jedidiah and Jack Stone, for the record.

Do you have any favorites?! The first episode airs soon so I’ll have to update you with my thoughts after the introductions!

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It’s Friday! Let’s chat.

It’s FRIDAY! And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been asking ‘when is this week going to be over?’ since Monday. It’s just been one of those weeks. Bring on the weekend, I say! But before that, let’s chat about some things.

Sweet moments with Squeaky Pops

Let’s talk about…

Weaning.

It’s happening! Finally. I’m really not very scheduled about this sort of thing, but basically I’m not breastfeeding Isabelle during the day anymore.  Well, unless I decide to out of a moment of desperation/frustration. But generally, we’re weaning off the boob and I am so ready to be done. I’ll probably continue to nurse her for a while in the morning, but we’ll see how long that lasts.

Those looooong mom days.

One day this week Tim left for work at 6am, so of course both girls were up at that time, too. He got back home at 6pm and I was so ready to be done momming for a while. Clara and Isabelle hadn’t napped at the same time at all and everyone was cranky and I was also exhausted but I had to rally to attend a meeting. And then of course the next day he had to be at work early, and then again the day after that… Basically, I’ve put in a lot of SAHM hours this week and have also been drinking more wine (post girls’ bedtime) than usual.

A toddler sized table.

We’ve had a toddler table hanging out in our basement for quite a while, and we finally moved it upstairs for Isabelle’s birthday party the other weekend. Well, we’ve kept it upstairs and I absolutely love it as a table for the kids to eat at. Even Isabelle sits on her own little chair or stands at the table. I love it because it keeps the mess (and oh what a mess it is) away from the ‘big’ table and is much easier to clean. Plus, I can bring it outdoors or on our porch… It’s my new favorite thing and I can’t believe we haven’t been using it all of this time.

Sweet sister moments.

Even though this week has been pretty extremely challenging for me, it’s also been full of sweet moments. I took the girls to a coffee shop for some bonding time. We ate popsicles in the yard to celebrate some warmer temperatures, Clara has taken on the responsibility of ensuring Isabelle’s hair is brushed and ready to go in the morning… sometimes these moments can get lost in the blur of attempting to survive, but they are good, good moments.

Toddler summer shoes.

Confession: I don’t love baby clothes for little girls. There, I said it. BUT, I do love toddler clothes! Now that I almost have two toddler girls, I’m in clothes buying heaven. I’m trying to keep it under control, though. I usually buy things secondhand, but shoes are difficult to find at this age because toddlers are so rough on them that they often don’t get passed down to secondhand stores. So, I splurged and bought these brand-new shoes for Clara because I was told they’re a toddler staple for summer. (I hadn’t even heard of them before, this is how out-of-the-loop I am!)

How was your week!?

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Why It’s Important to Celebrate Moms

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day this past weekend! Whether you’re a mom or you have a mom or you have a lot of mom friends, I hope you found meaning in the day and were able to celebrate moms in your life, in some way.

Mother’s Day has a special significance to me now that I am a mom, and a stay-at-home mom at that. I won’t say my kids are my whole world, because that sounds cliche, but I will say that I am with them A LOT, and my motherhood role feels all-consuming most days. With a one and two year old at home with me, I am truly in the thick of this mom thing.

Why It's Important to Celebrate Moms

And that’s why it’s so important to have a day to celebrate moms, because many of us do feel like we’re in the thick of it. I have learned that being a mom is exhausting and joyful and overwhelming in all of the ways. I’ve also learned that motherhood can feel lonely and isolating.

Even with a great mom community around me, some days it still feel like I’m struggling, or even achieving, and no one notices (or cares). Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love social media and this blog, because I can see other moms doing mom-things and I have an outlet to share some of my own experiences.

Mother’s Day (in my opinion) is about making moms feel seen. It’s about saying “I notice you. You’re doing good and important work, and I know you’re doing the best you can day after day.”

There isn’t a lot of positive acknowledgement in motherhood. Unlike in the corporate world, I don’t receive emails praising my performance of a certain task, I don’t receive bonuses, and I’ll never get promoted. Plus, this project doesn’t have a deadline!

But I still try my hardest. Even if all heck breaks loose one morning, I still try to make it to an appointment or play date on time. I change diapers, make breakfasts and lunches and snacks, clean up constantly (only to have a huge mess to clean up again 5 minutes later), calm crying babies, bounce and bounce and bounce some more, take walks, make plans, research preschools/activities/developmental milestones/recipes/ALL OF THE THINGS, keep a family calendar, kiss ‘owies’ comfort and encourage and play… did I mention I clean up messes? There are so many messes.

And that’s just a small portion of the mom stuff, not to mention that I also try to be a wife and friend and an independent being with my own interests. It is a lot of effort with minimal rewards (other than the joy that motherhood innately brings, which I don’t mean to dismiss).

So we get a day in which society says “YAY MOMS! Thanks for all you do!” (Don’t get me started about how society in general is the problem and how it’s ridiculous that we don’t get ANY mandated paid maternity leave and how childcare is the sole responsibility of families, making whether to work or not a non-choice for many moms… I digress.)

I hope you were able to find a way to celebrate the moms in your life over the weekend. I hope you were able to convey the message that you see them and the work they’re doing to raise decent kids, or to just get through the day. Let’s not stop there, though, let’s try to always build one another up and help moms to feel seen right where they are.

Let’s continue to celebrate and empower moms to keep doing this hard, exhausting, necessary work, because the spirit of Mothers’s Day shouldn’t be confined to one day. Moms are so, so important, so let’s keep remembering that for the other 364 days of the year.

Some suggestions to celebrate a mom:

  • Make a quick phone call or text to see how she’s doing.
  • Drop off a meal if you know she’s having a rough week.
  • Inquire about her kids and herself.
  • Offer to watch her kids while she runs errands.
  • Invite her out for coffee or happy hour.
  • Send some small, meaningful gifts or a card.
  • Pray for her.

(Sidenote: Let’s remember moms outside of our community, too! ThirdLove will be donating 10% all Mother’s Day Gift Box sales to Every Mother Counts throughout the month of May, so if you’ve thought about purchasing something from them, now would be a great time!)

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and if you are a mom, I hope you feel celebrated and appreciated every single day of the year!

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A thank you to the moms in my life

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there! (And to all of those women who are having a particularly hard time on this day, for whatever reason, my thoughts are with you.)

If you are a mom and celebrate this holiday (and you should! It’s all about you!) I hope that you’re being spoiled rotten. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the girls have planned for me today. I hope it involves some solid naps (for them). I know that I’m getting a card at some point because this is the conversation we had over ice cream yesterday:

Clara: Do you like your card?

Me: What card? (trying to hide a smile while shooting a knowing glance to Tim)

Clara: The surprise card.

Tim: Clara, she hasn’t gotten the card yet, remember?

Clara: Oh, okay.

… and then she went back to eating her ice cream.

Today is filled with a lot of emotions for me (it’s my third Mother’s Day as a mom and time goes by too fast!), but I especially want to focus on how thankful I am for the moms in my life.

Thank you to the moms in my life

Thank you to the moms…

— Who were in my first moms group right after Clara was born. It was so nice to navigate new motherhood with such a wonderful group of ladies who could chat about a wide variety of life topics, but also sleep training, breastfeeding, and still all things motherhood.

— Who made my family meals after both of my babies were born.

— Who have offered me so, so much advice over the years.

— Who were among the first people I met in Seattle at MOPS, and who made this new area of the country immediately feel like home.

— Who babysit my kids.

— Who host playdates and offered me coffee and a listening ear and have even fed my kids when we found ourselves still chatting at lunchtime.

— Who love my kids and make sure that they know it.

– Who take time out of their busy schedules to show up at events and parties with their little ones, even though just showing up is not an easy feat!

— Who have swapped sleep horror stories and have empathized with my situation, whatever it may have been at the time.

— Who hold my babies when they’re cute, but more importantly when they’re fussy.

— Who love their own kids and raise them intentionally so that they can be awesome friends and citizens and human beings.

— Who text me at all hours of the day and night complaining, sympathizing, and sharing stories from their own recent experiences with newborns/babies/toddlers. Technology makes motherhood feel much less isolating!

— Who encourage me, comfort me, and lift me up.

— Who laugh with me.

— Who help my kids put their shoes and jackets on when I’m overwhelmed with both of them, and maybe even help me get to the car when my arms are full.

— Who give me understanding looks when my toddler has a public meltdown.

— Who write vulnerable blogs and articles that I can oh-so-deeply relate to.

— Who show up.

— Who give their time, passion, and talents to run programs and events and organizations that benefit many children in the community.

— Who are my role models and mentors, as well as my friends.

Thank you. A million times over, thank you. 

** If you want to spread some joy among the moms in your life, I love this free printable from Coffee & Crumbs!

I hope you each have a most wonderful day!

Posted in holidays, motherhood | Tagged | 5 Comments