Holiday To Do list … with a twist

I’m not sure where this originated, otherwise I’d give credit where it’s due, but it’s been floating around Facebook for the past week or so and it makes me smile so I thought it was worth sharing here. It’s pretty self explanatory… enjoy. 

Until next time…

My Mush: 7 months

I’m a few days late posting Mush’s 7 month update seeing as how was a sad, sick, little lump over the weekend and our photo session was delayed. He caught a yucky cold/cough and we’ve been dealing with some fussy, snotty days. Outside of his recent under-the-weather status, it’s been QUITE an eventful month full of firsts!

  • Cut tooth #4 – ain’t nobody speeding through teething like this boy
  • Stood (balanced) on his own for about 15 seconds. Literally just let go like it was no big deal.
  • Became a crawling machine. There’s nothing he can’t get to!
  • Learned to pull up to his knees about 2 days after learning to crawl.
  • Learned to pull up to his feet the next morning. Pulls up on ALL THE THINGS!
  • Pulled K’s art easel over on himself (terrifying for mom) and hardly shed a tear.
  • Loves to beat on things. He loves hitting the table with his hands or beating his toys senseless against the floor.
  • Gets mad when we take something away from him or keep him from getting to something. Pitches a 6 second temper tantrum before seeing something else he wants.
  • First time sitting shotgun in a shopping cart. We were at Costco so he shared the ride with his sister. Had a blast and K kept telling everyone we passed, “This is my brovah up here sittin wif me”
  • Attended his first craft show with mommy as a vendor. It was a dismal failure but everyone thought he was cute! I may use him to attract buyers again!
  • More solids: carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, banana, avocado
  • First Thanksgiving!
  • Caught his first cold. :(

Hoping you are all getting into the Christmas spirit! We sure are!

Until next time…

Guest Post: Mel with Jamberry

Hello & Happy Holidays!

My name is Mel and I recently became a consultant for Jamberry Nail Wraps. I gave Jamberry a shot myself and loved them so much after I tried them that I felt obligated to share it with my family & friends! I also saw this as a fun opportunity to make some extra money (2 kiddies are crazy expensive haha) and join a company while it is rapidly expanding!

I love keeping my nails looking sharp & maintained (it makes me feel so ‘put together’!), but I hate the cost of salon manicures, how easily they chip, the smell, and that you have to wait for them to dry.
Enter: JAMBERRY!
They are super easy to apply, long-lasting (up to 2 weeks on hands & up to 6 weeks on feet), non-toxic (great for adults & kids!), won’t damage your nails, are MADE IN THE USA and come in a ton of designs & styles from solids to French tips to patterns to holiday designs, etc.

Jamberry is also extremely affordable. No product is over $20… you can’t say that about a mani-pedi in a salon… and they are buy 3 get 1 free so you can either stock up for months of gorgeous tips or share the wealth with your gal pals!

Jamberry also offers a product line of nail lacquer, so you can use lacquer with nail wraps as accent nails!

In addition to spoiling yourself, these make amazing gifts and stocking stuffers for the ladies and girls in your lives! As a special holiday gift set, get the 3 exclusive holiday wraps and the December Sister Style exclusive wrap (pictured below) all for $45!

The order deadline to ensure Christmas delivery is this Wednesday, December 10th!
Hurry up and get your amazing Jamberry orders in before it’s too late!

If you’re interested in giving Jamberry a try for the first time or have already had a taste and can’t wait to jazz up your nails again, I invite you to visit my link!

Lots of love!
Mel
Jamberry Nail Consultant

Keelinisms aka Stuff My Kid Says

Because I don’t talk about her enough and toddlers are hysterical, I give you a collection of Keelinisms: part one of many.

  • While looking at a piece of cinnamon toast: “Is it durty on there?” (we are now affectionately calling cinnamon toast dirty toast)
  • When nap or bed time approaches: “Just five more minutes. Seven more minutes”

  • “Holy moly cow”
  • When we call her a silly goose: “No I’m not a silly goose I’m Kee-yin”

  • After I called her a demon child for making “REDRUM” noises: “I’m NOT a demon child, I’m a wittle gurl”
  • “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt me.”

  • After putting Graydon’s drool bib on: “Gotta go show mommy and daddy how cute me are.”
  • While putting my bra in the washing machine: “That’s mommy’s boobs”

  • “Ok. Yeah, showuh!” (sure)
  • “Mama, I pinched my arm. I go show Gammie what it hurts like.”

  • Singing: “Let it go. Let it go. My fairy wings and Elsa and Anna. Let it go. My wings. Amen”
  • Handing me a strawberry and pointing to the stem: “Mommy, you cut the grass off please?”

  • Watching me wash my breast pump cones and bottles: “Is that your boob cup?”
  • Every time anyone leaves a room: “Where are you going? What you gonna do there?”

I love my sweet, silly, smart, sassy little bean.

Until next time…

SmartMom Book Review

Happy Monday!

Some of you may recall reading a guest post from the SmartMom blog a few weeks back. It was a great post about must-have products for new moms. Be sure you click the link if you missed it.

I mentioned at the start of that post that I had joined the SmartMom team by being active on their mobile app (a great resource for moms!) and by contributing to their blog. I even added their logo to my sidebar… gold star for anyone who noticed.

I was happy to share some of my personal tips on potty training a few months ago and dished on one of my go-to resources during baby’s first year with a book review of Baby 411. 

Hop on over and take a look-see! 

Until next time…

My Mush: 6 Months

I know I say it every time, but I’m completely baffled that HG is another month older. When I was jotting down his stats for the month I felt myself stop in shock realizing it’s been SIX months since I first held my baby boy. He is half way to a year and it’s crazy to think about the next six months passing as quickly as the last six months did.

If you recall from last month’s post I announced that I was conducting an experiment with the mush man. For the last few months, on his ‘monthiversary’, he has woken up at 3:40 am… the time he was born. It’s like some magical, mystical inner clock that has been reminding him of that exact time back in May when we opened his eyes to the world for the first time. Well, he did it again this morning. 3:40 am, he was up, and so was I. I’m not ruling this an official pattern quite yet since, as you’ll read in this month’s stats, HG has been completely off his schedule and up all hours of the night. BUT I think it’s obvious that I’ll be still be on alert at 3:40 am next month. Do you think the pattern will continue?

Alright, on to the stats…

  • Cut tooth #2 and #3. Two in one month! He’s not wasting any time.
  • Turns in circles on his belly
  • Pulls up onto his knees and stretches back out. Basically crawling backwards. I foresee an early crawler.
  • Loves jumping in his stationary jumper and figuring out the door frame jumper.
  • Expert conversationalist.
  • First foods – Oatmeal, peas, apple!
  • Loves laying under the hair dryer. He will stretch his legs out and flex his feet whenever we turn it on to warm him up after a bath or during a diaper change.
  • Makes some pretty adorable, and equally hysterical, poop faces. If you didn’t already hear the rumbling you can expect it’s not far behind.
  • Loves baths and splashing in the water.
  • Sits up unassisted like a champ. We still keep within arms reach for the times he swings his head around trying to catch a glimpse of something and topples over.
  • Apparently Mr. Mush has forgotten to sleep through the night. He randomly started waking up 1-4 times in the night. I’m one exhausted mama and praying things get back to normal soon.
  • First time going to the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating (in mommy’s arms while sister did all the work)
  • Grabbing at everything and transferring toys from one hand to another. If he sees something he want’s he’ll shift, wiggle, and reach his way to it.
  • Loves ‘tiger chuff’ noises.
  • Reaches for us when we come close as if he’s asking for a hug or trying to pull up on us.
  • Discovered his new teeth and has started chomping and grinding them together. Join me in cringing.

Until next time…

Don’t %*#$ with our children

If you’ve been exposed to any manner of media in the last week you can probably guess what this blog is going to be about based solely on the title. Let me start off by saying I usually have to restrain myself from discussing hot topics on this blog or any form of social media because, well, they are hot topics. Everyone is talking, tweeting, texting, blogging, snapchatting about them. My passionate opinion on any given topic is probably similar to someone out there who has already ranted atop a social media soap box so I usually feel discussing it is redundant. Plus, it’s unlikely that sharing my opinion will change the opinions of others, which tends to be the point of many online rants. Instead it will probably only fuel the fire of those who stand in opposition. But this is one hot topic that has set my blood boiling more than most so I’m unleashing the Kraken the best way I know how… via blog.

For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, I’m here to talk rant about the FCKH8 video featuring children (not just little girls) swearing like Jesse Pinkman about things like unequal pay in the workforce and sexual assault. I’m not going to link to the video, you can find it yourself if you really want to see it. To be honest I turned it off within the first 10 seconds the first time I saw it because I was so appalled. I did go back and watch it from start to finish so I could write this with full knowledge of the video.
There are a handful of important points I could discuss but I’m only going to focus on one.

I’m not going to focus on the fact that FCKH8, the company that produced this viral video, is a “for profit t-shirt company with an activist heart”. Yeah. These folks are using issues like rape to sell t-shirts. Brew on that.

I’m not going to focus on inequality in the workforce. It’s not just women who are subjected to inequality and I’ve thankfully not been personally affected by it so I can’t comment.

I’m not going to focus on sexual assault of women OR men (yes, males are sexually assaulted too, did you forget?). Especially when bodies of college students are being discovered left and right and people are being charged with things like abduction with intent to defile. I just can’t.

I am going to focus on the fact that this company debased children… CHILDREN… to get a point across. Don’t get me wrong, (this is something I really want to stress…) the problems they highlight are relevant, horrible, and worthy of addressing until they are no longer problems. I’ll be the first to admit that and I pray that one day we no longer face these issues. But as a mother of two, a boy and a girl, I am outraged that FCKH8 exploited children by having them use such profane language and smack talk. Yes, this click bait will get millions of views on YouTube, but at the end of the day do they really think that something this in-your-face will make society change it’s ways? How long have people been talking about these issues?

FOREVER.

How many organizations have been fighting against them for years and years?

SO MANY.

How many women and men have been raising their voices in protest of inequality and abuse?

MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY COUNT.

What about using something this inappropriate, degrading, and disrespectful will help any of these issues get solved? In my mind it’s just creating another problem. Will our children see ads like this and feel it’s okay to be so nasty and rude when they speak up- as long as they’re talking about something they are passionate about? What part of a little girl in a princess dress dropping the F-bomb sixteen times is okay? What part of a little girl yelling, “I shouldn’t need a penis to get paid!” with oh, no she didn’t hand gestures is acceptable? What part of having young girls talk this way is doing anything to help women get paid more and feel safe from sexual assault?

I don’t see how an ad like this is teaching kids, or adults for that matter, to respect themselves or others. Shouldn’t that be at the heart of the issue anyway? They ask us to “stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to f****** rape”. Yes, teach boys to respect girls at a young age. Teach girls to respect boys as well. Yes, stop making girls feel like they have to show off all their goodies in order to get anywhere in life. Yes, yes, yes. But NO to using this tactic to make it happen.

All I kept thinking while watching the video in full is, “Those poor babies”. Actually, I was also wondering what was going through their parents’ minds when they looked at the script for this commercial. Do you think they saw all the vulgar things their daughters would have to say, and with the nasty attitudes they used, and thought, “Yeah I’m totally okay with my children saying (learning) these things. I think it’s the perfect, respectful way to make society change.” If you wouldn’t let your children say these things to you, in your home, amidst normal conversation, then why are you justifying it for a viral video? I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Toward the end of the video two adult women appear and one says, “UMMM, instead of cleaning these girls’ mouths out with soap, GASP, maybe society should clean up it’s act. This is what a feminist looks like.” I’m sorry, WHAT? This should not be what a feminist looks like. This is, in no way, empowering to young girls. That was your point right? To empower… Try again. I’m all for equal rights for women, of course I am, but I’d never expose my children to this filth, let alone have a leading role in creating it. I’d much rather see these little girls tear off their crowns and gowns to reveal a police uniform, chef hat, judges robe, or surgeons coat. I’d rather see little boys dressed as teachers, dancers, artists, and nurses. That’s empowering. That’s encouraging. That’s a commercial I’d show my children. They’re asking society to clean up it’s act when they are doing a pretty good job of dirtying it up in other ways.

At the end of the day no number of F-bombs from 6 year olds is going to change people’s minds on these topics. They already have their opinions formed. They either want change or they don’t. Allowing children to bad mouth society won’t suddenly make some douche bag say, Hey, maybe I should listen to these tiny cursing humans who are yelling at me and stop being a rapist. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If it were that easy I’m sure the hundreds of respectful and kind pleas for equality and justice would have cured the world years ago. It seems to me like the main point of this video was to shock. Good job, people are shocked. I am shocked. Good job. People are talking about you. Good job. Maybe you sold some shirts. I certainly won’t be buying one. I don’t care if you send $5.00 from every shirt sold to a “kick-a**” charity. You’re still making money off of adolescent potty mouth princesses. Good job.

Until next time...

My husband, the genius

As a parent, there are few things more terrifying than having the silence of the night broken by the blood-curdling screams of your child. So many scenarios flash through your mind and you are suddenly taken out of reality as you try to figure out what is happening down the hall, up the stairs, or in the next room. Is she hurt? Did she have a nightmare? Did a vampire/werewolf/mutant/bandit break into the house via her bedroom window? All manner of thoughts race through your head from the time you hear that heart-stopping sound to the moment you have your baby in your arms. A few nights ago that’s exactly what happened in our house.

I had just gotten HG latched for his pre-bedtime feeding. That was a miracle in and of itself because since getting his second tooth in, he’s started biting. OUCH. Boobies of the world ache for my suffering. But I digress…
K was already in bed and had been for fifteen minutes or so, about the same amount of time it generally takes her to settle and fall asleep. She’s past the point of crying out when we leave her room so it was a complete shock when I heard her scream. And this wasn’t just an I don’t want to be in my bed or I’m being a punk and demand you read me another story type of scream. This was an I’m terrified scream. I quickly (and gently) broke the suction on HG’s latch, propped him up on my shoulder, and leapt off the couch. I dashed down the hall with my confused baby in tow and burst into through the door to find K, still in her bed, curled up in the fetal position with her hands covering her head. When she realized I was in the room, no doubt because I was shouting “WHAT’S WRONG” in a panicked plea, she sat up on her knees, pointed at an angle toward the corner of the room, and said “IT’S A BUUUUUUUG!!!”

Seriously.

Before I continue I feel the need to share a little insect history… K never paid much attention to bugs until witnessing another little girl have a full on heart attack (not really but you would have thought she’d been stabbed by her scream) at the sight of a basic house fly. And since toddlers are influenced by the slightest little thing, you guessed it, she right-then-and-there became afraid of bugs. We’ve been working with her to just say “Shoo fly!” and carry on with her activity and she’s been making a lot of progress. So you can imagine my shock (and annoyance) when I burst into her room thinking she was defending herself from dementors only to learn that she saw a stinkin’ bug. Now back to the story…

I make my way over to her and reach across the bed rails to comfort her (meanwhile she has retreated back to fetal position and is still crying) while simultaneously trying not to roll my eyes and scan the room to find said bug. I don’t see any signs of the mystery insect so I ask her to show me again where the bug is. She points to the corner of the room and I look up, let my eyes wander, see nothing bug-like, and then something grabs my attention. You should know that in this moment I immediately feel bad for being annoyed with K’s reaction. A spider (and a pretty big one) is hanging from the ceiling directly over where her head would have been if she were laying in bed flat like I left her. This little sucker had pulled some kind of a mission impossible maneuver and had repelled down right over her face. Because of the darkness of her room she probably didn’t even see it until it was practically touching her nose. I would have screamed too baby girl.

It was about this time that Z came upstairs after hearing all the commotion. It was perfect timing because I was in no position to take care of the spider seeing as how in my haste to rescue my screaming child, I’d failed to re-hook the cup of my nursing bra. So not only was I hanging out like a Hooters waitress but was also leaking all over myself and HG.  Being the hero he is, Z quickly squished the spider, who was making a mad-dash back up to the ceiling, between his hands and tossed it in the trash. Seeing my disheveled, and no doubt hysterical, state he assured me he had everything under control and took over consoling K, who was still pretty shaken up.

I went back into our room and resumed nursing HG. I was pleasantly surprised that K’s crying stopped almost immediately after Z took over. Not to knock his parenting ability but normally an event like this would have her spooked and fussy for a good while but within seconds of me situating myself back on the couch she’d completely calmed down. I even heard her happily chit chatting with her daddy (be still my heart) and sweetly wishing him goodnight. Z emerged from her room a few minutes later and I asked him what he did to calm her down so fast. This was his response, and my proof that he is a genius.

“I just told her the spider was Charlotte and that she was coming to snuggle and say goodnight before visiting with Wilbur and going to bed.”

Amazing.

K had watched Charlotte’s Web the day before – her first experience with the story – and had an immediate shift in attitude once the sudden appearance of a spider turned from frightening to friendly. Not in a million years could I have come up with something so brilliant to help calm her down, especially in the panicked state her scream had left me. I guess it pays to have a level-headed husband who can take over when my maternal instincts transform me into a scatter-brained basket case. I stared at him in awe as he shrugged like it was no big deal and walked back down the stairs.

The next morning K woke up talking about Charlotte’s visit to her bedroom and how she scared her at first but it was ok because she just wanted to snuggle. I will never underestimate the magical bond between a father and a daughter, especially with a quick and imaginative mind like Z’s.

Seriously. Genius.

Until next time…

My Mush: 5 months

I’m officially conducting a mushy experiment. On May 6, five months ago, at 3:40 am, Mr. Mushy-face was born. He started sleeping through the night around 2 1/2 months old and has been really consistent ever since unless his schedule gets really distorted. Last month, on September 6, he woke up demanding snuggles and cuddles and boobs. It was right around 3:40 am. This morning, October 6, woke with the same demands. Guess what time it was. 3:40 am. Figuring out my hypothesis? I don’t remember being up with him at 3:40 am during months three and four, after his sleep schedule had regulated, but that’s not to say it didn’t happen. Hey, I’m lucky if I can remember where my car keys are or if I’ve taken a shower on any given day so being able to recognize the connection of these last two months is practically a miracle. That being said I’m anxious to see if I end up feeding, rocking, and singing to my sweet boy at 3:40 am on November 6. I’ll be sure to share my scientific findings.

In the mean time… how about a little 5 months update!

  • Attended his first wedding… well, wedding reception. Stayed up way past his bedtime partying with our extended family!
  • Teething is in full force and he even cut his first tooth! He is rarely without his amber teething necklace these days.
  • Giggles often and is super ticklish on his back and feet.
  • Grabby hands – very intentional about what he’s grabbing for and usually hits his mark. He really loves grabbing my forearm while I’m changing his diaper and grabbing at our cold glasses while mid-drink.
  • One of his favorite new past-times is sucking on the bottom rim of the cold classes mentioned above.
  • 90% for height, 60% for weight – my big mushy boy.
  • Is now seeing my pediatrician from when I was a baby. So surreal, especially because this doctor found my kidney issue when I was 3 months old and one of the patient rooms has a banner from Lynchburg College with my signature on it.
  • Has developed some great balance – can sit up on his own for a pretty lengthy amount of time and can even stand at his activity table for a few seconds.
  • Can often be seen with a handful of my hair in his tiny little fists. Like I said… grabby hands
  • Loves watching the dogs run around outside.
  • Has the cutest cry babble.
  • He can be cheered up almost immediately just by seeing his sister.
  • Loves to ‘fly’
  • Grabs his toes and hands.
  • “Face crawls” all over the place, especially when on a bed. He smooshes his face into the mattress, pulls his knees up, and lifts his head again, flattening out and scooting slightly forward. What an adorable weirdo.
  • Master roller. Leave him alone on his play mat and you can bet he’ll be off of it in about 10 seconds. This boy never stops moving!
  • Mush man is a major flirt. He loves everyone and has a sweet pattern reaction to anyone who looks at him: eye contact, cheesy grin, coy “I’m so shy” look away.
  • Chews on everything, but mostly his hands/fingers/thumb.
  • Has a pretty awesome mohawk – I guess that’s how my babies grow their hair!

Until next time…