When Life Happens

When Life Happens

Sometimes life happens.
Sometimes life happens and its ok to admit that it’s hard.

I normally don’t write posts like the one in the picture. I know parenting is hard, and I know that YOU know that parenting is hard. MOST times social media is not the right outlet to complain. Maybe I should repeat that…

MOST TIMES, SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT THE RIGHT OUTLET TO COMPLAIN

Ok, Back to your regularly scheduled post…

As I said, I do not normally write posts like this, but the exuberant amount of unadulterated chaos happening at my house at that time was so overwhelming it was humorous! Seriously, here is the low down:

2 out of 3 of the kids were screaming
The baby was screaming to be held in between shoving amazing amounts of green beans in his mouth and promptly choking on them. (Or screaming because we wouldn’t let him shove more in) Before dinner he was screaming because he wanted dinner.
My 4 year old was throwing a fit, screaming that she is mad, running around the house (for the millionth time NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE) and asking for more food (If you know her, this makes complete sense). Before dinner she was asking for food. EVERY.KIND. OF.FOOD.EVERY.BREATH.SHE.HAD.

The oldest is trying to be overly calm because he feels the chaos in the house. With his mini-notebook in hand, he has a million questions (which he asks VERY calmly) “Mommy, how do you spell AGAIN?” Mommy, will you teach me to crochet with a hook?” “Mommy, can I have my K’NEX back?” “Mommy, can I play with this toy that has tiny, microscopic pieces while the baby is right here?”

It always starts with “Mommy” and ends with me giving him this “Are you kidding?” look while holding a screaming baby and telling (yelling over the baby) the 4 year old to STOP RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!

Oh, did I mention that EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE IS OPEN? Oh, yes, there’s that. While cooking dinner the hubby nearly smoked us out of the house. Seriously, we are talking open front door, red eyes, waving the smoke away from the fire alarm type of smoke. We were one step away from having to crawl around the house!

On top of that (oh yes! There’s more!) my husband had to leave for a meeting at the height of the chaos, smoke, screaming and dinner. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! The only thing I could muster was “Please don’t leave me!” He promised me he would be gone for not very long and would bring back some wine. SOLD!

As soon as he left, the chaos in which I had mistakenly thought had climaxed, indeed increased…three-fold (I can neither deny or confirm this relation to the amount of children in the house). About 30-minutes in, the chaos got too much for me to bear and I gave in and called the hubby to return pronto because, no. As I heard it start to ring, I noticed a ringing sound coming from the counter…

No. This is not just happening.
This is when I started writing my Captain’s…I mean Mommy’s… Log.

Mommy’s Log:

Stardate 69593.6
I have just lost communication with the co-pilot. I must now trust that he will return to the mother-ship and not abandon his crew.

Stardate 69593.7
The co-pilot has been gone for a suspiciously long time for what was supposed to be a “short excursion”. I can only assume he is acquiring provisions of wine and cookies.

Stardate 69593.8
The princess of the crew is finally in her quarters. After much convincing, a firm talking to and a lullaby, I think she has officially retired for the evening.

Stardate: 69593.8
I am growing suspicious of the youngest member of the crew. He seems out of sorts. I suspect mutiny! Or he might just need a nap.

Stardate 69593.9
The co-pilot has finally returned! There was much rejoicing until we took inventory of the acquired provisions. Mistakes were make and in this time of crisis, there is no room for error!

Stardate 69593.9
The entire crew has finally retired to their quarters for the night. The oldest of the crew was commended for his assistance and bravery in a time of crisis. I still have my suspicions about the youngest. I must keep a close watch overnight and the days to come.

and on top of that, we are out of wipes.

***These are actual stardates based on a stardate calculator from TrekGuide.com.

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Exciting NEWS!

Exciting News

The answer is no. NO, we are not expecting another baby.
No.
Nope.

BUT…there has been a lot going on around our house in the past month (or two). Mainly, my computer desk area got taken over by a Christmas tree and other Christmas decoration explosions! I am happy to report that the tree is down and I have my wonderful work space back!

Anyways…

Back to the NEWS.
In October I did a big International Babywearing Week post on my website with mini photo-sessions with moms and babies and a group photo shoot with everyone. The editor of our local newspaper found out about International Babywearing Week and contacted me. I told her about my photo shoots, IBW, and my blog where I was posting the pictures.

The next thing I knew, I was meeting with the editor and she was offering me a column in the local newspaper to write about mom-type-things! She said that the publisher and herself loved my blog and my writing and thought it would be a good addition to the local paper!
What?! How cool, right?

(See what I did there, with the title? Exciting NEWS as in NEWSPAPER! Yeah, I didn’t think it was funny either.)

Since then I have been writing some mom column pieces here and there and have even written a few of the headline articles. Look at me! I am now writing regularly with the newspaper and am loving writing and meeting new people in my community. I have no idea what is next for me, but I am loving being a bigger part of my community and sharing my thoughts as a mom to other moms in my area.

I never knew if anything would come out of my blog writing. I do it on the side, between changing diapers, mediating fights over toys, and trying to manage my home, but it is a labor of LOVE. I LOVE the writing. I LOVE sharing what I know and I LOVE the people and connections I have been making for the past 4+ years. It feels pretty good for someone to look at my work and recognize the work and love I have put into it. I am not going anywhere. I am actually hoping to be able to blog a little MORE often now that I am doing it for the paper as well.

Did you miss my International Babywearing Week posts? Check out the pictures!
My Babywearing Project
Babies of Babywearing

Thanks for all your continued support and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Katie

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Shut Up and Let Me Wear Leggings

It’s that time again, ladies! Fall has officially arrived and finally the cooler weather has started to grace us with its presence. With the cooler weather comes jackets, cute scarves, trendy boots and the dreaded legging debate. You laugh, but I think you know what I’m talking about. Every year somebody comes out with this year’s “leggings are not pants” post and it gets passed around social media like a runny nose at day care (you moms know what I’m talking about!) Posts like THIS, and even This Facebook group that calls themselves LANP (leggings are not pants) are strong supporters of leggings NOT being pants. The struggle is real and so is the debate.

Let me be real for a second. I wear leggings. I wear leggings as pants (GASP!) Shut up and let me explain. I am a stay-at-home mom of three small children. My wardrobe is 90% functionality 10% “cute”. Most of my days are spent in pajama pants I never had a chance to change out of or yoga pants because they are comfortable and moveable. Neither of these are flattering or “cute”. I have also been pregnant three times and my body has changed quite a lot through those pregnancies. Yes, I am a small person, (When I say small, I mean I’m the size of a freaking 12 year old and no amount of donuts, fried chicken or pizza is going to change that, because trust me, I’ve tried!) but my body has still changed and many of my clothes don’t fit like they should. Plumber jeans that show my crack when I bend down because the waist is too big. Church jeans (you know, the holy ones) that I finally have busted through and show off my granny panties (or not so granny panties depending on the day), but let me tell you about my leggings. I LOVE my leggings. I have leggings in several colors, they are easy to match with a shirt and I do not have to fight with the bottom to get them into my cute boots I’ve been dying to show off. And you know what?! They make me feel good! After spending every, freaking, day in sloppy, baggy, pee covered clothes, I love the way I look when I put on an outfit with leggings. For me its the best of both worlds. Its the comfort of yoga pants with the cuteness of getting all dressed up. So shut up and let me wear my leggings. I feel good in them!

Ok, stop! My “I wear leggings as pants” rule has some stipulations. So before you start announcing to the world that leggings are ok, YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE RULES!

  1. Buy the right size.
    Whatever your size, claim it! You are the most beautiful in the correct size for your body! PLEASE buy the correct size. *hint: If you can see through the leggings in ANY WAY when you bend or move, remove, return and back away slowly!
  2. Check your undies.
    Seriously ladies. Be aware of what underwear you put on when you wear leggings. No one wants to be able to see the ruffles, design or whatever. It looks trashy. Put your underwear on, put your leggings on and look closely to make sure that it looks appropriate.
  3. Buy a full length mirror.
    Seriously, while you are out getting leggings, get a full length mirror and USE IT! Put the outfit on, look closely in the mirror. Ask yourself if you would meet your mother for lunch in that outfit. If they answer is yes, you are approved to leave. If no, go change!
  4. Wear a long shirt.
    Leggings do not go with crop tops! I repeat: LEGGINGS DO NOT GO WITH CROP TOPS! Leggings are best paired with a shirt that covers about half of your butt. DON’T be walking around in a tummy shirt and leggings claiming its ok, because no. It is not. I usually wear a plain v-neck shirt that hits right around my butt peak (the part of my butt that sticks out the most….thus the PEAK). That way I am covered enough to feel comfortable and not like I’m trying to flaunt something I don’t have.
  5. If you are unsure, then don’t wear it.
    If you followed the rules, and are standing in front of your full length mirror questioning whether or not your legging attire is ok, it’s not. If you aren’t sure, then I am sure that you shouldn’t wear it, so dont!

 So I’m not giving up my leggings. I love them, they are comfy and they make me feel good. This fall I will be rockin’ my leggings with shirts, long sweaters, dresses and my boots. You have something negative to say? Shut up and let me wear my leggings.

Leggings

Yes, I’m rockin’ my leggings, boots and shirt! It is almost mid-night and I don’t care!

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Claim it and Let it Be Claimed

Claim it

Sometimes I feel like social media is just a trash can for people to dump on. In the same five minutes I can read a beautiful affirmation to moms for all they do and then a hateful post shaming a mom just because she is feeding her baby differently or birthed her baby differently. Enough is enough!

There has been a great push to celebrate moms in all they do. Because of the popularity of all-natural or “crunchy” moms, this push seems to be celebrating those moms that maybe have been shamed in the past; those that formula feed their babies, those that birthed their babies via c-section, etc. I absolutely love that ALL moms of all different kinds are being celebrated. This makes me so happy!

It’s about time to let moms be who they are do what the want without fear of shame from their mom peers, but I worry we are swaying the pendulum back a little to far.  I feel like I can’t claim who I am or what I’ve done for fear of someone misinterpreting it as mom-shaming. Because of my profession as a doula, I have always been sensitive about what I share and how I share it, but I feel like I can no longer proudly share my proud moments without fear of offending someone. I can no longer claim proudly that I had three completely natural, births or that I exclusively breastfeed my babies. You know what?! I am so stinking proud of myself! I am proud not because I did these things and you didn’t.  I am proud because it was my goal and I achieved it. Just like I would be proud of a career goal. Even though I have no desire to be a doctor, I am still proud of my friends that have achieved this goal and became one.

Honestly, I’m not looking for affirmation or praise. I am just telling you that you are not a better or worse mother because you did things differently than me.  Just because my goals are different doesn’t make one better than the other. My goals are only better for me personally because I set them, I worked hard for them and I achieved them. Your value of a mother is not dependent on my personal achievements as a mom. You are different, your family is different, your needs are different. Celebrate your differences and your own personal journey as a mom.

I am going to start celebrating my own personal journey as well. I am no longer going to feel shame or fear in expressing my proud moments! So I will proudly claim that I feel like a bad ass because I had three all-natural, un-medicated, vaginal births. I labored, I fought, I felt pain, and I made it through. I proudly claim that I have had a great hospital birth and I proudly claim I had two beautiful home births. I proudly claim that I have exclusively breast-fed all my babies and Baby G and I are still going strong. I am proud that I have almost four years (and counting) of breastfeeding under my belt. I proudly claim that I choose to stay home with my kids and love that I have the opportunity to do that.

So wherever you are in life and whatever you have achieved, claim it! But more importantly let other moms claim their victories and celebrate with them, no matter how different they look.

Claim it and let it be claimed!

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4th of July Fun!

Family tie dye

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend! We had a wonderful few days spending time with family. I think that’s why I love the July 4th holiday so much. It’s often spent with family doing fun stuff outside, maybe at the park, or the beach, or hanging out at Grandma’s. I love family time!

Anyways. Every year my little (not so little anymore, I guess!) gets matching shirts for the 4th of July. Oftentimes we go to Old Navy and get their famous “flag shirts” with the year and everything, but we haven’t had much luck getting them in EVERYONE’S size in the same color. This year, that was the case. After wandering the store for too long with three kiddos, I loudly declared my disgust and announced that I would make my own shirts! (and promptly left the store as I realized that not only had the kids lost it, at this point, but so had I).

I have had an itch to tie dye thanks to my doula client turned good friend, so I decided to take the plunge. (more on my tie dying friend later) Let’s do a red, white and blue SWIRL! I got very excited! I bought Tulip powder dye in blue and red, and what I felt like was a million shirts. (In fact it was shirts for my family and for my brother’s family, because what’s more fun than tie dying with your awesome sister-in-law!) It was our first time, and let me just say we are total tie dye NOOBS!

Anyways, here is an action shot of our tie dye shirt making adventure. We didn’t let them sit long enough before we rinsed them so they faded more than I wanted to, but I know better for next time.

swirl

Now, that is what you call tie dye perfection!

 

This is also why I am not writing this as a DIY. I have no business writing a tie dye DIY (I giggle because it rhymes!), BUT my good friend and tie dye guru has agreed to write the “Tie Dye DIY” guest post! YAY! I will let you guys know when that is happening and link it on this page as well.

So we survived the tie dye project, learned from our mistakes and my family and I still got our matching shirts and the tradition was saved! Plus, seriously, we are adorable in matching shirts. Here is the final product! The husband and Baby G modeling the shirts for us. I’m not gonna lie, I love this picture of my husband!

Daddy and Baby G

Daddy and Baby G sitting together at our 4th of July picnic, showing off Mommy’s amazing tie dye shirts.

In addition to our matching shirts tradition, we always pack a picnic lunch and spend the day at a local park where there are lots of fun booths, kids games and FOOD! We wait until the kids are so exhausted that they have totally lost it, we pack up in a hurry and go home. (No seriously, every year we wait just a little too long to leave) We let the kids rest (and pray they nap) and grill a whole bunch of meat and veggies (LOVE me some grilled zucchini). We then frantically eat our meal, worried that we will miss the fireworks, rush around, and always get to the park in plenty of time. Yup, that’s how it goes! I pray the kids remember the picnic and the fireworks and not the tantrums and rushing around! Ah, traditions!

Do you have a fun family tradition for the 4th of July? I love hearing about what other families do to celebrate! Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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4th of July Fun Bags

July 4th table

Besides the awesome shirts, how did we celebrate the 4th of July? Well, I went a little crazy and decorated and made some fun little kits for the older two kids. I got coordinating red, white and blue table decorations, along with some American flags for a centerpiece.

For breakfast we had vanilla yogurt with cut up strawberries and blueberries. The hubby and Sissy made them into American flags, but I couldn’t convince Big Boy to mix his fruit and yogurt, silly kid!

4th of July Breakfast

I also got them red bags full of fun outdoor activities. Each bag contained:
1. Giant bubble wand
2. A Kite (Cinderella for Sissy, and Planes for Big Boy)
2. Red, white and blue glow sticks
3. American flag bandanna
4. 7-ct set of sidewalk chalk
5. 2 beaded necklaces (one red, one blue)
6. Velcro throw and catch game

These bags were so simple to throw together and SUPER cheap. I’m not gonna lie, when I got it all together and gave them to my kids, I pretty much felt like mother of the year! They had so much fun with it all! We spent the day at a local park with friends and they flew their kites until they broke. They blew bubbles until they were all gone, and played catch until some got hit in the head a cried (I can neither confirm or deny this actually happened)

july 4th bubbles

Sissy enjoying her bubble wand. They made huge bubbles, which was “so awesome!”

 

I am usually not one to go crazy with any holiday, but for around $20, the smiles on their faces and all the fun they had, was totally worth it. It was really fun to celebrate together as a family and enjoy being together. So often my husband and I get bogged down in the “raising” part of parenting and forget to enjoy being with the kids. I know I need reminding that parenting is not just disciplining and saying “no”, but also having fun, letting them stay up late occasionally and getting dirty (we just won’t tell Dad!)

kite flying

Flying kites with Daddy was their favorite part. Probably the best $1.37 (x2) I ever spent!

I hope you found some inspiration for your next family celebration or 4th of July. I can’t wait to do something like this again! I am already thinking about the next event coming up. I’m thinking a back-to-school fun bag! Maybe I’ll share about that one too (if it actually happens!)

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The Day After Mother’s Day

the day after mothers day

The day after Mother’s Day is weird.

Yesterday many of us enjoyed breakfast in bed, sweet homemade gifts from our kids, and even some free down-time to take a bath, get a pedicure or even do a little shopping. Our phones were constantly buzzing with “Happy Mother’s Day” texts, and our afternoon probably consisted of family around a table enjoying a good meal. The kids were super affectionate, and your husband extra helpful. If you are anything like me, you went to bed feeling happy, appreciated and blessed by your family.

Then we woke up today. It’s no longer Mother’s Day, and it’s Monday. Back to our regularly scheduled program. Many of us woke up to a crying baby, wet sheets from a toddler who had an accident, a preschooler who wants to know who the king of the dinosaurs was, and emails reminding us that bills are due. Ok, maybe that was just me, but I imagine your morning has some similarities. (Yes, we are really into dinosaurs right now)

It’s not that we don’t like it, but the day after Mother’s Day is weird. No one greeted us with flower or breakfast in bed. No special gifts and the husband is back at work. The Mother’s Day flowers are starting to wilt. Our family meal is replaced with toddler finger foods, and our “Happy Mother’s Day” texts are now replaced with reminders of what needs to get done that week. We know we are appreciated, but it’s hard to just go back to normal sometimes. There is so much talk about how we need to show moms how much we love them every day and not just on Mother’s Day, but it is hard to believe it when things go right back to normal the next day.

So to all those moms who woke up to a messy house, hungry kids and a huge to do list. YOU ARE APPRECIATED! You are loved and possibly most importantly, you are doing a wonderful job! When a case of the Mondays starts to get a hold of you, know that every day truly is Mother’s Day. You are so appreciated and the work, the hard, tiring, not so glamorous work, that you do day-in and day-out is so vitally important. When the coffee goes cold, and your patience runs thin, when the crumbs on the floor begin to resemble full meals, and you can’t remember the last time you had a full shower, know you are good enough, know that your kids love you, know that you are appreciated.

I am not going to say that these days are fleeting and to cherish every moment, because lets me real, I’d rather not cherish the moment my son has a screaming tantrum over a color of crayon, or 2 hours the baby is crying and inconsolable! I just want you to know you are good enough, you are loved and what you do is nothing less than remarkable.

The day after Mother’s Day is weird.

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