Category Archives: parenting

My Favorite Job is You

May 11, 2018

Today I’m featuring a fellow Sioux Falls Mama whom I love very much, the gorgeous Ashley Flynn, whose talents have taken her to writing and publishing her very own children’s book! COOLEST GIG EVER! As much as we read around here, how fun would it be to read your very own book to your children! So special!

Ashley Flynn is an incredible woman and special friend, super wife to Colby, and dedicated Mama to precious little Nina. She has a sought-after ability to create witty and loving rhymes and now she has taken that talent into children’s books, publishing her FIRST BOOK, titled My Favorite Job is You. Her blog is also SO much fun to read! She has such wit and charm and is constantly making me laugh with her hilarious parenting stories!

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Potty Trained!

March 11, 2018

Never thought this day would come!!! I literally didn’t think I would even try to potty train Leo till he was three (he’s 2 years 9 months), but HERE WE ARE! WHOOP!

I happened to take out the potty chair a few months ago, just to see… and he wanted NOTHING to do with it. So I was like, okay, not gonna push it. But every once in a while, I would mention the potty to Leo, and he’d say, “No Mom! I want you to change my diaper!” UMB. But, what about MY wants LEO! He didn’t care. Anyways, so, we didn’t bring it up again for a while, until another month about a month ago, and finally he was like, “Yah!! I got on da potty!” So he pulled his pants down, took off his diaper, and WENT! WHAAAAAAAT. I was like, LEO!!! All while rejoicing thinking this is gonna be easy to train him!!! But also thinking, you little shit, you could have been potty trained months ago!!!

We dove straight into the 3-day potty training method. Naked and hunkered into the house. He picked it up pretty easy, which was SO DIFFERENT of an experience than with Ivy (read here). Ugh. Can’t even go back there. Leo only had 1 accident the whole three days, but pooped in his pants the second day, haha. So we were pretty good to go! So proud of him!!! I hate that first time out in public where you are full of anxiety and are asking your kid every other ten minutes, “Need to go potty? Need to go potty? Need to go potty?” How annoying are us Moms!!!! But the good boy told us when he needed to go and he went! WHOOP! Go LEO!

Now, this was about 3 weeks ago and since then he’s only pooped in his pants once and has only had one more accident! Such a big boy!! So nice being back to only one kid in diapers! Another milestone completed! Holla! Proud Mom!

 

Three.

February 11, 2018

Three kids was our magic number. Three wonderful kids. We’re so thankful for our children and it’s hard to admit we are done, but three is our biggest adventure.

John and I wavered between two and three for a long while. On one hand, we were very content with the two we had. We had fears of adding another – outnumbered, more money, harder to go anywhere, table of five, how do we even begin to fit in a car, more money, do I need to get a minivan, how the heck do we travel, did I mention more money??? ugh … so many fears pulling us backwards to stay at two. The older Leo got the easier it was to just keep the cruise control going from there.

On the other hand, we didn’t go into our pregnancy with our second child thinking this was our last. I didn’t savor the last little baby kicks I’d ever feel, or those baby hiccups rocking your belly, or the miraculous birthing experience to see what the body is fully capable of,  seeing your baby – the baby you and your husband created – for the first time, or the first sweet latch to make mama cry, or even the first gummy smile or adorable giggle that completely melts your heart. I needed to experience it all again knowing these were the last firsts.

We went for it, throwing our fears and wallets out the window and went for it. Three. We’d have three.

And I am so happy we did. Experiencing the pregnancy to really savor each and every moment was such a gift. I yearned for each ache and pain and kick and hiccup, knowing it was the last I’d ever feel. I yearned to have another birth story to share and compare. Mostly, I yearned for just one more baby, to smell the sweet newborn smell, to snuggle and cuddle and immerse my love in her fully and completely.

Knowing it was our last baby has even changed me as a mother. Really enjoying each cry or meltdown or hug or kiss has made me patient and 10x more loving (if that’s even possible) than with my other two. So much of taking care of babies for me was going through the motions, I never really liked the baby phase. I couldn’t wait till they were walking, more independent, talking, more personality… but here in this day, in each moment with Faye, I’m wishing she’d stay little, wishing for one more gummy grin, wishing for her to stop growing up so fast, cuddling her so sweet when she cries. It’s made me so aware of how fast time flies right by us. How did we even get to THREE? And now here I am, snuggling our last baby with every ounce of me given up to her.

So if you’re at all on the fence… do it (literally and figuratively). Going into a pregnancy (or adopting or whatever means to have a baby!!!) and having a baby KNOWING IT WILL BE YOUR LAST, was the best thing for my heart and soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul sh** right there). Like a gift from GOD each and every moment.

Three was our magic number.

Accepting Change

January 23, 2018

Finally. At 7 months and 10 days. Finally. Finally got Faye into Ivy’s room. Only took me what felt like a million years, I just couldn’t do it! Mustered up the courage after battling Ivy over her nap and just did it. Whew.

I am the kind of Mom that gets the baby out of our room as soon as possible, def not a co-sleeper. Ivy at 3 months, Leo at 2 months – they were shipped off across the hall faster than I could say goodnight into their own bedroom and into their crib. I was never good at having them next to me, it caused me to have restless sleep and I couldn’t tell my husband to ‘shhhhhhh’ anymore.

Faye, has totally gotten spoiled. I more so “followed the rules” with her (can you believe the new recommendation is to have your baby in your room for the first 12 months!?), sort of, I made it much farther than the other two! But that’s solely because Ivy and her were going to share a room. Something Ivy and I were totally excited about (all the future girl talk!!!), but also led me to be terrified as well. I consider myself pretty good at change, but when it comes to routines, I am a stickler! And getting Faye into Ivy’s room was going to disrupt everything.

Ivy has transitioned out of naps for the past few months, maybe takes one every once in a while, if I lay with her and make her close her eyes and sit still (I think I’ve said “close your eyes” like 5 thousand times). Even though she’s done with naps, I still make her take quiet time in her bed. So, my problem was, if Ivy takes quiet time and Faye is trying to sleep, that doesn’t work. Yeah, she could take quiet time in my bedroom, or downstairs, or wherever, ugh, at this point, I was just not accepting change. We were in a good routine.

Plus, Faye goes to bed for the night at 630, Ivy 7/730 if she doesn’t nap. Sneaking her in and not waking Faye up seemed impossible. Plus, Leo, Ivy, and I always read books in Ivy’s bed before naps and nighttime, so what then? I know there’s always other places in the house, but… total routine Mom!!!

Ivy was just begging to get Faye into her room since day one. I was totally stripping her of that fun time between her and her sister, sleepovers!!! But it all gave me so much anxiety… not reading a book in her bed, gave me anxiety, Leo getting ready for bed being loud with “smashing my trucks!!!” in his bedroom next door possibly waking up Faye, gave me anxiety. Faye waking up in the middle of the night or morning and waking Ivy up, gave me anxiety. Ivy waking up in the morning and waking Faye up, gave me anxiety. Ugh, basically it was everything I didn’t want to tackle and mess up. Not accepting change.

But ya know, what finally tripped my trigger, was Ivy not falling asleep for her nap yesterday when I knew she was totally exhausted and if I would have laid with her she would’ve fallen asleep in two seconds, but I didn’t want to lay with her… I wanted to work out on the treadmill, I needed to clean the kitchen after lunch,  I wanted to pick up from the morning… things to do. I finally just gave up and realized not everything goes my way, or ever will.

I try to control situations, all for (what I think is) the well-being of my family and protecting the kids. Call it “hyper parenting” (google that, eeek). Always wanting them to eat (“eat, eat eat, take a bit, eat, start eating, one more bite, one BIG bite, eat, eat” – literally a million times, ugh, def need to stop that), always wanting them to have good manners (“say please, say thank you, be nice, share, don’t do that, don’t hit”), always wanting them to get good sleep (“go to sleep, stay in your room, lay down, close your eyes, go to bed”) — thinking I know best about every situation (such a Mom thing!!!) and being totally nagging!

Well, good to just say “the heck with it” sometimes and march forward to a new beat. Change is scary, change is good, change is needed. Hoping over that barrier of anxiety and getting Faye into Ivy’s room will definitely rock our world for a while, but seeing Ivy sneak into the room last night with her flashlight, and hearing Ivy sing to Faye this morning through the monitor as they both woke up, were probably the two cutest things I’ve ever seen. And in those moments, I knew we would all be okay. Kids are so resilient, us parents need to remember to be too.

Words in Order

January 21, 2018

This new year has been like no other. I feel like my mind hasn’t stopped with all of the messes going on around the world and in my own world. The previous years my resolutions have been about fitness and balancing life and family, but I am taking a different route this year. These past couple of months have had me reflecting on my inner self, my family and my relationships, and my values, which somehow have gotten a little out of order lately. So when this New Year hit, I really had to take a step back from the direction I was headed and recenter myself.

Today’s message at church was about getting your ‘Words in Order.’ How words are tricky things. They can help or they can harm, lift up or tear down, spread lies or encourage truth. This rang true to me as a parent and as a wife and friend. We’ll focus on the parent part of it for now! 

Ivy could literally talk to me ALL DAY LONG. I tend to just say, “I don’t know,” to a lot of questions (she has a million a day, I swear) just because I don’t want to go in to detail or I’m sick of talking and I just want her to quit asking questions and by me saying “I don’t know” makes me think she will be quiet but it never actually works (tell me you do this too?!?). And why do I do that? Why wouldn’t I want her to be curious, be inquisitive, be knowledgeable? 

These kids are so influenced by what we do AND say each day. I always want to be my kids’ role model, someone they look up to and respectMy lack of effort words are hurting her growth just because I’m at my wits end. This is where I need to remember to get my ‘words in order.’ Take a deep breath, recenter, gather some patience (I know it’s there somewhere!!!), and have positive and effective conversations with my children. As parents, we are one of our children’s top learning tools, I definitely needed that reminder this week!

Get ready Alexa, I’m going to start talking to you a lot more with the random questions Ivy asks! Already imagining it… “Alexa, why does Leo always have his hands in his pants?” Oh Lordy!