This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BestMomsDayEver #CollectiveBias All moms love to be appreciated. Be it just a little note, an “I love you Mama” or even a gift, I love receiving these little tokens of gratitude from my own kids. I realize now that I need to do more of these things for my own mom… especially since we live in different cities. I always want to show my mom how much I love her. I just tend to procrastinate and then not have enough time to prepare. My Mom loves cards. She sends my kids cards for every major holiday. Every Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving when I was growing up, my mom would have a card for me waiting on our kitchen table. When I became a camp counselor at summer camp, I knew I could expect a card in the mail from my mom every week. Cards mean a lot to my mom. She gives them frequently and treasures every single card she receives. I am not the best at sending cards. In fact..gulp… I throw cards away. To say the least, my mom doesn’t like this. My mom is an amazing, selfless and strong woman. This year, I plan to show my mom how much she means to me, not just on Mother’s Day, but all throughout the year. And I’m doing it with cards. My plan: Get a Mother’s Day Present…Now My mom needs relaxation. She always thinks of me, my sister and my kids, but doesn’t always find the time to do stuff for herself. While at Walmart this past week, I checked out the One-Stop Shop display by American Greetings.Not only was I able to find a card for my mom’s Mother’s Day present, but I also bought lotion and lip balm to give my mom some spa time at home and a purple gift bag-my mom’s favorite color. I’m also including a candle as well as a gift certificate for a massage. Do you procrastinate like me? Order a gift for your mom, NOW. Along with a card, some other awesome gift ideas are: Jewelry with children (or grandchildren’s) birthstones Subscription Box present – You know how much I love Stitch Fix! There is also Blue Apron or Ipsy. The list of possibilities for subscription boxes are endless. Hire a professional cleaner to clean your mom’s home Flower delivery – Always awesome! New case for her iphone or ipad with grandchildren’s photos on it Quality water bottle to stay hydrated (this is a great present here in AZ!) Put major holidays in my cell phone I always have good intentions, I just forget. That’s why I will set a notification to alert me one week prior to each holiday. This will give me enough time to get a card and pop it in the mail. Holidays I am logging in my phone for the remainder of 2015 are: May 10: Mother’s Day, June 21: Father’s Day (need to get my dad at […]
Right around dinner, I opened the back door and both kids ran outside. No screaming. Dude happily splashed at his water table. Llama gleefully swung from her tree swing. The weather was amazing and I sighed. Perfect kid bliss. It doesn’t happen very often where both kids are happy on their own, without me. After the day that Dude gave me, I took the opportunity to pour myself a glass of red wine. I took a sip and savored the quiet. Time to cook dinner. I tucked my wine glass on a counter in my kitchen usually reserved for sorting mail and stashing electronics. I pulled the salmon and asparagus out of the fridge and bent over to remove a cookie sheet out of a cabinet. I heard one of the kids tromp in the back door. Looking quickly over my shoulder, I spotted the toddler gait of my son. He’s probably coming in to get a drink, I said to myself. I kept digging through the cupboard. Clink. Then… the sound of liquid splashing to the floor. My son froze. I saw my red wine pooling on the floor at his feet. “Dude!” I exclaimed. I pulled the paper towels from the roll and madly sopped up the liquid. I traced the little wine rivers up to the counter. My computer!! I pulled my laptop off the counter. Thankfully, it was unharmed. Not too bad, I thought to myself assessing the spill. I couple of pieces of mail stained red, but the damage was minimal. The glass had even stayed on the counter instead of rolling to the floor. He didn’t even break the wine glass. Crisis averted. I looked down at Dude. My jaw fell open. The wine had landed directly on top of him. His beach blonde hair was now a matted plum color. Little rivulets of cabernet ran down his forhead and stained his shirt. I just stared. I froze. My daughter came in the house, took one look at Dude and said, “He looks like a zombie!” “Eh?” Dude shrugs his shoulders and takes advantage of my sudden stupor. He turned and removed the oven mitt from our kitchen island. In three quick toddler steps, he opened the oven and started to play with the racks inside. So this picture really sums up my day with my son. It was stressful, so I poured myself a glass of wine. He then found the wine, spilled it all over himself and then went to play with the oven. #momlife A photo posted by JoAnn (@awhimsiclelife) on Mar 24, 2015 at 6:43pm PDT It was off, but what a perfect symbol of staying home with a toddler.
A couple of months ago, I posted this on Facebook. It’s been a while so lets do some introductions! My name is JoAnn, I have 2 kiddos and when I grow up I want to be a… Posted by Whimsicle on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 I admit it. I lied. Fact is that I would like to drink coffee all day, but I left something really important out. Why didn’t I share it? Tons of reasons. First, I was afraid of looking silly. Unrealistic. Naive. Many people want my dream. What’s the chance that my efforts will be for naught? But in reality, it doesn’t matter if I’m laughed at. Besides, did you know that failure is one of the best ways to build confidence? Walt Disney put up Laugh-O-Gram studio before his Walt Disney animation success. You didn’t hear about it? That’s because it went bankrupt. Oprah was fired from her job as a news reporter from a Baltimore TV station before she became… well, Oprah! So bring on the naysayers. Then, I think about how fast my kids are growing and get scared. Will I have regrets that I didn’t spend more time with them? The fact is that I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past two years. My little ones have gotten A LOT of me. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, makes it a point to be home every day for dinner. Both she and her husband have high power careers and they both are home for dinner with their family. It’s all about choices and making priorities. A hubby who is willing to share responsibilities makes it doable as well. Scandal is one of my favorite tv shows. The characters are seriously flawed, but fascinating. While not my idea of a succesfull marriage, the President and First Lady of the show have a partnership. In one episode, Millie, the First Lady, sat down on the veranda with the President. He told her what he wanted more than anything and she vowed to help him get it. I would explain what that is, but it would take more than a blog post to do so. Mellie then paused and said, “Ask me what I want” “What do you want?” He replied. Mellie gulped down the rest of her drink and answered, “I want to be President of the United States.” He looked at her for a beat and then replied, “Ok”. Ever since that conversation, he has helped her achieve it. I love my kids. I love being a mom. But there is no reason that I need to spend all of time 100% focused on their happiness and welfare. It’s ok to do things strictly for me without feeling guilty. In the end, it’s probably preferable. By working on my own goals and saying them out loud, I’m showing my daughter she can go for what she wants. Without the guilt. Without the anxiety. Just go for it and worry […]
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurellWipes #CollectiveBias My son, Dude, likes to clean. When he is a little older I will be shouting from the rooftops: “MY SON CLEANS THE HOUSE!! WOOO HOOO!” Each week, I have a bathroom cleaning routine. My son loves it. During one bathroom cleaning, I tore off a paper towel from the roll and handed it to him. He mimicked me as I wiped down the counters. Then he toddled over to the mirror and rubbed his paper towel back and forth across the glass. I continued to spray the surfaces with cleaning spray and wipe the sinks clean. Suddenly, my mommy senses kicked into high gear. Dude was too quiet. I turned around and saw he was no longer at the mirror. “Dude?” I called out. “Ahhh!” he happily responded. The sound was coming from the small room that encloses the toilet. Whatever he was doing in there, he was very proud of himself. I warily looked inside the door and saw: Time to replace the toothbrushes. #toddlerapproved A photo posted by JoAnn (@awhimsiclelife) on Nov 11, 2014 at 4:14pm PST “Whoa! No Dude! We don’t clean the toilets with toothbrushes!”, I told him firmly all while trying to keep a straight face. His act was both gross… and slightly hilarious. I took the toothbrush from him, threw it away, and carried Dude to the sink to wash his hands. Rushed him to the sink, actually. Touching the inside of a toilet grosses me out. He could unknowingly put his fingers in his mouth and..ick.. gross. Last week while we were at Walmart stocking up on cleaning supplies, I also picked up a container of PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes. They are available in the 70-count Clean Refreshing Scent or the 35-count Fragrance Free, however not all Walmarts will have both canisters due to shelf space. We found them in the household cleaning aisle. Dude picked out the big size. To practice good hygiene, you need the right products at the right time. He helps clean something gross, I hand him a PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipe to clean his hands and, poof, no more stomach churning fear for me. These wipes are safe to use on hands. No more constantly rushing to the sink. Shoppers are now able to save $1.00 on any PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes canister or Save $1.00 on any two PURELL® Products with this coupon. PURELL® also has a brand loyalty program. Good to know, because with the chores my son chooses to do, I’m going to need a lot of PURELL®. Dude insists on cleaning up after the cats.. And the dog.. I give him the container of PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes to clean himself up. Being a one-and-a-half year old also means he is fiercely independent. He insists on wiping his hands himself–and dabbing his face a little too. Now I’ve taught Dude how to clean toilets with the toilet brush instead of a toothbrush. He sometimes touches the end of the brush which makes me […]
I remember when my husband remodeled our downstairs bathroom… by himself. Llama was one-and-a-half at the time. Josh assured me that it would be a very quick job… finished in two weekends tops. Our bathroom was very small after all that it wouldn’t take very long to lay the tile, replace the sink and paint. Simple. Two weekends of hanging around the house without playing with Daddy wouldn’t be too big of a deal. Entertaining our daughter on my own for two weekends would be easy. Josh finished the bathroom and it was beautiful. Gorgeous stone tile. A free standing sink with a cabinet underneath. But it didn’t take him two weekends. He finished in six weekends. That was six weeks of keeping a one-a-half-year old occupied and out of that bathroom, plus flying solo for six weeks without any real Daddy weekend time. When we mulled over the possibility of remodeling our kitchen, both he and I agreed it was too big of job to tackle on our own. He missed having family time during the bathroom remodel. And I know that some people are born DIY’ers, but I’m not. It stresses me out. I do not have a DIY gene and would rather everything stay the same than risk upheaval and change. Thankfully, my husband is completely opposite and pushed me in the right direction. We decided to redo the kitchen. After researching a lot of home improvement companies, we chose Republic West Remodeling. The company is local to the Phoenix area. Immediately, I worried about logistics. How long will it take? Where will we eat in the meantime? Will it turn our house into a construction zone covered with dust? How will I keep Llama out of the remodeling zone? We sat down with a consultant and discussed our new kitchen. To keep it within our budget, the consultant suggested we reface the kitchen cabinetry, replace all of the cabinet doors and replace the white laminate counters with a nicer finish. We borrowed a few moving boxes and boxed up our kitchen supplies on a Sunday night. Llama helped put a random thing here and there into a box and then ran off to play with her dolls. The morning of the remodel, our contractor arrived and we handed him the keys to our house so that he could lock up at the end of each work day. We said goodbye to our kitchen looking like this: Everyday after work, I was always excited to see the kitchen’s progress. Llama loved it as well. A plastic sheet separated our kitchen from the rest of the house. This held in all the dust so that our living room remained spotless – well, relatively, spotless. This is our house we’re talking about. On Friday – 5 days later – we moved everything back into the kitchen. Minus a few drawers which went in the following week. Still, only 5 days without a kitchen! Compare that to six weeks without […]
I feel guilty, too. Some of my phone use borders on addiction. I crave that small burst of joy when I see that little red number appear on Facebook. My heart leaps when the word inbox is followed by (1). When I’m stressed, or overwhelmed or bored, I check my phone continuously for hope that I will find that immediate gratification. But I can be a good parent and use the phone, too. I shuffled my son into the mall playground. It was 9am and the mall shops weren’t yet open so the toddler playground- usually a zoo – had only 8 or 10 kids in it. My son immediately ran toward the little school bus slide and started climbing while I sauntered over to a wall and pulled out my phone. I kept an eye on him while checking through my email. I read an email, looked up, checked on my son and then back to email. Every once in a while, I heard my one-year-old scream at another kid. I’ve read enough articles circulating Facebook about parents on their cell phones, not paying attention to their little ones. Stories of moms with their backs turned and texting while their child pushes someone off the monkey bars. Or possibly taking selfies when their daughter has her fist wrapped firmly around another child’s ponytail. Or maybe checking email as their kid is yelling in other kid’s faces. I was determined not to be that parent. My son screamed again. I walked over calmly and I removed him from the playground. Make that strutted off the playground, proudly showing that I knew my kid was being unreasonable and I can still be on my cell phone and parent at the same time. Why do I feel like I need to prove myself to other parents over the cell phone? When my kids are with me, a little voice tells me that all my energy should be focused on them. Watching my son’s every move. Hanging on my daughter’s every word. They are only young for a short time. I should revel in it. And I do love it. But as a stay-at-home parent, my phone is my link to the world of adults. Chasing my son around the house when he keeps making little mad dashes for the litter box is much more bearable when I can share my woes with my New Mama Group. Art can be found on the playground when I have instagram in my back pocket. My husband is only a text away when I need to share what “his son and daughter” did now. But that doesn’t change my parental cell phone guilt. If only they made an app for that.
Nothing prepared me for having my first kid. Three days before she was born, I remember standing in the closet and panicking: What have we done?!? Our lives will never be the same again! The weeks that followed were filled with unspeakable joy and wonder accompanied by sleepless nights, massive mood swings and the overwhelming feeling that I had no idea what I was doing and I was failing at all of it. And breastfeeding. How can a “natural” thing be so damn hard? I learned a lot from my first child. I did some things differently with the second child. Following, is what I found made the difference. (I credit a lot of these tips for my success with breastfeeding my son. If nursing is not for you, that is awesome 🙂 It was not for me with my daughter. Be sure to read Megan’s Formula Feed Without the Guilt.) A Grandma I realize that this is not under everyone’s control. My mom stayed with me and my family for a week following the birth of both my daughter and son. She took care of everything! Laundry, cooking, shopping, changing diapers, putting up with her hormonal daughter.. the works. Meanwhile, I would cry on the couch from both sleep exhaustion and breastfeeding woes with my first. With my son, I worked, gung-ho, trying to be my normal self even though I was healing from a 6-inch incision in my abdomen. My mom was there, telling me to rest and bringing me my 32-ounce hospital issued cup of ice water to me. If only she could have stayed around longer. An Educated Partner Guys have no idea what it’s like for women to be pregnant and give birth. They just don’t. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to. When our daughter was born, I remember pacing up and down the hospital halls waiting to be called into triage. I was having painful contractions and back labor. My husband sat in waiting room playing on his phone. He’s not an insensitive person, he just didn’t know how he could help me. The birth of our second child was different due to one very significant thing: An Amazing Childbirth Preparation Class The Bradley method is a natural (no drugs) childbirth method that centers on husband-assisted childbirth. Over the course of 8 weeks, we attended classes together and learned about the stages of labor and how he could be a part of the birth process. Even though my natural childbirth plans didn’t work out (breech baby), my hubby helped me relax with massage, he advocated for our baby while in the hospital and knew what to do when first-time breastfeeding troubles arose (call our Bradley instructor who came running :-). As an added bonus, all the women in my Bradley class were such lovely people that we still keep in touch today. We were each other’s support system during those early months and still continue to lean on each other with […]
Santa. The Easter Bunny. The Tooth Fairy. All magical creatures that parents love keeping alive for their children. However, what happens when the parents slip up? “Mommy!! Look!!,” enthused Llama. I could see that Llama was holding up a clear, ziploc sandwich bag. “It’s your tooth!,” I replied! Finally, this tooth fell out. For the past month, Llama wiggled it back and forth. She complained that it hurt her too much to eat when I desperately pleaded with her to try new food. We tried each night to give it a gentle little tug to see if it would fall out on its own. Finally, it came out! The next morning, I trudged into Llama’s room to wake her up. One-year-old Dude climbed up into her bed and started his morning routine of climbing on her and hitting her in the face. I couldn’t help rubbing my eyes as I gently tried to rouse her for school. Her eyes shot open and her hand immediately darted under her pillow. “My tooth is still here.” Well, crap. “Uhhhh…” I stalled, “That tooth fairy!” I had to pretend rage a little. “How could she! She must have gone on vacation and forgot to tell another fairy to take her place.” I excused myself quickly, backed out of the room and walked down the hall to wake up my husband. “Josh,” I hiss, “JOSH! We forgot the tooth fairy.” My hubby wakes up with a jolt. “Ugh,” he replies, “Is she already awake?” “Ya, I told her the tooth fairy must be on vacation.” You see, we have had our close calls with the tooth fairy before. Usually, we remember as soon as we wake up, bolt out of bed, rummage through one of our wallets for a dollar and stealthily sneak into Llama’s room to make an exchange. There have even been times she has woken up and one of us distracted her while the other reached under her pillow. This was our first complete tooth fairy screw up. Oh well, everyone makes mistakes, even the tooth fairy. Josh and Llama discussed some theories about what may have happened to her. We knew that tomorrow was another day. Fast forward to the next morning: a Saturday. Dude had again woken me up so I stumbled over to Llama’s room to cuddle with her for a bit. She blinked open her eyes. Her hand once again shot under the pillow. “Mama, my tooth is still here.” “Uhhh…”, I say dumbfoundedly. This is bad. Really bad. Parenting failure. “She probably doesn’t know you moved. Like, she knew you lost a tooth but doesn’t know how to find you. I’m sure the people in our old house will tell her that you moved when they see her and…. let me go check on something.” I dash out of the room. “JOSH,” I shake my husband out of sleep, “JOSHHHHH… we are the worst. parents. ever.” There was no waiting for another day, I knew I […]
Sometimes, you just need to know that you are not alone. If you are feeling sad, or mad, or glad (Thank you, Dr. Seuss) it’s always nice to read about someone else in your exact situation or one close to it. As you take stock of your year and start making goals for 2015, here are a few reads to let you know that we’ve been there, done that. Feel no guilt and hopefully move forward.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #McCafeMyWay #CollectiveBias Waking up. It’s a delicate balance between being mentally awake and physically getting out of bed. My one-year-old still does not sleep through the night. So technically, I wake up at 3Am, 4Am, 5:30Am and then finally get out bed around 7. After all those wake-ups, coffee becomes more of a necessity in my mind than a luxury. Luckily, I married the right man and he is the exact same way. So we bought a Keurig and installed it in our bedroom. Yes, just like a hotel. No, this is a perfectly normal thing to do. And needed. Here’s why. This is what I look like in the morning. Actually, I need to amend that slightly. My son is usually in our bed, nursing right next to me in the morning. I like to have him nurse because it buys me a good extra hour of lying in bed and trying to sleep while he claws at me and sticks his fingers in my belly button in his early morning haze. This brings me to reason #2. My son looks like this in the morning. He wakes up ready to start the day. In fact, this was him trying to eat the raw coffee beans that I was using to set up my McCafé coffee shot. McCafé is a premium quality coffee made from 100% Arabica beans. It’s available in eight flavors, so there is a large variety. While I was at Walmart, I picked up the new McCafé coffee pods in French Roast since I like my coffee extra dark. The McCafé pods are so new that they aren’t even on the shelf yet. I found them in a little corner by produce. Even better, there was a demo going on while I was there so I was able to sip my coffee while I shopped. Post by Whimsicle. Notice the bags under my eyes. Reason #3 I need my daily coffee. My son is one of the reasons for my caffeine addiction and my daughter is well aware of her parents’ coffee habits. She quickly learned how to use our Keurig and after she made her hot chocolate one morning, she made both me and my husband coffee. She just turned 6. She popped in a McCafé coffee pod for me on Sunday morning while I chased my son down the hall and tried to persuade him into a diaper change.As soon as my coffee was ready, I stole away for a quiet moment outside and soaked in our Arizona December weather. My husband entertained the kids while I just sat, looked out over our backyard and sipped my coffee. While it may have been short, I treasured my moment alone to just be still and enjoy the quiet.I need more of these little moments away during the holidays when it seems like we have a party every day. […]