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The Ten Ways Parenthood is Just Like Game of Thrones

1. It all starts as fun and games.

The beginning of GOT starts at a party. There is a great gathering of all friends and family. Everyone is having a great time. Until they’re not…


2. Suddenly, the news is discovered. That fun night has led to an unexpected, maybe expected, but still scary situation. A child is in your future.

3. At this point decisions need to be made.

Traveling to a new state. Taking on a new job. These are all events that may occur upon discovering that a child’s life is now in your hands. Let’s just hope it ends better for you than it did for Ned.


4. The night of the Red Wedding.

Child birth is gross. Also beautiful, but really, really gross. Let’s be honest. Your life is basically over as you’ve known it.


5. Witchcraft amuck.

Soon after the birth of your child you’ll try just about anything to get them to eat, sleep and remain sort of a human being yourself. If the Lord of Light can help, you’ll be sure to summon him.


6. There will be battles.

Lots and lots of battles. If the aforementioned eating and sleeping issues aren’t enough soon you’ll have tantrums, back talk and just the overall mess of children.


7. They’re basically like dragons.

As the mother of dragons knows, parenting is difficult. Just be grateful they can’t fly around shooting flames.


8. Eventually, you discover something worse.

Just as you’re thinking your kids can’t be any worse they start interacting with other kids. These icey ones will probably make you appreciate your dragons just a little more.


9. New bonds will be formed.

Connecting with other parents is essential for your sanity. You’ll find unlikely comrades in the least likely places. Just watch your back, there’s always one mean girl in every group.


10. In the end your parenting will pay off.

We won’t know what happens in GOT for another two years. It’s basically like parenting. It takes years to see all of your hard work pay off, but eventually it does. One day you’re sending your child off to kindergarten. The next thing you know they’re off to college and you’re going to miss those little dragons. Though that day feels an eternity away we all know it will be here in the blink of an eye.

Sources:
https://giphy.com/gifs/gameofthrones

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MomPlex: A Mom’s Dream Come True

Last week, I had to set up a meeting for my blog. I will be honest with you, I was mortified. I started this thing so I did not have to meet up with actual people. Can’t we all just talk to each other online?!

Apparently not.

While frantically searching for a meeting locale, I stumbled upon a local business called MomPlex. I had seen their posts previously and it seemed like an amazing place. I just had to check them out for myself. I was not disappointed in my findings.

Being a Mom in Business just became a whole lot easier. 

MomPlex is a Mom’s dream. It is a mom owned business and all members are moms. You come to their coffee shop located on Price and Baseline, where Lindsey will greet you with a Mama Macchiato, or coffee of your choice, drop the kids at their on-site daycare and then return to their plush couches or dining table to work. Sounds amazing, right?!

As I mentioned in my post last week about the not so traditional stay-at-home mom there are many moms actually work, but they work from home. Have you tried to work from home with screaming kids? This gives you the option to let someone else watch your kids for a few hours, so you can truly get some work done. Even better, most of the women in the daycare are moms themselves, so they understand the love and attention each child needs and deserves.

MomPlex’s owner Bethany said this idea came from the fact that she is a work from home mom. She says “I started a financial coaching business from home with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old climbing all over me. I’d spend 30 plus hours a week “working” struggling to get anything done… so (I thought) what if I could have just a few guaranteed “work” hours to myself? Without spending everything I make on childcare? So, now there is MomPlex!

I started a financial coaching business from home with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old climbing all over me. I’d spend 30 plus hours a week “working” struggling to get anything done… so (I thought) what if I could have just a few guaranteed “work” hours to myself? Without spending everything I make on childcare? So, now there is MomPlex!

With MomPlex you will find a true community of women and a place to really get your work done. It’s momming done right. #momwin

 

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Dear Mama, You’ve Got This

My Dearest Mama,

I see you over there. You’re walking around as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Mentally, it may very well be. Your family is your world and you navigate the ins and outs each and every day. I’m here to remind you, you’ve got this.

With every meal you make, and every tantrum you handle you prove your worth each day. Your children may never remember all your sacrifices for them, but you will.

You’ll remember the pain of childbirth, the scars still left behind. The moment they were put into your arms and your heart burst with love. Reminding you it was worth all the struggles of pregnancy and you would do it all again. Maybe you have multiple times. And, with each birth, your love multiplies.

But, so does the mess, so does the chaos. So do the daily demands of motherhood. It can be so wearing. The never ending early mornings, the sleepless nights of worry. Trying to maintain your own goals, while pushing your children to strive theirs as well. It’s a truly never ending job, but one with the most rewards.

No matter where you are in your motherhood journey, I just want you to know you’ve got this. Amidst all the hardships, you keep showing up. That’s what really matters. Maybe you don’t spend every dime on organic food and didn’t play the game your child requested, but you’ve still got this and you’ll still keep going because you’re one amazing woman and mother. Never forget that.

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I’m Not Sorry I Gave You a Brother

Lately, I’ve read so many posts lamenting another child added to the family. Of course, I know these parents aren’t truly sad. Their love multiplies with each child and they learn what it’s really like to have the second one. It’s those early stages where they feel guilty.

When you reminisce about how you gave your time and all attention to one tiny human being, as opposed to sharing with others. All the fond memories of that extra time to do whatever the two of you wanted, instead of nursing, diapering, holding and caring for another infant while your toddler or child just want a second to show you their latest Lego invention. I totally get that.

However, I’ll never apologize to my son for giving him a brother. 

Personally, my son and I were lucky we did have quite a bit of time with just the two of us. He was four before his brother arrived and honestly very excited. Of course, I was nervous and uncertain, but his excitement did not dissipate upon his brother’s arrival, it only grew.

My fondest memory of my sons was when we came home from the hospital and I had to nurse the baby. I told my oldest we couldn’t do something because I had to nurse his brother and he said “okay, mom. I’ll just read to you while you feed him.” He had no clue how to actually read at this point, but he looked at the pictures and told us what everything was. I’ll never forget that sweet moment and the happy tears rolling down my cheeks.

As my kids get older and the toddler can steal his brother’s toys and hit, push, shove their brotherhood is not always as cohesive. I’m probably yelling at them at least twenty times a day, but I’ve never had a moment of regret for bringing a brother into my son’s world.

In fact, when we discovered our second child’s gender I told my son he was so lucky because he would now have a forever friend. I believe this to be true. He now has someone to be there and support him every day. His little brother is his biggest fan. He cheers for him at every sporting event. He helps him when he’s trying to sneak past mom. And yes, I know what’s going on you two. He will also be there as they get older. As life becomes more difficult and as decisions will have to be made for our lives he won’t have to do it alone.

So no, I’ll never be sorry I gave you a brother. I hope you truly remain best friends for life.

 

 Crazy 8 Sale On Now!

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Ten Tips for Traveling with Kids

Our family has spent much of our summer with our butts parked in our minivan. We’ve driven to Cedar City, Utah; Reno, Nevada; Bridgeport, California, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Before our travels this summer we had only been a few places with our toddler they included a few camping trips and some trips to San Diego. To say I was nervous is an understatement. Our toddler does not sleep well regularly, so I was not looking forward to the hours spent in the car and trying to make him sleep in new locations. Here are some tips I discovered on our journey.

1. Bring the food, all of it. 

The first leg of our journey was a 7-hour drive to Utah. For some reason (boredom) while sitting in the car my kids want to eat and eat. We started our journey with apple slices and carrots. By the end, we were eating chips, jerky and gas station hot dogs.

2. Bring a barf bag. 

Speaking of that hot dog. Bring the barf bag. Growing up I was the kid who ALWAYS puked in the car. This lovely attribute has been passed to my eldest. He will throw up at least once, every time. Without fail. On our way to Utah, I forgot the barf bag and we tested the durability of a reusable bag. It worked, but I wouldn’t recommend this. We got lucky. A plastic bag is your best bet.

3. Teach your children the beauty of boredom. 

If you have a child who needs constant attention and entertainment, good luck! Sitting in the car is just boring. Sure, you can plan ahead and bring tons of movies. Maybe your car is equipped with them. We have none of this in our 2008 minivan. I brought a ton of coloring and books for the beginning of our trip, by the end my kids were content staring out the window and playing with a string from their pillow. Whatever works, bro.

4. Bring your medicine cabinet.

For some reason, an illness always occurs while traveling. It’s a lot like throw up. Inevitable. So, bring all your meds. Some for you, some for the kids. Just bring them all.

5. Don’t expect any sleep.

Our first evening in Utah I had to sleep with my toddler. The next night he did okay by himself, but we still shared a bed. With each new location, I would sleep with him the first night to ensure his comfort. On the following nights he would usually go to sleep, but often we were sharing the bed anyway. Have ya slept with a toddler? It’s like sleeping with an octopus, I would imagine. They are everywhere. Forget about any dreams you had of sleeping in as well. Once the sun is up, so are your kids.

6. Your kids will be cranky.

Just expect it. There are a few reasons for this. First, they’re exhausted, see above. Second, all of the activities of vacation will run them ragged and naps become optional between all the fun. It’s just a recipe for disaster.

7. TV and junk food are your friends. 

It’s vacation, just embrace this.

8. Nothing will go according to plan. 

As the Lampoon’s discovered with every family vacation, nothing will go according to plan. We went to three different lakes. At each one, a kayak or canoe was promised. It never happened. In the middle of our journey, the minivan needed new brakes. Fortunately, no flat tire this time, but you just never know. There were accidents and roadblocks. We would plan certain times for arrival, sometimes they were accurate, sometimes not. It is great to have an itinerary and I would highly recommend one, but don’t freak out if your plan is thwarted. Go with the flow as much as possible. It is a vacation after all.

9. Vacation with kids is about adventure, not rest. 

Maybe on your vacations before kids, you would arrive at the beach, drink in hand and just relax. This is not how kids operate. Not at all.  They want to run, explore, build, discover and fall head first into the water. Rather than fighting this, just embrace the fun. Instead of trying to relax I build sand castles with my kids and swim. Yes, it’s exhausting, especially after no sleep, but I’m pretty sure this gives them positive memories of family time. At least, I hope so.

10. Bring sunscreen! 

Pack it in your car and every bag. Thanks to Influenster I was gifted with free sunscreen from La Roche-Posay and I’m happy to report with all of our lake time, traveling, hiking and mini golf high in the mountains no one was sunburned! For us, this is a miracle. On our last trip to Colorado, I was burnt to a crisp and I try to avoid this at all costs. It’s so uncomfortable to have a sunburn and especially terrible when your children have them. I applied the sunscreen at all outside times. With the face sunscreen, I have also come home with clearer skin than before. My husband noticed this and was shocked. It made me so happy!

Traveling with family is usually fun and rewarding. I am thankful we have had so many adventures this summer! Fortunately, all our incidents were minor and I’ve obtained hundreds of Instagram-worthy photos. That’s what really matters. Right?!

Disclaimer: I was given a free sample of La Roche-Posay sunscreen via Influenster for my honest opinion. Little Passports is an affiliate link and I may receive a portion of your sales. Read more on out disclosure page.

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I Took my Toddler to Wonder Woman: A Review {Spoilers Ahead}

On Tuesday evening I took my son’s and mother to see Wonder Woman. I had high expectations for this movie and it did not disappoint.

We went to the 7:30pm showing, this was only my toddlers second time in a theater, so I was a bit nervous, but he did great! And, my older son was so enthralled he didn’t move the entire time.

The island of Themyscira was gorgeous. I’ve spent some time reading comics and I’d seen the introduction of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, but I didn’t know much about her origin story.

The movie kept me hooked the entire time wondering what her next move would be and what in the world was her mother keeping from Diana?!

As I watched each scene unfold from the beginning-watching these strong, skilled warrior women- to the women seen in London, expected to hush and cover up I was proud and saddened. Women have had to fight for centuries for the strength to prove themselves. Even to have this movie made with a woman director was a fight and this movie seemed to honor each and every woman.


My mom said she loved this movie because of the steadfastness of Wonder Woman. She admired her trust in her mother and the truth. She never waivered, even when man tried to tell her she was wrong.

Now, I am so glad I took my children to this movie as well! I believe it is important for my boys to see women as strong role models; not only men. That being said the ending was a little scary for my toddler, but once Wonder Woman defeated Ares, all was well. He was no longer afraid. There was also a lot of adult humor in this movie that kept my mom and I laughing the entire time. When anyone laughs my toddler joins in, so it only added to the humor.

My older son loved every bit of Wonder Woman he said his favorite part “was when Wonder Woman made holes in the wall and climbed to the top.” My moms favorite part was “the bullets bouncing off of her and the shield jump.” And, my favorite scene was when Diana was told she couldn’t enter “no man’s land” and did anyway and saved the entire town.


The only moments that I didn’t absolutely love in this movie were some of the action scenes. It seemed that were sped up, but I couldn’t tell if it was purposeful or the editing was off. Either way, those are minor details and doesn’t change my love for this movie.

Most importantly, in this movie is the message of love. Chris Pine plays his part adoringly and I can see why she would fall for him. He’s honest in every way and since he’s “above average” I’m sure they had a wonderful night.

The supporting cast does amazing as well. Each of them shines a light on the troubles of war. Each in their own way. The Native American reminding us no one is without sin toward others. The sniper reminds us the internal damages of war and the actor, that life does not always go as planned.

Reminding us to love despite the evil in this world seems to the the true message of Wonder Woman and I hope it is a message we will all continue to carry in our hearts.

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On, Moving. 

I kind of hate and also kind of love moving.

Moving from one home to another did not happen for me until I was 18 years old. I moved the day after I graduated college. About a month after moving I realized I had made a bad choice and my parents lovingly moved me back home. A few weeks later, I ended up moving again, to an entirely different state.

This time I stayed, but life was not simple for me. A lot of kids head to college and have their housing paid for or figured out before arriving. I had none of this.

To make living in a new state and going to college work first, I found a non-paid live in nanny position. This was possible thanks to good ol’ craigslist. At this time I was still working another job at a hotel to make the money gap meet. Even though I had a roof I still had to pay for food, books, gas. All other necessities.

Again, after another month I realized this was not going to work. I just didn’t have time for all of it. Soon, I was back to browsing craigslist and found a room for $200/month. I was sold! I was living with five other girls, but our house was fairly large. I stayed here a few months and once again thought it might be best to move. Did I mention my bed was an air mattress?!

At that time I thought it was best to move because a friend offered a free place. A few weeks in, come to find out, he was getting evicted and has ditched me to deal with the owners. Not cool. Luckily, another friend took me in. We literally shared a bed.

She and I hit it off really well and decided to get a place of our own. Now, I did not know much about this state I’d been living in. Come to find out, there are some neighborhoods better than others. Me being an ignorant 19-year-old who had only lived with her parents, I had no idea.

We ended up moving into one of these neighborhoods and it was CRAWLING with cockroaches. I had to get out. So, I moved again. Anyone keeping track? No idea how many moves we’re at here. I found another place, with another friend, moved a few months later and I believe three more times after that before my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to move to San Diego!

We lived in San Diego for about three years, moving a total of four times.

After we had our first child I wanted to be back with our family and we returned to the Phoenix area.

We’ve been back here now for about 8 years and have moved only three times! A huge success to me. Now, I could tell you all about packing and moving and how to get it done quickly, because I’ve done it about 15 times in the last ten years now, but that’s not what I want to discuss.

I want to discuss what it means to me to be close to purchasing our own home.

Honestly, I was never sure this would happen. Actually, I’m still not sure because we haven’t officially closed, but it’s being built and it’s supposed to be ours. I also know how it feels to be near homelessness and relying on others for a roof over your head. To those who helped me numerous times, thank you so much! I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Being on the move so much has also taught me many invaluable lessons. To me, home is not a place. It’s the people in our lives. My people are my husband and children. When I am with them, I am home. We could be anywhere, as long as I have them I am truly happy.

To anyone struggling to find a home, buy their own home or make their rental into their own place, do not worry. If we can make it work I can guarantee almost anyone can.

I wanted to purchase a home seven years ago. It’s taken us seven years to get to where we are today. There have been struggles and sacrifices, of course, but in the end it’s all worth it!

Never give up, keep your home dreams alive. Maybe you don’t want to own a home. Maybe you want to travel the world or move each year. Whatever makes you feel at home is all that really matters.

I will admit, I was sad to say goodbye to our latest home. It holds so many wonderful memories. Our youngest was born while we lived there. My husband taught our oldest to ride his bike there and we’ve had a nearly a million family dinners at those tables. There’s been loss in that home as well, but I remember mostly positive moments.

As we move again, I am anxious that our home will provide a new space for us to thrive and grow.

Here’s hoping all goes according to plan! Probably won’t, because that’s life, but I can dream, right?!
P.S. I finally counted. A total of 18 moves thus far. Whoa.

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