Saturday, August 29, 2009

16 Out of 39 Things Every Mom Should Know

When the September edition of Parents magazine arrived in my mailbox this month, I tossed it aside to possibly be read later, maybe. Don't get me wrong, I think Parents is a great magazine. I've had a subscription to it since before Harrison was born, and it has helped me deal with lots of parenting issues. Lately, however, after reading about articles such as how to get your kids to eat Shrimp Pizza (that author has obviously never met my children) or how to grow an organic garden in your backyard (something I really would love to do, but our super hot, nearly treeless backyard just won't do), or plenty of other similar articles,
it's left me feeling a little (or maybe a lot) inadequate.

Today, the magazine totally redeemed itself, with an article titled, "39 Things Every Mom Should Know," written by Kacy Faulconer, who just might be my new best friend. :) I read the article, laughed, smiled, and could literally feel the guilt lifting right off my shoulers. And since I'm all about helping other moms feel less guilty as well, I thought I would pass on some of my favorites from this article, mixed in with some pics of some super cute kids in some of their cutest moments, and some in their less-than-perfect moments. :)

When it comes to raising children, everyone is an expert. Your kids won't be little forever, so enjoy them! Wow. That was helpful. Thanks. But there's something very specific to enjoy about your little kids. They don't know what you're actually up to~ so savor it while it lasts. When they get older they notice when you bum food or fall asleep at the school play. But with a toddler you can eat frosting out of a can while watching Blue's Clues and the kid will never bat an eye~ or judge you for it. Want more unsolicited but totally honest advice from a mom of four kids ages 1 to 11? Of course you do.

(See? I told you she was great! Keep reading...)

1. You never have to go to those obnoxious kid-themed restaurants. Ever. I wish someone had told me that.
3. Do your chores while the kids are awake. Using up naptime to wash dishes or clean the bathroom is truly soul-crushing.

4. Put Band-Aids on everything your kids want you to. Why not?
6. Just throw away the poopy underwear.
7. Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.

9. Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think.
12. Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay.
(The sooner you accept this, the better.)
16. Never stifle a generous inclination.
18. Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.
20. I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping their toenails or some other activity they dread. I've had great success with this one, but you must find your own.
27. Always pack wipes. If your kids go somewhere without you, send along wipes.
It's like having a mom with them.
28. Do not allow the word "weinies" in your home.

36. Give out awards for actual achievements.
37. You're never too old to dress up and decorate for Halloween. And it's more fun for everyone if you are into it. It also entitles you to more candy.

38. If the school year, new babysitter, or karate class gets

off to a rocky start, don't totally stress out about it.

Instead, think of the improvement that can be made by the end of the year.

39. Independence is a wonderful thing. For everyone. So is together time.

Make sure you have a healthy does of both.

You see, I'm all about being the best Mom I can possibly be to my kiddos, but I also know that things aren't always going to be perfect. The kids are going to fight, they're going to watch too much tv sometimes, they're not always going to eat their veggies, etc., etc. They're still really great, smart, happy, fun, healthy kids. And it was so nice reading an article that embraced this subject, instead of laying more guilt about the things I'm not doing perfectly.

So this month I'm thankful for a more realistic Parents magazine,

and looking forward to what I learn next month. :)


Maybe a little...not sure why. Think it's possibly because I am SO READY for Fall to be here that I can hardly stand it, and there's something about the weather changing that makes me want to make new things, reorganize, do some hard cleaning, etc.
I was inspired at last week's Hot Metal Mama's class, and my sweet friend Susan suggested I make something with the metal using the boys' handprints. I thought it was a fabulous idea, and am shocked that I actually got it done so quickly. How very out of character of me! :)
What do you think? I love their signatures inside each handprint...
so thankful I have those frozen in time. :)

Here's a closeup of Hunter's. His hand is getting way too big already.

Remember these pillows I found and fell in love with in Santa Fe?

Turned them into some frames to go over our bed, hung those fun lanterns, and rearranged things this week. Still need to get a few things for this room (more things for the wall, a shelf or two, and a lamp for sure) but I think it's coming together nicely. And now that it is all rearranged, I really want to paint it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Three happy boys, playing happily together.
Racing cars, laughing, cheering each other on...

...a can't-miss photo opp. for this Mama. :)

Not that this is a completely uncommon event in our house,
but after a long summer of constant togetherness, well...
let's just say they now are definitely missing each other during the day, and having LOTS of fun together in the afternoons.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Even in the womb, Hunter showed a serious stubborn streak. At that time, I was incredibly thankful for his stubbornness, for the last month of my pregnancy with him was pretty scary, with lots of heart rate issues, in and out of the hospital and doctor's office A LOT. I had never been so thankful in my life as I was when he was born 3 weeks early, happy and healthy.
These days, however, I'm having to remind myself A LOT that I am still thankful for the stubborn-minded ways of my two-and-a-half year old little boy, reminding myself that this trait will serve him well throughout his life. But right now, when I'm trying to convince him that the paci needs to go bye-bye and that it's time to ditch the diapers, the stubbornness has REALLY been rearing it's very ugly head.

All summer we've been talking about using the potty, wearing underpants like his big brothers, etc. He would just reply, "nope. diapers." I decided to let it go, and revisit the topic once bubbas started school. Today, when I suggested trying the underwear, he got very excited! He chose "elmopants," as he so cutely calls them, and if you can't tell by the pic, is super proud.

How's the training going so far, you ask? Well, in the time it has taken me to type this post, we've now gone throught elmopants, groverpants, and are now wearing cookiemonsterpants. :) Apparently, he is very well hydrated.
But hey, it's a step in the right direction.
Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The New Kids at School

It's hard to believe the day came this fast, when my oldest and my middle started a new year school. They are at a new school this year, and we are really excited about it!
We got off to a bit of a stressful start this morning (Hud wasn't jazzed about being up and at 'em at 6:30, but he pulled it together and got excited) but the first day ended up being a giant success!

Seriously, how is it possible that he is in kindergarten?
Sweet baby, who's not such a baby anymore.

And this one is getting way too grown up...he wanted to know why he has a spot for his cell phone on his backpack, but no cell phone to go in it.
I told him to stop trying to grow up so fast.

I was worried about Harrison this's tough being the new kid in school (I did that a lot, and remember what it felt like) but he handled it like a champ. Big smile, no nervousness that I could see...I could learn a thing or two from this kiddo.
He did awesome, and can't wait to go back tomorrow. :)

Hud had a moment when he wasn't too sure....
looked a little nervous or unsure, but it wasn't long before...

...He was back to his normal, happy, Huddy self. :)
He also loved school, and says he can't wait to go back tomorrow.
And me? Looks like I survived another first day of school. I cry every year (this year was the hardest having two going all day) and am always so relieved when we get past the first day.
It's not easy to let go....
feels like I'm leaving my heart there with them.
Hopefully, they can feel that. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Last Day of Summer

Can you tell Hunter is super sad today?
It really has nothing to do with the fact that school starts for his brothers tomorrow.
Actually, he was throwing a GIGANTIC, record-setting fit.


I wasn't kidding.
He is definitely an assertive, stubborn two-year-old. Yikes.
Thankfully, he's most often a sweet, snuggly, funny two-year-old, so I suppose I can handle a fit every now and then. Especially when it looks this funny and I have my camera. ;)

Thankfully, a snack and some snuggling helped a lot,
and we were able to go on and enjoy our day. :)

Can you believe this one is starting kindergarten TOMORROW? How in the world did that happen so fast?

We made the best of our last day at the water park for this summer, and had a blast!

It's equally shocking to this mama that
Harrison will be a 3rd grader tomorrow.
Wasn't I just taking him to kindergarten yesterday?

I had to check both of them for gills, because I swear
(except that I don't) that they are part fish.
These brothers LOVE to swim!

They also love to build sandcastles. Hunter takes his job as "water fetcher" very seriously, and the three of them built a gigantic castle, with a lake and everything today.

It's so, so fun to be totally covered in sand!

Awesome day, all the way around.
And now I will spend the rest of the day focusing on NOT getting sad about school starting tomorrow, but instead focusing on what a great year they are both going to have, and how much I'm going to enjoy some one-on-one time with my littlest guy. I'm so excited about their new school, and so thankful that they have the opportunity to go. We have had one of the most fun summers we've had in a long time, and I have loved every minute of having them home with me.
Have I mentioned how crazy in love I am with these boys? ;)

See? Hunter really did have a great day afterall.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


...this kid LOVES to eat. :)