My #momlife

This. This photo. This is how my #momlife looks most of the time. My husband had come in from the other room to see our two children and two dogs basically on top of me. In this position I usually end up covered in slobber (from both the humans and dogs) but I also know I’m covered in so much love. I wish you could hear this moment, there was so much laughter and I’m so thankful Matt snapped this photo. It’s not perfect, it’s not set up photo, this is our real life…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. (Ok maybe I would make the dogs not shed, but you know what I mean.)

What does your #momlife (or #dadlife) look like?

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Voting

I swore I was taking the boys to vote with me on November 6…just like my parents would take me when I was little. I said it every day, “We will vote on November 6.” I may have said it as a reminder since you know, mom brain.

Last week, two of my friends posted about early voting and voting in general (Hey Danielle and Allison!) I didn’t think about early voting. I decided to look into it and realized I could apply for an absentee ballot. It took me maybe 5 minutes to fill out the online form and by the next day my ballot was in the mail.

I was excited at how fast it came! The real reason for my applying for an absentee ballot was that things come up…I know my life can go from calm to poop literally on the floor in the matter of seconds. I didn’t want November 6 to roll around and me lose track of time or miss my chance to vote because of something coming up.

This morning I made sure to get my ballot in the mail and I will proudly wear my sticker today. (Ohio, I hope you’re with the program now and give stickers to absentee ballot voters!!)

I voted while the boys ran around and sang Baby Shark. L asked what I was doing and I did my best to explain to a four year old What voting was and why we do it. I told him that I voted to help make our world a better place, for me, for him, his brother, my sister, my brothers, and our friends and other family. I want the boys to know that their voices matter and they need to make sure their voices are heard. Their vote might only matter when it comes to meal planning right now, but eventually they will be 18 and voting with the rest of us adults.

Family and Friends…PLEASE VOTE. I will love you no matter how you vote, just please do it.

Minnesota Children’s Museum Night

Mini Postal Workers
The car wash might be the boys favorite exhibit! They can get all soapy and wet!

This week we got to explore the Children’s Museum after hours! We have been many times but there something about Matt being able to come after work even more fun!

We two hours to play and explore and that time flew by! I know we could spend an entire day here! It’s such a fun space for children and adult. There is even a sign that said “Attention: For Children and for those who use to be Children”.

For kids of all ages!

We are so lucky to live in a big city where there are so many opportunities for us to take our children so they can grow and learn as individuals, with each other, and with other children.

My only complaint…the parking garages 😂 Other than that, this place is a membership worthy spot, especially with the cold winter months coming up!

Our Pumpkin Patch Adventure

Yesterday we decided to head back to Pine Tree Apple Orchard to explore the pumpkin patch and corn maze. If you remember when we went apple picking, this was our first stop and then we realized they didn’t have U-pick Apples.

The adventure started off great. We explored the corn maze first. I do wish that they had some sort of activity to do while going through the corn maze. It was so windy and chilly while we were in the maze but it made it that much more fun.

If any of you reading this saw my Instagram story the other day, I posted that four years old is a much more difficult year than the terrible twos or the threenager ages. I’m going to be real with you, once we got to the pumpkin patch, something didn’t go L’s way and he had a meltdown. I don’t really know why but we did take him to the car to settle down. The looks from the teenagers staring while Matt carried him down the hill made me chuckle a little…we were totally their birth control for the night.

After L cooled down and we discussed his choices he understood the few mintues prior to our conversation. We then went to the Farm Store (which really is the best part, right?!) and grabbed some goodies..probably too many goodies, but so delicious.

We then sat by the lake and enjoyed a treat and played for a little bit. Overall we had a nice time other than our little hiccup. We might have to go back to the farm for strawberry picking in the summer, but I do think there will be other pumpkin patches we try next year.

Tonight we will carve the pumpkins and roast some seeds! Photos to follow 🙂

Parenting Styles/Trends: How do you feel about them?

img_3921I sat in a class recently and we discussed the “new” parenting trends. We broke into groups and really dug into a few of them. Some of the ones discussed were: Lawn Mower Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, Attachment Parenting, Tiger Parenting, and Free Range Parenting.

I sat there and just wondered…why do we have to label how we parent? Are we just opening ourselves up to be judged and shamed? While researching some of these parenting styles, I learned that one came from someones memoir, not anything that was meant to be a parenting book.

I know as a mother today, dads too I am sure, I always hear about mom shaming and I know none of us want to be judged or shamed, but we are. For example, Free Range parenting can land you in trouble with the law in many areas.

So back to my title: How do you feel about them? What do these trends say about us? Do we need to label ourselves? Do we have to fit ourselves in one little box? As I looked over the list, honestly I could see myself grabbing at pieces from each “trend”. I don’t fit into a box. Truly, once I hit 30 I stopped caring about what people thought about me…as long as my family is happy and we are doing the best we can, I’m good.

What do you want your parenting to say about you? How do you want to feel at the end of the day? Do you want to parent just like your parent(s) did or do you want to go the opposite direction? My parents always told us that they raised all 4 of us the same way and we are all so different. Each child is going to be their own person, different from you, your partner, or anyone else for that matter. You might have to change up your parenting regularly…and that’s ok! As long as you are taking care of you family the best that you can, that’s all that really matters isn’t it?

I took a few moments to think about how I want to describe my parenting:

  • supportive and involved but not overbearing
  • an advocate but not super aggressive
  • patient but not lackadaisical
  • respectful but not a pushover

I am NOT saying I am all of these things all of the time but I work towards those. My parenting has changed since the beginning but I am evolving as a person as are my children.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent, just be a real one. If you need help, ask for help. Find your tribe, and if you need help I am always here. Let’s work together and not put labels on ourselves. Let’s just love our children and raise them to be good human beings.

Potty Training 😱

With H just about 2 he’s starting to show signs he’s getting ready to learn how to use the Big Boy Potty. (I swore I’d never use the word “potty” and I catch myself using it in convos now.)

He’s hiding now, so we know he’s becoming aware of what’s going on when he needs to go.

He wants a front row seat when anyone heads into the bathroom which is super fun.

Honestly, I forget all about potty training! I don’t remember how we started with L. I need tips and tricks!

Thankfully we have a super cute potty on the way thanks to Wildkin!

Send Lysol, Clorox, and wine!

A D.C. Recap!

What a whirlwind of a few days! I missed the boys terribly but really was so thankful for the time away to reset and refresh.

I arrived Wednesday and once Matt was done with his conference for the day we made our way to OZ, in Arlington, VA. We had a delicious meal, a good start to the time away!

Thursday is was super gross and rainy, so my morning was pretty lazy. Matt scheduled a massage for me in Georgetown so I headed that way. I had the strangest Uber driver, Rohan, he gave me his number before I got out of the car… yea I wasn’t going to call him to show me around.

I explored Georgetown a little after my massage and after that Matt and I went to visit a friend from high school! It was so nice to visit and catch up! We ended Thursday night with pizza and pjs in bed. The perfect ending to a long day!

Friday, Matt got up and went to the last day of his conference. As soon as he was done we hopped on the metro and went to The Smithsonian Castle and the Museum of Natural History. We kept saying how much our boys would love the museum when they are a little older! We sent pictures of the dinosaurs and butterflies and anything we knew they would love to see!

After that, we walked the National Mall and ended up at the White House. Then we got back on the metro and rested once we were back at our hotel!

We finally decided on where to go to dinner around 8 pm (seriously past my bedtime!). We went to the Red Hen and we waited about an hour and a half to be seated…but it was worth it! We had a wonderful meal and drinks! We crashed as soon as our heads hit our pillows that night!

Saturday morning we woke up and couldn’t wait for Fran and Karch to come and hang out for the day!

We watched the Temple game at Buffalo Wild Wings and then decided to go check out the National Portrait Gallery, all I can say is WOW! This was an amazing museum. The photos, the paintings, the art. Just incredible. We probably could have spend all day there.

After we freshened up we went to Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers for dinner. Thank you Allison for the recommendation! We had all intentions of going out after dinner but we were so full we were rolled out of the restaurant. Everything we had was delicious!

Sunday, we went to brunch at a small place in Alexandria, VA, The Evening Star Cafe…this was the perfect way to start our day! Fran and Karch dropped us off at the hotel and they headed back to Philly.

We are so lucky to have friends who are really our family in our lives!

Matt and I had almost the whole day to spend in D.C. before heading to the airport. We rested and packed up and then went to The Holocaust Memorial Museum. I was there one other time when I was in High School, but something about going as an adult had a whole different impact on me.

We then made our way to the airport, we found out our flight was delayed and we had lots of time to just be still. I lucked out with a Main Cabin Extra seat on American. (More leg room and free alcohol!) Matt was supposed to be way in the back, but I worked some magic and he was able to sit next to me! I worked some magic a bit this week, the seat for Matt, late checkout for us, and our room upgrade to the suite! I call that a win!

Overall, we had a nice time and were able to spend one on one time together which rarely happens. We know it won’t happen anytime soon, but we look forward to the next time we are able to spend some time together to reconnect as a couple, and be Katie and Matt. ♥️

Back to Reality

It’s so good to be back home with the boys and dogs! It’s so good to sleep in our own bed. But it was back to reality bright and early, the boys were ready to play at 6 am!

I think the time away was great for us all, the only thing I’ll have to remember for next time is to rest and relax a little more!

I will write a post later today about the fun adventures in DC!

SOS! Clinger Alert!

The photo above is an actual photo of me taken this morning. Ok, it’s the Cynthia doll from Rugrats but I swear this is how I look/feel today.

I have a clinger and I don’t know what to do about it! H is having a seriously hard time with L going back to school and it’s definitely throwing his mornings.

Today (and it’s only 9:45 am) I went to the gym after dropping off L and I tried to get H to stay in the childcare room. He cried for 15 minutes and would not let go. Monday he had a rough time at the gym alone too.

Well today, we left. I have serious guilt about not working out but I think my “mom guilt” would be worse if I left him crying and a mess for the full hour.

I’m just looking for suggestions on what you (any of you..moms, dads, babysitters, teachers, aunts, uncles, anyone who loves/takes care of a child) would do or how to handle my little clinger. He’s my baby and he won’t be a baby much longer. I don’t want him to be so distressed he doesn’t want to go to the gym or any classes alone again.

Please comment your suggestions and then come on by for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

First Day Back to School

My little Batman went back to school today. It was so much harder on me than him! He saw friends he knew and that was that! I called to him and he came back and gave me a big hug before finally entering the building. I stood there hoping for a wave or glance as he went in, but he walked in ready to rule to day!

And seriously how cute is his back pack from Pottery Barn Kids?! It’s the bigger version than the one he had last year…he loves that this one has wheels…my thought was he could use it for travel too!

We got back to school with time to spare so H and I walked around and looked for bugs and flowers! We really missed L but we know he had a great day! He’s going places!

L…we love you, we are thankful for you, and we are proud of you.