DIY Art Display

For all of you who have small kids you know how all the countless art projects can start to pile up.  My daughter loves to create anything and always wants to proudly display it.  So I created this art display in her room.  I love it for so many reasons!  It’s super pretty and girly, she gets to choose what goes up on display.  And, we are decorating her room with her art work, rather than purchasing art work.   It’s very simple and inexpensive to do.  Here’s how:


_DSC00061. I found these door knobs at Hobby Lobby for $5 each.  My hubby screwed them into the wall, make sure it’s thru a stud or it will pull out of the dry wall.

2. I already had this twine in my house from a different project I had worked on, I purchased it at Joanne’s.  I tied it in a knot around the knob, pull it taught and tie around the other knob.

3. I got the clothes pins on Etsy, $6.50 for a pack of 24.

4. Let the fun begin!  Hang your art work however you feel like it!


Day in the Life With 2 Small Kids

Do you ever see your kids from a distance and think to yourself, how did I get here?  are those my kids?  have I lowered my standards of normal that much that I think this is ok?  Eight years ago I would have looked at a woman like me and thought “Lady, control your kids!”  I fear that I have become the woman I once judged.

On Tuesday I threw out my back, sending me into such pain that it left me completely helpless.  I have a curve in my spine, borderline scoliosis, and this happens every couple of years.  It takes about a week of heat, ice, stretching, rest to get back to normal.  Since Tuesday evening I have pretty much been doing the bare minimum around the house and with the kids.  Just to drive or lift my son into his crib is so much pain!  So there has been a lot of tv and ipad going on in my house.  Anything to keep the kids happy so I can nurse my back.

Last night the kids were so restless after dinner I thought it would be a good idea to take a family outing to Target.  We needed to get a couple of things and the kids needed to get out of the house and walk off some energy.  I of course left the house looking like I was run over by a truck.  I haven’t washed my hair since Tuesday and I couldn’t dry it due to the pain in my back.  So it’s a frizz afro with oily roots- great!  I had on baggy sweat pants and sweat shirt, no make-up and ugg boots.  I was a sight for sore eyes!!  But we needed to get out!

The trip started off with visiting the $1 section and picking out a few Hello Kitty stickers and silly putty.  Next is on to look at the toys and think about what Santa might bring us.  Then we need to pick out a snack for school tomorrow.  So far so good!  Everyone is happy and enjoying themselves.

After check out, my husband is pushing the cart and I’m supposed to be walking with the kids towards the door.  But my son Caleb, who is 2, decided to run ahead of me.  He is now dangerously close to the door to the parking lot.  I yell to my daughter Sofia, who is 5, to grab Caleb so he can’t run outside.  I’m trying my hardest to run up to them but every step is so painful.  Sofia runs and football tackles him to the ground.  Caleb lets out this high pitched girls scream that sounds like he is in excruciating pain.  Anyone who has heard this scream can testify, no one can scream as high pitched and ear piercing as Caleb!  They continue to roll around on the ground in front of customer service as Sofia is yelling out “I’m trying to keep you safe” and Caleb is screaming high pitched and so loud the entire time.  This lasted for at least a minute as I am barely moving faster than a normal walk speed.  Everyone around us is looking and judging as I walk up and try to parent these crazy kids.  I tried to think of something clever to say to lighten the mood.  Something like “oh, I’m the nanny and this is my first day :)”  But I knew I looked to frazzled for anyone to believe I was the nanny.  So I just got my kids and kept moving.  I find that when moments like this happen I have to focus on my kids and myself and what I think is right, forget all those faces around me judging.  They don’t know what kind of week I’m having.

This is to all the kids that have hit someone else’s kid at the park.  The kid that took her clothes off and went down the slide at the town picnic!  The kid that dumped their crackers out and stomped on them just to piss you off.  The kids that run and hide from you in a mall.  It’s also to the same kids that give you that extra squeezy hug at night and tell you one more time they love you.  The kids that say you are the best mom ever!  The kids that get you a boo boo when you bang your knee against the table.

These kids are my favorite!  They are all kinds of dramatic, emotions, creativity and think the entire world is their stage.  They love and are naughty to the highest and widest degree.  Here is to the kids that see life in the best way possible!


Is Life What You Thought it Would Be?

When I was 5 years old I had big dreams for my life.  I was going to be an astronaut or Queen of my own country.  I remember around 3rd grade telling someone that I could be IMG_1467President if I wanted to be, but I’m choosing not to be because it doesn’t sound fun.  Then around 15 years old I realized that all I wanted to be in life is a Mother.  I know that is not a popular thing these days, to be “just” a mother.  I never cared about trying to be CEO, VP or owning my own company.  All I wanted was children, a loving home where I raised my children and I tucked them in at night.  I would dream about what that would look like.  Who would I marry?  Where would we live?  How many kids would we have?  Boys or Girls?  Here I am, with a loving husband and 2 beautiful, healthy kids; and for some reason it doesn’t feel like I’m living my dream.

Why is that?  First off, I also had no idea about pregnancy sickness and that it could last 4 months long, or gaining 50 pounds and having cankles!  If I were a celebrity I would have been called Shamu!  Maybe I didn’t dream about waking up at 2am and again at 4:30am with a newborn for almost an entire year. I had no idea that once you had a healthy baby there is still a chance of endless doctor visits and appointments with specialist because IMG_1714your child isn’t developing the same as the average.  I never thought I would slump to the level of wearing my pj’s out of the house, forgetting to brush my teeth (or shower).   I always thought that if I was having a hard day or got sick, that my mom would show up and help, just like she did when I was young.  I always imagined that my family life would look like the end of an episode of ‘Parenthood’.  The family is always together, helping, talking, having fun, everyone shows up for a baseball game of one of the grandkids.  But it seems like it’s always just me, the hubby and kids doing our own thing.  Is this the new kind of family?

It seems like in this day and age of pressure for our kids to perform above average, we need family support more than ever.  In preschool my daughter was tested to make sure she knows the entire alphabet, the sound each letter makes, count to 20, writes her first and last name (with a pencil, not pen), raising her hand and not shouting out, follows directions, socially engaging and playing nice with others, creating works of art during craft time, has an imagination and I can’t remember what else was discussed at the parent teacher conference.  And this is all in the first month of preschool.  I always thought this was what they learned in Kindergarten.  And between all the dance, soccer, swim, gymnastics, drama class, extra curriculum building class, speech therapy, who has the time or energy to spend quality time together?  Instead of living this fairy tale dream I had of what being a mom is supposed to look like, I find that I am always rushed, always late, always hungry, never IMG_1252showered, house is always messy, always stressed and worried about my kids and always tired!IMG_1392

So I had an epiphany the other day.  Why don’t we take a lesson from our children?  The other day I asked my 5 year old daughter to pick up her room.  She answered in a polite voice saying, “I really don’t want to do that Mommy.  It’s kinda boring.”.  I couldn’t agree more!  It is very boring to pick up and clean!  It’s very boring to do the laundry!  Of course I can’t blow off my responsibilities, I am an adult after all.  But I can take a day off.  I mean, an entire day off!  I can forget I have laundry to do, forget about all the cleaning and dishes.  And forget about what society thinks about me!!!  I can turn my phone off and run around and have fun with my kids!  After all, didn’t I want kids because I thought it would be fun?

I always thought that being an adult would be more fun than being a kid.  I’m old enough to do whatever I want.  I don’t have a mom or dad telling me what to do any more.  I don’t have a list of chores or a report card.  But here is the truth about being an adult.  I can’t control what others do around me, so friends and family will let me down.  I will have big disappointments in life.  I will have heartache and cry.  I will have expenses come up that I don’t have enough money to pay for.  I will gain weight and my jeans won’t fit any more.  But the biggest thing I want to teach my children is how to have fun!  Enjoy the moment!  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do it perfect and just let go and laugh!  Really laugh, like when you were a kid!  Bend and break the rules!  They are probably rules that YOU made anyway.  Let’s enjoy life!


Baby Weight or NOT Baby Weight?

My son is 2, is it still considered baby weight?  Maybe it’s “I had kids and they take up all of my time” weight!

After my 1st I was great about going to the gym, eating healthy and getting adequate rest.  I think I was in better shape at her first birthday than I was when I got pregnant.  Then my son was born…

I kept asking everyone when I was pregnant, How much more work is 2 children than just one?  Double the work?  Not as much as double?  No one would give me a straight answer.  I’ll tell you the truth- it’s one hundred times more the work!!!!!!  One child is a cute accessory.  Add another child and your life is consumed by non stop, never ending work!  Good bye coffee dates with friends and Hello sweatpants!  Between running the kids here and there, errands, laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, working part-time, raising children that act like wild animals into decent human beings, who has time for the gym?!?!  Every time my kids start screaming and fighting with each other I grab a pint of ice cream and start shoveling cookies in my mouth!  At the end of the day I want some wine and dessert to help me unwind, or to celebrate the great day I just accomplished.


And here we are, it’s been 2.5 years since my son was born.  Everything seems like one big blur, all my days blend together, and I still have my “baby weight”.  I tried to lose it over the summer.  That should be easy right?  We are all outside, more active; the weight should just fall off.  Oh wait, I’m not 23 any more!!  Is it me or is the summer filled with one cook out after the next?  They usually start around 3:00.  You graze all afternoon while drinking cocktails, have a huge burger for dinner, and don’t forget about the delicious dessert being served right before you leave.  Tons of fun!!!!  I definitely gained 10 pounds this summer!  With the Holidays coming up, forget it!

So where does it end?  For me it ended Monday!  I got on the scale and I weighed my all time high at 156.5, and that was it for me!  I may not always have control over my time and whether I can fit a work out into my schedule or not.  But I do have control over what I put in my mouth.  I have to break the cycle!  First thing I did, think of my body as a machine and food is fuel.  What is the best things I can put into it?  I also started thinking about my kids.  Do I want to continue eating unhealthy and have health problems that my kids have to worry about when they are my age?  Next thing was grocery shopping.  I stocked up on veggies and got a dip made from beets to dip them in.  It’s actually really good.  Then I got friendly with the butcher.  I had no idea my grocery store has chicken burgers with spinach and feta, delicious!!

I’m 4 days in and have already lost 4.5 pounds!  It hasn’t been easy, but I’m pushing thru it and happy to be seeing results so quickly.  Last night I had something worth celebrating with my husband.  All I wanted was to open a bottle of wine and get some chocolate cake.  I was really struggling!  Then my hubby said to me “Celebrate by having the best body of your life”.  He is so encouraging and amazing to me!!


In the event of an absolute melt down of cravings, I have 1 of these cookies and it’s all better. 1 cookie is 40 calories and soooooo delicious!  The best part, I can eat it guilt free!