Month

July 2016

This Week’s Toddler Milestones (#3)

Wtf?

This week we learned:

1. How to remove the hook from the baby gate at the top of the stairs. NEAT.

2. We are mastering the art of climbing onto things that aren’t meant to be climbed on. (Vacuum. Car. Etc.)

3. We discovered how much fun it is to pull up mommy’s shirt and poke her (HARD) in the belly button. This is very fun for third trimester mommy.

Cheese!
Cheese!

4. We revisited how much fun it is to take a drink and let milk dribble out of our mouth. Last time it offended us when it went down our shirt but now that we are a water park pro it is exhilarating.

5. We learned how to fake chew when there is nothing in our mouth, making mommy think there is something in our mouth and subsequently panic and dig around in our mouth for what we are chewing on. Or not chewing on.

6. We are continuing to master the art of running away when someone threatens to change our diaper.

7. Our selective listening skills are drastically improving, as are evidence by this video. OH WAIT. There is no more video. Because we also learned how to erase videos from mom’s phone.

Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 9.35.19 PM8. We learned to take the lid off the Puffs can. Unfortunately, we have not yet learned how to not shove entire handfuls in our mouth.

9. We learned how to say “cheese” for a picture, which is basically the most adorable thing ever.

10. We learned to walk in someone else’s shoes. Hey, we are advanced I guess. 😉

10. We learned that the fastest way to ruin a bath is to try playing with foam bath soap. We HATE FOAM BATH SOAP. HATE HATE HATE.

 

11. Also, we had this fun moment (see below). I like to call this one, “How the heck did you get wet?” No liquids that I can find anywhere in the room. Within 5 minutes of putting on a clean shirt. Go figure.

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4 Ways I’m a “Mean” Mom at Bedtime

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My kids have had a consistent bedtime routine from the time they are two months old. As babies and toddlers it is pretty straightforward and gives them the security of a little predictability. Both of my children so far have thrived on this kind of schedule.

As they grow into more independent beings capable of communicating and reasoning, a certain amount of flexibility enters the bedtime arena. However, there are a few areas that are not open to compromise.

  1. Bedtime is non-negotiable.

I don’t care if it is summer and it is still light out. I don’t care if you’re “not tired”.

I’ve read the research and I’ve learned from my own experience. The later they stay up, the harder it is for them to fall asleep and the worse they sleep. If my oldest is in bed by 8, she sleeps peacefully. If she goes down between 8:30-9:15 we usually have at least two bad dreams and one bathroom break. After 9:15, forget it. She ends up screaming in her sleep every couple hours all night. The less they sleep, the less sleep I get, and the harder the days are. And the harder the next evening’s bedtime is.

No matter how intelligent and rational a child is, they cannot make good choices when they are over tired. It’s a vicious cycle. Obviously every now and then, if it is a special event and we have nothing going on the next day, we might break our own rule. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a bedtime meanie just because it is fun. It’s because it’s what our children need to actually have real fun. When they get to stay up late, often end-of-the-day exhaustion puts a damper on the “special occasion” anyway, and the price we pay the next day just isn’t worth it.

  1. Bedtime routine is non-negotiable.

If you wait until you have brushed your teeth and are tucked in bed to ask for a snack, you are not getting a snack.

This may sound mean, but I know my child is capable of understanding when the appropriate time to ask for something is. The first few times it happened, I caved and gave her a snack but I clearly communicated that it wouldn’t always work that way. I also know she is capable of using requests as a way to delay and postpone bedtime. Any parent who’s seen this routine in action knows how frustrating it can be. I don’t want the last few minutes of her day to be me being frustrated with her. So the rules are simple and clear. She knows if she wants a snack she has to ask before her teeth are brushed.

  1. Cuddles and conversation are not unlimited.

This may sound like the cruelest one of all, but trust me. I set boundaries because I love them. As a mom of all girls, I’m all too familiar with how many feelings girls have. Especially if they are tired. So bedtime is prime time for us to need a lot of emotional attention. We miss everyone who isn’t in bed with us at that moment. We miss pets that died when we were two. We miss relatives we’ve never even met. We miss our old car. We miss the birthday balloons that ran out of helium and withered six months ago. These are all real examples. I could not make this up.

So I cuddle her and I hug her and kiss her and tell her it will be all right. But there are some nights where the more snuggles I give her the more snuggles she needs. She will work herself up to a full blown crying mess unless I draw the line. There have been many evenings I’ve had to kiss her and hug her and walk out of the room to the sound of her whimpering because it’s the only way she will calm down and go to sleep. It sucks every time. I camp out outside her door to make sure she winds down and falls asleep. But I don’t know any other way. It doesn’t do any of us any good for her to stay up crying when I know that the waterfall of feelings is only happening because she’s exhausted and needs to sleep.

  1. Their sleep is for their benefit and for mine.

I’m always happy to explain to my child why bedtime is so important for her health and her brain and her ability to manage her feelings, etc. Our routine exists so that she gets what she needs and can be her best self. But I’m also not afraid to remind her that bedtime isn’t just about her. The few hours mommy gets in the evening to herself are necessary in order for me to be a good mommy during the day. She is old enough to understand that we don’t take things that don’t belong to us, and my me time in the evening is mine. She isn’t allowed to take what isn’t hers. Obviously if I know she needs me and I know that I can help, I will choose her. But if it’s one of those evenings where she just wants me to stand next to her bed all night so that she doesn’t have to miss me, then sorry, but no. Sacrificing my sanity, especially if it’s not actually benefitting her, is a waste of both our time.

 

Every parent has a different approach to bedtime and that is great. Because every parent knows their children best. Some kids can stay up late and they will sleep in and be fine. Some kids, if they stay up late, get up even earlier and turn into maniacal little animals who then refuse to nap or sleep for the next 72 hours. Lucky for me, that’s how our dice landed. So for us, loving our children and keeping our family sanity means being “mean” at bedtime. And I’m ok with that.

I Wrote a Post About Donald Trump and Realized It Wasn’t About Him At All

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I wrote a post about Donald Trump.

I really have no interest in writing about politics. I don’t even care to comment on all the reasons why I don’t want to contribute to my opinions to the Internet web on this year’s candidates.

I wrote it because I was venting and then I left it in my pile, not sure what to do with it next.

I revisited it today while cleaning out my drafts folder, thinking perhaps it was time to delete it and move on. After all, it’s not really the kind of topic I care to share in my writing space. But as I read it I realized that, even though it is about Trump, it isn’t actually about him at all. It is about the power of language and communicating. It is about some of the amazing people I know who have developed and mastered this skill, and the lessons I’ve been lucky enough to learn from them–lessons I’m still trying to manifest in my own life. It is about kindness as a priority.

And because this is a place where I write about things I want for the world and for my children, I am sharing it.

 

Why I’m Not Impressed By Trump’s Radical “Honesty”

I used to be just like Donald Trump.

Ha. Ok. Maybe not just like him. But when it came to saying what was on my mind, I was an open book. And by open book I mean active volcano.

It’s not hard to make a case for such radical honesty. I find that a lot of people like the idea of the blunt “truth”. In a world where it can be hard to tell if people are deceiving or misleading you, the idea of people saying exactly what they think or mean can be appealing. Especially in politics. So part of me can understand why Trump has gained so many followers with these tactics. A volcano is captivating for a little while, especially if you can look past the destruction in causes.

When he responded to the Orlando shooting tragedy by thanking people for congratulating him on being right about radical Islam, I did what many people did: I expressed my concern about his communication habits on social media.

And just as one might expect from social media, people interpreted my post as an open door for a debate.

One debate partner in particular accused me (and my entire generation) of wanting everything to be “sugar coated” and stated that it was time for us to learn some “hard truths”.

Like most things that are “sugar coated”, the comment stuck with me. Not because I was particularly offended by it, but because I recognized it.

You see, I used to make the same argument in my defense of my own radical honesty. I didn’t see the point in “sugar coating” things. To me, editing myself meant being less honest or less clear in my message.

And yet, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of speaking is if no one can hear WHAT you are saying because of HOW you are saying it? Still, I couldn’t see a better way than brutal honesty.

Then I stumbled upon the quote, “Sometimes being kind is more important than being right.” And I started to notice that the people I admired most in my life were people who were both brave AND kind in their communication. Somehow they found a way to speak their truth, and yet they did so in a way that never threatened anyone else’s truth. They used their language not to raise a wall but to build a bridge.

What would change if we valued each other more than we valued our own “message”?

If I choose to slow down and consider what I want to say before I say it, that isn’t sugar coating; it’s being thoughtful. If I reword something so that people can more easily hear what I’m saying, that isn’t being political; it’s being intentional. The choice isn’t simply to spew like a volcano or say nothing. I can speak my truth AND I can do so in a way that doesn’t harm or disrespect another.

And honestly, if my truth is harmful to another, I can choose not to speak it. My truth isn’t any less true just because I choose to keep it to myself.

I had focused so long on gaining the courage to express my beliefs that I had forgotten the point of doing so. Language isn’t just a vehicle for me to make a statement. Language is a way for us to connect with each other.

Anyone can throw a rock through a pane of glass. Not everyone can build a stain-glassed window. Donald Trump may be really good at making statements and expressing opinions. But then again, so is my first grader. It doesn’t require any skill to blurt out whatever you are thinking. Having an opinion and saying it out loud doesn’t impress me. That requires the maturity and competency of a toddler.

Being able to speak your truth in such a way that you create something of value without harming anyone in the process–that is a skill worthy of attention.

Welcome to the Panic Days of Summer

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Two parks this morning alone… INCLUDING feeding ducks, playing with friends, and digging in dirt.

I woke up this morning and they had arrived: the Panic Days of Summer.

I knew it was them because I walked past the whiteboard calendar on the side of the fridge like I do every morning, but this morning was different. This morning, on some almost subconscious level, it hit me just how few days were left until the start of a new school year.

And I did the most natural thing possible: I panicked.

It wasn’t a full blown panic. More like a pilot light relit itself somewhere in my core and the anxiety furnace starting spewing ideas. I’m going to miss her! Just think how much less time I’ll have with her every day! We haven’t even done half the stuff I wanted to do this summer! (This is false: we have done zoo, vacation, camps, water park, playdates, children’s museums, etc. this summer. But panic is not a logical emotion so don’t try to reason with it.) What if someone is mean to her? What if she misses me while she is gone? What if she falls off the playground equipment and gets hurt and I’m not there?

Several instincts began to clash in my brain.

First, the instinct to hoard my child. To hold her close and give her as much adoration and attention and carefree childhood as I can in such a short time.

Second, the instinct to do ALL THE THINGS. To follow her every whim and give her free reign of choice of activities before she goes back to having no control over her daily schedule.

Third, the instinct to drink too much diet coke and coffee and lay on my face until the instinct to do things passes. (Actually, I think this one might be more of a pregnancy-induced feeling than a panic-induced feeling.)

Perhaps it’s just a normal resistance to change or fear of the unknowns that a new school and new class and new teacher will bring.

Perhaps it’s due to the impending arrival of #3 and knowing that “quality time” with each child will change in nature (because I will still only be one human).

Perhaps it’s simply the ever-present awareness of how fleeting this days are. I blinked and she was done with Kindergarten. I blinked again and the summer was gone. I will keep blinking and time will keep passing and it’s a beautiful thing, I know.

But these sweet summer days where she still wants to play with me and snuggle with me, but she is old enough to get her own snack sometimes or help me out with household tasks or the toddler…these days are a beautiful thing, too.

And once they’re gone, I can’t get them back.

So really, there’s only one thing to do: try to cram as much summer into the last three weeks of summer as humanly possible.

SO THAT’S WHAT WE WILL DO. (I’M YELLING BECAUSE PANIC AND ALSO ENTHUSIASM FOR THE CHALLENGE AHEAD.)

I’m signing off now because we are heading to the children’s museum. And also the library. And then to buy school supplies. And then out to eat for a mommy daughter date before swimming lessons. (See? I’m totally not joking. The panic is real.)

Why I Blog

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What good does blogging do in the world? Does the world really need one more mommy blogger? These days the Internet machine is full of people sharing their opinions and experiences on blogs. It can be overwhelming to try to read and keep up with it all. Do I really want to join an already crowded parade where my words are just a drop in an ocean?

Plus, I’m no expert. I mostly blog about things I DON’T know about (which in the ever-shifting land of parenting feels like most things). So why should anyone read my stuff? And am I even ready to put myself out there like that? In case you haven’t notice, the Internet can be a little harsh sometimes. Why set myself up to get rejected by bigger sites and picked on by trolls?

Honestly, sometimes I’m not sure. All the arguments against blogging that I just listed feel like really compelling arguments to me.

But here I am anyway.

Because the truth is, I love to write.

I write because it challenges me to think and to grow. It challenges me to keep learning, about everything from new websites to how hosting/domain names work. It helps me to look at the world more carefully, to appreciate experiences more intensely. It exposes me to other perspectives and opinions.

I love writing because it helps me know myself. I love staying at home with my kids, but anyone who’s ever done it knows it can be isolating. I love my mama friends and our playdates, but it can be hard to make meaningful connections when the kids are asking for snacks and the toddler is waking up from nap. In my writing, I get to share my own authentic uninterrupted self.

I write because I suck at scrapbooking and journaling. I love the idea of leaving a piece of myself and of my family for my children to see–a real authentic piece that is honest about who I am both as a mother and in addition to being a mother. I love the idea that they can one day look back on our family memories from my point of view and maybe know who their mom is on a deeper level.

I write because I care, damnit. I care about the world I live in and I care about the world my children will grow up in. I want it to be a better place, a more loving place. I want it to be a place where we appreciate people for who they are rather than trying to turn them into something else. I want it to be a place where we cultivate healthy relationships with feelings, with boundaries, with relationship and friendships from an early age. I want it to be a place where education inspires curiosity and authenticity and growth rather than simply being a place to sit still and memorize because that’s what we’ve always done. So I write about these things. My voice may be small but I speak up because I care.

I write because it means I connect. When others read my work and agree, we connect. When others read my work and disagree, we still connect. The more I write, the more people I find that I connect with. I see other writers who encourage and support each other. I see people writing about the same stuff as I do. I see people writing different opinions and it makes me stop and think. I write because it’s my gateway to this amazing community of people who are writing because they care and so they speak up. They share recipes because they care about nourishment, nutrition, health, family. They share stories because they care about legacy and love and spreading hope. They share beliefs because they care about people, about the world.

I write because it reminds me I’m human. Not everything I write is going to be great or even good. Some posts turn out to be massive failures. Sometimes I look back on what I wrote a year ago and I wonder what the heck I was thinking. I don’t write with the intention of creating a masterpiece. I write with the intention of always growing and getting better. I got a lot of silent rejections when I first started sending out my work to be published. But instead of letting it defeat me, I tried to let it make me stronger.

I write because it reminds me to let go. Once I put something out into the world, it’s not really mine anymore. People will take it and do with it what they will. People might love my work and share it or they might hate it and bash it. They might read the first line and form their opinion without ever even reading it all. And that’s ok. It’s a hard reality but at its core, there is a valuable lesson about love.

I write because right now, it’s what I have to offer. There will always be reasons not to do something creative, something scary, something new, something that feels meaningful or something that you fear is meaningless.

But at the end of the day, those reasons start to sound a little hollow.

This week a young man who played football for the Huskers died in a car accident. A fellow writer responded with an article titled, “We Don’t Get to Decide When We Play Our Last Game”. And my first thought was, at least he had the courage to play the game in the first place.

We change the world by having the courage to do what we feel called to do, even if there are a million reasons not to. I don’t want it to be fear that keeps me out of the game.

Irrational Mommy Moment: I DON’T CARE IF I RUIN MY GOOD SLEEPER

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My toddler has been a pretty good sleeper from the beginning. Honestly, I don’t think we ever “sleep trained” her in any way. She was fine if she fell asleep while you held her and then laid her down, and she was fine if you laid her down while she was still awake.

We stuck with the habit of laying her down when she was awake because I am of the general belief that it’s good for kids to be able to fall asleep on their own. So that’s just how it has been since she was little. For every nap and every bedtime, we would lay her down and she would fall asleep. Only occasionally would we have to go back in and lay her down again if she was particularly wound up, but it rarely took more than once.

People often commented on what a good sleeper she was and how amazing it was that I could just lay her down and she would go to sleep. And let me tell you, it is pretty great. Bedtimes are fairly simply when you can do a bath and a bottle and lay the baby down without much fuss. There were phases with my oldest where she wanted to be rocked to sleep or wanted me to lay by her bed until she fell asleep, and that can make for a long bedtime sometimes.

This week, the toddler has been teething and getting over a cold, and our sleep has suffered for it. She has a harder time winding down at bedtime and has needed to be snuggled and re-laid back down several times each evening. A couple of those times I’ve caved and just rocked her to sleep. She used to get squirmy to be put down at bedtime–she likes her routine. But this week she is extra snuggly and seems content to be on my lap for as long as I want to rock her.

The first few times it happened, the little warning light went off in my brain. “Do you really want to get her in the habit of being rocked to sleep every night right before the new baby arrives? How on earth are you going to get three kids to bed if one of them needs to be rocked and another is a newborn who won’t care about what time it is if she needs to eat?” It’s a valid point–as nice as it is to have the extra cuddles this week, it’s also nice to have the simple bedtime routine and it’s nice for her to be able to put herself to sleep, for her benefit and for mine.

But last night as I was cuddling her in the dark, watching her wad her blankie up and tuck it under her chin so that it cradled her face from ear to ear while she rubbed the satin edging and blinked sleepily, I realized something: in that moment, I didn’t give two f$%&@s about a convenient bedtime routine.

I love this crazy, irrational toddler stage–even with it’s challenges and temper tantrums born of frustration. She is so cute and tiny with such a big personality–I could stare at her in awe all day long (and I do). These sweet moments of watching her fall asleep…they are so heartbreakingly fleeting. Pretty soon she will be too big for my lap. And pretty soon she will have a new little sister she has to share my lap with.

Sanity is important. So is her sleep patterns. And with three kids, convenience is also pretty important.

But at the end of the day, snuggles trump all of these things.

So for now, I don’t care about habits. For now, I’m not worrying about what it will be like to add another human to the bedtime mix in a few weeks. For now, the only thing I’m focusing on is soaking in these precious moments.

 

Moments

 

This girl brightens my day. <3

 

Today is turning out to be one of those days. I don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s really no reason why this shouldn’t be just another ordinary day. But for some reason, the whole morning felt like one “moment” after another. You know, those “moments” in parenting that make you want to pull out your camera because even though it’s just a small moment it feels bigger somehow, and you know because it is such a small moment that it’s going to pass in an instant and be gone so you try to capture it. You know? So here are my captured moments from the day.

 

I got not one but TWO makeovers this morning. #momofgirls


This is her new temper tantrum corner.


She brought me the puffs can. I asked her to say “puff please”. Apparently asking her to verbalized her desires is offensive. She ran away and threw a fit. I offered her the puff again. She refuses to take it. Now every time I say “puff” the temper tantrum revives itself. This has been going on for a while. #toddlerlife


That’s one way to drink out of a big girl cup.


Gearing up for nap time with a little goofiness.

8 Types of Friends Every Mom Should Have

 

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Mom life can be hard sometimes. I have found that it can be easy to devote all of my time and energy to my family, even to the point where I don’t have enough left for myself. It can be difficult to prioritize showering, let alone making and sustaining friendships. I mean, friendships take work and I am trying to raise human beings, you know? But I’ve also found that there are some types of friendships that are worth the effort.

  1. The “You’ve totally got this!” Friend–This is the friend that always sees your best. No matter what you are doing, you’re doing great in their eyes. We all need the reminder that we are totally awesome and capable from time to time. I am currently reading a book by Bob Goff in which he writes, “I used to think the words spoken about us describe who we are, but now I know they shape who we are.” In other words, surrounding yourself with people who say you are amazing can actually make you be amazing.
  2. The “Tell It Like It Is” Friend–This friend can help you balance the “You’ve got this!” friend. They are the one who isn’t afraid to tell you that it’s time to take a shower and put on a bra, even if you’re just going to Walmart.
  3. The “Friend That Has A Lot of Kids” Friend–This could be anyone with 1-10 children. “A lot” is relative. When I had one child, three seemed like a lot. Now I have three (and it still seems like a lot). So find whatever number seems like a lot to you and then find someone with that many children. They’ll help you keep some perspective on days that you feel overwhelmed because they handle so much in the day (and are often mysteriously more calm than other parents). PLUS, they offer really good advice because this isn’t their first rodeo and if you can name a parenting challenge they’ve probably tackled it.
  4. The “I Can Complain About My Kids to You” Friend–Let’s be honest. There are days when you need to complain about your children. It’s not pretty and it’s not fun but sometimes it’s just what needs to happen. The friend who can listen to you dish about what an a-hole your toddler is and still know that you love that child more than your own sanity is a friendship gem because they can see you at your worst and still love you. Bonus: these are usually the friends you don’t have to clean your house for.
  5. The “Link to the Grownup World” Friend–This friend might text you throughout the day about their job or insist on dragging you out for a beer once a month or even just be the person who talks to you about stuff other than children. No matter how they do it, they are your spaceship tether to the world outside of parenting. Yes, there is one.
  6. The “Friend With Awesome Older Kids” Friend–This friend is further into the parenting journey and will help you remember that each of these phases will pass, both the phases we love and the phases that are hard. Even though it’s hard to imagine, there will actually come a day when your kids will sleep in, or can at least pour their own cereal so you can. These are also some of your most inspirational friends because they’ve somehow managed to navigate turning a tiny human into a successful adult (or almost adult). And that, my friends, is crazy cool.
  7. The “Different Mom Style” Friend–These can be tricky to navigate but they are worth it. Everyone needs a friend with a different approach to parenting. They can offer ideas you’ve never considered before. Maybe they make their own baby food and you have no idea where to start (or if you even want to). Maybe they co-sleep and you are against it. Maybe it’s breastfeeding or cloth diapers or baby wearing. No matter what the issue, having someone that you respect and that respects you can be a great way to gain new perspectives on a topic, even if you don’t agree.
  8. The “Creative” Friend–This friend is doing something badass. It might be making music, writing a book, starting a business, painting, photography, volunteering, anything. The point is, they are doing something that inspires you to want to do something. Maybe it’s as simple as inspiring you to read a book or as complex as inspiring you to make a big change like your career. Either way, we all need people who inspire us.

These are all friendships anyone would be lucky to have. But the truth is, any kind of friend who sticks by my side as I navigate the trenches of motherhood is a gift. Friends are mom gold because they each, in some way, help me to be a better mom and a better human.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe that’s just because it takes a village to help us be the best parents we can be.

 

5 Things I Want My Social Media Friends to Know About My Blogging

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Hey Friends! Last week I had my first article run on Huffington Post. It was a pretty fun moment for me. And you all were so amazing. You read the article. You commented, you celebrated, you encouraged, you shared. You all are one seriously amazing community of people and I’m so deeply grateful to be a part of it.

As I was sitting in awe of your badassness over the weekend, I thought of a few things I want you to know…

1.I want you to know why I do this. I write because it keeps me sane. I write because it’s like a scrapbook for my family. I write because I love to write. And I wanted you to know that it isn’t always easy. It is still scary to put myself out there. Every time I write a post I have to build up the courage to share it all over again.

2. I want you to know that we can still be friends, even if you disagree with what I write. I don’t write to try to change your opinion. I don’t write because I think I know something better than someone else (in fact, I’m certain that I don’t). I write to share my perspective, to share what I see, to open up an opportunity for us to connect, either by how we are the same or by how we can grow from our differences. I still like you even if we see things differently. 🙂 AND…

3. I want you to know that I’m totally open to any comments and conversation, as long as we can be nice to each other. I love it when people share their opinions back, even if it’s an opposing opinion. If we are friends on social media, I trust you to be respectful if you’re commenting on my “space”. I am almost always curious about different opinions and would love to hear another side of things. If you’re also curious and open to hearing new perspectives, we could have a great conversation.

4. I want you to know that I really do try not to bombard your news feed with my stuff. Here’s the truth: I get paid for some of my work. As a stay at home mama that’s a really cool thing for me. I don’t write for the money at this point, but it is a nice perk. When I get paid, it is based on how many views my article gets. That means, the more views, the more I get paid. And it’s really hard to find the balance between over sharing and under sharing. Sometimes when I share something, a lot of people miss it. So you might see me sharing something more than once. But I promise I think very carefully about how much I share so I’m not hogging your news feed. One of the hardest parts about blogging is promoting your own work, but I’m trying to move out of my comfort zone on this because, as a writer, it’s how you build your resume. If I didn’t plug my own work, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to be published on Scary Mommy and Huff Post.

5. Maybe most importantly of all, I want you to know that it really means a lot to me when you read, like and share my work. It’s not something I take lightly at all. There is a LOT of stuff on the Internet these days, so the fact that you took the time to read something I wrote is a big deal to me. I can’t tell you how humbling it is to have people comment on something I put my heart into.  Sharing your work for other people to critique and opening yourself up to the possibility of negative feedback is hard, but you all are always so incredibly supportive and I could ramble for days about how deeply grateful I am for every single one of you but I won’t. Just know it’s true.

Conversations With a 6 Year Old (#1)

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Welcome to conversations with my six year old. This will probably be a series of posts since one entry couldn’t possibly hold all the creative/hilarious/mildly unsettling things that come out of her mouth.


6 yo – (makes a loud spewing noise) Phew, that was a big one!

Me – (blank stare) Was that a fake sneeze?

6 yo – Yeah.

Me – ?


6 yo – Look at my magic ring.

Me – That’s beautiful. Just make sure it doesn’t get left somewhere your sister might get it, otherwise it will magically disappear forever.

6 yo – (skeptical stare) Um… it doesn’t do that.

Me – I know. I’m trying to tell you that if you leave it somewhere that your sister might find it then I will have to take it away.

6 yo – (more skepticism) It is on my finger.

Me – (Blank Stare) Ok, I was just trying to be clever. It obviously didn’t work. You do understand that, like with all other small objects, if you leave it somewhere your sister might choke on it then I will take it and it will become my ring. You do understand what I am saying, right?

6 yo – It wouldn’t fit you.

Me – (pulls hair out)


6 yo – (To baby sister) Sister I’m falling in love with you. I never want to kill you.

Me – (spews coffee) Um… I’m not sure that’s really an appropriate thing to say…

6 yo – What? I said I DIDN’T want to kill her.

Me – (blank stare)


6 yo – I love coming to the park in the morning! We have the whole park to ourselves and we can be loud and not respect the space!!

Me – 😳😳😳!!!!

Update: turns out “not respecting the space” just means yelling. So that is a little comforting.


(After swimming lessons during which she was messing around treading water and going under rather than listening to the teacher)

Me – (Beginning of lecture included how we don’t pay for swimming lessons for her not to listen, etc.) … Also I don’t like it when you’re messing around in the pool. The teacher’s can’t watch you all the time while they are helping kids so it’s like you are in the deep pool without a grownup. It makes me feel scared and stressed.

6 yo – I know how you feel. I’ve been scared of stuff since i was born.

Me – (um… tiny mom heart melt/break moment) What kinds of things are you scared of?

6 yo – Oh you know, snakes… you getting staples in your tummy when they take the baby out… you dying.

Me – Hmm. You know, those things scare me too.

6 yo – I thought grownups were never scared.

Me – Nope. Grownups are scared a lot. It’s normal to feel scared. But just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you can’t be brave. I will be brave when it’s time to get the baby out of my tummy, even if I’m a little scared.

6 yo – Can I have a snack?


6 yo – Mom, sometime can we sell lemonade?

Me – like a lemonade stand? Sure! I would love that!

6 yo – yeah! And we can also sell meat and cake!

Me – ……… Yeah….. That sounds great?


6 yo – You are a good mommy. You would never hurt me or… like… put soap in my mouth or anything like that.

Me – Actually, if I found out that you were saying bad words (like we just talked about this week) to your friends or at school I would probably put soap in your mouth.

6 yo – Oh. Does it taste bad?

Me – Yes.

6 yo – Do I have to swallow it? How much do you put in?

Me – I don’t know. I guess it depends on how I’m feeling at that moment. Since you’re the oldest you’re my experiment kid. (Wink at her so she knows I am teasing a little bit but she still takes it very seriously.)

6 yo – Oh. Well, I wouldn’t say those words anyway. And if I was at school and one of my friends was saying them, I would tell her that I didn’t want to be friends with her anymore.

Me – Hmm. You know, I do think it’s a good idea to speak up or do something if your friend is doing something that is wrong. However, I’m not sure that telling people you won’t be their friend anymore is really the best thing to do. If you stopped being friends with someone just because they made a mistake you wouldn’t have many friends. And also, being a good friend sometimes means forgiving people when they make mistakes. And maybe if it is someone who does things that you don’t like a lot, maybe you don’t want to be friends with that person, but we still don’t need to say “I’m not going to be your friend” we can just go play somewhere else, you know?

6 yo – Oh. (spends the next ten minutes naming all of her “Best Friend Forever”s. Then asks for snack.)


“You know, Alexis is a pretty good name…

…for a mom to come up with.”

-Alexis


6 yo – (yawns)

Grandma – Are you tired?

6 yo – no I’m just practicing. For when I have to yawn.


In the car:

Me: (to Husband) I probably need to get gas. It’s pretty low. But we can just do it after we are done at family outdoor club.

6 yo: Mom are we going to run out of gas?

Me: No. You don’t need to worry about stuff like that, ok? I’ll worry about the boring grown up stuff and you handle kid stuff. You have the rest of your life to worry about stuff like gas in the car. Although maybe by the time you’re older cars won’t even run on gas anymore.

6 yo: So they will run on song power?

Me: YES.