How I not only survive but enjoy Mommyhood

Monthly Archives: January 2013

So I have been working on this post for a couple of days, (It takes forever for me to find time to sit and type as you can imagine). I thought I would share my great tip with all of you about keeping bibs and wipes right where you need them. Well of course as I get ready to post this, my “Great tip” backfires on me. More on that later…first let me share my great tip.

If your kids are anything like mine, the word messy does not even begin to describe mealtime! I found that I always was in need of a bib and of course extra wipes. I stored my bibs in a drawer in my kitchen folded neatly (ok ok, they were just shoved in there any which way and the drawer was completely overflowing!). Then I would forget to grab one, have to leave the baby in the highchair and get up to get one. By the time I got back the baby had food everywhere, my food was cold, or better yet, the kid is screaming and is too mad to even eat. Something had to change!

Then I turned by brain on and started storing my bibs on the highchair. Makes perfect sense…why oh why did it take me until the 2nd kid to figure this out!

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When they are stored here I always have one right there. If she messes it totally up, I just grab another one. If she wants a pink one instead of a purple one, no worries, it isn’t worth the fight. I just grab a different one. Much happier mom and baby.

Now on to the baby wipe situation. We have babywipes in no joke…every room in the house! I have to say my favorite place is again, on the back of the highchair! A napkin just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you just need to clean up with a wipe.
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It is also perfect because now that both girls are walking around, they can get a wipe when they need one. If their hands are sticky or they finish a snack, they know where the wipes are, get one themselves and even (only on the good days) throw it away!

NOW to how this lovely idea backfired on me. I go to take a picture of the bibs on the highchair so neatly hung up, and what do my surprise do I see? YES bibs everywhere…all over the floor along with babywipes! OY VEY…I should have known. Maybe now that it is out of her system, my little monkey will leave them alone. (Who am I kidding…I am so going to be picking these up 15 thousand times a day)

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I am so excited about Kailani’s 2nd birthday party. Here is a sneak peek as to what some of the decorations look like! I will be posting (once things settle down) more pictures, tutorials on how to make the stuff, and a breakdown of the cost…it was cheaper than I thought!

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Traveling with kids, I am telling you right now, it is possible! You can do it. Now I am no travel expert, but I have taken my kids all over the place (Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina and even across the Atlantic to Germany and Ireland!). I have flown with extended family, I have flown with my husband, and mostly I have flown with just the kids all by myself. Trust me, it is possible!
Here are a few tricks I have learned that help make things much easier!

1. Maneuvering through the airport- Depending on how old your kids are I have two different ways that are easiest for me.
Infants (non walkers)- I use the stroller and infant carseat. I push the stroller and carseat through the airport and check it at the plane. This way even if my luggage gets lost, I still have my car seat at my destination. I also have a place to put my baby when I have to use the restroom or grab a bite to eat. Now that being said, my girls were not always the best stroller riders. So more times than not, I used the stroller to push my bag and stuff while putting the baby in some kind of carrier (my personal favorite was my Moby wrap).

For kids who are walking and are no longer in the infant carseat:
Car seat on wheels- This is probably the most helpful thing I can do. I have a set of wheels for both of my girls. This way they are strapped into seats and cannot run around the airport. I can carry them and their crap through the airport. I like to bring the seat on the airplane so that they can sit in their carseat for the ride. This helps them feel safe, secure, and gives a nice place to nap. There are a few downsides to bringing them on the plane though. They are heavy and trying to carry 2 kids, and 2 carseats down the isle of the plane is a complete mess! (Trust me I have done it before and thank goodness for the sweet passengers on the plane that help!) Also if you are flying with a kid under 2 they are free and may not have a seat. Now that Kares is almost 5, she likes to sit in a big girl seat. So we just bring them up to the plane and check the car seat and wheels plane side (which is ufree). Then we get it back when we get off the plane.
**(I still bring my carrier to “baby wear” my 2 year old just in case she won’t ride! It comes in handy everywhere!)

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click here for link to wheels

Babywearing- I had Kailani in the Moby wrap at 3 months old. She was finally asleep after screaming the 2 hours in the car to the airport. I am in line for security, have all my stuff ready and go to walk through…they tell me I have to take the baby out! I about lost it! I was furious that I had to take my sleeping baby out of her wrap and still manage to hold on to my very curious 4 year old. So be careful, some TSA agents may make you take the baby out for a better security check…ggrrrr!

2. ASK FOR HELP!- Flying by myself with 2 kids I feel more like a pack mule than a mom! They require so much crap! So I always ask for help in the security line. Usually there is some guy who is traveling on business and has 3 kids of his own at home. They are always willing to help pick up things hold a bag while I take shoes off or whatever. I am always so thankful for the extra set of hands from a Good Samaritan.

3. Bring your own help to the gate- When I fly with just the girls I always ask for a gate pass for someone to come with me to help me through security and help entertain the kids while we wait. My mom, father in law, mother in law, husband, have all come right to the gate to help me before. All you have to do is ask either before your flight by calling or at the check in at the airport. Each airline is different. This is HUGE! They can even request one to meet you as you get off of the plane. When we flew from Florida to Texas, I cannot tell you how nice it was to see my husband standing there as we got off the plane. The kids ran right to him and he carried the 15 bags we seemed to have out!

4. Lollipops- These are a lifesaver when the kids are cranky, crying because of the pressure and tired of sitting. I give them a lollipop. They usually don’t eat these so they are a treat. The lollipop is nice because it is on a stick, so not terribly messy. The extra saliva they make when eating them helps with the pressure. I love the dum dum brand ones because they are small. When Kris picks me up and asks how my flight was, I tell him it was a 2 lollipop flight. It is bad when it is a 5 lollipop flight! Haha

5. Always carry the birth certificate- In the what feels like hundreds of flights I have taken the girls on, I have only been asked for a birth certificate twice. They needed it to prove she was under 2 (she turned two 5 days later!). I just like to have it with me to prove that I am their mother. No matter what, I feel better knowing I have that.

6. Ziploc bags for the sippy cups- When traveling with kids, you are allowed to bring more than the 2-3 ounces of liquid. I always pack a sippy cup of milk and a sippy cup of water for the girls. I put a small plastic bag over the tops of the cups that don’t have lids. It is so nasty to watch the things go through the x-ray machine, I cringe when I think of anything there touching something that goes in my kids’ mouths! This covers them up and keeps them clean. Security will have to check the liquid by hand, but it is worth the hassle so that my kids can have a drink.

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7. Know what you can check for free- Most airlines let you check 1 baby item free. A baby item is considered pack and play, car seat, stroller. Now choose wisely, depending on what you need when you get where you are going. For babies I check my infant carseat at the plane (which is also free) and use my pack and play as my baby item. It gets tough when you have older ones. Because I put my girls’ carseats on wheels, I check those planeside and use my pack and play as my baby item. BUT I don’t have a stroller this way….but again I usually end up babywearing the little one for whatever we do!

8. Diaper bag- I usually use a backpack for a diaper bag when traveling. This way it won’t fall off my shoulder. I can also wear a diaperbag while carrying Kailani on the front in the pack. Now what you put in the diaper bag is important! Obviously all of your normal items, but you may want to include some new toys so they are exciting. Lots of snacks (our plane always runs late and there is never time to grab a snack during the layover). I like to pack small paperback books. They are light and are entertainment. Of course ipad, smartphone, things like that for games and movies…just don’t forget headphones! This way the kids can hear and no one else can! Also don’t forget your post it notes for the bathroom! (Click here to see that blog post) I also always bring a small flannel blanket. It folds up small and keeps the kids warm or can be put on the floor in the airport for a mat to play on.

9. Breastmilk does not have to be x-rayed!- No matter what TSA says, they do not have to X-ray your breastmilk (And you can bring more than the 3 ounce limit). You have to be stern and request that they hand check your milk, but you do not have to send it through.

10. RELAX- I always tell myself that when I travel, I will never see any of these people again. So if my kid is bothering you because she is screaming in pain from the pressure change, get over it…you can leave hating me! If my kid is running around the seats at the gate to burn off energy before the flight…get over it! If I give my girls 5 lollipops in a 2 hour flight to keep them happy and quiet…so be it. If they haven’t napped, haven’t eaten, and are SUPER cranky…no one I know will really care. So relax, nothing has to be perfect. The only thing that matters is that you and your kids get to where you are going in one piece. Oh and have a drink when you get there…you will probably need one!

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Today is the last of my “Healthy Eating Series” click here for Days one and two.

I always try and have my girls help me cook dinner. We talk about the ingredients, we discuss what is healthy and how it helps your body. They know that carrots help you see, broccoli helps you fight sickness, and cookies are not healthy at all! This way they are learning good habits and I want them to know why they have to eat healthy rather than doing it because I said so.

When they do help me cook they either sit on the counter or stand on a stool. This way they can take an active part and actually help! My other motive behind them helping me cook is that they are constantly wanting to snack on what they are cooking. So they snack on healthy things before dinner. (click here to see my post on that)
They also are more likely to try new things and eat what they cook. If they made it, they want to eat it.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes that have little or no processed food or carbs in them. We don’t eat like this every night, but really try most days!

I don’t cook by exact measurements…here is a guideline. Sorry I don’t have many pictures…sometimes just cooking dinner seems like an Olympic event…I don’t even think about taking pics!
Stir Fry: I use chicken, beef, or shrimp (depending on what we have) and fry that in a wok with soy sauce and garlic.
I stir fry in vegetables (broccoli, carrots, baby corn, green beans, or whatever you like).
I take all of that out of the wok and then I make cauliflower rice.
I chop up a head of cauliflower using a cheese grater or I like my pampered chef chopper. Basically to the size of rice.
I then mix that in the wok with a cracked egg, soy sauce, sesame seeds. I mix up until the cauliflower is soft. Then serve the stir fry over it.
Crock Pot Lettuce Tacos:
In the morning I put chicken breasts, a can of corn (Or leftover cut off the cob), a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and half a packet of mild taco seasoning. (Although I put in some mango/pineapple salsa instead of taco seasoning and tomatoes the other day…it was AMAZING!)
I let that cook all day on low.
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About an hour before we are ready to eat I take the chicken out and shred it with a fork. Then put it back into the crock pot.
Then I take romaine lettuce and use it for the taco shell. I put cheese, avocado, cilantro, and lime along with the chicken mixture. We have leftovers with the mixture and it is amazing!
Spaghetti:
I chop tomato, yellow squash, and zucchini into bite size pieces. I put them in a pot with a little olive oil and fresh basil. I let it simmer for at least an hour (often 2-3). Add salt to taste (and Kris likes a little sugar) along with oregano and garlic.
I take a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the inside seeds and mush, kind of like a pumpkin. Then place the squash face down on a stone or cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until it feels soft. Take it out and use a fork to remove the squash insides. It will look like spaghetti. Serve your tomato mix over it and it reminds me of spaghetti! I make meatballs sometimes to go with it.
Turkey Meatloaf:
I hate hate hate meatloaf…but I really like this one!
I use lean ground turkey. Mix with 1 egg, craisins, walnuts, and feta cheese. I use a little season salt in it for a little flavor. Mix it together and put in a loaf pan. Bake at 350-375. (not sure how long…I usually cover it and keep checking on it). We eat with some kind of veggie on the side.
My girls eat these recipes and love them. Sometimes they ask for real noodles instead of squash, so I make a pot of noodles for them, but that isn’t usually too much work.
Enjoy!

 


Here is the second post about healthy eating. Click here to read the first one.

I love smoothies, and so do my kids! Here is a “recipe” for one of our very healthy, very yummy smoothies!
Now anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t cook using exact measurements, so my smoothie recipe (if you call it that) is more of a general guideline!
I first start with a blender full of baby spinach and baby kale. I don’t pack it in, just drop a bunch in.

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Next I put in a few spoonfuls of low fat Greek yogurt.

Then I add some kind of citrus like orange, clementine, or grapefruit. Something to counteract the taste of the kale. I used some pineapple today because I was all out of oranges. That was delicious!
Next I add 100% juice in. I use whatever I have in the fridge (meaning whatever kind was on sale this week). Orange, apple, cranberry, or whatever. I put enough in to make it blend and creamy. Sometimes I have to add more if it is not blending well.
Next I add in some frozen berries. Usually strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. (when my fresh fruit is about to go bad, I stick it in the freezer. This way I don’t waste food and have frozen fruit for smoothies!)
My last ingredient is flaxseed meal. I put in two tablespoons. It is great for omega-3!

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Then I blend until it is creamy. If it is too much like ice cream, add more juice. It makes enough for my two girls and a glass for me!

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Make it how you like it. Add more berries or even a banana or an apple if that is what you like. It isn’t an exact science, have fun and enjoy. My girls certainly do!

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Just like most people, I am really trying to eat healthier and feed my kids healthier! I thought I would share some of the tricks, recipes, and ways I am doing this at home. Now I don’t live in a dream world…I am not always successful. My kids eat crap sometimes, whine a lot, pitch fits, and complain about what I cook. BUT most days they eat healthy with a smile, they love what I make to eat and ask for more. So I thought I would share what works for us MOST of the time. HAHA

I really want to keep my blog posts short and sweet, because honestly who has time to read a blog anyway? So I will just post one or two ideas every few days. (You can subscribe to get my blog via email each time I post so you won’t miss any if you are interested!)

Healthy Eating Post 1

My kids always seem to ask for a snack right before we are ready to eat dinner. I don’t want them filling up on junk and then not eating my meal. I could just say no and make them wait, but I hate depriving them of food if they are actually hungry, plus they are SO whiny that time of day…no one wants to listen to it!

So I always try to give them something super healthy to hold them over (and stop the constant whining)! I usually have raw vegetables for them. They know they can eat carrots, cucumbers, red pepper sticks, or some other vegetable. Sometimes I will make them a smoothie (recipe to come in a few days!). I cut up apple fries or other fresh fruit. The strangest snack they love are frozen peas! Yes frozen! I just put them in a bowl for the girls and they eat them right up!

Now, they may not finish their dinner these nights, but at least I know they filled up on healthy food first. I don’t care if they don’t eat everything at dinner if they had a whole bowl of carrot sticks before dinner!

 


I am in the kitchen washing dishes (because that is what I am always doing! click here for my dishes trick) and I hear my girls pretending. I stop and listen a little closer, careful not to let them see me. I see Kares (4) trying to put a “leash” on Kailani (2). Kares has rolled up a blanket and tied it around Kailani’s shoulder. (I guess I should be thankful it wasn’t her neck!) Kailani is now barking like a dog and Kares is commanding her to come and sit.

I continue to listen trying to hold in the laughter. Next thing I know Kares has Kailani (who is potty training) in the bathroom and telling her to go potty. Kares says, “Go Poo Poo doggy. But not really Kailani, just pretend to go poo poo. Here like this, watch me!” So now I am rolling in the laughter.

Finally I hear, “Mommy, I can’t get this leash off of Kailani!” As I look closer Kares has it knotted about 5 times! Oh my…maybe I should have intervened sooner…they were just getting along so nicely (and I got a few dishes done)!

I just love when my girls get along so well. They are finally at that age where they can play together and enjoy themselves! So for now, they will pretend to be doggies, and poor Kailani will be drug around. Thankfully she seems to enjoy it and asks Kares for more!