An Ode to Pinterest

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. My son had his little party at school and exchanged little cards with sweet treats. A few weeks ago I purchased some fun superhero sticker cards from Target and felt ahead of the game. Go Me! Then I perused the lovely Pinterest for some more Vday ideas and found a plethora of options. These were way better ideas than the measly old cards I got. Home made and hand crafted little sayings. Creations made with candy. Let the pinning and creating begin!

Fast forward to last night while cleaning out my son’s back pack from Monday and ah ha- a reminder note surfaced about the Valentine’s day party. Which meant I needed to fill out the cards for his class and figure out (last minute of course) a little treat to give away. So I filled out the cards and taped (yes I’m fancy) a fruit snack pack to each card. Thank goodness for COSTCO and bulk fruit snack packs. HAHA! I had completely forgotten that I actually had to do something for his Vday school party, let alone create  something pinterest worthy.

I LOVE Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong. I probably spend too much time on that dang site, but then reality surfaces and I may do 3% of what I actually see on it. It’s way more fun to get inspired than to actually do it, right?!? Ha! I know I’m not the only one out there.

Anyway I brought my sons goodies to share at school and saw some major pinterest inspired handy work from some other moms and their treats. Good for y’all. And I seriously mean that. It’s impressive! I love getting ideas and thinking I’ll be on my A-game with this stuff for my kids and being a supermom. But in reality, I am lucky I remembered the pre-made together cards in itself. Hey, at least my kid wore red to school today (also a happy accident). Maybe someday I’ll get the hang of this whole parenting and supermom thing. Until then, I’ll perfect my pinterest boards. 🙂

Oh and Happy Valentines Day. May your day be filled with love, chocolate, and wine.

*This post was not sponsored by affiliate links or sites. No payment was exchanged. Just authors own thoughts and opinions

 

 

Perks and pitfalls of organizing toys

One might say I’m a little obsessed with organizing, especially when it comes to toy storage and setup. I have redone the setup of the play area more times than I can count. I have obsessed over the arrangement of toys and furniture. I have planned and sketched the layout ideal for our family and the space provided. I scoured Pinterest and read multiple blogs on playroom organization, set up, and toy storage.  It’s a little (very) ridiculous really! (Friends and family, sorry for my OCD tendencies 😉)!

Here are some before layouts.  

    
   
As you can see from the pictures, my kids had no issue with it. I was not pleased with this previous arrangement however. I wanted it to feel more like a playroom, have adequate toy storage but also easy enough for a three and one year old to access. Hence the planning and lots of thought behind the current layout. 

I ended up going with the Stuva drawer unit from IKEA, but I found this on Craigslist. I used two narrow Billy Bookcases on each side of the drawer unit (also IKEA). I have a table and chairs set from, you guessed it, IKEA. I live nearby one so its pretty easy for me to pop in and get inspired. The small white bookcase was a Craigslist find. I like the look of the square canvas totes as pictured above. You can hid the toys you don’t want out and it’s aesthetically pleasing IMHO. I even labeled them for easy findings. (Child not from IKEA, ha!)

  

But….. The downfall of the totes… Everything is hidden which equals taking everything out of the baskets to find the desired toys. I was SICK of the constant mess this created. Yes I know kids are messy and yes it’s totally fine if toys get scattered about. What got to all of us was the daily looking for the same toys ( even though they were relatively in the same spot) so away the canvas totes went. My kids also started making a habit of dumping all then toys out and then using the totes as a personal seat which does not bode well for a cardboard tote. 

Let me introduce clear plastic storage bins…

   
 
I don’t need to label anything because you can see what’s inside. It’s been two days since this (logical) revelation and practice. It’s been amazing and clean ups a breeze. 

I have to say the play space is finally starting to feel functional. The place space happens to be our informal dining area off the kitchen directly behind the living room. With small kids I wanted a place for the kids to play where I could see them easily from the kitchen and or living room. I also adopted toy rotation. The “coat closet”, which is really in the living room far from the front door, was converted into the toy and game closet. So easy to just switch out bins for “new” toys to discover again. 

  

Here’s a few shots of the whole play area. It’s an odd shape with many angles so I had to get a little creative. 

   
    

The picture below is an area shot from standing in the kitchen entrance. 
   

I still have some decorating that I’d like to do and I’m sure as the kids get older the space will change. For now, it’s our little area of fun. 

And since my son is getting a bit older, he has his little play space in his room. This allows him to play alone when he wants some space from little sister. 😬

   
 
Again, notice the plastic bins. Easy clean up!! 

What are your favorite organizing and toy storage tips?
* note: I was not paid to promote any links, just my own opinions reflected in this post. 

Life is life

It’s been way too long since I’ve last written. Life has kept me busy. My kids (3.5)&(16 mo.) are keeping me on my toes. 

The threenager is a ball of independence and attitude. Yet growing up has its perks. He listens (sort of), is (mostly) potty trained and can buckle himself into his car seat. Let me tell you. These are game changers!!! I. Can tell him to get his shoes on and get in the car and he can do it. Plus he feels like a big boy so there’s that. I have to say I’m quite proud and really frickin glad to have him be able to semi do things on his own. 

Downfall, little sister wants to do EVERYTHING big brother does and does not understand that there are things she can not to yet, like swinging on the bug kid swings. 

Oh but that does not stop little miss sass. The other day I saw her move the kitchen stool to the counter and sneak a cookie. Yup she’s definitely my child. She also showed me how she can (self taught) do somersaults. I have NO IDEA where she learned that trick. She’s a goofball. 

I have to say they are pretty amazing little humans. And also very challenging. I am sure they will be leaders someday with their already apparent characteristics of independence, strong-will, and determination. Great characteristics! Difficult as heck when they are little though!!

And as my dear friend Elli says “give me strength”, to which I remind her that it’s given, in the form of chocolate, coffee and wine of course!

Can anyone else relate? I’d love to hear your stories!

Cheers!

Why not?!

It’s Been a long time since I’ve posted anything so I thought I’d change things up on this Monday morning. 

Our morning started out with snuggles in our bed at 5 am with our little girl. Her brother joined in about 6:30. By this time coffee was due. 

I sat down on the couch with my coffee in hand hoping for a warm sip before beginning the day. As I sat down, the little gal climbed up to snuggle some more and fell right to sleep and leaving me trapped. There I was, cuddling my one year old sipping my cup of bliss (oh darn). 

However being trapped I could not get up to fix breakfast for my three year old. Normally I would have had things ready, not expecting a sleeping wee one on top of me, I was ill prepared. Luckily I have kid friendly items at the lowest level of the pantry and fridge for my three year old to grab. These items include granola bars, fruit cups and squeezers, and raisins, along with fridge items of grapes, apples, string cheese and yogurt. 

So my son said he was hungry and went to grab a granola bar. 

And came back with cookies. Mini chocolate chip cookies had snuck (ahem grandma…lol) it’s way into the snack basket. My son was delighted. I, not wanting a fit or disruption to the sleeping babe, allowed my three year old to eat…..cookies…for….breakfast. Oops….

Now before judgement floods in, please know 

  1. this is not the norm. 
  2. He will eat other nutritious items through out the day. 
  3. He’s a healthy kid.
  4. And sometimes you just need to start the day with dessert first. 

I’m not going to lie. As I was stuck on the couch, I was sort of jealous at his cookie eating because, yum! He also knows it’s a special treat and I know I made his day so all in all what’s the long term harm?!

So to my dear son: enjoy those delicious little chocolate chip delights. Take away from this rare experience that life is too short not to start with something sweet from time to time. 

Hope y’all have a sweet day too!

Getting out of the house

As I was dropping my three year old off at his preschool program today, a fellow mom stated that “this year it’s so much harder getting out of the house”.  Oh fellow mom, I couldn’t agreed more! 

My morning started out wonderfully. I was able to get up and enjoy my cup of coffee (ok a half a cup) before anyone else woke up. By 6:40 the entire household was up. My son was quietly playing and my daughter was happily eating. Perfect Friday morning right?!

Fast forward to an hour later… Here I am chasing one of my dogs as she proceeds to pee while running throughout the house. I finally manage to get her outside and clean up the mess. 

After that fiasco it was time to get all parties ready to take three year old to school. This was met with once again a chase around the house to get three year old dressed. (I won btw)…Or else he was going to school in Jammie’s. Lol. In the mean time my fully clothed one year old managed to get the cap off a bottle of bath soap and cover herself and the floor with it. I guess she decided it was bath time. 

Quick wipe down, change of clothes, another toddler chase to get shoes on. Annnd we are out the door…40 minutes later. 

Yes fellow mom, it does take MUCH longer to get out of the house this year. At least we can make some funny memories along the way!

The mom I am

Before I had my kids I envisioned the type of mom that I wanted to be. I’d finally have my $&%# together. Things would be organized. I would have scheduling and time management down pat. Not to mention that my little angels would be well behaved, especially in public. I’d would look stylish  and sophisticated. I would be a “cool” mom. 

  Image from Pinterest found here

Bahahahahahahahaha right…..

Does anyone else ever feel like every time you go somewhere with your kids, you look like “that” mom? You know the mom with the crazy hair in a very messy top knot. The mom that’s juggling her keys, kids and diaper bag while trying to pay at the checkout line. The mom that always seems a bit overwhelmed and flustered. The mom that gets those pitied and or “been there” looks from other parents. 

  

I took my kids to lunch today since we were out and about running some errands. As I was paying for the meal I was simultaneously holding my three year old back from pushing buttons on the keypad, toting my baby in my other arm, while searching through the black hole of a diaper bag to locate my wallet. I’d imagine that was enough birth control for the teenage dude helping me at the counter. (Your welcome society.)

  

 I am that flustered, crazed mom with the tired eyes. I am the mom that is perpetually late to everything (well that parts alway been true) but now worse. I am the mom that allows her three year old to dress himself in the morning and leave the house in whatever he’s chosen. I’m sure people think that I’m allowing him to express himself.  And while that’s partly true, the other part is that I’m always running behind so whatever he had chosen is good enough lol. I’m the mom that has been up with at least one or both her kids during the night and am running on coffee fumes. I am the mom that is in desperate need of a trip to the salon, hence the top knot. I may come off as a bit of a b$&%h if I don’t have time to chat in the parking lot of said food establishment with persons trying to sell me a gift card to a completely different store. Please forgive me if I act annoyed when I’m told at a local consignment shop that the clothing I’m trying to sell is “outdated” teen fashion and they cannot purchase ANYTHING I brought in (items included polo and gap…) while my kids are tagging along. 
Awesome! I get it. I’m old. I am NOT seen as a cool mom. I am that mom instead. But I am that mom because of my kids. 

I am trying to give them a great life, make wonderful memories, and enjoy my time with them while they are little. I may be flustered and disheveled at times but it’s because I’m putting my time into my kids and not always me. I do “self care” and cut out me time, but a majority of time is racing around for my kids. Sooner than later they will be older and I will have plenty of time to aspire to be “Pinterest Perfect”. For now, I am going to rock the top knot with pride, run my errands with an IV of coffee and continue to be unfashionably late. 

Tiny persons. Big wrenches. 

Life, for me, seems to be a constant monkey wrench. My best laid plans can change almost instantly with my little people around. I am always making my schedule, to do lists, plans for what I need to do for the week but nothing ever seems to go as planned. A kid gets sick or is overtired and pushing buttons. Plans go out the window. I’ve had good intentions to clean my closet for weeks. The farthest I’ve gotten is my jeans where I cleaned out two pairs that are no longer fitting. Well I guess that’s a start. By this rate I’ll be done by this time next year. 

No complaint on some things that take over my intended tasks. Not all monkey wrenches are bad. Just throw you down a different path. And honestly for that I am grateful. Sometimes I think we get too caught up and consumed with daily tasks and to do lists that we can miss out on childhood simplicities. Our kids do not care how clean the house is or whether mommy has a well organized closet. They just want us. They want our time, attention and affection. This time period is short lived and soon they will be consumed with things other than time with their parents. So please excuse the mess, the imperfections and the incomplete to do list. I’m making a conscious effort to be more present my youngsters lives. I’ll gladly accept the big monkey wrenches any day because that’s a day I’m making memories. 

To the mom of the aggressive child

My child was one the receiving end (twice) of being bitten. 

I want you to know it’s ok. My child is ok. AND he has been on the giving end of biting incidences as well. I don’t blame you or your little one. It has to be stressful dealing with all of this. I’m sorry you have to go through it and deal with the consequences at preschool.  I know how embarrassing it can be to have your child act out in less than positive ways. I’ve been there and if I were a betting woman, we are not alone!

I feel that instead of the seemingly constant judgment of our parenting techniques , we need to be more supportive to one another!

It happens. Toddlers are temperamental. None of them are angels 100% of the time. (REALLY are they ever as toddlers?? Lol) They ALL do stuff that as parents make us want to hide under a rock…..or a giant bottle of wine. 

So honestly I feel for you. I know you feel terrible, stressed and embarrassed. I’ve been there myself. It sucks! But…

I want you to know that you are not a bad mom (even though you may be questioning yourself because that’s what I do) and your child is NOT a bad kid. This is a phase (yes a sucky one for sure) but it will pass. It is unlikely he will be 15 and biting over sharing toys. At least we can hope!

Remember, this will end. Things will get better. You are not in this alone. 

How to paint with kids 

DIY oh my!! It’s been a LONG road getting our new house put together. We moved to Texas a year a go and shortly after welcomed our second baby. Talk about busy! Now I am finally feeling settled enough to tackle some home improvement projects. I started with painting. So far I’ve painted our master bathroom and I’m on to the master bedroom. So I thoughts I’d share some tips for paining with kids in 85 simple steps. 

  1. Make time to pick out paint samples. 
  2. Bring kids along to pick out samples. 
  3. Let excitement/anxiety drive you into chosing a paint color on the spot
  4. Buy a gallon on the chosen color thinking “I’ll never make it back here in the near future”
  5. Get paint home. 
  6. Set up drop clothes, tape etc
  7. Patch and paint one wall. 
  8. Decide you HATE it. 
  9. Go to home improvement store. 
  10. Try to get BOTH kids in the shopping cart (toddler throws shrieking tantrum). 
  11. Exchange niceties with older lady about child rearing. 
  12. Allow older lady to give crackers to your monster throwing a fit to calm down (it works). 
  13. Repeat step 4, especially after the show the toddler put on. 
  14. Repeat steps 5-9. 
  15. Leave kids with hubby. 
  16. Choose WAY too many swatches. 
  17. Bring paint swatches home. 
  18. Decide on 3 colors and get SAMPLES!!
  19. Paint large areas of each color. 
  20. Choose color based on dried color. 
  21. Return to home improvement store with kids, snacks and bribes ready. 
  22. Get gallon of now carefully chosen color. 
  23. Get home in one piece. 
  24. Feed kids so they have full tummies before you begin. 
  25. Find favorite toy for toddler
  26. Turn on the RIGHT movie (because the one that was requested is now wrong). 
  27. Put baby in play pen with toys
  28. Prep room
  29. Pour paint into bin. 
  30. Start cutting in. 
  31. Get half way with one wall (baby cries)
  32. Feed baby
  33. Get more grapes for toddler
  34. Repeat steps 25-26. 
  35. Repeats steps 29-32 a dozen more times. 
  36. Wait until hubby comes home so you can sneak away and get 20-30 min or uninterrupted painting in. 
  37. Complete in 4 weeks. 

Ok so maybe not 85 steps but it took a lot. It takes 10 times longer to do anything with kids. But that’s ok. It makes it all the more interesting. And to be honest, the rooms are turning out great because I’m taking my time lol.  Still completing and adding finishing touches. I’ll post pictures when complete (at this rate in a year haha) but I’ll chip away at it one brush stroke at a time. Stay tuned for more!

Summer in full swing

It has been a busy summer so far for our family and along with that this little ol blog of mine has gone by the wayside. Fear not, (not that you really did) I have returned. 

So far my family and I have been traveling and visiting family and friends. We were due since we hadn’t been home to the Midwest in almost a year!

It was great catching up and seeing so many loved ones. Those times are so precious. There never seems to be enough time to see everyone or do everything we want to do. I was so happy that I was able to introduce our daughter to so many people though. We had a great and exhausting time. 

However I do NOT miss the swarms of mysquitos that came out in full force. Texas may have some scary insects but generally they can be controlled or managed. I NEVER thought I’d say this but give me fireants over mysquitos ANY day!!

The rest of our summer and into early fall will be consumed with day camps, soccer, visitors and birthdays for both kiddos! 

It will be a gloriously hot and pool filled summer otherwise.