5 Things To Know Before Jedi Training at Walt Disney World

Being a mama of boys with Star Wars making a huge come back via Disney, Jedi Training was a must do on our list for Hollywood Studios during our recent visit!

Because all of the Star Wars attractions are so popular at the park, there are a few things you need to know when planning your day if your visit includes the uber epic Jedi Training.

  1. RESERVE. Make sure to reserve your spot ASAP! When entering the park, head towards the Indiana Jones Adventurers Outpost-most people arrive 45 minutes before the Hollywood Studios opens to get their spot. *We got lucky and stumbled upon an executive cast member when asking where to find Jedi Training sign up (around 11am) who radioed in our rsvp for us!
  2. AGE REQUIREMENT. This interactive show is only available for children ages 4-12. If your child is not comfortable leaving your side to be on a small stage or standing with other children on the side of a rope opposite you, this might not be for them!
  3. GET THEM ON STAGE. If your kid wants a one on one light saber fight with Darth Vader, encourage them to make sure they get on stage during the performance. All of the participants are separated into two lines, one line gets to the stage, the other is on the ground below. The only kids to take part in a one on one with the Father of the Dark Side, are the ones on stage during the show!
  4. HYDRATE. Thankfully the cast at Hollywood Studios does a great job at making sure each kid hydrates with their gifted bottle of water before the show. It gets REALLY hot standing in the sun before, during, and after the main event so, make sure to encourage your child to drink all of their water before heading towards the stage!
  5. PREP. The cast members running this attraction are required to ask each participant a series of questions without parent involvement before allowing your child to move on to getting their Jedi robe. They’re simple but, it’s worth the forewarning. The questions include: “How old are you?”, “Can you follow directions?”, “Are you okay being away from your parents?”, etc.

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This was the highlight of our Hollywood Studios visit! If you don’t get a chance to reserve a spot in the Jedi Training Academy, check out these other awesome Star Wars attractions inside the park:

Have a magical day!

Hosting a Star Wars themed party? Grab some inspiration here & check out these FREE printables from The Happening Housewife here, here, & here!

10 Moms, 10 Questions.

I’m a mom who’s open to feedback and reassurance anytime, anywhere I can get it. Whole heartedly, this mama is a total open book who hides very little about her personal life, relationship situations, and even the weirdness that unfolds under her roof…DAILY.

I know though, not all moms are like me. Other mamas may not be as open but, one thing is for sure, it always feels good when you get reassurance from other parents who are living with the same day to day struggles. So, I went out seeking 10 moms, all with different personalities & parenting styles, to see how each would answer 10 somewhat intrusive questions just to see how similar we all are, even with the pressures of social media weighing us down.

Before I share their answers, let me introduce our mom panel:

Mom Panel.jpg

 

I put out a Facebook “casting call” a few weeks ago, with an original number of 5. Right, 5 moms-I was honestly afraid that I wouldn’t even get all 5. I mean, who really wants to take time out of their busy day to answer 5 lengthy personal questions about themselves when they could be wiping boogs from their kids nose or fighting their teenager about homework?

A total of 42 moms commented in less than 6 hours that they’d all love to share their voice! Seriously, 42 moms! So, I bumped my number up to 10, added 5 more questions to my line up and, here we are!

(I know what you’re thinking, what happened to the other 32? Well, I’m saving them for another time!)

These are the questions that I asked each of the moms on our panel:

1. Hi, how are you today? Actually, scratch that, how are you feeling right this moment (and please, don’t hold back)? Was today a good day? Typical amount of screaming and yelling, or would you say today sucked more than usual? No screaming or yelling, you say? Were you granted a geenie in a bottle or something, or maybe JUST a bottle (wine, or vodka-whatever suites your panties)? If so, please share.

2. Before we get really started here, which of the listed categories best describe you? (Feel free to choose more than 1)

  • Introvert
  • Extrovert
  • TOTALLY Open Book
  • Single Mom
  • New Mom
  • Pregnant Mom
  • Adoptive/Fostering Mom
  • Mom of 1 Child
  • Mom of 3+ Children
  • Mom of Teens
  • Mom of Toddler(s)
  • Special Needs Mom
  • Mom 25 or Younger
  • Mom 40 or Older
  • Grandparent
  • Mom in a Tribe
  • Mom Seeking a Tribe
  • Mom Who Absolutely Doesn’t Give a – If She Has a Tribe or Not

3. Did you breastfeed your child/children? If so, or if not, looking at other moms who did the opposite, would you say that it generally affected the health of your child significantly? In a positive or negative way (or pretty neutral)?
4. We all know the general “rule of thumb” most Hollywood movies and outsiders who’ve never been parents before, follow: Sex life diminishes to a scheduled, holiday only, finally just have to give in event, once the kids are here. Would you say that’s true? If so, was is immediate or did it come in time?
5. When you were pregnant: On a scale of – totally loved the free massage TO duct taped “HANDS OFF” sign to your belly, how did you feel about random bump rubs?

6. How much of your momming life would you say you share on social media?

Scale-

0 (Never, totally against posting any photos of my child on social media, EVER.)

TO

10 (Pretty much everything, even the shitty moments. What can I say, it’s a free place to store all of my photos without filling my hard drive…which is also full.)

7. I was recently told by a specialist in child development/child care that it’s TOTALLY normal, cough-expected, NOT to like your kid(s) 100% of the time (actually, that it’s really normal to completely despise them at times)-would you say this is True or False for you? (Feel free to elaborate)

8. What is the number one thing you miss about life before kids?

9. What is the greatest thing about having kids?

10. Over the last 3 months, I’ve talked to a handful of moms who say they feel there’s an emptiness in them that they don’t know will be full unless they have another child. (Some currently have 1, 2, and 3 children). Will you tell us how many kids you have, and if you ever had/have this feeling? If so, did you have another child afterwards or will you be having another child to fill the void? If you did have another child to fill your void, was your emptiness full afterwards?

Now, to the nitty gritty…

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Sam

Well, when I got this last night, I’ll give a little recap of life & how I felt. I felt good when I picked up R from school, I watched him through the window putting a puzzle together & seeing him in his little element is one of my most favorite things! Bonus: he had a great day! Braxton picked up S (who always gives him a hard time, and by hard time, I mean a scream fest because it’s him not me 😑 ) We had some errands to run, so OF COURSE Braxton had to poop first LMAO! we turned the A/C down so when we got home the house would be cool. Ran out, came home, put the groceries away, gone dinner done, jammies on, R chose for Mommy to pat his back (although Lord knows he will only stay in his flipping bed until about midnight *sigh*), the kids were would tight. S wanted to climb all over R’s bed, he’s blowing raspberries on her, she screaming & laughing – settle. the. eff. down. Then it hit me…why is it so bloody hot in this house! Go to the thermostat & TA-DA there’s no temperature reading for it to reach the ‘ideal’ temperature just that our house is 77 degrees and rising. WTF?! Call for Braxton, who instantly starts trouble shooting, call my dad because he is the knower-of-all-things and he suggested it may be a bad thermostat shorting out. It was already 9 and the kids should have been in bed an hour ago, they’re still jumping & every. time. I get them settled guess who’s calling my phone because he needs a hand. bahhh! So off he goes to Home Depot which praise the Lord doesn’t close til 10, get a new thermostat, we shut the breakers off, I FINALLY got the kids to sleep while he was gone, install the new one, hold our breath & turn it on while simultaneously praying that this is what’s wrong – BOOM! the A/C is back on. All is well in the L house again ❤

Introvert – kinda me
Extrovert – this person comes out when I drink & I wish I could be her all the time! lol
TOTALLY Open Book – with the right people
Single Mom – No
New Mom – No, aint my first rodeo
Pregnant Mom – hell to the nah!
Adoptive/Fostering Mom – No
Mom of Toddler(s) – as of next Tuesday officially!
Mom Who Absolutely Doesn’t Give a – If She Has a Tribe or Not *****oh here I am!!!!!*****

Nursed R until 17 months, one day he was just done with it & that was that.
S and I are still going at 12 months.
Since I don’t know what my kids would be like on formula I cant really give an unbiased opinion, but my kids are not SUPER germ fighting ninjas. They still lick shopping carts, and eat crumbs off the floor & touch toilet seats *blech* (were working on that one) and we don’t live off of sanitizer all the time. So colds still run through our house. And R developed a GI issue when he was almost two which caused him to randomly barf like once a month, that was awful but thankfully he’s outgrown that shit. UGH still gives me PTSD just thinking about it, or when he coughs! lol

I would say this is kind of true. It wasn’t immediate it’s just harder to make time so you don’t get busted & the more sets of eyes you have in your house the more likely you are to get caught! Date nights are hard to come by & so is sleep, so lesss be honest, we definitely don’t ‘do it’ like we used to! But my husband rocks and still begs almost daily, so he eventually gets it lmao!

Keep yo hands to yo’self! Unless you’re my friend & you ask 🙂

I used to share it all until I realized how bat shit crazy my MIL was & that she just used my life and stories to tell her clients that got their hair done by her 😑 and so I just became conditioned to not really share that much about our life/my kids. I would say I’m about a 5.

Scale-

0 (Never, totally against posting any photos of my child on social media, EVER.)

TO

10 (Pretty much everything, even the shitty moments. What can I say, it’s a free place to store all of my photos without filling my hard drive…which is also full.)

True – *throws middle fingers up* while simultaneously whispering “GOOD NIGHT, I LOVE YOU!” bahahahaha

Is everything an appropriate answer? lmao – I’m kidding. But I miss dating my husband, and snuggling, and being able to just run into the gas station, and straightening my hair, and taking a shower with my husband. without an audience., and my body being mine, and eating my own food, and not having to be a hostage negotiator about everythinnggg, and sleeping though the night, and not feeling so judged all the time by other moms for giving my kid fruit snacks – oh wait, you said ONE thing. Well pick one lol

I think EVERYTHING is also an appropriate answer here. ha! Being pregnant, birth, nursing, midnight snuggles, new baby cries, new baby smell, first smiles, first step, hearing “I love you Mommy”, watching this little human you’re responsible for actually turning out to be a decent human in society, getting to love your spouse on an ENTIRELY different level that you didn’t even know existed!, allowing your kids to bring back a power in you that you didn’t even know you had. It totally rocks, sometimes!

I totally feel it, I don’t know where life will take us & Braxton swears “he’s done” but I don’t know. Only time will tell. I just know I don’t want anymore for at least a few years 🙂

mom-panel-3-madeline

Madeline

I am alright today. I had the right kind of pop-tart that H likes so I didn’t have to hear him IMMEDIATELY bitch and whine about breakfast and I didn’t have to fight with E to put gel in his hair. So overall, a good morning. But then I went to work. and I am so tired of annoying people that think their time is so much more important than mine!! The other plus was I didn’t wake up with a hangover from the bottle of wine I had last night.

Extrovert, open book, mom of toddlerS, 25 or younger, mom who absolutely doesn’t give a shit if she has a tribe.

Hell no. Both were formula fed, have always been on track with their height and weight, have always been proportionate, and I can count on ONE hand for BOTH children how many times they have been actually sick. I know plenty of moms that breast fed where their kids have been chubby, disproportionate, sick, not growing properly etc.

Being a full time mom, a cheer coach, a full time career woman, a full time wife, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to have sex. Nick on the other hand is ready to go whenever, wherever, but to truly get into it and have a full on sex life since before we had kids, rare.

Noone really rubbed my bump. People were probably trying to be respectful. I didn’t really care either way. I was too busy vomitting or having heart burn to give a shit if someone wanted to feel my belly. Plus E didn’t really like to be touched, the second someone would touch me, he would stop moving

I would get more pissed when strangers would come up and touch my kids after they were born! like GTFO
I share pictures all the time of the boys, their crazy antics, the rare moment they are getting along, etc. I also have no problem sharing how much I drink to stay sane 🙂
so a 9 I guess

TRUE. Omg, I constantly worry about how much I don’t like them sometimes!! They can be so rude, so annoying, and just so defiant that I’m like WHAT THE F—?! HOW DID YOU END UP BEING SUCH A DEMON?! But then, they do something so sweet, or say I love you and have a good day, or when they’re sleeping or want to snuggle and I like them again. I will always love my boys but I can guaran-fucking-tee I don’t always like them.

I miss being able to just do whatever the hell I want. More specifically, if Nick had to work late when we lived together, I would have wine, a pop tart and watch One Tree Hill until I had cried so much I was tired. Now, Nick has to work late or goes out with friends, and I have to make dinner, clean a bunch of shit, be productive, put on what they want to watch, get up 8 million times to get them water or take them potty or change their clothes. I can’t just come home, sit, drink and watch One Tree Hill. I miss that…

The greatest thing is about having kids is I have 2 little humans that need me forever. That I can teach love to, that I can show how to be a good human, and be proud of. There is nothing like feeling like your mom and dad are proud of you. I can’t wait to give that to them. 🙂

I have 2. 2 boys. I have always felt the void that I believe a daughter would fill. I have an amazing mother/daughter relationship with my mom. And knowing that I won’t have that makes me cry. Knowing Nick won’t have the feeling of being totally wrapped around his daughter’s finger makes me cry. Unfortunately Nick doesn’t feel the same way…so 2 it is.

mom-panel-4-ashley

Ashley B
Right this minute I feel exhausted and happy that this beer is so good 😆. Well, let’s see… today I’d have to say was a good day. Today both my fiancé and I were off work so that always makes the day eaiser. Jacob, who is now 9 months, is honestly a really good baby I can’t complain much. The only time he is really fussy is when he is hungery, but who wouldn’t be, and when we move the item that he was trying so hard to get but couldn’t have. He didn’t get his naps but despite that was still a happy baby, this is not always the case when he skips his naps.

Introvert ✔
Extrovert
TOTALLY Open Book
Single Mom
New Mom✔
Pregnant Mom
Adoptive/Fostering Mom
Mom of 1 Child✔
Mom of 3+ Children
Mom of Teens
Mom of Toddler(s)
Special Needs Mom
Mom 25 or Younger
Mom 40 or Older
Grandparent
Mom in a Tribe
Mom Seeking a Tribe
Mom Who Absolutely Doesn’t Give a – If She Has a Tribe or Not✔
No, I was unable to breastfeed. We had a little issue at the beginning with his glucose levels and he would not latch I tried a few times but by the time I was able to see the lactation nurse he wanted nothing to do with the boob so I didn’t push it. I would say he is just the same as any child that breastfeed, on the normal or above normal charts for his age. I would say, in my opinion, that babies who breastfeed are a little more cuddly but than again it might just be in Jacobs genes as we are not over cuddly people either.
We go through spurts, we have pretty much done this from the beginning. Well there was a little bit more in the beginning. Having a child hasn’t really affected our sex life, yet.
I was not for it, thankfully my friends knew that and kept it to a minimum. Random people touching me-that’s a big no.

I would have to say a 4, I would do more but I forget to take pictures most of the time. I really need to get my camera fixed as I use to love photography and really want to capture these moments, my phone camera just does not do them justice.

True, I was not a fan of my little guy after hours of labor it actually took a couple of days for me to feel the overwhelming love that most mommies feel the moment they meet their little nugget. I think it’s completely normal to get annoyed with, dislike your kids from time to time, it’s a relationship like any other with ups and downs but, the love will always be there.

For me the thing I miss the most is the freedom of being able to do what I want when I want.
The unconditional love!!
I only have one child. I have not experienced the feeling of emptiness, maybe this is it.

mom-panel-5-ashlee

Ashlee

At this very moment.. I feel alone. I’m a single mom who’s life revolves around my 2 yr old.. I’m sorry, I mean, 2 1/2 yr old! (That half is a huge deal to her) lol but being a single mom, my little one goes to visit her Dad on Wednesdays.. So, tonight, it’s quiet, most would call it “peaceful” but I call it, lonely.. Her laugh, and her yelling “mommy, come here!!! 1! 2! 3! ” & making “deals” to get her ready for bed.. that’s what makes my heart happy.. So, tonight is a little dull, a little sad, & a little lonely.. But I productively started at the gym to get in shape and healthy & I got some cleaning done that was over due! Lol so, that’s good!! 🙂

Extrovert
Single Mom
Mom of 1 Child
Mom of Toddler
Mom Seeking a Tribe

Hmm.. I honestly didn’t see much of a difference. My best friend had her daughter 9 days after me & did not breastfeed & She’s just as healthy and energetic as my little one.
She was very colicky and was up a lot more than my little one but, I can’t say if that has to do with breastfeeding or not.

I do see some truth to it. Just because it’s not just you and your significant other anymore.. The priority is now the baby that you have. I think at first it was immediate do to C-section, loss of sleep with breastfeeding a baby, and stress of being brand new parents.. It picked back up after we figured out our routine.

I never made it noticeable that it bothered me, but once the Randoms walked away or left.. I would feel so weird and uncomfortable lol

7-8.. I’m pretty open on social media with my friends and family! But I’m have my social media on private. So only my friends can see my life.

False!! I love her to pieces! But, I have to say, I do get really jealous and/or frustrated when I see how attached she is to her grandma (my mom) that spoils her rotten lol.. When she’s around her, I’m invisible & nothing I says matters.

Spontaneous Traveling

The new amazing meaning to life that she gave me. The purpose I have now in life because of her & that fact that I didn’t believe in Love at first sight until she was put into my arms!

I don’t feel empty.. But for the first time since getting pregnant, I’ve recently been wanting another baby. I swore to everyone, that I was only going to have ONE & That she’s perfect and I couldn’t possibly have another perfect child, so I’ll count my blessings with her !! But, recently, I’ve been missing the baby stage. The feeling of being completely needed by someone. Granted my daughter still needs me, but at 2 1/2, she’s become very independent… I miss being needed like I was when she was itsy bitsy. I will most likely have another later down the road 🙂

 

mom-panel-6angie

Angie
Morning was horrible. Daughter screaming and yelling at the top of her lungs, which then put me over the edge and I ended up yelling back and forcing her back into her room (she had crawled in bed with me last night…like most nights lately—screaming bloody murder before bedtime b/c I was still downstairs while she had to go to sleep). She’s been VERY clingy lately. All before 6 AM this morning. Then, I felt bad and cradled her, covering her face with kisses so she knew I loved her. She won. Rushed off to work by 7. Had a hectic day since I was out the last two days—I teach 4th grade and just switched schools. FELT LOST. SO, instead of the healthy meal I had planned, I took them to get BBQ and ice cream for dinner. Budget wasn’t happy but kids and mama were. Ended the day like a champ
Ha…well, I’m 39. I had my first at 32, second at 35. First high risk, emergency C-section after 21 hrs of labor; second, high risk due to ‘advanced maternal age’ but worked my ass off to get that VBAC so I could experience natural birth. SO happy for that.

I am way TOO open—like diarrhea of the mouth, open. OPSIE.

I have friends and family that I consider my TRIBE but I am alone. Sometimes, I cry I feel so alone. I hate to ask my sisters or friends for help. They offer but I just feel too guilty. No grandparents around for support and their dad lives too far away. I’m not sure I am looking for a bigger tribe as I TRUST no one with my kids…(victim as a child myself)
I breastfed both. But, first, due to C-section, didn’t get to feed for almost 10 hours after birth. It stumped us from the get go. He didn’t’ latch properly until 3 weeks old. He exclusively fed after that until I returned to work at 8 weeks. Then, half breast, half formula as I do not respond to pump. I felt horrible and he was always sick as child…lots of respiratory problems. After allergist told me he would need steroids daily to not flare up, I sought help with alternative med drs and they healed him within a 2 months…he’s never had a breathing treatment since. Girl, after vag birth, latched right on and has been attached to my hip since. LOL (I never pictured myself with a girl and even said…what, there’s a vagina in there when I found out gender; what do I do with that???) She has never had the issues that my son has health wise. As far as it helping cognitively…he’s super bright, alert/aware and has soooo much common sense it kills me—she’s as flighty as they come…a total free spirit and ‘blonde’ lol. I’m not saying she isn’t bright…she just doesn’t care or get it at times.
I DONT judge. If you want my advice/help based on my experience, I will give it and show you how I did better with my daughter than my son. But, it’s your life and child and sometimes, one way is more conducive to your life and family than the other. Who am I to tell you otherwise or judge you based on that.

Mine diminished almost immediately. However, to our defense, we were starting the beginning of the end once my son was born. We spent 8 years together (on/off) beforehand and it was travel, party, play…so, I think he wasn’t ready for the next step even though we agreed on it. Honestly, we only had relations 10 times between my son and the day I conceived my daughter – our last hooorahhh as he helped me move out. I found out about her a month later.  She’s never lived under the same roof as him. FYI—not everyone knows this, I haven’t had intimacy in 4 years and 6 months…but who’s county, right???

I didn’t really care. Only one ‘stranger’ ever touched me anyway. I was told I looked like RBF all the time. That could be why no on tried. Family…they were all over me like a Buddha

8—I tell a lot and show a lot. I try to keep it positive but sometimes I need to vent. Since I am alone, that’s where it goes. I do eat dinner with friends/family several times in a 2 week period and try to vent there. I like showing good things they kids are doing because they make me happy and proud. I especially like quirky moments. I definitely keep the drama between dad and I off as much as possible as that only hurts the kids in the long run.

I get totally pissed and feel like I want to run away. But, literally within seconds, I feel guilty for feeling that way. I have two relatively healthy kids…happy kids and many mama’s/dad’s do not. I am way too empathetic to not see that with my friends and try to keep that in mind when I have a ROUGH day. It doesn’t mean I handle it the best when I’ve had a 10-11 work/commute day and then have to deal with tired/whiny kids that miss me. It’s tough and I have fallen to the floor in agony over it all. Those are the days I stare a FB, with HGTV on for 2 hours decompressing. I then go snuggle my littles and sometimes pull them into bed with me b/c they are my comfort too.

Being girly—I LOVE girl time and NEVER get it—did this year for my bday  Money—I had no care in the word—drove my cute Acura, had my hair done every 3 months and toes every other week. I spoiled myself with random shopping trips. Now, I’m lucky if I can shower alone. Lol For almost 3 years I didn’t do my hair or toes at all. I felt ugly and gross. I do now. Hair twice a year…three if I can afford it and toes twice or three times a year. Makes me feel girly again.

I mean, what isn’t?  Seriously, the deep love you feel your babies that is indescribable. I love seeing them grow, how they can make me laugh, the knowledge that they love me to the moon and back…knowing that I am trying to develop decent human beings that see others for who they are not what they think they are and seeing that I am succeeding at this as a single mom. It is tough, as any parent would say, but I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

I only felt empty after having K and realizing my relationship with his dad wasn’t going to make it as much as I tried. For his sake, I felt like I was letting him down and planned to get pregnant just so he wouldn’t be alone. Then, I changed my mind. I let it go and felt liberated once I did leave his dad. K was only 1 ½ when I left. When I did find out about Brielle, I was devastated as first b/c I wasn’t sure I would financially survive. I already left my home, was in a rental and barely making it. The pregnancy changed everything. We moved a total of 5 times that year and ended up living with a friend of mine. I only felt empty at that point b/c I had done everything ‘right’—went to college, waited to have kids, sewed my oats before settling down and having said kids—then it was all ripped out from under me. **That’s how I met Ashely. She saw the news story on me as the ‘Homeless Teacher’…google me…you’ll see. She changed me…but that’s for another story.

mom-panel-7-chelsChelsea

Today was pretty decent. It’s my third week back to work since returning from maternity leave. Still hard, but I’ve managed to be tear-free this week! Yay me! Haha Almost through week 3! Work is tough to jump back into all at once. Catching up on all I missed while juggling missing my girl. Not to mention trying to pump throughout the day…that’s more of a chore than I expected. Hard to plan times to take a break, set everything up, break it all down, then get back to work. I’m also going to visit my girl on my lunch break because we’re just learning how the bottle works, so a day at the office is quite the whirl wind. Drop her off at daycare, get to work, meeting, pump, get some work done, time to go feed K on my lunch break and soak her in. Then back to work for maybe another meeting, more work and pumping, before I’m finished for the day and can go pick up my girl and head home. Then if we get home before daddy. Getting us and everything inside, then trying to take the dog out with a leash in one hand and baby in the other. Phew! Then the prepping for the next day, feeding, bath time, dinner begin. You know the drill! It’s a blur, but I do love it! Only thing I’d maybe change is having her with me all day. Whether you’re a working momma or at stay at home momma, it’s a tough, yet rewarding job.

Introvert – YES
Extrovert
TOTALLY Open Book
Single Mom
New Mom – YES
Pregnant Mom
Adoptive/Fostering Mom
Mom of 1 Child – YES
Mom of 3+ Children
Mom of Teens
Mom of Toddler(s)
Special Needs Mom
Mom 25 or Younger
Mom 40 or Older
Grandparent
Mom in a Tribe
Mom Seeking a Tribe – YES
Mom Who Absolutely Doesn’t Give a – If She Has a Tribe or Not
I’m currently breastfeeding and we’re doing well with it. It’s worked for us, I know it doesn’t for all, and you hear of all the benefits, so we’re sticking with it. I can’t speak yet to the health yet with her being 3 months, but it’d be nice! Either way, I love the bonding as well as not needing to purchase formula. If we had to switch for some reason it wouldn’t be a huge thing though. Any way a momma feeds her baby is fine by me. I don’t think people should criticize one way or the other. Their nourishing their babe either way
To an extent, yes. More so because I was terrified of trying again after my c-section. Had a weird fear from horror stories you see online. Looking things up online after becoming a parent is informative at times and just plain scary at others. haha

Hands off sign! Haha. Unless I know you and I’m having you feel a kick willingly. I always told my husband, “I’m not a circus animal”. The petting and touching was frustrating for me.

Most of it! Probably an 8. Haha. Mainly all cute and adorable moments with her. I’ll post tired momma posts here and there, but mostly, braggy mom here.
I don’t think I’ve hit this stage yet, if it’s a real thing. I’m still in the amazement and awe stage of my little human.
Probably the ease of traveling, like a vacation or road trip being a breeze. Traveling with a baby becomes much more of a project. Not to mention the money aspect. A vacation just seems crazy at the moment with the new daycare expenses and such. I’ve been asking my husband his answers to these as I go out of curiosity and he says sex. Go figure haha
Watching their changes and growths, playing with them, caring for them, and just staring in awe at them. Sometimes I still can’t believe we made this perfect little human. I couldn’t imagine our lives without her.
We currently have 1 baby girl who is 15 weeks old. I haven’t had this feeling yet, but we’ll see. I really want her to have at least one sibling, so I can see where the feelings of wanting another child would come along.

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Monica

Today was an OK day. I stayed in lounge wear all day, no makeup and messy bun in front of my computer and worked. A LOT. My middle son has had a rockin fever and nasty cough so my job was to keep him comfortable. It was peaceful because the rest of my week has been craptastic. I think I was due for calm 🙂

Extrovert, Mom of 3, Mom of toddler, Mom over 40 (41 to be exact)

I breastfed all 3 and supplemented 2 of the 3. I think they’re all pretty healthy like your average kids.

Very true. It came in time.

I felt it very invasive and inappropriate for strangers to touch me. When loved ones did it, I didn’t really care but I’d often remind them that I’d touch theirs too!!!

I’m probably a 5. I don’t overshare but I definitely share what I’m comfortable with. No pooping on the potty pics, nothing embarrassing or at least I hope it won’t embarrass them!

Yes. I have moments where I don’t care for them too much but it doesn’t last too long. It’s when they’re really unruly, defiant or difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever despised them though.

How simple life was. I could just run to the grocery store, I could go have brunch “just because” with no notice. I could have a clean house.

They are little versions of us except they wake up happy. They remind us to dance like no one is looking. Ahh!!! I just love to see them dance 🙂

I have 3 boys. I always knew I wanted at least 2 but likely 3 children so I wouldn’t call it a void but knew another one would come soon. After our 2nd baby, my husband said no more. I miscarried a “surprise” baby when our oldest was 3 and the little one was 1.5 and after that is when I felt a void. We didn’t try for another one but a few months later, I was pregnant again with my 3rd. We were and are 100% complete after his birth.

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Sylvia

Right this moment, as I reflect on the day and my choices in response to what I was handed, it was good; and then it was defeating. I took a break from the gym and took my little guy to the park and Wally-world to spend bday money. It was so nice just being J’s mommy. I’ve been looking forward to this part of Z attending VPK. Of the two, she’s my most needy, but I’m also learning J has an insane amount of needs that I may have been neglecting if I’m being honest. Anyway, it was beautiful as a whole. I was reminded I need to strive for humility and love, but I realize that. Isn’t that half the battle? Thanks for asking 💜
Moving on… Haha

I am an extrovert, open book, pregnant mom, I have two outside and one cooking– mom of three?

I breastfed my first for 20 months and J for 2 1/2 years. In my semi-crunchy mom head, I felt as if both kids got sick more often. It could have very well been the season and exposure to other kids, but I feel breast feeding made a huge difference in other areas if not that particular one. They weren’t picky eaters, they had healthy BMI’s, all things positive in my books

Ha! I love this question, especially since I’m currently pregnant and my sex drive is just now coming back. Pray for my husband. Lol! I think with Z, not having sex wasn’t an issue. Well, it was and then it wasn’t. I was on a low-dose hormone right after giving birth to Z so my sex drive was nonexistent, and I was an emotional hot mess (outside of the normal post-partum hormone flux). After I ditched those tiny satans in pill form, I was back on the horse.. Umm… Yeah. Ha.. Ha.. Now, if it’s scheduled, it doesn’t happen. Somehow someone always ends up too tired, too busy, or too hormonal. I’ll let you figure out who that last one is. Spontaneous and out of nowhere is how we like to roll these days.

I didn’t mind the verbal attention, but complete strangers touching me was kind of odd. My mom was that person haha! Always touching and guessing baby’s genders. Most of the time she was right. This current pregnancy, please don’t touch me. I’m overweight from the start, and I’m an emotional wreck. How’s that for truth? 😬

I would say I’m a 7-8. I share a lot of mommy-moments. I like to make people laugh which is 93% of what I do in my parenting life. I’ve learned to keep some to myself to enjoy to myself. Sometimes it takes away from the speciality of a moment when everyone else has enjoyed it. It’s like that shiny marble you have as a kid. You can either bring it out for other people to admire alongside you, or you keep it at home to stay shiny and unchipped <—autocorrect says that’s not a word FYI. I would totally bring it out and let EVERYONE play with it so everyone can join me in the happiness. Now I’m learning to share some and keep the rest in my heart.

I don’t think I’ve ever not liked my kids. They’re my babies. I don’t like how my controlling attitude comes out in my parenting. I find myself not liking myself even more than I did in my party days.

THEE number one thing I miss is my “freedom.” I kinda regret typing that. Now my every move involves how will it effect “so and so.” It sounds so selfish, I know, but some days I so desperately want to just pick up and go. Being married and with kids kinda puts a dent in those wanderlust tendencies.

The greatest thing about having kids… There are so many. Hmmm.. Tonight the best thing was to see how much my little bubba has grown up. He was trying to read a book right before bed. Sometimes it’s the saddest thing about parenting, but they’re supposed to grow up. It’s part of the process so when it’s happening so well and so beautifully, it hits the wells of my heart so deep in a good way. Z amazes me everyday with how much she cares for people. It’s nice (such an understatement) to see that Jon and I are raising good, loving humans for our community. We have that great capacity if we choose it wisely. I guess that’s why it hurts so much when I flop, as explained in question one.

This is a loaded question, friend. Haha! After having Z, it was going so well that I wanted to have another baby out of excitement and the pure love I felt for Z and wanted to extend that with another baby. After J came, he put things in reality. Z was our exception to the rule, J was and is normal. Lol! To answer your question, simply put, J was born 20 months after Z was. Baby number 3, who was conceived out of absolute trust in God that He can make me 100% capable of parenting more children and of course love, was conceived almost 3 years after J was born. I did go through a period after J turned that I wasn’t doing my reproductive duties. I know I just amped up a bunch of feminists lol, but I truly felt I was supposed to be pregnant and I wasn’t so something was not right. It wasn’t wrong, but it felt off. I struggled a lot with feeling as if I wasn’t worthy/deserving of my beautiful babies, or that I was going to somehow screw them up so why have more children. Maybe some of it has to do with my past with my mother, maybe not. I’ve grown some, and yet I have a crap ton to grow.

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Amber
Everyday seems to be just as intense at the last. I have been fostering my niece for going on 3 months now. It has been a struggle since the beginning, dealing with T’s (my niece, age 3) initial shock, sadness, anger and confusion mixed with the jealousy of A’s (my daughter, age 4) jealousy and now change from being an only child.

They are in daycare together M-F and have a great bond at school. When they get home, all hell breaks loose. They have kept it together for 10 hours and just can’t hold back anymore. Whether fighting over my attention, a toy, a show to watch or any other ridiculous thing you can think of. If they are not fighting they are conspiring against me! I have had to place locks on all doors. They have destroyed my closet, the bathroom (making concoctions of laundry soap, scent beads, shampoo…), taken off down the street together, basically anything they can do to drive me insane! I think they find it hilarious!!!

WINE!! Specifically boxed wine. It’s cheap, it lasts (well they claim that, I have yet to find out for myself) and it has an easy pour spout! I don’t even need a cork screw!!!!

I would say, I am a foster mom, mom of a preschooler, and tend to be an open book

Yes, I breastfed my daughter. I happen to know that my sister did not breastfeed past a couple of days. I think it is very hard to make an opinion of the health of one versus the other. There are so many other factors. I think it is wrong to judge those who could not/chose not to, breastfeed. We all do things differently. That’s OK!

I think at first it was difficult, as I did choose to breastfeed, my daughter slept with me a lot. However, once my postpartum, doctor recommended “break” for 6 weeks was over, we were always able to find the time when we wanted. Babies nap A LOT! We are also very fortunate that both our mothers have been very involved from the beginning, providing us with opportunities while they spent time with baby. As she got older we found it easier once she was sleeping in her own room to make it a regular thing, where we didn’t have to wait until nap time, or a break from baby. Life in that perspective was able to go back to normal, and has continued. Of course I end up with children in my bed by 4 am, so no morning hanky panky! (hahaha)

I did not mind it at all. I worked as an MA, at a pain clinic where I saw the same patients monthly. They watched me grow up, essentially, during the 5 years I was there, from an 18 year old, to a new young mom. They were as excited as I was and I was happy to share that excitement. I loved that people were excited for me. I was not married and you don’t know how people will look at you. I gladly accepted the positive excitement. Even from strangers who weren’t patients. I have always loved babies and bellies and was happy to share mine!

I share A LOT of my mommying on social media. I have a lot of family all of the US and am grateful for the technology to share my little lady (now ladies) with family who cannot be with us in person. I would say I am around an 8?

TRUE! Especially lately. I have seen characteristics in my child that I DO NOT LIKE! Since taking T in, she has become very aggressive and angry toward her cousin. I do not like seeing this side of her. And quite frankly, I do dislike her at times, and if she weren’t mine I would not want to be around her. This is not the little girl I have raised and loved. This is obviously her learning to handle stress and emotions and it is a huge change, I get it, doesn’t mean I like it! This is NOT the person I want to see her grow to be. So realizing this is only more motivating to change it, to help and to guide her.

Being able to go home after work, do NOTHING, and not feel guilty about it. There is now always something that needs to be done. If I have a hard day at work, I can’t go home, pop in a movie, pour some wine and do nothing. Just not an option anymore. And I miss that.

Knowing that no matter what, my child will always love me. I have a forever gift of love and friendship that no one can take away from me.

Yes, baby fever is real! Now that I have taken on another, I have put any plans of expanding on hold and part of me is sad about this. I do want to have another child. I want to be pregnant again. I have 1 that is all mine, 1 step daughter who lives in Oregon ( I am in Alaska), and my foster daughter/niece. I always wanted to have 2 of my own and part of me is sad and I suppose you could describe as an emptiness, that this is possibly not going to happen, or at least not for a while.

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Sara

I’m actually feeling okay today. Yesterday was almost like a day from hell, though. My husband has been working early mornings this entire week which leaves me getting all three kids up, ready and out the door on time for elementary school and daycare so I can go to my full time job outside the home. It’s like all we do is rush around and if I’m not yelling, then no one is listening. It’s frustrating because that’s the absolute worst way to start the day for them and for me. Today, I was really trying to be intentional about having a great morning. Aside from a few hiccups from my middle child about putting his shoes on, it went much better. We’ll see how the evening goes though. My husband says if I don’t get at least 30 minutes of yelling in per day then it’s not complete. I’d like the men to try and do what we do though and then they can see how “easy” it really is to keep everyone and the house on a schedule.

Extrovert
TOTALLY Open Book (when asked but not freely on Social Media!)
Mom of 3+ Children
Mom of Toddler(s)
Mom in a Tribe

I did not enjoy breastfeeding so I breastfed each of my kids for approximately one year but also supplemented with formula. I also loathed pumping so I always sent formula in to daycare. Honestly, I have a very strange stance on the whole “breastfeeding vs formula debate” because I know that breast is best and healthiest and our bodies are incredibly designed to nurture our babies with EXACTLY what they need, when they need it, but I am a huge advocate for a Mom doing what is best for her! Breastfeeding and pumping really stressed me out so it was a relief when I decided to just let go of what others might think and supplement with formula.

And if I could just go off on a “tangent”, we spend all this time and energy worrying about formula and “breast is best!” for literally the shortest stage our kids’ lives (infancy) but no one seems to care what happens after that. I’m far more concerned with their health and nutrition as they grow up. My kids have a healthy appetite for broccoli and quinoa but can take down Chick Fil A like animals! Balance and doing what is best for YOUR FAMILY. I’d be willing to bet that even kids who were exclusively breastfed still eat one month old goldfish (the non-organic kind – gasp!) from their car seats just like the rest of our kids. Haha!

Our sex life definitely diminished but not to the non-existent stage. For a while, we were just so tired and spent so much of our time taking care of others we didn’t really have much left at the end of the day. But as the kids got older and you find your groove and settle into daily life, it gets easier to make time for each other and actually WANT to have sex. Even if it is just hiding in your closet or locking the bathroom door for a quickie. (Not that we’ve done that or anything…)

LOVED them! People are genuinely excited about new life and want to share in the joy of pregnancy and mean no harm. New life is a literal miracle – why would you not want to get your hands on that!!
This is a hard one. I would say I’m probably a 4. The ups get shared often but I only share a snapshot of the downs and the struggles in kind of a humorous way so that other Moms out there know that they are not alone when things get hard. My kids and my family are my life so it’s hard to NOT share my life with others. But I still try to keep an identity of my own apart from my kids so not everything is always about them.
And my kids are never as entertaining or as cute to others as they are to me. There IS such a thing as oversharing and I don’t want to be one of those. There’s something refreshing though about people finding the right balance of letting others see the “truth” about parenthood and keeping it light on social media.

Oh my gosh. True. My kids are jerks sometimes and I can totally understand why some animals eat their young. They go through phases of whining and bickering and they are impossible to reason with. It’s like some days all I do is negotiate with little versions of myself and it is exhausting. And sometimes the blatantly disobey or refuse to put their gosh darn laundry away. And don’t forget when act ugly in public and you just want to die.

My pre-baby body. Peace and quiet. Napping whenever I wanted. Doing what I wanted, when I wanted.

All the magic they bring to life! Kids are so full of wonder and everything is a discovery. Airplanes! Bugs! Birds! The moon! Flowers blooming that we planted in our little garden! Cooking! Bubbles! And if you’ve forgotten the magic of holidays, then your kids will remind you how much fun it is to trick or treat or color Easter eggs while talking about Jesus or waking up to a beautiful Christmas morning. (Also, you can always use the kids as an excuse. “Can’t work late, got three kids.” “Sorry, can’t go to your cat’s baptism. Got three kids.”)

I have three kids. When I only had two kids, I didn’t feel “complete” but it wasn’t an emptiness or void feeling. After the second one, I just couldn’t let go of baby clothes or baby toys. When I looked into my future, it always included a third child. It feels hard to explain. When our third was born, I began to feel like our family was complete. Like we had been waiting on her to get here this whole time so that we could start being a family of five. She’s almost two now and I have felt no sadness or hesitation in getting rid of baby swings and bottles and clothes. It’s like my heart and my mind are on the same page.


That’s it mamas!

A HUGE thank you to all of the amazing moms who shared their voice on these topics! We’re all different, with no parenting style the same as the next but, we all belong to the same ‘hood-motherhood that is.

Please feel free to comment below with your answer to any of these questions! I’d love to hear what you have to say!

Also, if one of these beautiful mamas is the one you’ve been searching for all these years, the one who will make your #momtribe complete, comment below and let them know that you’d like to connect!

 

How I Knew My Husband Was THE ONE.

I love my husband. Sometimes he drives me absolutely nuts. Like, want to build an actual  husband-dog house out of rotted out pallets and stick him outside during a hurricane nuts. But most of the time, as long as he’s behaving, he’s welcome inside to cuddle and spoon in our nice warm bed.

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For a lot of people, he’s not very tolerable, and I get that. So does he. There are no filters or gray area in his brain. That’s just how it is. When we were first dating he was a cheap, sarcastic, pain in the ass…actually, he still has those amazing qualities. What I mean is, he was a change from what I was used to but, not in a negative way.

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I spent a long time in relationships with people who made me feel small. Ones who compensated for their actions with material things. In my younger years, I will admit, I was a material girl. I saw the problem in this situation but, didn’t know how to correct it. There were times that I felt trapped, controlled, and totally worthless. I wasn’t free to be myself, to wear what I wanted to wear, be friends with people that I loved, and even suffered from having to choose between my family and the person I was with. Sometimes, I was afraid. I was terrified of my future, for my health, my life goals, the people that I loved, and mostly, for my safety. I lost any chance of a backbone that I had and didn’t see it changing any time soon. To this day, the fear I lived with still haunts me in nightmares occasionally and while I am so happy for the paths they have chosen to follow, I still live with the repercutions of their actions.

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When I met my husband, I was at such a place that I just wanted to escape but, knew I needed “safety” before I could run. My heart and soul were aching for someone to “allow” me the freedom to be who I wanted to be. Someone who embraced everything that I had to offer, and even the things that I didn’t. I needed to be shown a world in which you are brought up for your successes rather than shut down because of your fails. The desperation for appreciation and normalcy in my life was pretty severe.

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At the time, I worked in an environment with 85% of the staff being young, really attractive girls similar in age to me. Not that I was totally insecure but, when my now-husband gravitated towards me and didn’t show interest in the other girls at our workplace, it felt really good. He was strong, handsome, different, and he was SAFE. I knew that when he was by my side, I would be protected. He embraced me for who I was but, at the same time, didn’t shadow his true feelings or thoughts. There were no filters. He asked what he wanted to ask. He said what he wanted to say. And he did things that no-one else had ever done and wasn’t afraid of showing his true self regardless of how other people may judge him. On our first date, he asked me to cover the tip. Seriously. I laughed. Looking back now, I can’t imagine our buffet, dutch, black and white date any other way.

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Because I was very recently out of a long relationship and really learning how to find myself, I thought it was best that we take a break. He and I had been spending a lot of time together, more like every minute of each day, and working together. It was getting serious but, I wanted to make sure before committing for the long term, that it was him and not just because he was new. Two dates, with two other people later, and I quickly realized that he filled me more than anyone ever had. It was everything about him.

He appreciates money, in a way that it shouldn’t be used to compensate for behavior but, to be used wisely and as a sincere gift. He works hard for what he earns. He notices things that I wouldn’t and corrects things that I am too lazy to fix. He gets shit done. He just does. When there’s a battery that needs replacing, he does it. When the smoke alarms need replacing, he orders and installs. When there’s a family function that we have to attend that he really doesn’t want to attend, he puts on his big boy underwear and drives us (with a bit of bitching and moaning but, when we walk in the door, he slaps on a smile). All of these things are traits that he showed from the beginning. They weren’t for show and it wasn’t just a part of our honeymoon period. Beyond the extra sugary sweetness and courting that comes with the territory of a new relationship, he was real.

Although, his black and white mind, sarcastic comments, and limitations on spending really put a twist in my side sometimes, I love him for all that he is and who is represents.

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AWESOME Kid Sneaks from George & Georgette!

Happy almost FriYAY !

We’re super excited to share one of our favorite new brands with you and they’re all about giving back WHILE rocking cool sneaks!

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Back to school season has come and gone (all too fast I might add) but, a kid can NEVER have enough killer sneaks, right? How about a pair that allows your child to slip them onto the right feet without mom or dad’s help and also encourages lifting up others and giving back to the world?!

That’s right, a shoe bigger than the shoe itself! George & Georgette has branded their kid shoes in the most unique way we’ve ever seen! All the way down to the packaging, they’re thinking of our children’s future and how to shape our littles into kind, compassionate, and giving human beings.

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Each sneaker in a pair designed by George & Georgette is slightly different, yet resembles the other. We LOVE the Catfish pair! They’re cool, comfy, and easy for Col to recognize which shoe goes on each foot! The left is a bit different from the right but, they live in the same color family and coordinate with the same theme! So cool right? They’re basically fraternal twins!

GNG 2.jpgSpeaking of twins, meet Daphne and Christelle!

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Daphne and Christelle are twins, separated in their later years when Daphne and her husband moved from Brussels to New York!

“As kids, their mom would buy them the same shoes but, often in different colors and they would sometimes switch them to create an extra level of twinitude.”

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In order to keep their twin connection alive from miles apart, they would create #twinning shoes: “shoes that are not identical but, complement each other. Shoes sometimes very similar, sometimes not..just like real life twins!”

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Daphne and Christelle knew that when opening their business, giving back would be a KEY ingredient to their plan! The WALK IN MY SHOES program was created to hire people in need and to encourage their customers to complete random acts of kindness all over the world!

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“Our little shoe box has been designed as a tool and a symbol. It contains very original, visible shoes and claims to serve very original, invisible people – the homeless people. The goal here is to inspire, remind, and create opportunities for small actions. We hope to plant a seed in our customers’ minds so the next time they pass by someone in need, they think: “hey, what could I bring him/her next time…”. It’s our little contribution for a better world where homeless people are properly acknowledged.”

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Teach your kids kindness & awareness:

Use this shoe box as a lesson on helping others, making them aware of others in the world or your community who are less fortunate. It’s about modeling the empathy our society will be based on tomorrow. Why not have your kid draw something to put into the box? Cultivate respect and not ignorance. Don’t treat homeless people as if they were invisible, it’s not okay to stare but it is okay to say “Hello.” Let kids be kids and exercise their curiosity and empathy, they’ll surely find ways to “save” others and teach us adults something on their path!

A few steps to getting started on giving back with George & Georgette:

  • Open your box and put away your NEW beautiful shoes once they arrive (or just pop open the box and rock them till’ your heart’s content!)
  • Replace them with something useful (juice pouches, water bottles, snacks, loose change, old toys, socks, etc.)
  • Build up the handles of your box (SUPER easy!)
  • Take it on your next trip (To the store, bus stop, playground, etc.!)
  • Find someone in need (a family, homeless person, a crying friend, or a neighbor)
  • Make eye contact, say hello (Be careful if it’s a stranger! Always stick with your parents!)
  • Extend your arm & let it go (Share your box full of goodies!

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Grab your pair from George & Georgette and follow them on Instagram & Facebook to see all the cool styles! (I can’t forget to add that they always have FREE SHIPPING! Who doesn’t love free shipping?!)
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*All opinions are my own and are not persuaded by the companies I work with financially or through product.

 

 

FREE Thumbprint Activity

What you’ll need:

  • Tiny fingers
  • Washable stamp pad
  • Counting in 5’s Thumbprint Activity printable

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Grab yours here: Counting in 5’s Thumbrint Printable

The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

Why I Chose NOT To Share My Special Needs Child’s Swimming Success On Facebook

Okay, I know what you might be thinking by the long title up there…”uhh, it doesn’t make a difference to us either way…” Maybe, maybe not. But, if you’re interested in knowing why, I’d love to share with you.

So, I am totally the type to post all of my kids’ success stories on Facebook. I mean, I’m obviously biased when I say that i think I have the coolest 4 year old on the planet but, hey sometimes we’ve got to keep a bit of their coolness under wraps so the other little tots don’t get jealous, right? Totally kidding.

Okay so, rewind three weeks back when hubby and I were almost ready to give up this summer on teaching the little man to swim this year. We’ve had that kid in the pool EVERY SINGLE DAY. Once the pool was warm enough-ish to swim, he was in the pool with a cheer squad rooting him on at the side lines and GUESS WHAT? He DID IT! Right as we were ready to stick him on a noodle for the rest of the summer, HE DID IT.

I could already see it: long Facebook post about how incredible it was to see him swimming before his 5th birthday, tears rolling down my face as I shared our success with the online world, and all of our friends and family commenting their praise. It would be perfect.

Why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I share our triumph on the one platform that we knew everyone would see? It’s simple really: SOME THINGS ARE MEANT FOR US & ONLY US.

There are so many things we, as “millennial parents” share with the world. What we eat, where we vacation, our good and bad relationships, our stance on politics, the things we think are funny, hell, even the things we see in our most private moments…you know, on the toilet. BUT, sometimes there are things that should just be kept sacred. Maybe not forever but, at least enough time to embrace the moment without a phone in your face or a camera strap hanging over your shoulder. Do I have photos and video of that day? Duh. I mean, I’m not saying that I don’t want to remember this amazing moment but, am I going to share them with you? Not right now, maybe not ever because this is something I want to keep to myself.

Now, cue the tears. There are so many things we question in our life with Col. Will he grow up to live on his own someday? Will he have successful friendships and relationships when he gets older? Will he get married some day? Shit, I even question (and secretly hope) that he will become the next Bill Gates, seriously.

One of the things we have recently questioned is if he would swim before he was in school…before he was surrounded by other kids his age who would or just had another possible reason to bully him. At the beginning of the summer, I remember specifically telling hubby that I thought for sure the little would swim before Col. I was wrong and I feel so guilty for it but, I am SO happy that I was WRONG.

I wish I cared a little less about being so selfish and keeping this moment to myself…actually, no i don’t but, I am sorry that I won’t be sharing this HUGE moment for our family with you and I hope more than anything, this post encourages you to do the same with some of your kids’ major moments in these few little person years that you have with them.

So, to end this…I would tell you to comment your recent kids’ success story below but, that would end this post as an oxymoron so, instead, I want you to remember it a little longer with your family and embrace these moments that you have with them!

 

 

 

 

ULTIMATE List of Florida’s Springs

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Alapaha Rise Springs
Alexander Springs

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Aucilla (Wacissa)
Baltzell Springs
Beecher Springs
Blue Grotto Springs
Blue Hole Springs State park
Boulware Sweetwater Springs

Branford Springs

Bugg Springs

Cedar Head Springs

Chassahowitzka Springs
Cypress Springs

De Leon Springs State park

Devil’s Den

Devil’s Ear/Eye/Little
Emerald Springs

Falmouth Karst Springs

Fanning Springs Park

Fern Hammock Springs

Gainer Springs

Gator Springs

Gemini Springs

Gilchrist Blue

Ginnie Springs

Green Cove Springs

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Hart Springs

Homosassa Springs State park
Hornsby Springs

Hunter (Kings Bay) Springs

Ichetucknee Springs State park

Juniper Springs

Lafayette Blue Springs State park

Lime Sink Springs Run State park

Little River Springs

Madison Blue Springs State park

Manatee Springs State park
McCormick Springs
Morrison Springs
Natural Bridge Springs State Park
Orange Springs
Otter Springs
Paradise Springs
Peacock Springs State park
Pitt Srings
Poe Springs
Rainbow Springs State park

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Rock Springs Run
Rock Bluff Springs
Royal Springs
Running Springs East, West
Salt Springs (Marion)

Santa Fe Springs State park
Shangri La Springs
Silver Springs
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Siphon Creek Springs
Spring Creek Springs
Starbuck Springs
Steinhatchee Springs
Sun Springs
Suwanacoochee Springs
Suwannee Blue Springs
Suwannee Springs
Telford Springs
Three Sisters Springs
Treehouse Springs
Troy Springs State park
Volusia Blue Springs
Vortex Springs

Wacissa Group Springs
Wakulla Springs State park
Warm Mineral Springs
Weeki Wachee Springsweeki wacheeweeki wachee 3weeki wachee2
Wekiwa Springs State parkwekiwa springswekiwa springs 1wekiwa springs 2
Welaka Springs

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Have you visited any of these springs?! Let me know which are your favorite!!

ULTIMATE GUIDE: Clingmans Dome, NC With Toddlers

Our family just came back from a trip to North Carolina and the top of our list for the trip was to accomplish Clingmans Dome with two toddlers. Want to know what I think is the best way to do it? Check out my ULTIMATE GUIDE here!

 

  1. Pack lightly: Our entire hike took approx. 1.5 hours with minimal stops to rest on our way up. So, my best advice is to pack LIGHT. You don’t need much. Maybe a few snacks but, really, if you eat beforehand, you won’t need to snack.
  2. Carry a child, or as many as possible, in a carrier: Invest in a GOOD toddler weight carrier. I carry my 2.5 year old in a Lilebaby, specifically this one. It has great back and front support, rear support for the child, a head covering, and is much for comfortable that a hiking pack/carrier combo. in my opinion & the other moms I saw carrying in wraps, looked super uncomfortable and weighed down._Q7A1153
  3. Carry Water: The next best investment I can recommend to  you is a Camelbak. Get a larger one to use as your hiking pack and hydration. This will save you time, energy of unpacking water bottles, recycling the trash, etc. as your hiking.
  4. Walk the path less traveled: Shortly after starting your hike on the pavement, you’ll see the Appalaichain Trail, DO IT. We did our hike on a Saturday at a prime time and there was little to no-one hiking the dirt trail. It was shaded, less harsh on your legs, shins, and knees, and really, so much more beautiful  than the paved trail and super fun for the kids to go exploring while on the trail. Grab a free hiking scavenger hunt to make it more interesting, here.
  5. Get the kids involved: Ask questions, show them how things work in nature, give them purpose during your hike. To them, this is just a really long walk through the woods and a tall bridge looking into mountains that look awfully similar to the ones they’ve been seeing through your car travels. Explain to them on the way up the reason behind the trek.

 

Many of these can be applied to other beginner hikes as well! Take a look at our entire adventure here!

FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt Printable

Going hiking? Sometimes it’s hard with kids! Make it interesting and purposeful for them with this FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt!

Download your FREE Hiking Scavenger Hunt here!

 

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Hiking Scavenger Hunt

The Happening Housewife Blog | 2016 For personal use only. Not to be copied, distributed, altered, or sold. thehappeninghousewife.com | themomsofmeltdownmadness.com

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DIY Chippy Paint Chair Makeover

Fan of all things Joanna Gaines, farmhouse style, & refurbished furniture? Yes?!  Then we just became BFF’s.

Now, I love taking chairs out of someone else’s trash and refurbing them into something I’ll love forever but, using my favorite paints by Annie Sloan can sometimes get expensive. So, here’s a quick tutorial on a Valspar version of crackle (aka chippy) paint!

Tools:

  • Power Hand Sander (This will save your life.)
  • Sanding Sticky Sheets

Supplies:

  • Chair, Table, Furniture, whatever you can find. (Local thrift stores, antiques fairs, and garbage days are my fave)
  • Valspar Crackle Glaze
  • Valspar Sealing Wax
  • Valspar Paint (I usually go with the samples from Lowe’s at about $3.00/ea.)
  • Dish rag
  • Dish Soap
  • Alcoho

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So, before you begin it’s best that you sand your piece, you may have trouble with your paint and glaze adhering to the furniture if you don’t. To be honest, this is my favorite part…which is why I have my husband do it! hahaha

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Next, you’ll want to wash all the sanding dust off of your piece. Grab some cheap dish soap, hose, a rag and get to scrubbing. Place your furniture in the sun for quick drying and leave it alone for about 45 minutes. Once it’s dry, take a rag with some alcohol to it to get any left over oils off.

Now, add a helping layer of that crackle glaze onto your, in my case, chair!

Allow to almost dry (it still needs to be tacky) and add your first layer of paint.

Continue this process until you achieve the look you prefer! (Yes, glaze over the somewhat wet paint & then allow to become tacky, and paint again!)

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Once ours was completely painted, I sanded in some spots that I wanted extra wear (arms, corners, exterior knob type finishes, etc.)

To finish your piece and make sure you don’t leave lingering chippy pieces throughout your home every time you pass by your furniture, add that sealing wax! Let everything dry first and goo on that sealing wax while working it into your furniture with a gentle rag.

Voila! You now have yourself a piece that looks like it could have come straight outta Magnolia Market!

Happy DIYing!