Mom Life

Where is Your Mom Confidence?

happy smiling teenager family

As many of you know, I love social media. I love sharing our adventures and trials with all our friends and family. But one thing I don’t like about social media is how easy it is for us to compare ourselves to others. I get it, I do it too. Comparison isn’t necessarily horrible, but what it leads to is. Self-doubt.

Every mother I have ever known, myself included, has had more than their share of self-doubt about their mom-abilities. Moms everywhere are seeing posts and thinking. I could never be like that. I could never be as organized, smart, clean, clever, funny, you name it someone has probably felt it. And it is this doubt that is killing our confidence. In fact, a study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology explains that “Self-esteem decreased during pregnancy, increased [after birth] until the child was six months old and then gradually decreased over following years.”

As moms, we have a serious self-esteem and confidence problem. And I think it is time to change all that! So, I took some time, discovered what was holding me back from being my most confident self, and put together an easy plan to get us all back on track. And now I want to share it with you!

New class starting on July 1st!

Sign up now, Space is limited

1-Week Confidence Kick-Start

Find out more information below or Click here to sign up!


 Why did I create this course?

#MomLifeIsHard. Whether you are a brand new parent or an experienced veteran, sometimes you just lose confidence in your ability. Our society makes moms feel like they are constantly doing something wrong. Working parents don’t give their kids enough attention, stay at home parents aren’t setting good role models. Your house is never clean enough, and if it somehow is it must be because you are ignoring your kids. You shouldn’t co-sleep, but you should always co-sleep. You shouldn’t be a helicopter parent, but you need to keep a constant eye on them. With all these mixed messages it is no wonder why moms are constantly feeling like they are failing. But we really shouldn’t. Moms that I know are awesome and I want every mom to feel as awesome as everyone else knows they are.

About this Course

Because I saw so many moms struggling with their confidence, I decided that it was time for a quick kick-start for moms. Think about this course is the kick in the butt that you need to become confident in your mom ability.

What will we do?

Throughout seven days we will be working on issues that are blocking your confidence. Each day, there will be a theme we are talking about. I will give you some background information, a quick lesson in how to do the homework and an activity or assignment to do.

That sounds like a lot of work

Don’t worry, I’m a mom too and I understand how little time we have as a mom. Our assignments are designed to make life easier. Most can take as little or as much time as you need. But if you are still pressed for time just remember this course is entirely self-paced. And you get lifetime access! That means you can take 7 days, 7 weeks, 7 months, or however long you want. You can also come back and repeat the course any time you feel like you need a confidence boost.

Why Confidence is So Important

You might be thinking, “Yeah, confidence sounds nice, but it doesn’t change anything.” I’m here to tell you this simply isn’t true. As moms, much of our energy is used with the mental load of our tasks. Every time you question yourself, every time you worry that you are doing the wrong thing, you are using precious and valuable energy. Overhauling your confidence will give you more energy, more focus, and more time for the important things in your life. This course is about confidence, but what it really is about is helping you create the life that you want to be living.

Sign up Now! The Course Opens July 1st!

1-Week Confidence Kick-Start

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Celebrate · Family · Mom Life

Lucky Number Seven

7 years ago, I married my best friend. This wasn’t a whirlwind romance, it was a slow growth.

Our love started when we first met in middle school in 1996 (that’s right 22 years ago). I didn’t know him except that his friends were my friends. And that I when I first saw him I had an instant schoolgirl crush. A crush that soon would be forgotten as life and school went on. We didn’t see each other much for the next few years. Occasionally would say hi in the hallway as we hurried on the way to classes. Being in different grades, middle school meant that we didn’t have lunch or classes together. And I spent much of my middle school years at my dad’s in my free time.

This would change in high school. By the time both of us were in high school, our lives were much more involved in having a social life and friends. And I found him and me together much more. He and I had our “Study Resource Time” (kind of like homeroom or study hall) together and being the only two in our friend group in the class, we bonded fast. We shared a locker and he quickly became my person. I didn’t sleep well in high school but lying next to him I spent many of our hour and a half long classes napping on his lap. I would tell him all about what was happening with me and pick on him for not telling me what was going on with him.

After I graduated high school we went our separate ways and both had bad relationships that I like to think of as our growing experiences, our own personal seven-year itch. It wouldn’t be too long before I happened to be on an old AOL messenger account and so was he (yes, we are that old). I messaged him, we chatted all night and agreed to meet for coffee.

 

And that was it. Everything clicked. It was like we never lost connection. We were meant to be.

Since then we’ve dealt with our share of ups and downs. We’ve bought two houses together. Got in countless fights about the little stuff. Had our share of losses. And have brought three wonderful little girls into this world.

I still remember us as those awkward, shy middle schoolers, but I am so much more happy with the people we have grown into and the chance for us to do it together.

Happy 7th wedding anniversary, Tim. Here is to many more

Mom Life

The one thing you need in your bag for Summer

It is finally getting warmer. Yesterday was 83 degrees at our house! After a long and very cold winter, we are excited to get outside and run. But warm weather means one thing that outdoor-loving families like ours absolutely dread: Ticks. I hate ticks. I hate the thought of ticks. Last year we only had to pull one out of Alice’s belly button and now she is scared of the “bitey-bugs”.  You might think you have nothing to worry about because you aren’t hiking in the woods, but this tick was from our backyard, about 2 days after the grass was mowed. Ticks are a real threat to summertime fun. The CDC warns that Tick bites are on the rise, and along with it tickborne illnesses.

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For this reason, I recommend everyone get a Tick Kit together right now. Yes, right this second. You probably have most of these things around your home, although you might want to purchase a few extras and throw them in your car, diaper bag, or purse (or all of the above). You could wait until you have a tick and then run around trying to find all this stuff, but believe me, when you see that little black spec attached to your kid’s body, you want it off, now!

So here is what you will need

Tweezers

The first thing you will want to do is get that tick out. For this, you will need tweezers of some sort. When removing a tick, get a firm but gentle grasp on the whole body and slowly pull straight out.

You know you have tweezers around your house, probably like 10 of them (maybe this is just my house)

You could also get one of the many types of specialty designed tick removers.

I like this one and it includes a tick identification guide, which is super handy.

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I like this one and it includes a tick identification guide, which is super handy. https://amzn.to/2w6aLKv

 

Index cards or post-it notes, Tape, and a pen or marker

All these things are for one purpose, to tape the tick to the post-it or card and write when and where you pulled the tick from. This isn’t a necessity but it does make it easier if your child (or you or pet) starts having symptoms to identify the tick. Having the date will be an easier reminder of how many days it has been

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I love these to keep cards together. You could even use two, one for cards, one to put tick taped cards into https://amzn.to/2IKz7zj

Alcohol Wipes or Sanitizer

After the tick is removed, clean wound with alcohol.

Band-aids, stickers, or suckers

While it probably isn’t necessary to put a band-aid on the wound (it might be, but most of the time cleaning them will stop bleeding). If you have spent any time with little kids, you know band-aids are for boo-boos and kids love them. My kids also feel better with stickers or suckers, so having these on hand will help make the whole tick-removal process a little less painful.

Tick cheat-sheet

This isn’t necessary, but If you are like me you will want to know what kind of tick you have and what kind of diseases it might carry. So having a tick identification chart isn’t a bad idea. Here is a page that has nice clear pictures
If you want to see a list of diseases carried by ticks check here for the CDC’s List


Hopefully, you never have to deal with ticks, but remember, while very gross, it usually isn’t too big of a deal. If you are in this situation, keep calm and remember to monitor the spot for a few weeks and go to the doctor if anything looks off.

 

Mom Life · Society

Why aren’t you using Amazon Smile?

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It is no secret that I have a love affair with Amazon. I think that as a busy mom everyone needs a healthy Amazon wishlist and an active Amazon Prime account. I can’t plan a trip to the store before Amazon orders will arrive at my doorstep. And there is no crying about who gets to come or little girls throwing extra stuff in the cart. There is no sticker shock at the cash register and I can take as much time as I need to go back and forth on products and decisions.

And Another reason to love Amazon is AmazonSmile

If you haven’t heard of this, it’s essentially a way to shop Amazon and give back to charity at the same time. Instead of going to Amazon.com you enter into Amazon at Smile.Amazon.com, then you continue to shop like normal. There is no difference in your orders, but the charity you select will get a percentage of the sales.

According to Amazon, they have given $80,134,317.33 away to charities as of February 2018. Now that is truly amazing. 

If you want to find out more about AmazonSmile click here

I have to admit I knew about AmazonSmile long before I remembered to use it on all my Amazon purchases. But now, I remember every time and it isn’t because I suddenly have a steel-trap mind. Nope, it is because I found an extension for my browsers. Charity Kite offers a Google Chrome extension that redirects you from Amazon to AmazonSmile. So every time I type in Amazon, I get rerouted to AmazonSmile and my charity doesn’t miss out.
Get your Chrome Extension

Now, here is the biggest question: Who are you going to support?

This is a hard one for me to pick one charity. There are so many worthy causes out there, but you can only choose one. Currently, I am supporting Crisis Text Line. I fell in-love with Crisis Text Line from a facebook post that explained that if you are in a crisis you can type 741741 and a trained counselor would talk you down to a cool calm. I didn’t need the service then, but when I was younger I really could have used it. There were plenty of times as a pre-teen and teen that I could have used a stranger to talk to, but I wasn’t about to call a helpline. Texting is easier to reach out for help for many. After admiring what a fantastic service this was, I looked into volunteering. After a very rigorous training course, I began answering these texts and fell in love all over again. I am proud to support them in any way possible and that includes through my Amazon buying obsession.

Are you using AmazonSmile? Who are you supporting?

Family · Household · Society

Is minimalism good for your soul?

The older our kids get, the more complicated our life seems to be. They are just getting to the ages where they want to get involved in activities and community. They also are not content just playing in one spot, they want to try new things, explore, and create. And we want to let them. What I don’t want is to be so consumed with cleaning, organizing, or finding lost things.

Where We Were

Before we sold our house, we were overrun with stuff. It was a struggle every day to find simple things and probably a good 30% of our house was unusable because of stuff. As we started to pack we got rid of a ton. I seriously threw out 7 tables! And I still have 2 and 4 end tables. We had too much.

We kept a lot of stuff because it would be useful. I wanted to do something with it. That broken pot? I say an awesome fairy garden idea with it that I really want to do for our front door. That box of random bottles? I want to use them to create lotions and soaps. That cord? It’s for a dream catcher I want to make. Everything was a project that I wanted to do. But what I found was that I never did them. My house was so cluttered and full, that I spent so much time cleaning and organizing. I had so many half-started, ideas of projects, that I couldn’t do any of them. I kept them all just in case I had time.

The most dangerous words for me were “Just in case”. We had this stuff, not because we needed it, but just in case we did in the future. I understand now that holding onto stuff came from a place of fear and anxiety. Having a significantly low-income, I knew that if something were to break or stop working that replacing it would put a dent in our finances that wouldn’t easily be returned. So, I kept the stuff because if something broke, we wouldn’t have to spend the money.

Mindset Makeover

What I didn’t realize was keeping stuff out of anxiety meant that the stuff became the anxiety. The amount of time I spent looking for things, or the extra cleaning, or just the sheer mental clutter that came from the physical clutter, was oppressing. And in what might be the worst turn of events, clutter is shown to decrease productivity, focus, and increases stress. The clutter that I was holding onto because I was worried about financial ruin, was actually keeping me from working more and making more money and doing any of the projects that I wanted to do.

So, we set out on a pursuit of a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s a goal I am still working towards, but one that we have made huge strides on.  I realized we need very little to be happy. With less stuff, we have more time to be a family.

Setting up Home

With our new minimalistic mindset, we set out searching for a new house. While many families of 5 say we need a 5 bedroom home with lots of space, we didn’t want that. I didn’t want to have 12 rooms to clean, and more space to accumulate for stuff. I didn’t want to have my kids “somewhere in the house”. I want to know where they are and have them with me. We started looking into smaller homes. Ones with 3, 2 or even 1 bedroom!

We knew that more space didn’t equal more happiness.

What we found was a super cute amazing 1930’s catalog home.

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Minimalism and Money

One of the best parts of the new home is the price. Priced at an amazing rate, we knew this is something we could pay off within 5 years at the most. Minimalism for me isn’t only about stuff. It’s about a mindset. Where you have and use what you need, not more or less. Minimalism is about a simpler life, more streamlined and carefree. And really that is what I want for my kids. I want us to have the freedom to explore, learn, and grow together.

Maximizing our Life

I don’t want to be stuck in a job or work 24/7. Yes, it means that we have to put in significant work to repair and clean. Yes, it took our entire savings to make this happen. But, we won’t be strapped down by overwhelming housing bills.

In the end, this means we can live the life we want. We can raise our kids, we can give back to our community, we can pursue adventures, much more than I ever thought was possible.

Did you know the average person only uses 20% of the items we keep (according to the National Association of Professional Organizers)? Did you know that on average Americans spend one year of their life looking for lost things? What would your life look like if it were simpler and clutter-free?


We still have a way to go!

One of the best things about minimalism is that we have more time to build and help community. So, we are reaching out to our community. Our remodel has just begun. We are removing a significant mold issue and we are in need of a new roof.  If you would like to help with our journey, Check out all the ways you can help

Before Pictures

Raise the Roof

Because we specialize in children’s toys, we are offering a “Raise the Roof” Sale on all of our products! Seriously, no exclusions! We are even offering a discount on our library,  which is full of helpful parenting and kids resources, guides, and fun.

Find out all of the information about our sales here!

Here is a sampling of a few of our products

Education · Family · Preschool

Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

We knew Tempest was a little different from the moment she was born. From pretty much day one, she wanted to be left alone. She was the only infant I have ever met that didn’t want to be held. We had breastfeeding issues from the start because she pushed me away. She even learned to hold her own bottle at 3 months because she didn’t want me messing with her.

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By the time she was 3, we had serious food and texture aversions and proprioception problems. She had Gravitational insecurities, dyspraxia (inability to coordinate movements), and hypersensitivity. She was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Alice had begun to show symptoms of SPD too. She was Hyposensitive and dyspraxic. She craved Vestibular activities (spins, hanging upside-down). It was clear that even though she was completely opposite of her sister, she also has SPD.

Those are some big words

There is a lot of terms I didn’t know or understand when we first started looking into SPD. Sensory Processing is how your body’s nervous system processes information, such as body awareness and gravity, and translates that into a proper response. In SPD, those processes have trouble connecting and relating correct information. Essentially, those with SPD might over or under react to stimuli or their reaction might just feel slightly inappropriate.

What we are focusing on

Mostly, we just keep going and try to understand and be patient.  Their diagnosis doesn’t define them, but it does help us understand what is going on.

We are still learning, but our biggest take away is that she is going to have to learn hands-on and when they are interested. Currently, Tempest has no interest in reading and writing, but we spend a lot of time with numbers and science type stuff. Alice needs time to be creative and imaginative. Both need significant “loud” time and physical activity.

What it looks like

We still have big discipline issues with both of them. They both break things a lot (and I am talking everything, Not just their stuff). Tempest lacks impulse control, so we are working with her to be more mindful and conscious. In the last few months, she has really started to understand but is still struggling. A few months ago, in a matter of 3 days, she broke a towel bar, a shelf, and two wire cubes that her shoes were in, and pulled the toilet paper holder off the wall. All because she was trying to be a ninja. She also tore apart a foam pillow and picked a hole in her mattress (mindless picking and tearing is an SPD symptom). She ripped one of her sister’s books (on purpose) and colored on the wall and cut a hole in Opal’s pack & Play (sort of on purpose).

Alice runs into things and doesn’t recognize how rough she is being. She colors on herself every time she is close to a marker or paint. At least weekly, most of the time daily, I find bruises and scratches that we have no idea how they got there. She frequently runs into walls, doors, bookshelves, Opal’s baby bed (and wakes her up). She falls off the bed, down the stairs, and out of the car. She spins until she sends herself into an asthma attack and screams at the top of her lungs when she is upset.

It is tough for me because many times I know they don’t realize they are doing these things or why they are doing them. I don’t think they should be punished for doing things they don’t realize they are doing. I know there isn’t malice in their doing. But it is so frustrating! And it is hard to parent. All we can do is continue teaching them to recognize and learn.

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What we are doing

We were in OT for about a year to learn techniques to cope with some issues. We are working to incorporate more sensory activities into our daily lives. It has been a challenge for us for sure. We have added Yoga and breathing. We also have tried to up her sensory diet because it helps. This means that we incorporate movements, activity, and physical exertion into daily life. We also make a point to include playdough, kenetic sand, and water play so they can experience textiles and manipulation.

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Hey that sounds like us

If you are thinking that this sounds like your family and you want to know about SPD, here is a basic symptom checklist

https://www.spdstar.org/basic/symptoms-checklist


 

If you want to join our FREE 5-day Challenge Click Here

Our 5-day challenge will start on May 20th. Each day you will get an email with a simple activity to try with your kids

Goals · Society

Why you need a mastermind right now

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If you have been involved in the business world, you may already be familiar with the idea of a mastermind. If you aren’t let me break it down for you. In its simplest terms, a mastermind is a group of people that are coming together to support, promote growth, and influence each other to achieve their dreams and goals.

While the term and idea initially come from the business world, it has many uses and different types of groups. A mastermind for parents can help support not only work and business goals, but also can help make you a better parent, give you a sounding board when you need advice, help you achieve your perfect routine, and hold you accountable for what you say you are working on. A mastermind group will become a close-knit circle of trusted friends that you can come to for advice and support.

Top 5 reasons I love masterminds

  1. Accountability
  2. Fresh perspectives
  3. A sounding board and feedback
  4. Wisdom and knowledge outside of your own
  5. Connection, community, and friendship

Parents have it rough. More than any other group, I think we take on so much. And too often we are doing it alone. We crave that community, but sometimes it is really hard to find those other individuals. If you are anything like me, you find that many people who aren’t parents don’t understand that there is so much connection between your parenting world, work world, business world, and whatever other worlds you are involved in. There isn’t a time where you are not a parent, and there isn’t a time that your other goals don’t have to align with your parenting goals. This is why I really enjoy masterminds that are made up of parents. Who else is going to understand if you tell them you had to change your goal around for the week because your kid pooped in a potty chair, or because there was a meltdown about cup colors? A good mastermind will be understanding, but will still push you to come up with a plan to get back on track.

Did you know that by February most people have given up on any resolutions they had made at new years? Is this you? If you are tired of waiting to achieve your dreams, but never following through, or if you feel like you want more from your life but don’t know how to do it, a mastermind is perfect for you. If you feel like your life is going pretty good and want to share and support others, a mastermind is for you.