What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

In the blink of an eye, they will be wriggling out of your arms.  And, before you know it, you will be called just "Mom", and then sometimes "Megan" and then "Grandma".  They are growing up.  By the day, the hour, even the second.  This morning may have been the last time my baby called her big brother "Da chi".  That may have been your last time sitting in the carpool line.  Tomorrow may be the last time your pre-tween son lays his head on your shoulder.  And we may have just been too busy to notice.  We may be so consumed with the craziness of life, that the "substance of life" just slipped through our fingers.

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Last Thursday, Uncensored.

So, here is the thing about life with little ones and a mom who suffers from perpetual "mom brain".  Some days seem as smooth as glass, and some days, well, go a little something like this... 3:30am Suddenly wake up from a deep sleep with a surge of design ideas for new house we will be moving to in a couple of months.

4:15am  Fabulous design ideas are replaced by dark, looming thoughts about how much work we have to do before moving.

4:35am  Dark, looming thoughts are replaced by frustration that I cannot go back to sleep.

4:55am Fall back asleep.

5:02am Baby girls cries out.

5:05 Decide to move alarm clock time from 6am to 6:15am.  Every little bit helps, right?

6:15am Tear myself out of my super cozy, comfy bed and begin working on packing up the house, clean base boards, drink coffee, do yoga in the garage, shower, feed baby, check email, and play with Baby Girl.

9:00am Leave a little early to meet my in-laws and pick up Big Brother and Little Brother who had a sleepover.  So early in fact, I have time for Starbucks.

9:11am Pick up a steaming cup of Starbucks, turn up the radio so I can sing to Baby Girl since she doesn't complain, and hit the road.  Life is good.

9:12am  Glance at gas tank.

9:13am Interrupt singing to begin swearing at myself.  The tank is on empty.

9:28am Roll in on fumes to closest gas station.

9:29am  Realize my purse and wallet are at home.  Of course, I didn't notice this earlier since I used a gift card I have conveniently stowed in my car.

9:30am  Call Mother in Law and begin lamenting about how uncooperative my brain is.  In-Laws decide it would be fastest (and probably safest) for them to just drive all the way to my house.

11:02am The Brothers are safely home and already outside trying to capture birds with their empty laundry baskets.

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11:14am  While changing Baby Girl's diaper on the couch, I find myself lost in deep thoughts about kitchen wall colors in our new house.

11:15am  Something wet is running down my leg.

11:16am  Snap out of my interior design fantasy and realize Baby Girl has peed all over herself, the couch, me, and it has dribbled down to the carpet.  She thinks this is hilarious and I am wondering why I was changing a diaper on a couch.

11:20am Clean up, lunch, feed Baby Girl, pack, home-staging, bribe everyone into the car with the promise of playing with new bubble machine this afternoon.

12:12pm  Pull into a parking spot in our quaint little downtown.  Husband is going to take the boys for ice cream while I run to a doctor's appointment with Baby Girl.

12:13pm  As Big Brother hops out of the car, he announces "Beautiful day!  Sure is a nice breeze!"  A group of women look up from their Bible study and smile.

12:15pm  As I pull Baby Girl out of the car, the women respond with, "Oooohh!  Aaaah!  Adorable!"

12:16pm  Then comes Little Brother.  As he jumps out of the van, his red hair gleaming in the sun, he excitedly shouts, "Let's pretend we are big kids and that we love beer!"  The women gasp.  I see their eyes narrow and turn to look at me, Mother Of The Year.

12:43pm  While waiting on the doctor I receive text from husband explaining that Big Brother was licking the glass barrier over the ice cream bins and informed the staff that he was spelling his name with his tongue.

1:47pm  After a quick trip to the library that involved only a small incident of The Brothers making a shuffleboard game with DVDs, all kids are home and preparing for "quiet time".  I even tell Little Brother that he can rest on the couch today instead of napping in his room.

2:08pm  Little Brother begins moaning and groaning that we are being too loud.  He sounds like an old man as he grunts and tries to get comfortable on the couch.

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2:24pm  Little Brother continues his complaining as he tries to get comfortable on the floor, "Are you kidding me!?  C'mon.  Are you kidding me?!  Everything is so loud!"

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2:55pm Still trying

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3:25pm And still trying

LastThursdayChach

4:00pm  Once Husband is home, run with Big Brother to CVS since the bubble machine didn't come with batteries.

4:05pm  Big Brother asks me at CVS checkout, "How in the world did the cash register guy get that big nasty ring in his nose?"

4:08pm  Engage in deep conversation with Big Brother about other people's feelings in the car.  I glance in rear view mirror for his reaction.  He is licking the window.

4:15pm  Walk into family room to find Little Brother sound asleep.

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5:00pm Begin trying to wake up Little Brother.

5:45pm  Little Brother is finally somewhat awake and laying on the floor mumbling, "C'mon, are you guys kidding me?!  C'mon!"

6:30pm  Pack the whole fam in the car and head to neighborhood concert.

7:00pm  Little Brother is laying face down on the blanket instead of running around like a crazy person.

7:15pm  Little Brother is still laying face down.  I check his forehead and he feels like he is burning up.

7:17pm   I inform Husband that I will be heading home with the younger 2 and he is in charge of Big Brother's well-being.  I ask where Big Brother is.  Husband is unsure.

7:20pm  A neighbor asks if the soaking wet, barefoot kid wrestling with his friend in a drainage ditch is Big Brother.  Husband and I reply, "Definitely" with our proudest smiles.

7:25pm Arrive home, discover Little Brother's temperature is 102!  Administer Tylenol, give baths, jammies, and get him in bed.

7:45pm  Baby Girl is starving!  I grab a bottle and can't find a burp cloth so I snatch the closest thing I can find... a pair of the boys' underwear.  At least they are clean.

8:20pm  Big Brother is calling from his room that he feels fine and wants to play.  Begin evening negotiations.

8:40pm Still negotiating with Little Brother who marches into the hallway, shouts, "Mommy!  I don't even know you anymore!"  and slams his bedroom door.  Darn Tylenol.

9:30pm  Husband and Big Brother arrive home after chasing a loose dog around the neighborhood.

10:00pm Finally have Big Brother in bed when I hear Little Brother announcing that he has to go poopy.

10:03pm Husband informs Little Brother that he will be wiping him tonight.  I am downstairs hiding in the hall closet with red wine.

10:07pm  Little Brother shouts that he appreciates that Daddy wiped him, but he has "Made another piece of poopy so that Mommy can wipe me because I love her so much!"

It sure is nice to be loved that much.  Now goodnight everybody and let's do this all over again tomorrow, with a little less "mom brain", limited bathroom and beer references, and a lot of love.

Trending Today...

Recovering from Spring Break... 20140418-073403.jpg

Super heroes watching Mickey Mouse...

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Thinking of excuses why I don't need to unpack #3 out of 4 suitcases.

Getting ready for Easter.  See an easy and FREE Easter decorating idea here!

Working hard in the office...

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Yes folks, this is my office.  It also used to be known as a family room.  Now it is a recreation of the beach, according to some toddlers.

What's trending in your nest today?

How to Enjoy Your Spring Break, With Kids (Hint, Put Your Phone Down)

It's that time of year again. Spring break!!! Or as many moms think of it... Just another week, but with an exorbitant amount of sand, close quarters, and a really small washing machine. No matter what you call it, or whether you are traveling to Fiji or enjoying a "stay-cation", it is a week of no school and hopefully some days off for Mom and Dad. Needless, to say, the additional passenger in every family's car or plane is... the smart phone. I am openly "technically challenged", but still more often than not, find myself always with a little 6 oz electronic addiction in my hand. I will not be controlled by a bunch of wires and over-priced plastic! I am going to beat this addiction with a good old-fashioned family vacation! Sans electronics. No phones, no laptops, no nothing. Okay, except for the plane. The kids can use approved electronic devices on the plane. But, this is strictly for the safety of other passengers. Every year we travel down south to Longboat Key, Florida. A tropical little island paradise with gleaming white beaches and azure foamy waves. I have gone there for spring break every year since I was 5 years old. And for 25 fabulous years, I had a lovely, relaxing time. Then one year, we had a stowaway. He was a little 20 pound butterball that woke up 3 times a night and successfully ended every dinner out by competing for "world's longest high pitch shriek". This little condo-crasher seemed to think the whole vacation revolved around him! He was wide awake and ready to take on the day, every morning by 4:30am, and his only beach skills involved being able to stuff an entire fist-full of sand into his tiny mouth.

Gone were the days of basking in the afternoon sun and staying up late at the tiki bar. Gone were the days of actual...vacation. Of course, it was great to be away from work, but, wait a second! This was kind of harder than work! My clients didn't usually wake me up during the night, spill my beverages, or poop in a diaper. It probably didn't help that I was 10 weeks pregnant with #2. So, no liquid comforts. I couldn't drink alcohol, but my husband and I were definitely consuming a big 'ol dose of reality. We realized that just like the first months of parenthood, we were wildly unprepared for the changes that came along with a new baby, on vacation.

Fast forward a few years, and we are sitting with our lounge chairs sinking into the tide. The sun is setting and we are sipping frosty Coronas. Two sun-kissed little boys run and dip into the waves, wielding their sand shovels. Our little boys. We have figured it out. How to vacation with kids. It's different then vacation used to be, it's harder to enjoy at times and a lot more work. But it is much, much more fulfilling. We learned that once you are a parent, it's just not always about you. It's usually about them, and more importantly... it's about time together as a family. Even if that time is spent removing sand from all sorts of crevices. Even if your "basking in the sun" is about 14 minutes on the deck while everyone is briefly asleep at the same time. Even if, you eat dinner out so early that the tiki bar isn't even open yet. Vacation with kids is about learning, observing, sharing, and adjusting. It's about the adults taking turns. It's about finding the peaceful moments to sit and soak in the memories. Before someone has a fight over a beach bucket. You won't remember how cold the surf feels the 11th time you go to the sandbar in a row. You won't remember what you ate out at dinner, or if you even did. But you will remember dancing in the sand with your little ones to a steel drum band. You will remember watching your child cautiously find their way closer and closer to the waves, building their confidence and forging a life-long love of the sea, just as you did. You will remember your first trips to the shore, and for a few days, you will begin to be a child again. You will dig in the sand, forgetting about your manicure. You will search for the perfect shell and chase the sand pipers. You will fall asleep, your hair soaking with salty water, wrapped in a Disney beach towel.

Most importantly, they will remember. Your children will remember watching the golden sun melt into the ocean, with you. They will remember special morning walks with just Daddy along the shore and spotting a school of dolphins. They will remember that first sunburn and the smell of the cool aloe as Mommy spreads it across their arms. They won't remember if they had to go to timeout for kicking sand at their brother, but they will remember how they loved the warm days, together. Distraction. Isn't that really what a vacation is? A distraction from your daily life, a chance to escape some of the monotony? I know I use my phone as a distraction. I just don't want to distract myself from my vacation. So, au revoir phone!

I can absolutely promise you, that you will not remember that awesome YouTube video you are watching while your daughter finds a perfect conch shell. I can assure you, that voice mail from work is not as important as riding the waves with your son. I am positive that the Facebook news feed will not bring you as much satisfaction as filling your spouse's empty hand with your own. We will get used to our lack of electronics, just as we did to braving the security line with toddlers. Vacationing with kids is about enjoying, adjusting and growing. And being able to laugh at yourself when you need to(have you ever changed a blowout in an airplane bathroom?) But most importantly, being present. Be there, with your family, and don't miss a single sunset.

So please join us as we give ourselves the gift of a technology-free vacation. Don't let your children remember you on the beach with your face buried in your I-Phone. Use it to capture a picture of them buried in the white sand, change your profile picture to this new memory, and then... put it away.

Safe travels everyone! Enjoy your time together!

BeachMom

BeachMom

Jesus and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last Thursday was just like any other cold, snowy winter Thursday here in Indiana.  Maybe your Thursday went a little something like mine.  Or maybe you think I am totally crazy.  Either way, here is what happened... 4:55am Hear Baby Girl crying in nursery

5:35am Finish feeding, diaper change, and swaddling

5:40am Perform yoga moves on nursery floor

6:00am Fall back asleep in bed

6:35am 4-year-old wakes up

7:00am 3-year-old wakes up

7:01am I am in denial that they are awake and continue to lay in bed.  Hear husband head downstairs so I can doze.  God bless him!

8:00am Notice that Big Brother looks pretty crummy for the 10th day in a row.  Miss call-in-hour at doctors office

8:00am-8:30am Make breakfasts, distribute medicine, start laundry load #1, unload dishwasher, chug coffee, pillage pantry for healthy breakfast

8:30am Call doctor and get 10am appointment

8:35am-9:15am Talk incessantly to The Brothers about being ready to leave for doctor on time, feed baby, change everybody's clothes, pack bag, clean kitchen, argue with The Brothers about cleaning up the "airport" they built out of the couch cushions, realize I am in my pajamas...

9:18am Little Brother removes clothes because being "cold is my favorite".  Refuses to put on any clothes besides Cincinnati Reds shorts and t-shirt he has been wearing since last June

9:27am Little Brother is still laying naked on floor

9:30am 2 outa 3 in car and ready to leave on time.  Bribe Little Brother into clothing himself and getting into car.  He refuses to get in car seat until his hair is, "how I like it".  I submit to brushing his red hair into a comb over

9:50am Arrive at parking lot 10 minutes ahead of schedule.  Excited to beat other 10am appointment people to the check-in window

9:51am Realize there is absolutely no where to park due to construction

9:52am Stalk lady sitting in pickup truck holding the "Vehicles with Small Children" spot hostage

9:53am Give up on evil woman in truck ever moving and park in Illinois

9:56am Hobble with infant car seat, bag, and 2 toddlers to pickup truck

9:57am Walk up to lady in truck and administer death stare

9:58am Notice other mom with 3 kids running into office building.  Begin dragging my offspring across the parking lot

10:00am Admit failure and sign in behind other family

10:01am Try to find corner of waiting room at least 3 feet away from any of the 18 kids that are coughing

10:02am Begin prayer that The Brothers do not start chanting, "Money Money Money!!!" while beating on the fish tank like our last visit

10:10am The Brothers stare at older boys crawling around waiting room and screaming.  They are either in shock, or getting ideas.

10:16am Notice Big Brother is standing in the middle of room, picking his nose and eating it

10:24am Begin to realize that everyone else is getting called in before us

10:27am Little Brother begins talking to random people and telling them that the other little boys in the waiting room are "really bad and mean people"

10:32am  Little Brother asks me, "is my hair like I like it?" for the 20th time.  Yes, your comb over looks amazing

10:46am Finally get called back for 10am appointment!

11:30am Finally leave doctor's office and coast home on fumes since everyone is screaming that they are starving and I don't think we (I) can make it to a gas station.  Safely.

11:45am  The Brothers now say they are not hungry and that they want to play outside.  It is the warmest day in about 4 months so I agree.  Big Brother swears he feels all better.  This would have been useful information earlier in the morning

11:55am Make lunches, clean bottles, get laundry load #2 going, constantly check on boys out the window

12:03pm  Realize The Brothers have been climbing a snow hill and are soaking wet and covered in gravel

12:04pm  Baby is screaming

12:06pm Nimbly dress The Brothers in snow pants, change socks, coats, hats, gloves and boots while in squatting position with baby in Bjorn.  At least 1 squat is done for today

12:10pm  Feed baby in dining room so I can watch The Brothers jump in giant mud puddles

12:30pm  Walk in 32 circles around cul-de-sac with baby in Bjorn for exercise

12:55pm - 1:20pm  Undress and re-dress The Brothers, feed children, cleanup, change poop diaper, entertain Baby Girl, start laundry load #3 and #4

1:25pm  Realize I am eating sandwich that fell on the floor that I meant to throw in trash can

1:35pm Lure Little Brother up to his room for naps with his Cincinnati Reds outfit

1:36pm  Little Brother informs me that he will probably "only get up 5 or 6 times to pee during naps"

1:45pm Big Brother promises to stay upstairs for quiet time and not come down until the secret message is enabled (a Jake and the Neverland Pirate ship at the top of the stairs is the signal that it is safe to come downstairs)

2:14pm I hear suspicious noises coming from the pantry.  Either Big Brother is performing one of his famous and stealthy "pantry sneaks" or we have a very large rat on our hands

2:17pm "Catch" Big Brother with large bowl of cereal sitting behind a curtain in master bedroom.  Not surprisingly, he acts like he just doesn't know how this big bowl of cereal got upstairs. "It was probably Chippy."  That's our Elf on the Shelf.  It's February dude, he has been back at the North Pole for weeks.

2:57pm Pretend to be asleep on couch as I hear Big Brother coming downstairs for a second offense

2:59pm  Big Brother gets as close to my face as he possibly can and asks 12 times, "Are you asleep?  Are you asleep?  Are you asleep?"

3:45pm Both brothers are allowed to get up.  Apparently they are upset that I wouldn't let them eat cookies and have staged a coup

4:00pm Realize I have been barricaded from Big Brothers room

4:03pm-4:35pm  Feed Baby Girl, make dinner, continue loads of laundry #s I don't remember, balance check book, call cable, refill prescriptions, do 5 minutes of pilates with Baby Girl on my stomach.  Briefly think how cute it is to hear The Brothers playing so nicely upstairs

4:41pm Glance in mirror and notice I only put mascara on 1 eye

4:44pm Realize it is WAY too quiet upstairs

The Baricadecoup2 coup2

Oh. That's why.

I have been barricaded from the room due to my unwillingness to provide chocolate chip cookies.

5:30pm-6:30pm The Evening Hustle.  Husband comes home from work sick.  Make dinner, feed Baby Girl, maybe I did laundry, make school lunches, might have cleaned up

6:30pm  Sit at dinner table with 2 tiny food critics.  I gently explain that what we have for dinner is what is on our plates.  No, I will not be getting chocolate chip waffles.  Big Brother asks why I am so grumpy and Little Brother "accidentally" throws his plate on the ground.

7:00pm-8:00pm The Bedtime Hustle. Tubby time, try to wrestle with boys since daddy isn't feeling well, feed Baby Girl, PJs, break up fight over which bedtime story to read, distribute medicines, potty one last time, fill humidifiers, ensure proper night lights are activated, prayers, and final tuck in.

8:09-8:27pm Silence.  Eerie silence.

8:28pm Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy.  Little Brother is up and back at it.  In our efforts to enforce our "you only get tucked in once" rule.  We ignore him.

8:35pm He is still calling for me so we decide to investigate.

8:36pm  Find Little Brother standing in the bathroom with no pants on and bath towels covering the floor.  He informs us that he "accidentally pooped while he was going pee pee and hid the poopy."

8:37pm Begin exciting scavenger hunt for poopy hidden under bath towels

8:40pm During poopy hunt, Little Brother informs us that he also happened to step in it and walk down the hallway

8:41pm Husband cleans up hershey trail from hallway, cleans up Little Brother, brings new load of towels down to be washed and tucks him in, one last time.  Ensures him it was just an accident and is no big deal, and that yes, his hair is like he likes it so there is no need to sleep sitting up

8:55pm Hear Big Brother calling "Mommy" from his room.  I lean over him and remind him I've already tucked him in and he needs to get some sleep.  He yawns and asks,

"Can you tell me a really good story about Jesus and chocolate chip cookies?"

I weave a brilliant and captivating tale involving these two subjects, say an extra prayer, tell him the crescent moon is out watching over him, kiss his little forehead, and creep out of his room as he sighs.  Probably already dreaming about Jesus.  And chocolate chip cookies.

I Needed That

Wow!  I cannot believe how many moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas, read my most recent post composed of foggy thoughts made clear one night around 4am.  I just thought a few people might read it and relate.  I had hoped I could just make somebody smile.  I had NO IDEA millions of people would come across my story.  So many mommys said, "I needed that".  That they were up with a sick child, exhausted, or at their wit's end.  That they are a single mother trying to play both parenting roles and unsure of themselves.  A stay-at-home dad.  Those who still need their mommys, and talk to them in Heaven.  That they were a grandma who just needed a memory of holding her 1st child while listening to broadcasts as The Bay of Pigs unfolded.  I think we all just need a little reassurance that we are not alone.  That we are doing the best we can.  That somewhere out there in the dark night, some other parent is up rocking their colicky baby.  The needs I spoke of in this post were the basic physical needs of young children.  And I know there are oh so many more.  Many more experiences and adventures to come in this journey of parenthood.  I can't wait for the memory-making to unfold like the pages of a book.  I think I am only at about Chapter 3.  I pray there are 100.  Thank you for visiting my page.  Thank you for sharing your advice and tears.  Thank you.  I am honored. What do I need?  Well, I often need a kick in the rear.  Or a glass of red wine.  I need the sunshine to come out (pretty rare here in Central Indiana these days).  I also need a maid, but I don't think that is going to happen either.  I know for sure I need my mommy.  I need her to watch my baby so I can get out of the house or just to join me on a trip to the mall.  I need my dad to be a different male role model to my boys than my husband.  One that is full of train rides and trips to Steak N Shake.  I need my sister to pick up my oldest from pre-school and take him to her house to bake cupcakes.  Most of all I need my husband.  To be my boys' "superhero", and mine.  I have been a parent for just 4 and 1/2 short years.  I need wisdom.  From my mom, my mother-in-law, my cousins, friends, from you.

I am counting on my children needing me in their teen years.  Just as I needed my mom to stop me from leaving the house with ridiculous hair or take me to the dermatologist's office for my acne.  I assume they will need their dad just like I needed mine to walk with me along the beach in Florida as a child, and to walk me down the aisle to my husband.  I am counting on my children needing their father to drive them to baseball practice, host insane wrestling matches, and to have talks with them that I cannot.

My children need their grandparents.  They need them to form those special and unique bonds that a child can only have with a grandma or grandpa.  I needed my grandpa. I needed him there to celebrate his 91st and final Christmas, because, even though we celebrated it in a wonderful assisted-living community instead of his cozy living room in Lafayette, IN, it just wouldn't have been Christmas without him.

I know my children will need me in my "golden years", just not in that same aching way they need me now.  I sure do need my parents now!  Probably more than ever.  Or maybe now I just realize it, and say thank you.  Something I am pretty sure my 16-year-old self didn't do. Those of you who know me know I am only half-kidding about a wheelchair in an assisted-living facility.  The ones I know of are wonderful places full of loving and caring staff.  I will be the first to wheel myself down to happy hour if I am lucky enough to have my kids put me in one with a bar.

Being there for the people who need us.  Saying thank you to the people who are important in our lives.  Laughing together.  Having a beautiful memory that brings a tear.  God.  Love.  Isn't that what it's all about? It's really pretty simple, even when it's not.  Please remind me of that one day when I sit in my room at Shady Acres with plenty of free time.  I just pray that in my arms will be my great-grand baby.  And at the table next to me, a well-worn book, an empty baby bottle, and a glass of wine.  Red wine.

*** If you NEED something to laugh at, you can laugh at me, I don't mind.  Here is a sneak peek at tomorrow's post...***

The Baricade

There are 2 little superheroes in this picture.  Somewhere.

Outdoor Summer Essentials!

Now that Summer is finally here, we try to spend as little time indoors as possible. That means we are coming and going, in and out our back door, constantly. To save ourselves from a pool playdate with no swim trunks or an evening cookout that leaves us looking like we are suffering from leprosy after a mosquito attack, I have a few no-fail solutions.  Well, sometimes I fail.  But, for the most part we leave home and return in one piece.  I try to keep my summer essentials easily accessible in a shoe organizer inconspicuously hanging on the wall behind the mud room door. SummerOrganizerSummerOrganizer2 Here are the top 10 items to keep close to your back door this summer...

1. Sunscreen

Duh.  2. Bug Spray

BugSpray

This is my favorite.  It is organically derived with a pleasant eucalyptus scent.  It doesn't feel oily or sticky on your skin either.  Available at Whole Foods. 3. Swim Necessities

Keep swim suits rolled up in the shoe organizer and ready-to-go along with swim diapers and sets of clean clothes.

4.  Citronella candles and lighters or matches.

5.  Fireworks

Must include "Whipper Snappers".  I have done extensive research and thus far can report no injuries.  Conclusion - toddlers love whipper snappers. Please be sure an adult is in charge of any fireworks that require a spark.

6.  Glow Sticks

Somehow these never get old.  If they do, cut off the tips and put them in a closed container of water to make glowing lanterns.  Old water bottes work great!

7.  Spray bottles filled with water

Pick up as many as you can from the "dollar section" at Target because they will break. I don't know why spraying concrete, plants, each other is so fun, but it is.

8.  Buckets and paint brushes

Again, I am not sure of the science of why this offers hours of entertainment, but painting the concrete is fun.  Cleaning the driveway is fun.  Painting trees is fun.  Wiping away bird poop is fun.

9.  Money.  Cash money.

You do no want to be caught without a dime when the ice cream truck rolls through your hood.  So stash some dollar dollar bills yo.  I keep some in the shoe organizer, thus I can grab and run to the treat truck! 10. A bag already loaded with snacks

Keep a bag at the back door already loaded with snacks and juice boxes.  Then when you are heading out in a hurry, just grab whatever items you need from your Summer essentials buffet.

Hope you can enjoy a safe, relaxing, and stress-free Summer!  Have fun!

What I Learned on a Beach Vacation. With Toddlers.

We just arrived home from a week-long family trip to the Gulf of Mexico.  So, once the vacation is over I am finally finding some time to relax.  Which is what I thought I would be doing on the actual vacation.  Parents of toddlers, you know what I'm saying.  Here are some of my thoughts and reflections of our little sandy, sunny getaway... 1. I am writing the script for a new movie starring Samuel L. Jackson titled, "Snacks on a Plane". It's a horror film.

2. My husband and I should swallow whatever pride remains and start using one of those beach gear transporters that looks like a shopping cart from Kohl's with off-roading wheels. The "older folks" on the beach looked quite comfortable pushing their hat and one towel in said transporter. Meanwhile we are both dripping in sweat carrying our towels, lotions, sippy cups, balls, shovels, trucks, kitchen sink... Maybe using those beach carts is like buying a minivan. Just go ahead and do it. You're really not that cool anymore anyways.

3.  You can get sick on vacation in a tropical climate.

4.  Sick kids like to share their wisdom at 3am while on vacation.  "Mommy, did you know your computer keys sound like raindrops?"  "Mommy, I have decided I will be having a pirate party for my birthday."

5.  Brothers sharing a room on vacation can lead to some pretty hilarious late-night chatter.  I am actually impressed at how advanced their bathroom humor has become at such a young age. Pack a monitor, sit back, and enjoy.

6.  Ziploc bags are THE greatest invention ever.  Ever.  I will fully explain this in a later post.

7.  No matter how tired you may be lugging all the beach gear down, rubbing lotion on every inch of pink skin, attempting to follow a responsible bedtime, packing the bags, unpacking the bags, wiping sand out of eyes, and wiping sand out of other places.  Nothing compares to watching four happy little feet scamper through the waves and hearing their hearty giggles as they splash in the sparkling sun.

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