What my four-year-old taught me about making friends

Somewhere between age three and thirty, we complicate the process of making friends. Here’s what my four-year-old is teaching me about reaching out to others.
Somewhere between age three and thirty, we complicate the process of making friends. Here's what my four-year-old is teaching me about reaching out to others.

This morning I was at the park with my two little boys. It was one of the first really warm, sunny days of the year, and I was thrilled. So we packed up a picnic, and headed to the park for lunch. Continue reading

Easy tips for reducing sugar in your family’s diet

You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite dessert to cut down on sugar intake. Try these seven easy-to-swallow ideas for reducing sugar in your family’s diet without throwing out the ice cream.

You don't have to sacrifice your favorite dessert to cut down on sugar intake. Try these seven easy-to-swallow ideas for reducing sugar in your family's diet without throwing out the ice cream.Note: This post includes affiliate links. See my disclosure to learn more.

Let me start by saying two things:

  1. I’m not one to jump on every healthy eating bandwagon that rolls into town. I am not a dietitian, doctor, or other health professional. I’m just a mom trying to feed her family good food.
  2. Our family will probably certainly never be a sugar-free one. My husband has a strong love of ice cream, and I enjoy a good dessert as much as the next person.

Continue reading

Motherhood is hard…and that’s okay

Motherhood is hard…and that’s okay. The most important things in life always are.Motherhood is hard...and that's okay. All the worthwhile things in life are.Dear fellow overwhelmed mommas,

Has anyone admitted the truth to you?… Motherhood is HARD.

We knew that before we started down this road though, right? Or did we? People told us about the sleepless nights and the blowouts, about the tantrums and the never ending requests for more snacks. But we didn’t really know, did we? Continue reading

How to enjoy playing with your kids

Do you struggle with actually WANTING to play with your kids? These three keys for how to enjoy playing with your kids will help you ditch the guilt and strengthen your family.Do you struggle with actually WANTING to play with your kids? These three keys for how to enjoy playtime with your kids will help you ditch the guilt and strengthen your family.

Confession: sometimes I don’t want to play with my kids. I have one child who can happily entertain himself for long periods of time, and one who is constantly begging me to play with him.

I want to be an involved mom. I want to make beautiful memories with my kids. I know these days will fly by and be gone before I know it. But sometimes I CAN NOT stand the thought of acting out Paw Patrol one more time.

How do we reconcile the two? How do I actually enjoy playing with my kids without feeling like my brain is turning to mush? Continue reading

Practical Ways to Stop Toddler Tantrums

Are you at a loss for how to deal with a volcanic toddler that seems to erupt on a daily (if not hourly) basis? Try these 8 practical tips to stop toddler tantrums before they blow up the whole house.
Are you at a loss for how to deal with a volcanic toddler that seem to erupt on a daily (if not hourly) basis? Try these 8 practical tips to stop toddler tantrums before they blow up the whole house.

Ah, toddlerhood. When our little babies really begin to develop their own personalities and STRONG opinions about life. When they start to do things for themselves…and want to do EVERYTHING themselves.

I have a two-year-old right now who has a serious case of “I do it”-itis, and it’s equal parts hilarious and maddening. I think I’m mellowing out this second time through the “terrible twos” because I find myself laughing more often than screaming into a pillow. I still keep the pillows handy though. That’s progress, right? Continue reading

Teaching your toddler manners: 3 rules we live by

Is mealtime chaos at your house? Try these three effective tools for teaching your toddler manners, and reclaim a little sanity at dinner.

Is mealtime chaos at your house? Try these three effective tools for teaching your toddler manners, and reclaim a little sanity at dinner.

Remember way back before you had kids and you could sit down to a pleasant meal and enjoy intelligent conversation with that amazing guy you married? Remember when you could take your time to eating without someone wanting food off your plate, when you had both hands free to eat, and when you didn’t spend half of dinner time making airplane noises?

I know, that memory is starting to get fuzzy and dim, right? Continue reading

Letting go of perfectionism: understanding opportunity cost in motherhood

Moms have to do it all…or do they? When we understand the full cost of the choices we make, we are able to let go of perfectionism and better utilize our time and energy to focus on what matters most in life.
Moms have to do it all...or do they? When we understand the full cost of the choices we make, we are able to let go of perfectionism and better utilize our time and energy to focus on what matters most in life.I am a perfectionist by nature. I like things neat and organized, and I abhor clutter. I even eat my Skittles in reverse rainbow order for goodness sake (I know, I’m weird).

In many ways, my perfectionism has served me well in life. I was always a good student in school, I had a successful career as a teacher, and I have a box of certificates and plaques for countless hours spent trying to produce the best possible work in any situation. Continue reading

What I hope my kids learn about the spirit of Christmas

Christmas is filled with lots of fun and exciting activities and traditions. However, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there are a few essential things that I hope my children learn about the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas is filled with lots of fun and exciting activities and traditions. However, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there are a few essential things that I hope my children learn about the spirit of Christmas.

To my boys:

The stockings are hung and the presents are wrapped. Christmas is almost here, my boys, and you couldn’t be more excited.

Little Man, for weeks you’ve been wearing a Santa hat around the house, asking people what they want for Christmas and insisting that they go to “sleep” so you can bring them gifts. You diligently keep track of out advent calendar every day and make sure we all know how many days there are left until Christmas. Continue reading

How to get your toddler to do…ANYTHING

Getting a toddler to do anything can be hard. If you’re struggling with a terrible two-year-old or a threenager, try these seven practical parenting tips to encourage your toddler to obey without a fight.

Getting a toddler to do anything can be hard. If you're struggling with a terrible two-year-old or a threenager, try these seven practical parenting tips to encourage your toddler to obey without a fight.

I have a two-year-old teenager. Last week he didn’t want to wake up from his nap (but I didn’t dare let him sleep longer for fear that he wouldn’t sleep that night), and he just rolled over to face away from me and said, “I’m not ready yet.”  Lately, his favorite phrases when he’s upset with me are, “I not happy with you right now!” and “Just leave me alone!” (cue door slam.)

Oh, help. I can’t wait to see what it will be like when he’s fifteen. Continue reading

The Many Little Joys of October

Happy Halloween, my friends!

little-joys-of-october-cover

Disclaimer: This post is unsponsored (just sharing things I love); however, it does include affiliate links to the products mentioned. As always, feel free to shop around for the best deal! See my disclosure for more info.

Little Man is thrilled that he has preschool on Halloween so he gets to wear his costume and go trick-or-treating at school. We also get to go trick-or-treating at Daddy’s work (my boys think it’s the coolest thing ever to visit Dad’s office), and then more trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. By the end of the day, I’m sure we’ll have far more candy than we know what to do with.

What are your plans for the holiday? Or have you been so busy celebrating all month long that you’re ready to be done? Continue reading