Tag Archives: kids

Stay at Home Mom

If someone had told me five years ago that I would be a stay at home mom, I would have told them that they were crazy. I always loved to work, I loved what I did, and I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

In October 2013, when we got pregnant with Jonah I made the most money working for myself that I had ever made.  This was my moment to shine, show my true potential and have it all. I would be able to juggle it all: work, wife life and a new baby. With some effort, I had successfully attained this goal. Working came along with some new distractions but that did not deter me from being more focused and intentional with my time.  I learned how to manage my time and utlilize those nap times. Let’s be real, when you have a new baby they sleep for majority of the time . When they are up, you throw them in a bouncer or playmat and they are content.

My issues began to arise when Jonah learned how to walk. With increased mobility came an increased need of attention. I found myself constantly torn between the two things that I held dear- my work and my son.  The solution was to round in the troops, so I called for some help from my mother and mother-in-law.  That was great! I was so grateful for their help but I found myself complaining about all the things they were doing (wrong). It’s just not what I would do and the way I would do it. We were constantly at war. Finally, my husband told me, I had to either swallow all expectations and accept their help graciously or do it myself. He was right. That is just what I did. I spent the next few weeks wrapping up my work and decided this would be my full time job. I didn’t think twice, I didn’t look back. I put my full trust in God because logically and financially, this was a dumb move.

How could we survive on one income? We figured it out. Maybe we stopped traveling as much and going out to amazing places to eat and we gave back our amazing fancy car, but I was home with Jonah. He was more important for us. The thing about children is that you really only get a finite period of time with them. Someone once told me, you only get 18 summers with your kids. (Which is crazy bc we only have about 15 more summers with Jonah). Children don’t need money, they need our love and attention. I often remind myself of that.

Parenthood comes with many challenges and most of all sacrificies. You have to do some things you really don’t want to do as well as many amazing things that fill my heart with so much joy. So here I am, a mommy of two. I spend my days running after two crazy boys, who sometimes make me want to scream, but most of the time I just want to smile and laugh. It’s not forever, only 18 summers that fly like the wind. That’s what life is about. Being glamorous is amazing. Wearing makeup and high heels is amazing. Being a stay at home mom and watching my boys grow up is the most amazing.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Nothing is fulfilling like the life of a mom.

 

 

Dairy Free Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

When your hosting holiday parties and gatherings with kids you want to have something for everyone. Many kids are dairy free for various reasons, which is why I love to find treats that everyone can enjoy.

Heres a recipe for Dairy Free Gingerbread cookies:

Recipe Credit: HUROM
Part I. Spiced Almond Milk

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
4 medjool dates, pitted
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp nutmeg, plus additional for garnishing if desired

Instructions:
1.In a large bowl, soak almonds overnight in 3 cups of water. This makes the nuts softer for optimal juicing.
2.Pour out the water and rinse the almonds. Pour 3 1/2 cups of fresh water into the bowl and add the dates.
3.Turn on your slow juicer and use a ladle to transfer almonds and water (equal parts) into the juicer. Reserve almond pulp for baking.
4.When finished, whisk in vanilla, salt, and spices.
5.Serve chilled or warm, sprinkled with additional nutmeg

Part II. Almond Gingerbread Cookies

You will need:
2 sheets parchment paper for rolling out dough
Cookie cutter

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 cups almond pulp (from Part I)
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:
1.In a small bowl, combine the butter, egg, and maple syrup, stirring vigorously until fully combined.
2.In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the butter mixture and mix until dough forms.
3.Flatten the dough into a large disc and wrap in plastic wrap or a freezer bag. Freeze dough for about 30 minutes.
4.Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to an even thickness, approximately ¼”
5.Remove top piece of parchment and flip to remove bottom piece of parchment. Cut out cookies and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
6.Freeze cut cookies for 30 minutes (this helps to maintain their shape while baking)
7.Bake cookies at 350o F for 10 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 170o F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
8.Cool fully before decorating with royal icing.

Mama of Two or More

 

If you’re a mom, then you know what hard work it is. You are on call 24/7. At any given moment any number of things could go wrong and your juggling act will come crashing down.

Prior to having Levi, I had some anxieties about my new role as a mom of multiples and really wanted to get it all right. Now I realize that there is no “right” way exactly.  You do the best you can and give your kids all that you have.  Depending on what’s going on in your life, that may vary from day to day. I am a social mama so I hear it all, from post-pardum depression, deaths, illnesses, and work responsibilities, the load is not easy. So give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve made it to bedtime, the tots are in their beds and everyone has eaten at least once today.

As I write this, I can’t believe my Baby is not such a baby anymore. We just celebrated Levi’s FIRST birthday! The time flies, serving as a reminder that I must be more intentional with the time I have. one day, I’m going to look back, saying I wish I enjoyed my kids more.

When you have multiple children, especially if they are all under the age of 5, you are dealing with many levels of mobility and needs. So the juggling is real.  Here are some of the lessons I learned from my experience:

Opinions:

Once you have kids, Everyone wants to share their personal opinions and advice, even if you haven’t asked for it. I have learned in the last 4 years to just listen, say “thank you so much”, and after you walk away from that conversation you can take what you want and forget the rest.

Crying is ok!

When you have Your first baby, crying is like an emergency situation, trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong. You try everything all at once: feeding, changing, rocking sleeping, jumping up and down, and the list goes on. When there are 2 you just say, ok, you can cry and sometimes I’ll get to you right away. Other times that’s not possible. It’s totally fine if the baby cries. Number 1 needs a lot more from you emotionally and physically.

Remember who your boss is!

If your a stay at home mom, your husband is your boss. What a privilege! And if your family is like ours, you have made many sacrifices to Stay at home with your kids. When I lack motivation and drive, I just think of my amazing, caring, loving boss. He’s the best support I have and that is what keeps me motivated, knowing that he leaves every morning to hustle and provide for our family. So, my response is that I hustle for my family at home! This segways into my next point…

Forget about nap time, Mama:

Ladies, my kids wake up every morning at 6:30am! Whether we are home, on vacation, it’s the weekend, they are UP! Many times I am exhausted and when I put my kids to nap in the middle of the day, all I would like to do is crawl into bed and lay down for 30mins.  That is a great fantasy, but I need to utilize my time wisely by preparing for the rest of my day (and night). I use this time to clean house, make dinner, make calls.

Train Your Older Children

Before Levi (my second) was born I spent some time training Jonah (my first). From the start I was expecting to have a repeat C-section, so Jonah needed to be as independent as possible. I really believe in talking through circumstances with my children. Every day we spoke about his new role as a big brother and the responsibilities that title came with. I taught Jonah to get in and out of the bath, car seat, take his clothes off, follow simple commands, take his plate to the kitchen, and many other things. On their own, each of these tasks are pretty insignificant but taking 1 small thing off your list makes all the difference when your cup overfloweth.

It’s not always going to be like this

And the best piece of advice that I have ever gotten since becoming a mama, was from my dear husband.  One day he came home to me in tears, listened to my rant, looks at me with so much love and says “babe, it’s not always going to be like this.” Whenever I’m having a rough day, that’s what I think to myself. It’s not always going to be me and 2  little monsters running around town. I’m not always going to be dealing with crying and whining. I won’t always be tired. And one day, I will want so much for someone to need me like my kids need me now. For now, no matter how rough the road is or how hard it is to get by, just be happy with where God has placed you and this glorious blessing of having  children.

There is so much more to being a mama of two or more. Every day our prayer is that God grants us more love, patience, kindness, and mercy. The rest will stream from that!

 

 

 

 

Summer Recipe: Cantaloupe Ginger Recipe

What defines Summer better then the plethora of fruit available, specifically melons are hard to walk past in the grocery store without grabbing one on your way out. I love to use melons for everything from salads to smoothies and I recently ran across a recipe for popsicles on Terra’s Kitchen that will bring your  melon experience to the next level.  I made some adjustments that better suit our families lifestyle.

Made at home Popsicles are a great summer snack for children where You have total control over the ingredients.  No matter how healthy and “organic” that store bought ice cream is, nothing beats home made. At home, easy recipes are a life saver that everyone will enjoy.  And don’t fret mama bear, you can indulge along with your little tots without sacrificing your figure!

What you need:

3 slices of fresh ginger
3 tablespoons of Agave (per preference)
1 ripe cantaloupe
Sliced strawberries (optional)
Popsicle forms and popsicle sticks

What to do:

In a small sauce pan, bring the agave and 1/2 cup water over medium heat to a boil. Remove from heat and drop in ginger. Set aside until cooled. (Remove ginger when ready to use!)
Slice cantaloupe in half and scoop out seeds. Spoon cantaloupe flesh into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Add just enough of the cooled ginger syrup to sweeten as desired. Save the remaining syrup for another use.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. For a variation, push a few sliced strawberries down into the popsicle molds before freezing

 

 

Diy Face Painting Recipe

With different Harvest celebrations approaching, we know how popular face painting is for all of the kiddos.  Unfortunately, there are many dangerous toxicants found in conventional paints, including lead, nickel, cobalt, and chromium. If your a mama like me, you’d rather avoid the risk while still having the fun. Sophia Ruan Gushee, author of A-to-Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide To Reducing Our Toxic Exposures, has created the ultimate recipe for nontoxic DIY face paint that the whole family can have fun making together!

 This recipe is quick, easy, and a great alternative to the common varieties out there:

Ingredients:

· 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch

· ¼ tbsp all purpose flour

· 2 tbsp honey

· ½ tbsp water

· Natural food color (seek nontoxic products on Amazon, or use household food items that can act as natural dyes)

 

Directions:

1. Mix the cornstarch and flour in a bowl. Add the honey and water to your mixture. It should create a thick, gluey substance that resembles a paste. If the paint is too thin, add more cornstarch and flour. If too thick, add extra water.

2. Divide the mixture into separate bowls, and add your coloring. For example, you can use turmeric for yellow, and paprika for red.


3. The paint comes out a bit more thick and gooey than conventional face paints, but the colors come out beautifully and stay on for hours.
4. While the paint dries well, the honey component makes the paint slightly sticky to the touch. Avoid touching the paint after it is applied.

Detangling Your Kids Hair

Whether it’s howling screams from soap in the eye or a knot that just doesn’t want to come out, hair care can be difficult for kids. If it were up to them, they would roll out of bed and be on their way. But hair needs to be taken care of just as much as your teeth need to be brushed and hands need to be washed. Kandoo has created some hair care tips to help make parents lives easier when brushing tangles out of what feels like a rat’s nest. To get the kids involved, there are fun facts about hair such as how fast it grows, how much hair we have and why we need to take good care of it. 

Hair Care Kandoo Tips –

 

• How frequently your child washes their hair is up to you. If their hair is oily, if they’ve been swimming, playing sports, or even rolling down a grassy hill, a good hair scrubbing may be in order. If their hair is dry, washing may occur less frequently.

• Teach your child to use their fingertips vs. fingernails when washing their hair for a gentle yet effective clean.

• If your child doesn’t like getting their face wet, help them wash and rinse their hair so as to avoid getting their face too wet. Using a tear free conditioning shampoo so you only have to wet and rinse hair one time (vs. two with traditional shampoos and conditioners) is a comforting and time-saving option.

• For longer hair that has a tendency to tangle, use a gentle detangler after washing such as Kandoo Detangler. Comb through hair beginning at the ends (in a downward motion) and gradually work up the hair shaft. Remember to clean your combs and brushes every few weeks.

• Teach your child that the most important thing they can do for their hair is to keep it clean and treat it gently regardless of their hair type (dry, curly, straight, or oily).

 

Here are some interesting facts about human hair that you can share with your kiddo(s).

 

• Hair is made of keratin, the same stuff fingernails are made of.

• Hair grows at the rate of about ½ inch per month.

• The hair on your head has a purpose. It helps to keep your head warm and provides some cushion for your skull.

• People have more than 100,000 hairs on their head.

• About 50-100 hairs fall out of your head each day but new hairs are constantly growing and replacing the hairs that have fallen out.

• Hair comes in many colors and textures and is determined by your genes.

• Boy’s hair grows more quickly than girl’s hair.

• Human hair grows faster in warm weather (vs. cold).

• Regular haircuts keep hair healthy by protecting the ends from becoming split or damaged.

• Our diets can affect our hair. When we eat a diet rich in nutrients like protein, iron, and vitamin E, our hair looks, feels, and is healthier.

 

Where Kandoo comes from…

Kandoo is part of the Nehemiah Manufacturing family of consumer brands. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nehemiah is committed to introducing products that come to the rescue of busy moms and dads. Nehemiah designs, manufactures, markets and sells brands including Boogie Wipes®, Kandoo®, Downy® Wrinkle Releaser Plus, Febreze® Laundry Odor Eliminator and Dreft® Home Products. To learn about Nehemiah and the products it creates for families, visit NehemiahMfg.com.