Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Bedtime Stories: Cataloguing the Things I’ll Miss

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Bedtime Stories: Cataloguing the Things I’ll Miss

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I’m pretty obsessed with fall… like just shy of pumpkin-spice-latte-deodorant-wearing obsessed (and yes, that’s a thing). Sandwiched in between the long stretch of sweatiness and mosquitoes and the cabin fever-inducing frigid weather, we get this little window of perfection. Crisp morning air gives way to pleasant afternoons. We bust out the sweaters and drink apple cider and everything is magical.

The real object of my obsession is the changing color of the fall leaves. I’m a full-fledged leaf stalker. I’m always seeking that moment of optimal viewing, when most of the trees have turned but before the early changers have dropped all their leaves. I stress about whether a lack of rainfall will mute the fall colors, and check foliage tracking websites for leaf peak forecasts (nerd alert, amirite?)

Fall is an in-your-face reminder of how quickly the beautiful things in life can slip away. I took a picture last year of this gorgeous tree – a vibrant yellow that just glowed brilliantly when the sun lit it from behind. I passed it a week later and the tree was virtually bare.

Watching the transition from trees exploding with fiery color to streets littered with crunching leaves practically forces you to focus on everything awesome and fleeting about this season of life. Fall has been giving me the kick in the a** I needed to start following my own advice to be in a mindset of gratitude, which has been a struggle sometimes with two kids under five.

It’s not a perfect metaphor, though. The seasons cycle. If I don’t consume enough pumpkin-spice lattes Read more

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I’m Somebody’s Mother

I’m Somebody’s Mother

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Most of the time I think about parenting from my own perspective – making decisions about how to best raise my kids. What’s the best way to potty-train? Am I striking the right balance of discipline and affection? Will I ever get my son to eat a vegetable?

But sometimes I stop and think about the relationship in reverse. It’s not just that my son and daughter are my kids. I am their mom. 30 or 40 years from now when my kid’s spouse/child/therapist asks what their mom was like, that person they’ll be talking is ME. Holy crap!

There are always these moments in books, movies and television where a character reflects on their mother – some oft-repeated piece of wisdom, the smell of her perfume, the swish of her skirt as she’d move around the house. I’m just picturing my kids, in contrast, wistfully recalling their mother’s messy mom bun and old ratty yoga pants Read more

To the Partner of a Stay-at-Home-Parent: Four Truths you need to Understand

To the Partner of a Stay-at-Home-Parent: Four Truths you need to Understand

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So you’re the Partner of a Stay-at-Home Parent. Like most modern parents, you probably struggle to find the right balance between your work life and family life. The cliché of the man returning from work and putting his feet up and leaving all childcare responsibilities to the womenfolk has largely been left in the past. So I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you, POSAHP (do you mind if I call you that?), are an involved parent who sincerely tries to be as supportive as possible to your stay-at-home husband/wife/partner.

I’ve been blessed with an amazing POSAHP myself. He’s understanding, extremely involved with the kids, and a ridiculously good cook (I’m talking drool-worthy meatballs, y’all). But even if you are in the upper echelon of POSAHPs (which I’ll go ahead and assume you are since you’re reading my blog), there are certain realities of life as a SAHP that are just hard for you to fully grasp.

I certainly don’t claim to speak for all the SAHPs of the world, but I suspect that I’m far from alone in the struggles that have me wanting to pull my hair out by the end of the week (or halfway through Tuesday). So here are four truths that would be helpful for you to understand.

1) We Just Want you to Take the Kids

I know, I know – when you work full-time, you have a super limited window to get stuff done at home. Your weekend hit list may include mowing the grass, mulching, and reorganizing the garage. And all that stuff matters (I guess?). But I can almost guarantee Read more

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye… to My Kid’s Nap

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye… to My Kid’s Nap

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FreeImages.com/Carla Peroni

I can’t believe you’re really leaving for good. Sure, you’ve been showing signs that it was time to go. For the last few months we’ve been in limbo, doing that on-again, off-again thing. I’ve been trying to hold on to you, my son’s nap, but deep down I knew that our relationship couldn’t last forever.

You and I have had a good thing going for these last four years. Since the beginning, you’ve been there for me. Sure, you haven’t always been the most reliable partner. Sometimes you were glorious and lasted 2+ hours, while other times your presence was frustratingly brief. Regardless, you showed up day after day, and always made things a little brighter. I’m afraid I’ve never really taken the time to tell you how much you mean to me, so this message is really overdue.

In those early days, when my son would not let Read more

No Mom, You Are Not Enough

No Mom, You Are Not Enough

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This one is for the wipers of runny noses…

For the sculptors of Play-Doh creatures,

the clippers of teeny tiny fingernails.

For the chefs of vegetables that go uneaten, the makers of countless PBJs,

the T-ball cheerers and team snack preppers.

For the answerers of questions mundane and philosophical,

the dramatic readers of dinosaur stories and princess tales.

For the dryers of tears and the kissers Read more

In Defense of Half-a**ed Birthday Parties

In Defense of Half-a**ed Birthday Parties

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My daughter’s first birthday party was 2 weeks ago.

I did not bake 7 cakes, cut them into pieces and stick them back together to form the shape of a unicorn.

I did not spend $100 on custom invitations from Etsy.

I did not spend hours of my life creating fondant eyes & marshmallow beaks to create cupcakes in the likeness of Sesame Street characters.

I did not carve a watermelon into the shape of a sea turtle.

I did not string together 200 balloons and shape them into Cinderella’s carriage.

There was no DIY photo booth.

There were no coordinating tablescapes, centerpieces and favors.

Lest you think I’m a total scrooge, I *did* print out pictures of my daughter from over the last year and string them across the mantle, and hang up some decorations I had left over from Read more

Raising My Children in Trump’s America

Raising My Children in Trump’s America

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I typically have two or three blog post ideas kicking around in my head at any given time. So I’ve had a couple in mind for the last week, but after the election results I just couldn’t bring myself to write a light-hearted piece about the trials of parenting.  Trump’s win is weighing too heavily on my mind.  Thoughts about it have literally been keeping me up at night and making me sick to my stomach.  I NEVER intended to bring politics into my blog, but as someone who is committed to being open, honest and raw about my feelings and my personal experience, I felt compelled to write this.

When I think about the four years of Trump’s presidency, over which my son will grow from a 3 year-old to a 7 year-old, and my baby will come close to turning 4, I feel overcome with anxiety.  I understand that there will be presidents throughout their lifetime that I don’t agree with ideologically, but the example that Trump has set seems to go against Read more