My throat hurts. My throat hurts, and I can’t breathe through my nose, and my uterus hates me, and I am so ready for winter to be over with. Continue reading “Thursday Stream of Consciousness”
Photo Challenge | Pure
They only see the wonder and beauty that the world offers.
The Daily Post Photo Challenge | Pure
Young children are as pure as you can possibly get. They have not yet been touched and molded by all of the judgment and hatred that fills the world. They only see the wonder and beauty that the world offers. They will make friends with anyone willing to play with them, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or handicap, because they do not see the differences that divide us. They just want to play, and share their enjoyment with those around them.
Innocence is pure. And beautiful.
Daily Prompt 6/8/2016 | Everybody Poops
Whether you’ve had a baby or not, everybody poops, everybody pees, and everybody farts.
In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/8/2016 | Embarrassing
Becoming a mom has transformed my life in so many ways, but one thing I did not expect to change, was my absolute fear of embarrassing myself. I was pretty awkward as a kid, a trait I inherited from my mom, and this caused me to develop some pretty bad social anxieties early on, which I still struggle with. Growing up, I was terrified of everything having to do with failure and embarrassment in social situations. Because of this, I avoided going to dances, joining clubs, playing sports, and hanging out with friends, because I just felt like everything that I did would end disastrously. What if I tripped? What if I farted? What if I sneezed AND farted? WHAT IF I HAD TO POOP AT SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE?
Well, let me tell you, all of that anxiety flew out the window when my son was born… actually, it dissipated pretty quickly only a few months into my pregnancy. I found myself pushing my boundaries, reaching out to friends, as well as strangers, and talking about things having to do with me and my body, that I previously would have been embarrassed about. That strange comfort is still with me today. Sure, I have a whole new set of anxieties that I deal with, but when it comes to embarrassing bodily functions? Ha!
Example: Pooping during childbirth. Very common, most women do it. I did it. Yup, I did. Get over it. Your mom probably pooped, too! I didn’t even know about it until one of my nurses let it slip later on, after my son’s arrival, and honestly, I wasn’t embarrassed. I laughed! And everything that followed the birth of my son… I will save your sanity and stomachs, for those who are unfamiliar with what happens to a woman’s body after birth, but let’s just say, I accepted all of it. I wasn’t embarrassed to tell people that I had to go change my pad for the second or third time while visiting their houses, or that my boobs felt hard and painful, and leaked all the time. I wasn’t ashamed. I wasn’t embarrassed. I had already pooped myself in front of half a dozen people, while crouching naked on a bed, pushing a human being from between my legs (graphic, sorry).
Why should I be embarrassed?
Whether you’ve had a baby or not, everybody poops, everybody pees, and everybody farts. Most women have periods, and use pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. Most men get erections, sometimes quite unexpectedly, and unwanted. It happens. The human body is weird, and complicated, and sometimes gross, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about.
I should take my own advice, as I am still embarrassed about a lot of things about my body (adult acne, anyone?), but I’ve gotten so much better at accepting all of the strange things that my body does, and you should, too! Everybody poops.
Thanks for reading, friends.
Those Sweet Moments
He has grown and changed so much, in such a short period of time, and while I absolutely love my crazy little monster, and am so proud of his loud, silly personality, I treasure these sweet moments so much.
Hello, friends. This blog has no real significance, or important message, other than to tell you a short story about something that happened to me tonight. This will be a sappy little mommy/baby story, so if you’re not into that, then feel free to click away. I won’t be upset, I promise!
Now, it may not seem like much to many of you, but tonight, my 16-month-old son let me read to him. Let me preface this by telling you that I read to him all the time, usually several times a day, but very rarely does he sit still, or pays any attention, during story time, and honestly, that’s perfectly fine. I just love reading to him. I’m usually just reading to a room full of toys, while my crazy toddler tries to empty his sippy cup into his wagon, or throws his Mega Bloks into the kitchen sink, etc. But tonight, after brushing his tiny teeth, I asked him if he wanted to read a book before bed. With a smile on his face, he ran to his bookshelf, and grabbed Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, his current favorite book, and climbed onto the couch.
I sat down and began reading, with him cuddled against my side, and was not that surprised when he jumped off the couch about 30 seconds into the story. However, I was surprised when he went back to his bookshelf, grabbed two more books (his 100 First Words book and Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo), put them on the couch next to me, grabbed his Froggy, and climbed back up, leaning into my lap. He sat perfectly still, engaged and smiling, while I read all three books to him. Twice. He didn’t run away, he didn’t try to take and throw the books, he just sat there.
You guys, I honestly nearly started crying. He has grown and changed so much, in such a short period of time, and while I absolutely love my crazy little monster, and am so proud of his loud, silly personality, I treasure these sweet moments so much. Him letting me read to him, and showing interest, and wanting to actually sit and snuggle with me, instead of destroying something in the living room, meant so much to me, and was exactly what I needed after this really hard week.
Sorry, I just wanted to share that.
Thanks for reading, friends!
Mom’s Visit | Day 5
I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family.
[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, and Day 4 here.]
Hello, friends! Today was another great day, with only a few minor low points to share. Today is my mom’s 50th birthday, and once again, we decided to go to the pool at the Metro Center in Princeton, and it was even better than it was yesterday! We decided to schedule our whole day around the pool trip this time, so that we could get as much time in the water as possible, and left much earlier than yesterday, as soon as Liam finished his breakfast, and we all got showered and dressed.
It was barely 11:00 when we got to the pool, and there were only a handful of swimmers in the large pool. Once again, we had the kiddie pool to ourselves, and Liam could hardly contain his excitement as we approached the shallow pool. There was no hesitation this time, no clinging to my legs, no fear, just pure happiness, and so much splashing. He really wanted to put his adorable, new swim shorts to good use! He came 100% out of his shell, wading through the water, going after the pool toys, dunking them, pouring them, and being so much more curious and adventurous with the water. My mom managed to get a dozen more pictures of him today, and he was smiling in every single one of them. It filled my heart with so much joy to see him having so much fun.
We stayed at the pool for about an hour, but had to leave around noon to grab some lunch, because Kyle had a meeting about a scholarship for his CDL class at 1:00. Luckily, the meeting was in the same town, so we stopped at a nearby Subway to get some lunch, but because the lines were so long, Kyle had to leave his sandwich with us, and leave for his meeting. While he was gone, my mom drove me a bit nuts, which has been happening off and on for the last couple days, but I managed to have a good time. I ordered Liam his own sub for the first time, and he sat in a booster seat at the table with me for the first time ever. He did so well! It was amusing to watch him pick apart the sandwich, and decide which veggies he did and did not like (his absolute favorite Subway veggies are pickles and olives, just like his mama!).
Unfortunately, my happiness faded when I saw Kyle pull up, just a short time later, with a very obvious frown. He did not get the scholarship. His income was too high, thanks to his last two, abnormal paychecks, and he did not qualify. He was upset, and my mom kept saying that she would pay for it for us, which made me upset. She already paid $5000 toward my failed college education, and I still owe my old school, and her, money. I didn’t even want her paying for things for us while she was here (despite her many protests), let alone dish out thousands for Kyle’s class. But without her help, we don’t know if we can make it happen, and that is absolutely crushing. Maybe I should put my pride aside? I don’t know.
After lunch, we headed back to Peru to do a little grocery shopping. Despite our fridge being absolutely empty, and only having $80 to buy food for the month, I found myself feeling offended when my mom offered to pay for our groceries, and turned her down yet again. She left the store to have a cigarette (she quit years ago, but started smoking again recently, and hasn’t told her boyfriend), and never came back in. Things were a bit tense between Kyle and I, as they usually get when the topic of money comes up, and we grabbed only a handful of things, like milk, bread, bagels, cheese, and bananas, to try and stay under budget. We warmed up again once we left Walmart, and headed home.
Liam had not taken a nap yet, so I put him down as soon as we walked in, and he passed right out. I put something on Netflix for us to watch, but our internet stopped working shortly after that, and despite our best efforts to revive it, I ended up having to call our internet provider, who had me do a handful of ineffective things, before informing us that there was a actually massive service outage in our area.
With no internet, cable, movies, games, or really anything to do, we all just kind of sat around in silence for a bit, not knowing what to talk about. Eventually, the internet came back on, and we continued on with watching Netflix, and fiddling with our phones. Around 4:30, just about when Liam would be waking up from his nap, my mom suddenly stood up, and left, telling us to text her if we wanted to get food or something later. Sure enough, not even 10 minutes later, Liam woke up, and we texted her to come back. She hadn’t even gone back to her hotel, she had gone to the park up the street, because apparently the trees and grass are better company than we are.
We decided to go to the large, Chinese buffet in Peru, located right near her hotel, since it is a favorite spot of ours. We pigged out hard on all the delicious things, and left feeling miserable, and hating ourselves, as usual. It was delicious. Afterwards, we decided to take Liam to the mall play area to burn some energy, and tire him out, since he had taken such a late nap. When we got there, there was only one man in the play area, with four boys. We immediately hit it off with him and his sweet boys, and Liam made two friends. He was there with his wife and mother, who were across the way getting their nails done at the salon. He had a baby with him, who was just four months old, and the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen. He made my ovaries weep, and made me crave having a tiny baby again. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.
He also had a little boy who had just turned two, and another boy who was four. They were absolutely enamored with Liam, and the four year old asked me a million questions about him, and me.
“Does he like cars? What kind of car do you have? We have a Diesel truck!”
“Does he eat a lot of food?”
“Does he cry a lot? I cry a lot, and scream, because my parents irritate me.” (LOL!)
“Does he talk a lot? My brother is two, he doesn’t talk.”
“Do you like bouncy balls?”
“Do you live here? We’re from far away. We’re driving.”
He was adorable. I sat on the floor with this stranger’s children, and my own son, and we all talked about milestones, and the joys of having boys. Their father was an absolute doll, and his words about raising his boys, and when they each started talking, walking, and getting their teeth, were so comforting to me, as I often worry about Liam hitting his milestones on time. They were such a lovely family. The four year old kept giving Liam hugs, and saying he wanted to be friends, and the two year old would walk up to me and share his bouncy balls. They were the absolute sweetest, and it was so wonderful. We talked and played for a while, before we all had to go our separate ways and head home.
Oh, I forgot to mention that right before we left the mall, my mom got a FaceTime call from her boyfriend back home (who she has been with for 20 years, but they aren’t married, so I still call him her boyfriend instead of my step-father), and we were able to introduce him to Liam and Kyle, and chat for a little while. It was nice to see him, and for him to meet the boy who is basically his grandson.
We also stopped to introduce my mom to our upstairs neighbor when we got home (the one who has helped us with many, many problems we’ve dealt with since living here), and we all chatted outside for a bit, before I insisted on going inside, since it was an hour past Liam’s bedtime. Liam was half asleep before I even put him in his crib, and I sat down with a cup of coffee, and began typing shortly after. Kyle goes back to work tomorrow, after having these last two days off, and I think I might take a day to myself to catch up on housework and cleaning, which has gone completely undone since my mom’s arrival. We’ll see.
I am also trying to arrange a nice dinner with Kyle’s mom, my mom, and Kyle, Liam, and I on Friday, since it will be my mom’s last full day in Illinois, and we really want her to meet Kyle’s mom, who is basically my second mom. It is the only day Kyle’s mom has off, though Kyle works until 6:00 that night. I’m hoping we can work something out.
Anyway! That’s all for today! Thanks for reading, friends!
Take A Walk With Jan #7
Hello, friends! Yesterday was a bonus day, and Kyle got off of work 7 hours early, thanks to a conveyor belt breaking on his line, so we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather, and have a family day. After Liam woke up from his nap, and ate a yummy lunch of brown sugar squash pancakes (I’ve been slipping extra vegetables into damn near everything he eats lately), we decided to walk to the park. The weather has been in the high 50’s/low 60’s off and on this week, and yesterday was going to be the last beautiful day for a while, so we wanted to make the most of it.
We stopped at Subway to get some lunch, then walked to the park. A block away from the Subway, I saw Liam’s black and gray, striped beanie, which he lost three days ago while we were out walking, lying on the ground! I was super excited that we found it, as it is my favorite hat of his. When we got to the park, I was happy to see that there was another woman there, with two small little girls. After chatting with her for a bit, I discovered that she was their “grandmother” (long story involving the death of her son, I didn’t quite understand it all), and that the little girls were 20 months old, and 5 years old. Liam immediately adored the little girl, whose name is Jersey, and followed her all around the playground. She was a bit better on her feet than he was, since she is 7 months older than him, so he couldn’t follow her up onto the play area, or down the big slide, but he was so smitten. I found it funny that despite her being 7 months his senior, Liam was a head taller than her, and his feet were easily double the size of hers. She had the cutest little Puma sneakers on! He doesn’t very often get to see babies his age, but when he does, he comes out of his shell beautifully.
We talked to the woman and watched the kids play for a long time. She was very friendly, and introduced us to a very nice man named Big Al, who lives by the park, and was out walking his golden retriever, Dante. Liam LOVED Dante (he loves dogs), and Big Al let all the kids pat him. He was a very well-behaved dog! Liam was so talkative, and wanted to talk to everyone, including the adults, which he never does. He would run excitedly up to baby Jersey, waving his arms around, babbling up a storm. And his smile. It was so nice to see him making a friend.
Unfortunately, the older of the two girls put a bit of a damper on our playtime, as she kept pushing her baby sister away from Liam, and demanding that he not play with them, because he was a stranger. Their grandmother tried to reason with her, and I would smile and re-introduce Liam, telling her that everyone starts out as strangers, but she had some serious attitude, and was a bit mean. She actually tried to trip Liam when he was running by her on the slide, and later slid down and almost hit him when he was standing at the bottom. She glared at him the entire time, and tried to steer her sister away. I was a bit annoyed, because the grandmother was fine with them playing, and Liam and Jersey were having fun, but it wasn’t my place to correct her behavior.
After a while, we said our goodbyes, and continued our walk to the store, where we picked up some charcoal for our grill, and some yummy treats. It was starting to cut into Liam’s nap time, so we reluctantly headed home. It was so beautiful out, and sunny, and I wanted to stay outside all day! Despite being sleepy on the walk, Liam refused to take his afternoon nap, and was a fussy little dude all night, resulting in an early bedtime. I think he is finally teething again (he is 13 months, and still only has 4 teeth!), because he has been fussy, drooly, and has been biting me every chance he gets.
Overall, it was a perfect day. Kyle works a 12-hour shift today, but has the next THREE days off, which has never happened. Ever. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house some more, even though it will be really cold, and we won’t get to take our walks to the park.
Hope you’re all having a great day today! How did you all spend your extra day yesterday?!
Thanks for reading!
Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | Gizmos and Gadgets
The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/16/2016 | World’s Best Widget
“You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?”
I know, I know, robotic arms already exist, and have been used for several years now… but mine wouldn’t necessarily be for people with disabilities. Mine would slip onto your shoulders, with a device resembling football pads, and would be pre-programmed to assist the wearer in completing normal, every day tasks. There would be several different models, each with special programs for specific tasks, such as changing diapers for parents, extra grip for rock climbers, and other sports… things… for sporty people.
It would be completely voice activated, but you can program up to 5 users of any age to use it, as the shoulder pads and arms would be adjustable to fit most sizes. It also comes in 712 different colors and patterns. Yes, you heard me, 712 different colors and patterns. Some people prefer Oxford blue over Prussian blue, ya know? It totally counts as just one gadget, since it is all the same type, right? I think so.
As a stay-at-home mom, who does 100% of the work when it comes to our one-year old son, I know I could definitely use an extra set of hands. Like when I am trying to make dinner, and my son is getting cranky, and is trying to climb up my legs to get me to pick him up, but I really need to focus on the food. I am sure I am not the only parent out there who could use an extra set of arms, am I right?
So, does anyone want to send some funds my way?!
Thanks for reading, friends.
UPDATE: Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector Review
Hello, friends! A little while ago, I did a first impression review of the Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, which I received for Christmas, and now that I’ve had a chance to really give it some good use, I thought I would update you guys. In my previous post, which you can read here, I gave the stroller protector a good review, but had to make note that I had a hard time putting it on my Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, despite it being universal, and it looked a bit goofy. Well, after being told that I had been putting it on wrong, I tried putting it on properly… and that made a crazy huge difference!
On the left is the before picture, on the first day that I tried it out. I hadn’t put the protector on properly, and instead of putting the push bar through the corresponding opening, I just tucked it all into itself, making it look baggy and ill-fitting all around. The one on the right is the after picture, what it looks like now, put on properly. I love it even more now that I did on the first day, and I loved it a bunch even then!
Obviously, I don’t have much else to add, I just wanted to let you all know that it is just as great put on properly as it was put on slightly wrong. The weather has been hovering in the mid-high 30’s lately, so we’ve been trying to get out as much as possible. Just today, the sandwich artist who made my sandwich at Subway, as well as the expectant mother in line behind me, both complimented the protector, and were shocked to learn that it wasn’t part of the stroller. That’s how good it looks! We walked to Dollar General, and as we were leaving, two older women also complimented us, and thought that it was just a fancy stroller! We love it, and have been getting a lot of use out of it already. Even with the weather being in the 30’s, I only have to dress Liam in his lighter winter coat, and a pair of mittens (his fingers get cold easily, but he is still toasty inside his protector), which he usually takes off on his own.
In conclusion, we love our Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, and highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t wait to see how it performs once it gets warmer.
Thanks for reading, friends!
First Impressions Review | Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector
Hello, friends! Today I thought I would share with you my first impressions of the Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, which I got for Christmas! I’ve been having a hard time getting outside for walks since the weather has gotten cold and gloomy lately, and finally got around to trying it out today, since it was a balmy 42 degrees outside!
I had a hard time finding an all-weather protector (wind, rain, snow, etc.) for my Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, and the choices on Amazon were very limited. I stumbled across this one, and was attracted by the word “Universal” in the product name. The description says that it is compatible with all deluxe umbrella, full size strollers and all single jogger style strollers, and after reading through the comments and questions sections, I found out that it does supposedly work with the Graco jogging strollers. I was so excited!
Unfortunately, my excitement dissipated a bit when I opened the box today, to find that there were no instructions of any sort. After wrestling it onto my stroller, it just… didn’t… look right. There are little straps with hooks on the ends to help keep everything tight and in place, and I had NO idea where to put them. I decided to take the term “universal” with a grain of salt, because while it does cover all these strollers that it lists, it may not cover them well. Or attractively.
I searched around online for any kind of written or recorded instructions, for really any kind of stroller type, to help, but only found one video on YouTube, which was incredibly unhelpful. But, after making it look somewhat right, I went out with the kiddo to give it a test before we ran out of daylight.
At the time that this is being written, I now know that I did not put it on properly. At all. But like the title says, this was my first, uneducated impression of the product. With that being said, I actually do really like it! It was around 40 degrees throughout most of our walk, and I didn’t need to put a hat or gloves on Liam while he was inside. He stayed REALLY warm!
I really like that there are three options for the front covering as well. There is the thin mesh, which helps provide a bit of coverage from the sun (and bugs!), and is very breathable. There is also a plastic “window”, which consists of 4 panels total, and provides wrinkle-free viewing for your little one, and protection from all of the elements, while remaining breathable thanks to tiny holes in the sides of the cover. And finally, there is a cover that you can pull down to provide relief from the blinding sun, which is super convenient when your little one falls asleep during a walk or jog.
This may look a bit weird, but that’s because I put the cover on wrong entirely, but, there is also a neat little carrying pouch that hangs down beneath your push bar for extra storage! Neat! The entire cover is made of a waterproof material that is light enough to be easy to use and does not add to the weight of the stroller, but is heavy enough to not budge in the wind. It covers the entire seat area, which is super convenient if you have a little one who likes to throw snacks and toys out of the stroller. I didn’t have to stop a single time to pick up Liam’s toy keys! There are also those four straps with hooks to help keep it all tight.
So, final impressions for my first impression… I like it a lot. I feel like I will love it when I use it again, and actually use it correctly. So, if you’re trying to stay active during the cold months, or the hot months, or during an apocalyptic Asian lady beetle invasion, then I highly recommend this cover! And before I forget, yes, it does come in other colors… I just don’t know how you get them. But I have seen a bright pink one!
I will probably write up an update, including good pictures, when I use it again… correctly.
Thanks for reading!
DIY Learning For Toddlers By Mamiblock
Hello, friends! A friend linked this video last night via Facebook, and after watching it several times (and checking out a bunch of other videos on the Mamiblock YouTube channel), I decided that I had to share it with anyone who might be reading this! There are so many cool things! Don’t let the German scare you away, the videos are still pretty easy to follow.
These simple, inexpensive DIY projects are fantastic for teaching tiny toddlers and young children a range of skills, including counting, telling time, the alphabet, and writing. They look like so much fun, and I am definitely looking forward to trying these out in the near future, now that Liam will be turning one in 10 days!
I love finding channels like Mamiblock, and you should definitely check out the whole channel, as they have tons of videos on cool ways to make your life with baby a little easier, and more fun, like exercise, meal ideas, baking, and so many more crafty things. I hope this inspires a few of you as much as it inspired me. I’m so hyped to try some of these!
Thanks for reading!
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