Oct 22, 2014

How Do You Balance Your Time Between Multiple Kids

If you have more than one child you know this problem all too well;

I need to be in two places at the same time. 

Perhaps your kids have soccer games at the same time or both kids have a birthday party to attend and you can't quite swing the drop off times.

For me this dilemma occurred last week when Isabella's teacher asked for volunteers for the Halloween party the same day the flyer came home from Molly's school that her Halloween parade is at the same time. Of course they go to different schools so popping in on the parade is not an option.

What's a mom to do? One kid is going to miss out and Daddy cannot leave work that day to split the duties with me.

There is a balancing act to parenting when you have more than one child. One that I'm pretty good at it most of the time. But it's getting harder as the kids are getting older. I know that these situations will pop up more often. Especially next year when they're all in school full time.

Here are some of the things my husband and I do to make sure our kids get individual attention.

I limit the kids' activities. I know that this is a hot button issue based on the blog post I wrote about it but this works for our family. By limiting our kids' activities, we have more unscheduled time which allows my husband and I plan more dates with our kids.

This year everyone is doing dance. Isabella's skirt cracks me up.

I intentionally schedule one on one time with each kid to get some alone time with them. We call them dates and my kids love them. Anything can be a date. I normally plan them but occasionally I let the kids pick what we do. Brett is more flexible and he lets the kids plan the dates most of the time.

We do kid of the day. I got this from a triplet mom and it's pure genius.  The kid of the day gets specific privileges and decisions to make for the group. Now each child has a day to sit by the faucet in the bathtub and decide what we are having for lunch.

But none of these tactics are going to help me be in two places at once. Instead I made a compromise with the kids. I helped out today in Molly's classroom for the fair and next week I'll be in Isabella's classroom for the Halloween party. It was an easy sell for Molly. She said she would rather have me in the classroom than in the hallway watching the parade.

Thank goodness because I didn't have any other ideas. 

How Do You Balance Your Time Between Multiple Kids?

Oct 20, 2014

Anavita Moisturizing Anti-Wrinkle Cream Giveaway

There comes a time in every girl's life when you realize that you can no longer tease your mother for using wrinkle cream, as you now need it yourself. It's a sad day when that happens. I try to take good care of my skin but I find that I'm not really willing to do much more than wash my face and apply moisturizer.

Which means I need a really good moisturizer. In the morning I like to use something light that also has SPF. I don't want a heavy cream for the day since I wear makeup too and that is just too much for me. At night I want something a little heavier that will help my skin restore itself. I was sent Anavita Moisturizing Anti Wrinkle Cream as a Tomoson Blogger Promotion. No further compensation was provided and all opinions are mine.

For the last two weeks I've applied the Anavita Moisturizing Anti Wrinkle Cream at night. I tried it once during the day and I found it a little thicker than something I wanted to use during the day. Also it does not have any SPF which is important for me during the daytime. I know I should apply SPF separately, but I don't.

I can't see a difference in any of my wrinkles yet, but my skin is much softer after only two weeks. It happened within a few days. I know a moisturizer is working well when my skin feels softer after a few days. With Anavita you no longer have to buy a collection of products to fight the signs of aging since it serves as a moisturizer, day cream, night cream, and makeup base. Most people see results in 2 - 4 weeks so I will be looking for a change soon. 

I like that the product is an all in one product. I know plenty of women who are going to spend the time each morning and evening to apply various skin care products, but I am not one of them. With three small kids I don't want to spend extra time getting ready. Which makes an all in one product perfect for me.

If you're looking for a great all in one product you're going to love the Anavita Moisturizing Anti Wrinkle Cream. It can be used on all skin types as well.

Want to win a bottle to try for yourself? One lucky winner will get a free bottle from Anavita. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Oct 17, 2014

Confessions on Fall

I confess....
I love fall, it's my favorite season.

I confess....
My favorite part of fall is that I can wear a t-shirt and jeans with a scarf and suddenly I'm dressed up. There is nothing better to upgrade your outfit than a scarf.

I confess....
I do not like pumpkin spice lattes, not even a little bit. I'm pretty sure almost everyone reading that cannot believe that someone actually doesn't go nuts over them, but I don't.

I confess....
Tonight I have big plans to make some Shrimp and Corn Chowder and binge watch Sleepy Hollow. Nothing sounds better than opening the windows so the house gets cool and cuddling under a blanket with my husband.

I confess....
That above statement used to be my biggest fear about marriage but now I know it's the best part of marriage. Two people who just want to spend time together, not caring about what they're doing.

I confess....
I'm loving some of Fall's new shows. How to Get Away with Murder is the best one so far. Each week it draws me in more while Scandal is making me like it less.

Anyone else feel this way?

I confess....
I'm going to attempt to take fall family photos soon. I'm hoping it goes better than the last time we made this attempt. All I want is one good picture where everyone is looking and smiling.

You would think it's not too much to ask for, but as you can see it actually is too difficult for my kids. This was the best picture out of the entire spring session. Sigh.

What are you confessing this week?

Oct 15, 2014

End the Silence - Pregnancy Loss Prevention Day

These days it seems like no topic is taboo anymore with the exception of miscarriage. We've moved forward in our thinking in so many ways, but when it comes to miscarriage society tells women to remain silent. You still hear the old advice to wait until the second trimester to announce your pregnancy - just in case.

Just in case.

Just in case you have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

For the record, you still lose the baby even if no one knows. You will still grieve, only it will be alone. There will be no sympathetic shoulder to cry on. No friends or family praying for you. And a lack of understanding as to why you aren't yourself lately.

I chose to tell the people around me the day we knew we were expecting. I was happy to have my family and close friends celebrate our baby. Even if the celebration didn't last very long. My road to motherhood was not an easy one. Not only did I have fertility problems, but I also had 3 miscarriages along the way. After 3 miscarriages, we decided to wait to tell people. Not because I didn't want people to know if something happened but I began to think if no one knew then nothing could go wrong. You stop thinking rationally when you're going through infertility.

Sadly that pregnancy ended in emergency surgery when we discovered that it was an ectopic pregnancy.

I was grateful to have my friends and family's support during that time. It was brutal calling them and telling them about our loss when they didn't even know we were pregnant. But it had to be done since we had a party planned for the night of my surgery and I needed help taking care of Isabella. I couldn't pick her up for a week after my surgery. Our friends grieved with us, but they never got to celebrate.

The ectopic pregnancy was brutal, but I was able to get through it thanks to the family and friends that surrounded me. A dear friend came over in the days following my surgery to take care of Isabella and just held me when I sobbed in her arms.

I'll never forget the kindness she showed me or the comfort she brought me that day. I'm extremely grateful that I had people to lean on during that tough time.

Today is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Prevention Day. It's a day that brings me a little pain as I remember my angel babies but it's also a day of reflection. I know that many women go through the pain of pregnancy loss alone and that makes me sad. I know it's a tough subject but we need to support each other. There is no right thing to say, just be there and show your love and support.

I don't know about you but I started bonding with my babies the second the stick showed two lines. Losing a baby at any point in a pregnancy is a hard loss. No women should feel like she needs to go through it alone. Hopefully more awareness about pregnancy loss will change society's view on keeping quiet.

Oct 13, 2014

My New Found Love For Columbus Day

When I was teaching in Las Vegas we didn't get Columbus Day off. In fact I wasn't even allowed to teach my students about Columbus Day since the district didn't want the kiddies to learn that history isn't neat and tidy. Which means Columbus Day became a holiday that was for mattress sales and no mail service. That all changed when we moved to Raleigh where my husband works for a Boston based company.

Hello paid holiday on Columbus Day!

Yep my husband gets a paid holiday on Columbus Day since it's a huge holiday in Boston. Here in Raleigh, the kids still go to school. It's a mattress sale and no mail kind of holiday for the folks who work for NC companies. Do you see where my new appreciation for Columbus Day comes from?????

Yes today my husband and I had 4 kid free hours to enjoy together.

We would have like to go to a movie but sadly someone decided that movies shouldn't start until 1pm which is exactly the time my daughter gets out of preschool. But there was something we have wanted to do for a few months but can't with our kids.

We went to the history museum. We tried taking the kids there once and learned that they are too young for it. The hard way. Pretty much the only way we learn our parenting lessons.

Now picture it. We are in a quiet place and without kids with us, and it's actually quiet. We are able to read all the information and look at things at our own pace. We even were able to talk about what we saw. Plus, I didn't have to tell my anyone to climb down off a display or lower their voice. Not once. Who knew a trip to the museum  could be so peaceful?

Both my husband and I really like history and we had a great time. They have a NC Sports Hall of Fame Exhibit were I saw the greatest thing ever!

Check it out! Football players once wore onesies! I don't know why, but I found this hysterical.

After the museum we went shopping. Alone. There wasn't a little person with me in the dressing room commenting on my bra color or why I have lines where my jeans sit at the waist. That one always gets a chuckle from the person in the next dressing room.

We were able to walk through the store and look at clothes peacefully. I can't remember the last time that happened.

After shopping our time was up so we picked up Molly from school and took her to a hibachi lunch. She's never been and the fire terrified her! Much to the amusement to the rest of the table, Molly screamed and climb under her chair. It was actually pretty funny, I get why they were laughing.

The food was terrific as usual and it was a fun treat. That was the goal of the day for us, do things we don't normally get to do. To end our day before the other two kids got home from school we took Molly to redeem a gift card from her birthday. Yes from last November, I just never got around to taking her before today. Some things are on the bottom of the list for a long time.

It was a great day and I can't wait for next year. You know when all three kids will be in school all day!

Do you or your kids get Columbus Day off?

Oct 10, 2014

Cheesy Spinach and Chicken Dip

There is nothing I like more than a yummy cheese dip to eat during a football game. I have many dip recipes in my recipe box. Some recipes have real food and others use the fake processed cheese that I know I shouldn't eat but I do because as much as I hate to admit it, it's delicious!

I try to eliminate processed foods as much as possible but when it comes to cheese dip, that big yellow block of cheese just calls my name. The original recipe for this dip didn't have chicken in it. But one night I didn't feel like cooking and I had some leftover shredded chicken so I added it so make the dip a meal.

Yes, I served this dip to my husband as dinner. It's OK there's a serving of veggies and real protein from the chicken. I'm pretty sure that makes it count as a meal.

For parties I make the dip in the Crock Pot. You just put everything in and let it melt down stirring a few times as it cooks. But when we are going to eat it right away I make it on the stove.

Cheesy Spinach and Chicken Dip


16 oz Velveeta Cheese
9 oz spinach - fresh or frozen
1 1/2 cups salsa**
1 cup shredded chicken
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
tortilla chips


1. If you're using frozen spinach thaw and squeeze dry. Get as much liquid as possible out of the spinach. Rough chop the spinach if you are using fresh. I don't see much of a flavor difference, I just use what I have on hand.

2. Cut the Velveeta into large cubes.
3. Over medium heat add the salsa, cheese, and spinach to a medium size skillet. Stir occasionally.

4. Once the cheese is half melted, add the chicken. Stir occasionally.

5. After the cheese is completely melted add the seasonings. Stir to combine and serve with tortilla chips.

**In a pinch you can puree a can of Rotel if you are in the process of making the dip and realize your kids ate the salsa you thought was in the fridge.

Oct 8, 2014

10 Things that Changed in 10 Years of Marriage

A decade sounds like a long time, especially if you're referring to the length of time you've been married. My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage last week with a wonderful trip to Myrtle Beach. We got four luxurious days on the beach without our kids.

It was fabulous!

While we were there we were laughing about how different our lives were 10 years down the road. I will admit that I have no idea where we will be in 10 years from now. We are not the type of people who sit still and don't make changes so I highly doubt we will be in the same place in 10 years. While that would have scared me as a newlywed, I think it's fun and exciting now.

There are many aspects of my life that I wouldn't have seen coming in a million years 10 years ago. My husband and I have grown and changed in many ways over the years. Ten years ago Brett and Allison wouldn't recognize the life we have now. Here are some of the ways we have changed over the years.

1. Ten years ago we didn't have children. They were a distant thought to our life plan. You want to know what wasn't in the plan? Infertility and miscarriage (sss). Neither was Cerebral Palsy or Vitiligo. These things are all parts of my life now and completely normal to me. I'm not sure when that happened.

2. When we got married, I was a general manager for a chain of retail stores. In the decade since we were married I went to grad school and taught Elementary school and then quit to be a stay at home mom, and later a blogger. Say what? Just so you know, I didn't even know what a blogger was when I got married. So yes, big career changes for me.

3. My husband likes to compete with me in the career department for most changes. He was a journeyman electrician when we got married. Months after our wedding he started his own business. Then we lost the business and we went back to being a journeyman for someone else. (Which made me insanely proud and other people judgmental who still need a punch to the throat.) Next he lost that job and took a really crappy one before landing his current position as a Project Manager for an electrical company. I think he wins for the most career changes.

4. We live in North Carolina now. Never in a million years would I have guessed that we would leave Las Vegas. Never! But after losing our business we needed a change and Raleigh was exactly the change we needed. I'm officially an East Coast girl now.

We get seasons here, even snow which is fun until it sucks.

5. We left the Lutheran Church. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it was a big deal for me. Oddly enough, leaving the church I was raised in brought me closer to God. We found an amazing church in Las Vegas that we loved after the switch. Leaving our church was one of the hardest parts of moving.

6. We eat Vegetarian several times a week. My meat loving, sushi is bait, newlywed husband now loves to eat vegetarian and sushi. Seriously past Brett probably wonders where his balls are right now. Don't worry past Brett, they're still there.

7. Even before we moved we had completely different friends than we when were first married. Between kids, career changes, and Las Vegas being such a transient town, things change.

8. I will actually drink a glass of white wine now. Don't get me wrong red is still the best way to go, but I will drink a glass of white with friends.

9. Present Allison actually goes to the gym, and she likes it! Past Allison went to get fit or the wedding and then stopped going for the next 5 years. Now I can't imagine not exercising on a regular basis.

10. Brett has finally come out of his shell and he's social. He was so painfully shy when we met and never talked to people until he got to know them better. No one who meets him now would believe that.

When I look at our wedding pictures I see two kids who have no idea what they are getting into. But I think that's great. We might have chickened out if someone had read our futures.

I love that we have grown and changed so much as individuals. I would hate to think that I would still be the same person that I was at 25. Since we changed and grew together it's brought us closer together.

And that friends is how you get to 10 years of happy marriage, even when the road gets so rough it disappears.
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