Monday Mayhem ~ Some Days I Feel Like Screaming!

If you are a mama and you can’t relate to this photo, well then you have got quite a fabulous life my friend!
I have three amazing kids. Three well rounded, super smart and incredibly gracious kids. But there are days that they display annoying habits, sibling rivalry and no manners. *Hence I feel like the picture above
But, we can even make others feel this way about us. Yes, even as adults! I know there are days that my husband is on my last nerve. I never get on his last nerve of course. Kidding, kidding… (wink)
We like to think that we’ve got it all together and we are anything but annoying. But, we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. There is no such thing as perfect…it just doesn’t exist. We should not try to reach perfection but rather master placement, respect and peace. Contentment and the ability to exhibit patience with others; your spouse, your children, your friends, your family, your co-workers…
When you exhibit these feelings, your demeanor will rub off on those close to you. Did you know that? So when your child screams at his brother for touching his toy, don’t scream back. You are only giving in to anger which is just what your child displayed. Lovingly correct the behavior. When your husband forgets to pick up milk at the store, don’t roll your eyes and walk away. Tell them that’s okay, you can get it this time. Maybe next time you’ll leave them a sticky note reminder or a voicemail to remind them.
So when someone has upset you, and you feel like the photo above, remember… you are not perfect and neither are they.

Monday Mayhem…Set schedules = Happy kids (and parents!)

Family schedules….got one? Can’t live without mine! If you don’t have one, maybe now is the time to start. You’ll be amazed at how much easier (and happier) life is for everyone.
Start with organization. Sit down and write out a list of the various activities that you do on a weekly basis. Homework, grocery shopping, meals, chores for the kids, laundry…etc. 
Now write out a list of the things you do often, but not necessarily every week. Sports activities for the kids, family game night, yard work…etc.
I have found that using a dry erase board is the easiest most efficient way for my family to know what we have planned, where, and what time. For young children, a sticker chart makes it easy and fun for them to participate in family chores and to remember to pick up their toys every evening before bed, brush their teeth in the mornings, etc.
Try to keep a set schedule for dinner and bedtime if at all possible. With sports activities, sometimes this can be difficult. Especially on weekends. As parents, we can’t do it all, nor should we be expected to. But, the more consistent you are with a set bedtime of say 8:30pm, your children will fall into this pattern naturally. My husband and I have found that if we get too far past bedtime our children will ask for bed! Routine is key. My children love it and my husband and I love it. 
It’s important that you and your spouse/significant other have time each week to visit, spend time together doing something you love (even if it’s catching up on TiVo), or enjoying a quiet late dinner (just the two of you) after you’ve put your kids down for bed.
Do you follow a set schedule, mom? If so, what do you do to keep the flow of life steady and happy for everyone?

Monday Mayhem…Bedtime Blunders With Little Ones

Is bedtime a struggle at your house, mom? 
I’ve been there…3x over. All of my children went through a “No bedtime for me!” phase at least once in their childhood. 
There were countless reasons why bedtime was a struggle. Here are a few:
1) Monster under the bed
2) Monster in the closet
3) The light outside is too bright (hence, we never found the source of this so-called light)
4) I’m not sleepy!…classic, right?
5) My eyes won’t stay closed (My oldest used this one a lot!)
6) The nightlight looks like it has eyes and it’s looking at me (It was a nightlight of a bear. Of course it had eyes…my sweetie didn’t grasp that)
I found that a relaxing bath and a simple snack before bed did help my angels to drop off to dreamland a little easier, not to mention quicker. We never did allow our children to sleep in bed with us. That was our choice as parents. You may choose differently and that is perfectly fine. Do what works best for you and your child. Sometimes trial and error is key in finding out what method fits well.
What do you do when your children can’t or don’t want to sleep, mom?

Monday Mayhem…The In’s and Out’s of Prenatal Testing

If you are an expectant mom, you can “expect” to receive prenatal testing to determine your unborn child’s well being as well as your health during pregnancy. 
Most of the tests offered are mother’s choice, meaning you can choose whether or not to follow-through with certain tests. An example would be an Amniocentesis usually given to mothers who are high risk or have past health concerns.
Here are the tests offered throughout the trimesters of pregnancy. What have you chosen, mom? Are you/have you taken these prenatal tests that are offered? We’d love to hear your stories. 

General Testing:

Blood Test

Paternity Testing
Urine Test
Ultrasound
Rh Factor 
First Trimester:
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
First Trimester Screen
Second Trimester:
Amniocentesis
Cordocentesis : Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS)
Maternal Serum 
Alpha-Fetoprotein Screening (MSAFP)
Quad Screen
Triple Screen Test : Multiple Marker Screen
Third Trimester:
Biophysical Profile (BPP)
Fetal Non-Stress Test (NST
)Glucose Challenge Screening & Glucose Tolerance Test (NST)
Group B Strep Infection

Monday Mayhem…Who Says I Need Potty Training?

I have 3 children. All of which fell into the potty training mainstream at different ages and stages. I truly found that your child will know when he/she is ready. Pushing too early or waiting too late can cause tantrums in the learning process. You know your child best, and as a mother, you’ll just know when your sweetness is ready for big kid pants! Here are a few tips to make the transition a bit easier when it’s time to take the plunge…..
Bribing – Yep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But why not try? With 2 of my children when they completed a 5 minute potty break, when they successfully “went” they received an M&M. Not a bag of M&M’s, one M&M. A small piece of chocolate is like an entire chocolate bar to you and I. This also helps teach the importance of hand washing after going to the bathroom. No M&M until your sweet little fingers are squeaky clean!
Books – Reading material is a must during potty training. There are some great books out on the market that teach your angel all about the potty, but just a stack of his/her favorite books is just as great. Keep a little basket next to your child’s potty. Let them choose one to read each time they make a trip. You’ll often find your child will sit longer with a book too. Giving them ample time to actually go.
Praise, Praise, Praise! – When your child goes potty, praise him/her each and every time. A sticker chart is also great too. Make your child feel like a superstar during the entire potty training timeframe. So important!

Monday Mayhem – The Many Faces of Motherhood

Many of us dreamed of becoming a mother long before we ever became one. As little girls we would play with baby dolls & nurture our stuffed animals.

My mother always used to tell me “You’ll never know what being a mother is really like until you hold your child in your arms for the very first time. It’s then that your heart overflows with an unfathomable love for a tiny piece of yourself.”

Motherhood has many faces. There are times of joy, pain, happiness, anger, forgiveness, love, patience and courage. But the one “face” we all wear as mothers each and every day is commitment. When you bring a child into the world, your world changes. You realize that this tiny bundle is relying on you for each and every need 24/7.

As our children grow, so does our role of motherhood. It strengthens, deepens and changes day after day, month after month, year after year. Even when your child leaves home, your guidance remains present in their lives.

The many faces of motherhood are a gift…from start to finish. Treasure each one, mom.

Monday Mayhem…”Mom, I’m BORED”!

Ah, it is that wonderful time of year again, mom! School is ending, homework is over and your herd of children are headed home for three whole months. It’s time to break out the creative juices (I’m talking about the kids here) and find something to do with your day! Laying on the floor whining, sitting on the stairs acting grumpy and begging to go somewhere everyday….nope! Break out the list of fun activities and turn on your imagination, kids. Save your mom some sanity and go enjoy those fun, hot summer days now… ya hear? LOL!
I have found some really great lists & websites for you to print off and/or refer to, mom. 
150 Activities For Kids – http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/294202/end_summertime_boredom_over_150_activities.html
Bust Summertime Boredom – 
http://drzandfriends.com/2009/05/bust-summertime-boredom/
365 Boredom Busters Book (we have this and it’s fabulous) –
http://www.amazon.com/FamilyFun-Boredom-Busters-Crafts-Activities/dp/0786853611/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305816899&sr=1-2
Online Games For The Older Kids (my kids love this website) –
http://www.candystand.com/
What are some activities you’d like to share, mom?

Monday Mayhem…The countdown to summer vacation

No more teachers, no more books…..
When the Easter holiday hits, the reality of summer break on the horizon hits home. School is dwindling down, and your children are pumped about leaving the school bell behind for the next 3 months.
So, what do you do with the last few weeks of “freedom” before the herd comes home?
Here’s YOUR countdown list, mom. Take part in a little “me” time before it becomes “What are WE going to do today, mom…..I’m bored”!
1) Lunch With The Ladies…Grab some of your favorite gal pals and head to lunch at a favorite restaurant. You are going to have plenty of time for greasy pizza and loud play areas at your local fast food hangout soon enough! 
2) Me-Time Movie…I always thought it was weird for a person to go to the movies alone. That thought changed after having children. Any “me” time was awesome, but a movie that didn’t involve 3D glasses and a dancing goat; awesome. A chick flick, some buttery popcorn, a large soft drink and the ability to watch a movie all the way through without someone having to go potty. Bliss…..
3) Non-Chaotic Clothes Shopping…Enough said. Being able to look at clothes and try them on without telling a toddler to not open the door, to not pick the gum off of the mirror to chew in the dressing room and to not point out that you are wearing pink underwear with flowers on them and then proceeding to say it loud enough that the entire dressing room of women hear it. Kids and dressing rooms don’t mix…ever.
4) Pedicures Are Not A Pastime…So, take your tootsies out for a day of pampering. Pick a vibrant color and even pay extra for the cute little flower they paint on your big toe. You deserve it you know.
You’ve got about 6 weeks, mom. So use your time wisely. Soon enough your tribe of indians will be having a pow-wow in your living room. Just don’t teach them how to start a fire using two sticks.