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Motherhood: A wild and incredibly blessed ride!

Wild and blessed, two words that can describe exactly where I am right now.

I am always shocked when I hear the words: ” I do not know how you do it” or “how do you get anything done in a day?” Honestly, I never feel like I hit the mark, I rarely feel like I have gotten anything done in a day and sometimes the only gage I have that I’ve accomplished something is by my husband’s reaction when he come in the door.

Seriously, as a stay at home mom to an 8, 4 and 1 year old my time feels like it is spent assessing risk factors from wild toddler antics, throwing snacks out like candy at a parade and refereeing disputes over claims of “bad words being said, walking passed someone too fast or slow, and simply not agreeing on the next show to watch on Netflix.” And yes, my children watch Netflix, I mean yeah, I could totally parent without screen time – I could also churn my own butter but let’s not get too crazy now.

Friends have told me how I seem to have it all together and that my kids are so lucky. I am here to tell you, looks are deceiving. There are days when I get up before my children, make the coffee and have laundry and dishes running before 9:00 am. Those days are rare. To be honest that happened once last week. The rest of the week looked more like me walking out of the bathroom to my two oldest using a half a stick of butter in each hand from the fridge to butter their toast because there was not any softened butter available. No kidding, this was last Wednesday and I chose to look at the fact that not only did they make their own snack, but they did as a team! Yay, MOM WIN!!! Another day I turn around from loading the dishwasher to my one year old eating a burnt waffle he took from the garbage. Perfection?! NO WAY, but like I said I am wildly blessed by this.

In my days as a stay at home mom I have learned to let go and let live. My children are growing so fast, right before my eyes and if I do not stop all of my busyness I will miss on theirs. My house is not always tidy, some days my sink of full of dishes and there have even been times that we have run out of clean laundry; but my kids are loved, happy, fed and safe. Those four elements are a language of love for this mama’s heart, and perspective is everything. My home may be messy but we have a place to live, my sink may have dishes but we have food to eat and laundry may be dirty but we have clothes to wear. My kids may be loud but they have a voice, they may be busy but their have a love of life to live. Pretty soon, in a blink, my kids will be on their own; the house will be perfectly clean and too quiet, and I will miss these wild and blessed days.

I know that I am in no way a perfect mom, but I know I have been made perfectly by God to grow these tiny humans He has given me. I hope that when I fall short I can give them an opportunity to see humility and compassion; when I make mistakes I can help them learn to forgive; and when I hold them, they feel what true love is. I am mothering the best way I know how, I know that the best of me as imperfect as I am is exactly what they need. By this mere fact, I am able to forgive myself the moments when they eat from the trash or use way too much butter, and find joy no matter what. This is us, this is our little life and our little home is massive in love, for truly we are wildly blessed.

Mamas, no matter what season you are in, please know you are perfect just as you are. I love the saying “to the world you are just a mom, but to your children you are the world.” Our little ones have this amazing God-given power to love us mamas unconditionally, let us too start loving ourselves unconditionally too. Doing our best everyday is the best we can for them, and even when we totally fail, guess what?! They will be right there, still loving us.

You are seen, you are loved and you are everything to those little eyes that look to you every morning. You are just what your family needs. Be wild and blessed, the days are long but the years are short.

x. earnest mom.

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Abby&Finn: Amazing Diapers, Amazing Company, Amazing Price.

$15.00 discount code and and additional $5.00 off referral link included in blog post. Note: this is not a sponsored review, all opinions are my own.

Feature photo courtesy of Abby&Finn.

Subscription boxes are all the rage today. From books to make-up to extravagant curations received quarterly – you can find a subscription for just about anything. As a mom of 3, with my youngest still in diapers I have been buying and trying diapers for about a decade now, and diaper subscriptions caught my interest. Abby&Finn Diapers have been the most impressive so far.

Abby&Finn were not the first subscription diapers I had tried, but they will be the last. Their quality (soft, strong and absorbent), price and “better for bottoms” make have changed me into a lifer. Here is their product information from their website:

Diaper Ingredients:
TCF (Totally chlorine free) wood pulp from sustainably managed forests; SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer) Sodium Polyacrylate; Topsheet, soft internal cover made of Polypropylene; Core wrap and Leg cuffs, made of soft Polypropylene; Acquisition Layer, made out of Polyester fibers; Backsheet, polypropylene fibers and polyethylene film for softness and liquid containment; Leg and crotch elastics, made of polyurethane.

Wipes Ingredients:
Water, Polysorbate 20, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernal Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Cruelty Free and Vegan:
They have signed PETA’s Statement of Assurance, which states that they do not conduct, contract out, or fund studies on animals in the development, manufacturing, testing, or marketing of our products, nor do they intend to do so.

My Earnest Little is a heavy wetter, especially at night and typically we would have to buy a size bigger for nighttime protection but with Abby&Finn no need, his size holds him day or night. If I did need a different size at night, I could do so in ONE subscription. Abby&Finn has the convenient option of ordering two different sizes in one box! Love it!

Photo: Courtesy of Abby&Finn

Now pricing, are they cost effective? YES. I am including some prices to show that Abby&Finn have created a high quality diaper service with low prices. Perfect for my budget and eco-conscious family of five. Below are the comparison of size 4 diapers in package sizes similar to Abby&Finn counts – cost is also broken down per diaper.

Subscription Brands:

Parasol Diapers Size 4 160 count for $84 breaking down to $0.52 per diaper

Abby&Finn Size 4 156 count for $45 breaking down to $0.29 per diaper

Honest Diapers Size 4 161 count for $61** breaking down to $0.39 per diaper
**A guesstimate since Honest currently does not offer an option for no wipes in a subscription, the full price of wipes is deducted from the full subscription price (79.95 – 18.95 = 61)

NOTE: The above brands are diapers that are FREE of latex, chlorine, fragrance and lotions and sustainably sourced.

Also: Shipping is factored into the prices.

Big Box Brands, available in big box retailers:

Pampers Swaddlers Diapers Size 4 150 count for $50.99 breaking down to $0.34 per diaper

Pampers Pure Diapers Size 4 80 count for $38.45 breaking down to $0.49 per diaper

Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers Size 4 144 count for $41.99 breaking down to $0.30 per diaper

Luvs Size 4 172 count for $29.99 breaking down to $0.18 per diaper

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Diapers Size 4 81 count for $45.36 breaking down to $0.56 per diaper.

NOTE: Only Seventh Generation and Pampers Pure are latex, chlorine, fragrance and lotion free as well as sustainably sourced in the above list.

Also: Pricing was based on availability from a local big box store and may not reflect current promotions, discounts or price reductions.

The price of Abby&Finn diapers comes in at the lowest for subscriptions boxes and second to lowest of the big box brands that do not meet the high quality standards nor are delivered to my front door. Hands down, having tried EVERY SINGLE diaper on this list the quantity, quality, and price of Abby&Finn cannot be beat!

As if Abby&Finn could not get any better, they are just as socially conscious as they are eco friendly which is first reflected in their name: ABBY is an anagram for baby, FINN is an acronym for Families In Need. Secondly, what they stand for is shown with their commitment to improving the lives of families who need it. With each monthly subscription they donate one diaper a day to families in need. Every time I receive one box, 30 diapers go to a family in need right here in the U.S. So wonderful.

Photo: Courtesy of Abby&Finn

How do you order?! It is super easy, click: Abby&Finn Subscription and choose your subscription, size, print and frequency. There are no tricks, pausing or canceling is easy and can be done in a few quick clicks. This link we get you $5.00 off your first bundle PLUS use time sensitive code: BLACKFRI15 for an additional $15.00 off of your first box ***LIMITED TIME OFFER SO ORDER FAST*** That works out to be $25 for your first diaper subscription meaning you would get size 4 diapers for just $0.16 per diaper (it is $10 more to include 240 wipes). NOTE you must use the referral link in this paragraph plus discount code to receive the full $20.00 savings. Once the discount code expires, the referral link will still get you $5.00 off of your first box.

Enjoy!

– earnest mom

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The Mommy Worries. What Helps Me.

Okay mamas, who is with me here:

It is 3:00 am and for some reason my brain is wiiiiiide awake even though my body is crying “GO BACK TO SLEEP!” Instead my defiant brain decides to travel down the winding slippery road of worries.

Worry One: Did I pay the bills? The answer every time is yes, however in the wee hours of the morning my brain convinces me for a moment that I missed them all and that they will be late, late, LATE!

Worry Two: Are my kids alive and healthy at this moment? I have to confess, this heart racing worry has leapt me from my bed and into the rooms of my slumbering children to assure myself that all is well.

Worry Three: Did I switch the laundry? Okay, okay more often than not this worry is a valid actual worry that usually ends up with me rewashing the load in the morning.

Worry four, five, six…anything that my mind can race to next. My kids in school, are the doors locked, did I sign homework forms, so on and so on.

This scenario happens more often than I like to admit, but one of my FAVORITE phrases lately is: “If you are worried about it – pray; if you prayed about it – don’t worry.”

Alas, taking heed to this simple phrase has changed my worry cycle. The minute those worries come flooding in, I remind myself to pray and not worry. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but if I have trouble giving up the worry I turn my phone on and read some scripture or bible study. Quickly, I feel my worried heart start to calm and my mind is able to focus on better things.

Mamas, are any of you familiar with this worry cycle?! What are your go to tips for battle the Mommy Worries?? Please share below.

x. earnest mom

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Food for Baby with Sage Spoonfuls + GIVEAWAY!

As a Sage Spoonful Ambassador, I had the opportunity to review Sage Spoonfuls NEW Recipe book and Eco-Steamer! I love making food for my littles and knowing that there are only safe, organic ingredients that I put in!

For this recipe, I used organic baby carrots and organic apples. Recipe below.

The Sage Spoonfuls Sage Baby Eco-Steamer has a super easy telescoping handle to fit inside a pot with the lid on; has 1.75 inch high legs to keep food above water and preserve nutrients; is made from eco-friendly, non-toxic stainless steel; plus is dishwasher safe. The cookbook gave recipe for steaming and great combinations for growing palettes. My earnest little is about 10 months and loves picking up soft chunks to self feed lately, so I chopped the carrots and apples instead of puréeing them.

This gorgeous, revised recipe book includes 66 EASY organic recipes for baby plus hundreds of food combinations (listed by age appropriate foods); tips on allergies, special diets, preemies and even choking. There is a whole section dedicated to making mealtime fun and taking your Sage Spoonfuls to go! And earnest mom is GIVING ONE Sage Spoonfuls Recipe Book AWAY!!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post of your favorite baby food combination – that’s it! Giveaway ends September 27, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be announced here in the comments by October 1, 2018. This giveaway is no way affiliated with Sage Spoonfuls or Sage Spoonfuls’ Ambassador Program. The giveaway is the sole action of earnestmom.com and no others. It is limited to followers of earnestmom.com who are 18+ and residents of the continental United States. Earnest mom just loves this book so much, she wants to share it with one lucky follower!!

x. earnest mom.

RECIPE:

Ingredients

1.5 cups organic baby carrots, washed

2 medium organic apples, washed, peeled, cored.

Materials

Medium sauce pan

Eco-steamer

Paring knife

Sage Spoonfuls Storage Containers

Directions

Bring about 1.5 inches of water in saucepan to boil. Place Eco-Steamer in sauce pan, add carrots. Steam approximately 6 minutes then add apples. Steam approximately 2 more minutes or until carrots and apples are tender. Chop or purée depending on eating stage of baby. Store in air tight containers, refrigerated up to 3 days. ENJOY!!

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It Is Mother’s Day?! Here are some FREE ideas for those procrasti-dads out there!

Okay, so I am totally the kind of person that already has a plan set (complete with gifts ready) to celebrate Father’s Day next month – but let’s face it not all have the time or opportunity to plan a head.  I am posting this one for the dads who still need a little inspo for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday!  Here are some easy-peasy, totally FREE ideas that you can do for your significant other this Mother’s Day weekend. (If you are a mom reading this list, feel free to leave ideas in the comments below and then forward on to the procrasti-dad in your life)

Breakfast in bed. Let mom sleep in, get up with the kids and make a smashing brekkie. Personally, I am not a HUGE fan of food in bed. However, the thought and effort that goes into planning and executing breakfast is bed is so darling; I would eat anything brought to me as I wake. Coffee, do not forget the coffee ;).

All the laundry done. I mean, I am pretty sure this gesture would help any mom feel appreciated and let her really relax. Actually, why stop at laundry – give mom the day off! Meaning dad, you and the kids do all the chores that day (and not just leave the chores until Monday so mom does them anyway). If you really want make her Mother’s Day gift a home run, give her the whole weekend off!

Take the kids to the park. Seriously, sometimes us moms just need a few hours, alone, in the quiet. Get kiddos all dressed, sun-blocked and head out to the nearest park! Best part, if they run themselves tired they may need a nap when you get back, which means you and mama can nap too. Two birds, one stone!!

Make her favorite meal for dinner. Okay, this one may cost a little depending on the food in your fridge and pantry but trust me, a surprise meal with all her favorites will be enjoyed for sure. Have the kids make up a menu, take her order and serve her the whole course. Do not forget to make (or pick up) her favorite dessert.

Homemade cards/art. That’s right, bust out some markers, paper, glue, scissors and some creativity. Us moms love some handmade notes and pictures that say I love you. Not too crafty? Print out some All About Mom fill in blank sheets like the one found here at Mom It Forward, have kids fill them out themselves along with drawings. Kids not writing yet? No problem, let them draw and you interview them then record their answers for them.

So, want to know how to hit a grand slam?! Treat mom to ALL of the above. All of these sweet acts of love will leave any mama feeling all warm and fuzzy with love and appreciation from her family. Good luck dads and I hope you and your family have a great Mother’s Day weekend.

x. earnest mom

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Review + Giveaway: Stewie BOOM! And Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates.

April is National Autism Awareness month and this month I really wanted to focus on being inclusive, and gaining more understanding and sensitivity with my earnest littles about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Many children that have Autism can go undiagnosed for a long time and the spectrum is so broad that even a diagnosis is not the full answer. I wanted to be sure we learned that no matter the behavior we see, every child deserves a friend. I found this exact message in Stewie BOOM! and Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates by Christine Bronstein.

This book highlights what it means to play with someone new, making friends, understanding differences and every character is completely relatable for adults and kids. Following the story there are some stellar tips on reaching out to new friends, being accepting of differences and starting a conversation about Autism with kids.

When asked what her inspiration was to write Stewie BOOM! And Princess Penelope: Snowflakes, Handprints and Playdates; Christine said:

It is a book I wish I had when my kids were younger.  One of my children had some special needs and I know how isolating it can be.  Too many families with children with ASD are struggling with isolation and bullying and these are two things that are actually solvable if we all work together to embrace these families and children into our communities.

This book speaks to me on so many levels and would be the perfect addition to any home or classroom library to help open dialogue on all of the points that Christine listed above.

GIVEAWAY: Want to win a book of your own?! Comment below if you have been or plan to be involved with Autism Awareness this month (or longer!!). Examples could be you did a community walk, changed your Facebook frame, bought cookies that will benefit the Autism society, or maybe simply talking to your children about what the spectrum is and how we can be more kind, outgoing and accepting. Please share your plans, ideas and activities below! Giveaway now CLOSED. The winner has been announced here in the comments and on earnest mom’s Instagram (@earnestmomblog), be sure to be following to find out if you have won!

x. earnest mom.

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If I Had a Super Power, It Would Be Explosive Farts.

“If I had a super power, it would be explosive farts.” As I read these words on the art work sent home from my oldest’s second grade class, tears began to build. I stood in the middle of my kitchen, water boiling and kids running and cried. I had no idea that this would be the super power he wanted, silly I know, but the fact I did not know was a bit of a crush for me.

Sometimes in the hustle of motherhood, I forget how individual my little ones are! I get so caught up with the grocery buying, dinner cooking, child dressing, am I making the right choice for my children reflecting; my mind misses the small things.

For me, this art work was a wake up call. It listed more of earnestboy1.0’s favorites and to be honest, some of them I did not know about him (including his wonderful desires for super powers). This epiphany made me realize that I need to “stop and smell the roses” more often. By “smell” I mean I need to really stop, look and listen to the little blooming roses growing in my home. I want to laugh more, snuggle more and enjoy more with them. In order to do so, I need to be MORE with them – I need to be more present, more open, more patient and simply more attentive.

I am SO thankful for to have read these fun facts about my son and am more excited to get to know his growing mind even more, along with the rest of my earnest bitty babes.

x. em.