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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.

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Earnest Mom x Sage Spoonfuls

Guys!! I am so excited about this, earnest mom is OFFICIALLY a Sage Spoonfuls Brand Ambassador.

Okay, so what does that mean?? It means over the next few months I will get the privilege to share with you some of their brand new products plus awesome discounts!! Woo hoo.

I began using Sage Spoonfuls back in 2015 when I starting making baby food for earnest babe. (Check out my article here, An Earnest Attempt At Homemade Baby Food.)

In our earnest home, we used Sage Spoonfuls’ Baby Food Making System for making baby food, but once we were passed the baby food stage this system has been helpful for much more. The immersion blender has been used for shakes, soups and applesauce. The mini food processor has made pesto, freezer jams, breadcrumbs, cookie crumbs and chopping veggies. The glass jars (freezer safe) have served as Oriole jelly feeders, storage for home-made jam, tartar sauce and applesauce; stashing snacks in the diaper bag and even reusable wipes. This whole system grows well beyond the infant feeding years, definitely an investment. (Want more ideas? Check out Sage Spoonfuls).

Now that earnest boy 2.0 is 5 months, I am getting ready to start making baby food all over again. Sage Spoonfuls has a wonderful cookbook that gives delicious, fresh and healthy (and safe) recipes tailored to each specific baby food age/stages. I am excited to do it all over again, and with my mom brain forgetting all I did 3 years ago – this cookbook helps a lot.

That is my story on why I love Sage Spoonfuls SO much; go ahead, get your own Sage Spoonfuls and start your love story!! Want a discount while you shop?! Use SAGE25REBECCA at www.sagespoonfuls.com for your 25% discount today.

x. earnest mom

PS: Stay tuned for some new products from Sage Spoonfuls!

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From then to now…

*Trigger warning, discusses threatened miscarriage, subchorionic hematoma and bicornuate uterus*


One year ago, we were sitting in a triage room at 3:30 am.  “Threatened miscarriage.”  That was all I heard before I felt cold, afraid and empty.  That feeling could not be shaken over the longest three days I have ever experienced.  We had to wait, the ENTIRE weekend to see if that baby’s heartbeat was increasing or decreasing.  I was made to stay in bed or on the couch, not get too stressed or excited, nor could I lift anything.  Prayer.  Prayer got me through those three days, helped me to smile with my children, helped me to breathe in moments when I thought my breath would be lost all together.  It helped me when the tears would flow without my knowledge until they were cold on my cheek.  Helped me find a way through it all.

We got to the doctor and after another round of blood work and sonograms, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma (a bleed on the uterine wall) and  bicornuate uterus (a birth defect that I have had all along).  Due to the size and location of the bleed, I was placed on restricted activity and every trip to the bathroom from there on out was stressful.  Would I lose the baby or would we be okay?  I was so worried, until I was educated more on my uterus shape.

As it turns out, a bicornuate uterus (which means my uterus is heart-shaped, or has two horns/cavities) is associated with increased adverse reproductive outcomes, such as recurrent pregnancy loss and pre-term deliveries.  I have had this condition from birth and never knew until my third pregnancy.  I never knew because, with a condition that should have proved pregnancy a difficult task or even a risky one; it had never caused a problem.  Once I realized that, I knew that this current pregnancy was not in my control.  It was in God’s hands, just like my previous two and as He tells us we should, I casted my cares (well worries) upon Him.  Comfort, safety and hope; those were what I found after that first week passed and I gave it all up to Him.

Here we are, a year later with a BEAUTIFUL baby boy.  Born full term, we went into labor naturally, delivered him naturally (unplanned as my epidural was turned off when my blood pressure dropped dangerously low), he is happy, healthy and thriving.  Our earnest boy 2.0 has filled our hearts, we are now a party of five and wholly complete.  For that fact, the tears of joy flow and I know they are there, my breath is full of humbling relief and my smiles are not struggling to be there.  I am in awe.

x.  em.

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Oh Boy!! From Two to Three…WOW.

As a mom of three now, life IS so different. People used to tell me that the biggest transition when having kids was going from 2 kids to 3. Well of course, I am one of the moms that have my own opinions until I experience it and it was TRUE!!  In all my life, going from two children to three has absolutely been one of the hardest transitions.  Earnest dad and I are officially outnumbered.

Our oldest, Earnest Boy 1.0 is in school Monday through Friday and that helps during the days, but he is 8 and needs his mama in ways completely different from the other two. Earnest Babe, she is now 3 and fill of energy, life, goldfish and lollies (they are vitamin C pops by YUMEARTH lol). We often struggle to find a happy medium between playing enough together as every 2 hours I am nursing, changing diapers and swaddling/rocking baby to sleep.  Of course, the Disney Dance Parties help satisfy her playfulness and gets mama a bit if cardio (Lord knows I could use more!).  The littlest, Earnest Boy 2.0 is well, a new wee babe and is awful demanding in the cutest ways!

Earnest Dad works two jobs so I can be home with the littles and so often when he is home, I am leaning on him 100% – in this life, I would be LOST without him.  Earnest Grammy (my MIL) recently moved across the street and what a help she has been in this crazy time of my motherhood journey.

A few weeks back all the demands took their toll and I found myself, after the older two were in bed, in tears.  I was exhausted, the house was a wreck, I had dry shampooed for about three days straight (mom talk for had not showered in 3 days), I am pretty sure we were all out of clean clothes and my fuel tank was empty. I remember Earnest Dad taking Earnest Boy 2.0, and telling me to go take a shower.   You better believe that night I left the conditioner in an extra 5 minutes.  In that shower, I had a huge wake up call; I was at the end of the 4th trimester, I was feeling more like a human again after giving birth but I had not been alone for more than 20 minutes in three months.  I needed me time.  I needed to take some time to “refuel” so I could be better for my family.  What good was I as a stay at home mom if I was completely depleted?

Earnest Reader, I tell you now – I know moms need to take care of themselves so they can take care of others, but as noted early on I am one who needs to experience it to “get it.”  And now, I get it!  That weekend, I went and got my hair done.  Honestly, something I had not done in a decade.  Typically, I would just run to the closest quick cut place when the necessity of a cut came and in the interim I would just cut my hair myself.  Getting out and doing something for just me, made me feel new again.  Like I had shed the old skin of: pregnancy, delivery and postpartum delirium; and emerged a new brilliant, fresh, revived creature.

Since then, I have taken the time when all are in bed to paint my nails, because I love how I feel when my nails are painted. When I have a quiet moment, I read which is a great favorite of mine.  I have also taken the opportunity to go out with a few mom friends here and there.  These have all been #momlife changing for me.  Pushing myself to take time for me, separate from the kids, and my husband and just focus on me has been incredible.

Yes, we still have crazy days where the kids are having what feels like screaming competitions or challenging each other to see who can tell me “no” the most.  We still have days where the  laundry sits unfolded until we have worn it all and are all out of clean clothes; or dishes that sit in the sink for a few days and I earnestly consider tossing the whole lot and buying all new sets, lol.  But those days do not seem so cumbersome or overwhelming with these intentional breaks that I am taking.  Helping me take care of me, helps me be a more earnest mom!  This is one time, for the first time in my life that I am being completely selfish and feel wonderful about it!

What advice do you moms have out there for spreading yourself evenly to reach all demands but avoid feeling like that clumpy peanut butter that just ends up ripping the bread apart?  Please share, whether you have one or nine, how do you make time for you?

x.  earnest mom

 

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“You’re a SAHM?! How lucky!”

“You are a stay at home mom? You are so lucky.”

More often than not when I am asked what I do for a living and I respond that I stay home with my kids, their response always has to do with how lucky I am. Lucky.  And more often than not, I smile and nod and agree with them, not to offend them by correcting their assumption.

Lucky to stay home with my children indicates that by some “good fortune” or “as luck would have it” I just fell into the magical role of being a stay at home mom. This could not be more wrong. Luck has nothing to do with our family’s decision to keep me home.  Truthfully, I really do feel blessed to stay home but luck has nothing to do with it.

When we were expecting our second child, looking at current childcare bills and our income level we knew that if I did go back after she was born, my whole paycheck would go towards childcare. I would be working so someone else could raise my children and every week I would just hand them my paycheck. Then there was the desire to be home with my little ones and be able to take care of them in our home with our own ideals and values.

There is nothing easy about this decision. The days are long, they are exhausting and they can be hard. Having a three month old, a three year old and a seven year old – the house gets pretty busy, pretty fast. Waking every two hours is exhausting, even though I had done it with the previous two, maybe because I have more kids to worry about during the day, and I am older now, it is tough.

Being on one income is also difficult, we do not vacation or have exotic trips, our house is not big or updated, our cars are regular old reliables and our kids do not have the best of the best because any more than what we have is simply not affordable. It can be tough, but it is a choice so I can be home, definitely not luck. That being said, I love our home, our family game nights and the memories we do make as we truly are blessed to have each other.

So, all you stay at home moms out there, I see you. I know there are rich rewards and many blessings that make the sacrifices worth it, but I also know that sacrifice is hard. I see you, I know that your situation did not come by simple luck but continues to be good because of your hard work. Hang in their mama, the days are long but the years are short. And do not let someone’s assumption of luck take away from all that work you do every single day (and night!!) without being asked, without pay and day after day without a break. You are seen, you are loved and these will be the “good ol’ days” that you will look back on. I am right here with ya!

x. em.

PS – working moms, I see you too. You are loved, you are just as cherished and you work just as hard. Mommin’ just aint easy, but we are all in this together. ❤️