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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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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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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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An Earnest Postpartum Recovery Kit. 

Have a friend or family member who is due to give birth and looking for something to get her that will help in those first few weeks of recovery?  Try a PP Recovery Kit. 

Here is a gift I recently put together for a new mama in my neighborhood. 


Some essentials for a new mom those first few days: DIY padsicles because swelling and soreness are REAL. Soothing breast pad application and an all natural (non lanolin) nipple cream, because nursing may not always be easy. Water and some snacks because I know that I have NEVER experienced thirst and hunger like breastfeeding thirst and hunger.  Then add any other mommy pampering you think a new mom may like. Pop then into a basket or gift bag (I used a $3 wire waste basket from Target) and there you go! A great, useful and thoughtful gift to help any new mom get through recovery after delivery.  

Any other items you may add to a Postpartum Kit? Please comment below and let us know!

x. earnest mom. 

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Mommying is Hard. Earnest Support, and it’s Free. 

There are a ton of books, experts and advice out there. Support and help to get us through the crazy yet amazing journey called parenting. Well, as a mom of two strong willed, messy, smiley and sometimes sticky kiddos I am always looking advice. Especially when it comes to the hot topics like discipline, eating and education.

I believe each and every parent needs love, support and guidance for parenting especially since most of it is ‘learn as you go.’  Since having both my little ones, I feel like God has given me the most profound job I could ever have – raising two tiny humans into *hopefully* kind, empathetic, honest, caring adults who also have the freedom to be who they want to be. At times I find myself stumped, and they are only 6 and 2. Knowing this is only the beginning, I search for parenting information and articles that I can sift through to make into my own parenting style that will be successful for this earnest little family.

In the past, I have attended and traveled to MommyCons, Gearapaloozas and local parenting events here in Erie that have all been at cost; as I was simply seeking advice, support and connecting to other fellow mommas.  I will tell you, these events are worth MORE than their weight in gold and I would recommend any parent that can attend, go; however, that is not always an option. Well this weekend I stumbled on a gem!! A FREE, seriously, a free mom conference.

The is conference called The Mom Conference and it is online from October 11-13, 2016. They will send you your special link every morning to watch the seminars for that day, at your own pace. The only catch, the link and seminars will expire after 24 hours.  I found this conference through Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook page, where I have often found very helpful FREE webinars.  I am hopeful that this conference will be just as helpful and informative.

According to The Mom Conference website,

The Mom Conference is three days full of fabulous online interviews with TWENTY of your favorite speakers, authors and bloggers.

Motherhood is hard. But motherhood is also beautiful. This conference is about helping you maximize the beautiful stuff while minimizing the hard stuff.

The Mom Conference will give you inspiration alongside powerful, concrete ideas to help you be the mom you really want to be.

Please know, this blog post is in no way sponsored, I earnestly am excited to try this free resource and hoping to get as many moms out there the opportunity as well. If you are interested, use this link MOM CONFERENCE REGISTRATION to register.

x. em

Local Spotlight: ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

Local Spotlight: ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

Earnest mom looks at a local children’s museum, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

Having relocated to Erie last year, I was eager to connect with some local moms and find some great places for the earnest family to go for fun.  While out and about at the library, a local mom had asked if I had heard of the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, so I decided to check it out.  I am earnestly glad I did!

The ExpERIEnce Museum truly is an experience for children of all ages.  My two earnest littles could spend hours there, daily if I let them.  The museum houses four main areas through out, the lower level being The Ronald McDonald House Creativity Floor which features several arts related educational classes, programming and activities, and exhibits such as the Tiny Tot Spot (for those 2 and under), The Open Studio Center, Multi-touch Art Table and much more.  The main level has two main exhibits, one being the Discovery Corner/Outdoor Classroom (one of my favorite spaces) highlighting natural play/exploration spots, an outdoor library and more.  The next exhibit on the main level is the Explore Floor, which has the mega and super popular water table (it is huge and earnest boy is there from the minute we arrive until we leave), the Bedrock Cave, Imagination Playground and many additional activities.  The upper level is the Imagination Floor, this floor features the adorably pint sized Wegmans Kids Market to “shop,” The Magic of Magnets, Old Town, a suspended train that zooms around the room above all the playing kids and many more places to discover.

The museum staff also works very hard to have weekly classes to encourage education and art exploration through out the year. In the summer time they have wonderful Discovery Day Camps, two of which we had earnest boy enrolled in last year and will be enrolling again this year.  He absolutely loved his camp and a shout out to Miss Tami (who was as sweet and fun as could be), he walked away from camp with a tie-dye tee that he still wears, a painting the he made, ‘Pollock Style,’ a camp shirt that changes colors in the sunlight plus many happy memories of fun, art and learning with his peers.  The museum is still enrolling now for summer camps, and it is not too late to get your kids an unforgettable summer experience plus support our local children’s museum.  They feature week long camps and single day camps to fit every schedule and budget.  More information on their camps can be found on here: ExpERIEnce Discovery Day Camps, or call 814-453-3743 to register today!

The expERIEnce Children’s Museum hosts nearly a dozen special events throughout the year, many of which this earnest family has enjoyed thoroughly. Including their signature Breakfast with Santa program, Noon Year’s Eve, Bunny Days, Fancy Tea Party, Jedi Academy, Super Science Day, Future Me- kid’s career fair and more. Upcoming events include a Teacher Workshop on Friday July 8 in their outdoor classroom, Discovery Corner. This workshop is open to educators throughout the country looking to learn more about engaging kids in nature and making art with nature. The workshop does qualify for Act 48 and PQUAS credits. Pre-registration is required and can be found at natureexplore.org.  The museum also hosts an annual ADULTS-only fundraiser on Saturday August 6 called the Street Soiree. Tickets are $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers and can be purchased at eriechildrensmuseum.org The event features live music, delicious local food, drinks of cheer and fun- all to support the children’s museum. We will offer free admission August 18, 19 and 20 to celebrate ERIE during the city’s annual community celebration.


The ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum is truly a gem to the Erie community and a treasure for our children to explore, create, learn and grow.  The vision of ExpERIEnce Museum, according Ainslie Brosig, ED, is that it would be “a place where ALL kids and their families can engage in learning through play. We help to ensure that every child has a chance to play, thrive in school and succeed in life.”  I believe that they have succeeded in this vision and will only continue to be an asset and positive influence on our little Erie community. Please check them out today!

NOTE: earnest mom has not received payment nor promotional items by posting this article. I earnestly love the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum and hope many more of you can get out there to enjoy it too!

x. earnest mom.

 

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La Petite Crème. An Earnest Review.

La Petite Crème is a diaper changing “game changer” for me.  As a mom who mainly cloth diapers, using cloth wipes was a very easy transition.  What was not so easy for me was finding a solution (other than plain water) to wipe my earnest babe’s derriere when needed.  Most of the solutions that I had concocted my self or purchased from other mama-makers often seemed to not last long enough.  They tended to develop an “old” smell after a few days.  I was so happy to have stumbled across La Petite Crème which helped to solve this problem for me.

This French inspired, chemical free diapering lotion truly is easy to use, easy to transport and easy recommend to any mama out there, cloth or disposable diapers do not matter because this product can be used with dry cloth or disposable wipes – your choice!

img_1073How does it work? Squeeze a small amount of La Petite Crème on to a cloth or disposable cotton pad or whatever wipe works for you, and simply use to wipe clean the diaper area.  No rinsing required!  It is that easy, not rinsing allows a clear protective film to remain on baby’s sensitive skin.  This diapering lotion is cloth diaper safe, fragrance fee and hypoallergenic while naturally cleansing and disinfecting.  Since it is chemical free, it only has six ingredients – water, olive oil, vegetable glycerin, beeswax, vitamin E and limestone. Best of all, I can pronounce all of them.

Learn more about La Petite Crème here.  You should definitely give this mama-maker a try, moms supporting moms.

x. em.