Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Stella Artois Bzzkit!

Christmas time is here and that means lots of christmas dinners and parties. Whats more fun than a party to celebrate christmas?
celebrating with lots of food, friends, and stella artois of course!
I'm pretty excited about my bzzkit that i snagged for free at bzzagent.com. If you haven't signed up yet, definitely head over and do that! its going to be priceless seeing the looks on my beer expert husband's face when i pour him a perfect "chalice" of his favorite beer *stella artois, of course!*

Mastering the steps with the help of my buzzkit :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hey, Moms: Its okay!

I was inspired by a few ecards on Pinterest to do this post. I'll probably have a lot of comments about how inappropriate some of these things are and how "not" okay they are, but oh well. Its meant to be taken lightly, obviously I don't mean this as a "how-to" for moms! Just some humor! I had every one all over my ass about my hair tutorial because my lovely 2 year old is throwing a tantrum in the background because I wouldn't let her touch my HOT flat iron so I sat her right in front of me and told her just to watch me do my hair instead of trying to do it for me. Apparently I had some people about ready to call CPS on me or something because I didn't stop what I was doing and make her stop crying, I instead talked to her through the video and apologized for the screaming that was going on. Evidently no one read that disclaimer though so there ya go. Life with a 2 year old. GTFover it. (: Anyway, back to the post.

As a mom I know there are things I swore I'd never do as a parent that I now do nearly on a daily basis. And my kids are just fine. And that my loves is the inspiration behind this. Enjoy!

Perfectly normal imperfect parenting techniques:

1. Bribing your children.
Look, you gotta do what you gotta do. And as moms we know that rewards are the best way to motivate your little one. So sometimes instead of rewarding them for something major like going to the potty, we might just have to give in and use an incentive to get what we want from them from the start.
Example: First one to lay down for naps gets a cookie!

2. Taking a break from wiping up every drop of spilled juice, picking up every crumb, and washing every dirty face. 
This is especially true if you're a stay at home mom. Sometimes you just don't feel like literally walking behind them cleaning. And I don't just mean cleaning the house, I mean cleaning THEM. So yes, somedays its perfectly acceptable to ignore the red stains around their mouth from juice, and to pretend you just didn't notice that they might have a sprinkle or two of pee on their underwear or panties because they didn't get them down fast enough when they were going to the bathroom. After all, they're just going to do it again in a little while and who has to wash all those dirty clothes? You guessed it.

3. Eating food off the floor.
Spend 30 minutes preparing lunch, and what's the first thing that wild child does when they go to take a bite? Drop it right smack in the floor, of course. Before I was a parent I would have easily said, ohmygosh, throw that food away and make them something else! Now? Well... now that 5 second rule might get extended to 15 seconds. And if I just vacuumed or just swept and mopped before they got up, I'm not above eating the food myself. Disgusting? Kind of. Good time management? Definitely.

4. Letting the TV be a babysitter.
Well this one I'm really on the fence about. I'm not really as into it as a lot of parents I know, but only because of the way my children behave when it happens. I'm not above it though. You can bet if I have a headache or just didn't get enough sleep the night before, I don't mind one bit popping a movie in the DVD player and shutting the door to their room and letting them hang out ALL day, letting Mickey take care of most of the supervision. Their rooms are baby-proofed, they can open the door and come and goes as they please, and food is served, so, why not? 

5. Letting the TV sing them to sleep.
This one goes hand in hand with #4 but its just as important for a mom's survival at times. Despite my children having the exact same bedtime every single night, there are nights they just aren't having it. Does it mean I want to put all of my effort into getting them to lay down and go sleep? Well no, of course not. So sometimes the easiest thing to do is get them bathed, put in pajamas, tucked in, and let them try their hardest to watch a movie instead of going to sleep. We all know how quickly you can fall asleep when your concentrating on something else.

6. Giving into whining.
I love the idea of ignoring tantrums. Its wonderful. However, it isn't always a possibility. Sometimes you have to just give in, and any mom who says she never does this is full of shit. I mean, I'm just being honest ;)
DS: "I want a cup nowwwwwwwww! Give me a cup! MOMMY! AGGGHHH! A cup!"
Me: Immediately drop everything I'm doing, give the boy a cup.
(again this isn't every time, but I mean if I'm on the phone with a doctor and can't hear due to the tantrum being thrown next to me, I'm going to do what I can to make it stop.)

7. Lie to them.
Oh this ones bad, but I guarantee you its the MOST common "bad" thing every single mom does.
Once your child can grasp things being "gone" this becomes super common and easy.
DD: "Mommy, I want to play with your phone! Please!"
Mom: "No baby, its broke, sorry." (phone is sitting right next to you, perfectly functional.)

8. You throw away their beautiful works of "art"
Oh the shame. Every mom should keep every thing their child ever draws right?
Well honestly if you did that, your entire house, ceiling and walls included, would be plastered with drawings of lines, scribbles, and less-than-appealing colors all piled on top of one another. My daughter can go through an entire pack of drawing paper within an hour and never draw anything other than a line or two in different colors.  I do get that guilty feeling in my stomach when I toss the stuff, but I'm anti clutter! I just can't hold onto every single thing they ever make!

9. Skipping baths.
This is huge in my house. When my child's doctor actually told me to only bathe the kids once every 3 days (eczema) I thought it was horrific! Disgusting! Then I started doing it and thought, "Wow! What a time saver!" Ha! Really though, most days me and the kids just sit around the house coloring, playing with dolls, and watching movies. We don't even step outside. So why take baths every day? Baby wipes do just fine! ;)

10. Letting sleeping babies sleep. No matter what.
Ask any mom the craziest place her child has ever fallen asleep and you'll get some INSANE answers. Even more insane sometimes is that we just might let them get that nap out right there. When you've been trying all day to get your child to go to sleep before you go to the grocery store and they refuse, and then they even fight it all the way to the store and scream the entire time your inside, only to slip into a coma-like state just as you turn your blinker on to turn into your driveway, there's no way anyone in their right state of mind would pick that child up and wake them up. Hell no! You park that car in the shade, creep out of the car as quietly as possible, open the doors, roll the windows down, whatever you gotta do, and you peek out every few minutes to make sure they're okay, and you let that baby sleep!
Fell asleep in the high chair, hands still smashed in their sandwich? Let 'em sleep, and get out of that kitchen as fast as possible!

11. Ignoring that wet diaper.
Ideally we'd change diapers after every little sprinkle, right?
But when its 4 am and you go into the nursery to peek in on your sweet little one who is snoozing soundly, and you notice that diaper is swelling like no ones business, you have a choice. Wake the little guy and change him, and then listen to him scream for an hour afterwards, or pray that it doesn't leak and let him sleep for another couple of hours and change it first thing after waking up. Choices, choices.

12. Laughing when they do something bad.
When your kid drops something and says "Shit!" its probably not the best idea in the world to laugh at them. But sometimes its hilarious. Actually, most times. Who cares where they heard it. No ones judging here!

13. Not caring what they eat.
Sometimes it just doesn't matter. Hungry babies mean fussy babies. And some days, especially in that second year, kids refuse every food you put in front of them. Its exhausting. So every now and then if you make them eggs for breakfast and they scream and kick and ask for a Little Debbie cake, you just give it to them.

14. Kool-Aid.
An entire CUP of sugar required for every pack (you know the sugar free kind taste like crap).
They drink the entire jug before dad gets home from work.
Oh well.

15. Getting a babysitter just because.
Hate parents who let someone watch their kid every weekend to go out and drink?
Send your kids to the sitter (or grandparents) every weekend to stay up all night, have "private" time with your husband, and sleep all day?

16. Letting them cry.
You know they're okay. You know they just want out of the crib. But you're right in the middle of something, whatever it may be, and every one says spoiling a kid is a bad idea. So you choose the cry it out method, even if they aren't going to sleep, and convince yourself you're teaching them to soothe themselves.

17. Hiding in the bathroom, the closet, the pantry, wherever.
Feed your kids a delicious and healthy snack when you're craving a king sized Snickers, sneak off, lock the door and eat it. Kids screaming at the door? Just adds to the fun of it.

18. Letting them watch a bad show/movie just so you don't miss it.
Its time for the new episode of Sons of Anarchy.
Do you miss it and catch it later so your kids can sit and watch another Disney movie or better yet send them to their room and listen to them scream so loud that your neighbors would think something VERY bad was going on?
Hell no. Sit 'em down and teach 'em a thing or two about what not to do in life. Duh. We all know in this day and age Facebook and Twitter will spoil EVERY episode of every show if you miss it!

19. Dress them for you.
There is a very small window when you can dress them the way you want to so take advantage of it.
Every time you put that HORRIBLE huge bow on your daughter's head and force her to wear itchy nylons, just remind yourself that in a few short years you'll be arguing over her slutty outfits of choice. Sad, but true.

20. Not giving them your techie toys just because every other mom does.
So what if there are 10,000 free toddler apps.
So what if every time you go to a restaurant you see kids playing with iPads and iPhones.
Those things aren't cheap!
I wouldn't pay $600 for a kid's toy, and I'm sure not going to give them MY $600 toy just to shut them up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My favorite "at-home" income opportunities :)

I've debated on writing this post for a long, long time. My only issue with letting people in on this is the skeptics. I hate when I go out of my way to tell people about this stuff and then get flooded with messages about how "its a scam, its bullshit" before they ever even try it, just because they only go by what they have heard.

If you've read my post about "free" Christmas, you know I'm serious about my frugal lifestyle, especially my frugal VIRTUAL shopping sprees. I get literally hundreds of dollars worth of stuff free every year. I mean really free, I don't pay a dime for any of it. I don't pay for diapers, EVER, I absolutely refuse, I don't buy baby wipes, and I don't buy kid's clothes unless I just absolutely have to have them. And I don't get crappy stuff free either. Almost all the clothes I get the kids are either boutique style stuff or they're Gymboree. The baby wears Huggies diapers and we use Huggies or Pampers wipes. Of course you can get anything "free"... toys, anything from Amazon.com, or anywhere that accepts Paypal.

Here is where most of the eyerolling comes in. I do surveys and I resell clothes. That's it. That's all I do. No coupons (sometimes some promo codes for free shipping or a percentage off but thats it), no scams, nothing. I've been doing it for about 2 years now, going on 3.

There are thousands of survey sites out there but only a handful are worth your time. The only one I've had lots of success with is OpinionOutpost.com. There are lots of long profiles to fill out at the beginning that you don't get any money for but once you fill those out they start sending surveys. Each survey pays anywhere from 50 cent to $4.50. They take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. If you go to the site and click take survey every day you get a lot more opportunities than you do if you just wait for them to be emailed to you. Plus once you've done it for so long you get more and you are so familiar with them that it doesn't take you any time to do them. I like to do them on our Kindle so I can walk around the house and just do them a little at a time. I "cash out" a couple of times a week, usually for $20. You can either get a Paypal payment (its instant), a CITI card, or Amazon promo codes. I love the Amazon promo codes but the Paypal stuff works out better for me.

I also use InboxDollars (if you use them, make a separate email account for it. They send TONS of "offers". They are one of the few sites that legitimately pay you to read emails. You just open the email, click the "I've read this message" icon, and you get paid for it. They send out a check once you reach $30. They also have surveys and easy little tasks and videos to watch and stuff to help you get there. Really simple site, just takes a lot longer than OO. I also like Hotspex a lot (they pay via Paypal) and Vindale, Pinecone, and sometimes Toluna (really I don't cash out with them often but I like doing their surveys because you get to try a lot of products free. Same with Pinecone, and Pinecone pays you for every survey)

Now my new absolute favorite way to make some extra income is this awesome eBay like site called Yardsellr. It took me, oh about.... 5 SECONDS to fall in love with this site. Its so AWESOME. Here's how it works:

1. You join via Facebook
2. You get $5 IMMEDIATELY for joining (they are called "photons"). You can also earn more money for all types of stuff (commenting on items, referring friends, organizing the boards of stuff so they are in the right category, etc.)
3. You can pay via credit card, debit, or Paypal, or you can meet the person somewhere to pick up
4. You can sell your own stuff on the site and add shipping on to the price and every thing. I sell my kid's clothes when they outgrow them and even stuff I find really cheap on clearance racks, and you wouldn't believe how much you can make. I actually get close to what I buy the things for, which I NEVER get from the "yardsale" sites on Facebook. No one tries to haggle the prices (at least not usually) and you can sell just about anything. I've seen furniture on there, electronics, everything! The best thing is there aren't any fees. NOT EVEN IF YOU SELL IT! Its so much better than eBay and so much safer than Craigslist!
5. Watch the money roll in! I accept Paypal payments and whenever someone buys my stuff I get paid within a day after I ship it. I print my shipping labels with Paypal so that I never pay anything out of pocket for shipping and I can just send the hubby off with my package when he goes to work. Then I have more money on my Paypal account to do what I need to do!

I use my survey and Yardsell money for everything. I can order movies on Amazon Prime with my Amazon codes from Opinion Outpost (the cash out is just $5 for Amazon codes!) and I can order diapers from Walmart.com with Paypal and just stop by and pick them up when I'm out (store pick up is free! No shipping charges!) I do this with my wipes, toiletries, and anything else I see on the walmart site that I need. ToysRus also accepts Paypal and so does the Disney store so when Retailmenot.com has some good promo codes for shipping, I can get free toys! Paypal has a "in store" option now at some stores, Abercrombie and Hollister are a couple!, and you just enter your info on the credit card machine! So awesome! And also, you can use your money you got for selling your kid's clothes to buy NEW clothes on Yardsellr. And I mean literally new! I buy so many brand new Gymboree outfits every week and never pay anything out of pocket! Its awesome! and by the way Yardsellr also sells lots of brand new clothes (with tags, some still in the plastic wrapping!) from Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie, and Hollister. Plus lots of designer bags and cosmetics!)

I know this is brief and not so detailed but I wanted to get the word out about Yardsellr and Opinionoutpost both! I love these sites and I want to help all you mommies!

Oh and hey, while you're at it... check out my Yardsell :)

*hey nothing wrong with some self promotion lol*


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Staying Sane...and Staying Home.

If you're reading that title and laughing, you must be like most of us stay-at-homes: Losing your mind a lot quicker than you'd like to admit.

You hear all of the positives of staying home all the time:  you never miss a minute in your child's blink-and-its-over childhood, a better bond between mom and child, no daycare germs coming home, etc., but very rarely are the negatives thrown out there.

Really though... does anyone ever mention the downside before you throw yourself into it? Hell no! Thanks to the lovely way society portrays stay-at-home moms, we think we're going to get to sit at home every day, sleep until lunchtime every day, catch up on reality tv, soap operas, and talk shows, and maybe run to the store a couple of times, a doctor's visit here and there, oh and 20 playdates a week.

I'm pretty sure most of us envisioned something like this:

Sadly, even when you Google "stay at home moms" all you find is pictures like this or...adult themed hahaha. Try "stressed out stay at home mom", or "overwhelmed SAHM", maybe even "sad SAHM"... not much comes up. So of course if we are looking for an image to represent our life and all we can find is images like the one above, we feel ashamed to say that's just not quite how it goes down. In my household, the only time we pile up and cuddle on the couch is when someone isn't feeling well. And then of course its just me and the one child who is sick, while the other two lay in the floor kicking and screaming or breaking something. Then of course the house work piles up because I can't walk behind every one cleaning and then I'm stressed and pissed off by the time hubby gets home because I know in his mind he's thinking, "I've been at work all day and she can't even clean the table off?"

Search long enough and you'll find a more appropriate image of what stay-at-home life is like. Here's a couple that are at least somewhat appropriate:

Now, if that's more like your life, keep on reading. If not, I advise you to move your cursor up to the "X" on the top right hand corner and kindly see yourself out because its about to get real and I'm not sure you can handle it!

I'll be the first to admit I go back and forth with my career choice. I keep getting jobs that I throw myself into when my husband's work schedule allows me to. There's never an option to pay for childcare for three kids just for me to have a part time job so it has to be during his off time so he can watch them and let me get out of the house. I start living in this fantasy world where I'm like "Yes! Yes! I can do this! I can totally be a career mom! I can get up, get dressed, do awesome at my job, AND stay on top of the housework too, and I'll be less stressed out and I'll be happy so it will be best for the kids in the long run!"

But then it happens. Reality comes into play. Because mommy isn't home all the time, the structure and schedule I've worked so hard to achieve in these four years just falls apart. They start refusing to take naps when they're supposed to, they stop eating foods that they enjoy, they start hitting and talking back. THEY do not react well to Mommy being out of the house. No, they don't beg me not to leave. Heck, they don't even tell me they missed me while I was gone. But their little minds start telling their little emotions that something is going on and all hell breaks loose.

So then I'm back. Full-time mom. Of course, I work from home so I don't "give up" on myself completely but that free time is gone. So is a major bit of my sanity. But rather than simply throwing my hands up and admitting defeat, I fight back. I've spoken before about my past as a hoarder, and when I say that I'm not exaggerating. Full blown piles-on-top-of-piles-all-stacked-to-the-celing-in-every-room hoarder. Because of those tendancies, I try my hardest to be sure I never "relapse" and have it happen again and I also try to control any chances of my children being exposed to anything like that. Now, its not easy, mind you, to keep a house even "tidy" with three kids 4 and under, muchless orderly. But, and I'm about to say something that's going to piss a lot of people off, I absolutely despise women who say its pointless to clean with a child in the home, because no, its not! All you're doing by saying that and by sticking to it is telling your children that they aren't responsible for cleaning up messes and that you'll handle every mess they make, once THEY have decided they want to give it up for the day and go to sleep. Why in the hell would any mother allow her children to think like that? Doing that is why there are so many men who end up not knowing how to wash a load of clothes or how to load a dishwasher. They've lived their whole life knowing that if they just leave that pile of dirty clothes there in the floor, mom will have it picked up, washed, folded, and put up by the time they get up in the morning, and that when they're done eating the food that mom prepared for them, if they just leave the plate on the table, a magical little fairy will come by and swoop it up, carefully place it in a miracle cleaning machine, and it will end up back in the cabinets where it belongs, waiting to be filled back up with a freshly prepared meal the next day! Now... see where this is a problem?

If you let your kids see you slaving over the housework every evening while they watch TV with dad, that is how they learn things will be cleaned. So, while their little brains are mushy sponges that absorb every single thing they see or hear, why not teach them some independence? Some responsibility? Some work ethic maybe? 

Its not as hard as it sounds, trust me. If I can keep my house at least somewhat presentable at all times of the day, so can you. I live in a tiny little 1900's mill-village house with microscopic closets (and only 4 of them at that!), one bathroom, and NO laundry/utility room! Oh, and of course, no playroom! Imagine cleaning THAT with three kids, all who are mobile (Mac is now crawling and holding on to things and walking!)

So now to the "how-to" list. Its not complicated, its not mean spirited. Its what I do and its what I get asked about more than anything.

Staying Sane while Staying Home:

1. Make the kids wake up! Make them take naps!
I have stressed this time after time after time. It has been proven, by actual licensed doctors, that not taking naps can have negative effects on growing children. That alone should be enough to make you say okay, lets do this. But since I know some silly people out there who insist that it is impossible to make their child take a nap, I will say this again. Drag your kid out of the bed when you get up. A good time is 8:00 am, maybe 9:00 if you prefer. It doesn't matter if they went to bed at 4:00 am the night before, make them get up. Yes, they're going to be a pain in the ass all day but thats the point. Don't let them fall asleep until you say so. See them sitting on the couch rubbing their eyes at 10:30, head leaning to the side? Then scoop them up and take them outside to play. Get them up and tell 'em you want to dance. Do something to get them moving. Maybe throw in "see, you should have went to bed at bedtime last night and you wouldn't be sleepy!". Whatever works. Wait until a reasonable time and tell them that its time to lay down and take a nap. In their bed. Not on the couch watching tv, not in your arms, yada yada. Mine lay down around 1 or 1:30 and usually all fall asleep by 2. Yes, all three. Same time. Its amazing. You'll thank me later. Don't let them sleep too long. An hour, two hours at the most. They'll wake up sweet as can be and ready to go.

2. Ask for help!
Kids get on your nerves following you around? Do you swear you can't wash dishes or do laundry because the kids are right behind you, stepping on your ankles, knocking you down, tripping you or each other? Well, give them something to do. When I have something to do mid-day, I enlist the help of my little ones. What's better than 2 efficient hands to get a job down? More than 2, duh. So I put little guy in his room to play, or sometimes in his high chair to eat some snacks, and I ask the two oldest to help me. If I'm washing dishes (which I rarely am in the afternoons, I'll get to that later), then I ask them to walk around the house and see if they can find any dishes. If they come back empty handed, I ask them to go back and double check and make sure no one left any sippy cups under the bed. This just makes it take longer, of course, which is the point. When they come back I praise them for what they did (rewards are key with kids, even if its just a verbal reward) and we move on to the next thing. I might ask them to help me dry the dishes (yep, we're dishwasher free), or maybe to grab their stool and help me put the silverware up or the pots and pans up. If I'm doing laundry, I give them a pile of wash cloths and ask them to fold them, or I hand them a stack of their t-shirts and ask them to go put them away in their rooms (yes, they will unfold the stuff. That's why you do one thing at a time and you just let it go). I also give them a laundry basket and tell them to go find dirty clothes and then put them in the laundry sorter. Easy as that. Kids love feeling like you need their help instead of the other way around. Use this to your advantage!

3. Clean every 15 minutes!
You can reread that as many times as you like. Its not a typo. Yes, I said clean every 15 minutes. Sounds horrible right? Its not, trust me. It only takes kids 5 mins to make a mess. Well really it takes them about 30 seconds but they can do some pretty severe damage in 15, so thats a good number. Announce to them that its time to clean. Sing the Barney song if you need to. My kids think its more fun that way. Sometimes we turn it into a race. I keep an empty bucket, basket, or container of some sort around in every room just for our clean up time. I get the container and tell them its time to clean and then if we're racing we put it in the middle of the room and we see who can fill it up with toys the fastest. If there's only a few things out then I tell them specifically what to do (for example: "Gracie, please pick up your baby doll and your purse and take them and put them where they go in your room." Take it a step further by being specific: "Gracie, please put your baby's bottle in the kitchen in your room".)
You have a role here too though, not just them. Take a look around and see if any trash has piled up anywhere. If it has, throw it away now. Don't wait until the next time you get up to go in the kitchen: that's exactly what creates clutter. Same goes for dishes, shoes, dirty clothes. All your doing is a quick "tidy up" every 15 minutes to keep things from becoming too much to handle. This is also teaching your kids to clean up with things when they're done with them.

4. Have a routine & schedule for yourself
To me, this is more important than the other things that I do because its something that has become like therapy for me. I hate washing dishes with a passion, and like I mentioned before, we don't have a dishwasher in the house we're renting, so there's no way out of it. To make it something I could stand, I started doing this little trick: I put Pandora on my Kindle Fire, set up my favorite stations, and I use my dishwashing time as my private time. I like to do it twice a day: once right after I wake up, and before I get the kids up and start breakfast, and once before bed when they've been tucked in already. It gives me time to be by myself and it also gives me something to take my frustrations out on! I have a "routine" for days and nights, and they both help me stay on top of cleaning and also help me unwind and have time to collect my thoughts and get in my parenting zone! They go as follows:

1. Get up, brush teeth, get dressed (even if I'm not going anywhere I usually do this, just to make myself feel better. Often times I even put make up on.)

2. Make up the bed (hey, statistics have shown that people who make up their bed daily are happier in general! Plus it makes for a good night's rest later on)

3. Drink a big glass of water, take meds and vitamins, start a load of clothes.

4. Wash dishes, clean counter tops.

5. Make a small breakfast & check emails, do a few surveys, online shopping, whatever.

6. Wake kids up

For night time its a little more flexible but still mostly the same stuff:

1. Put kids in bed

2. Wash dishes, do a load of laundry, get clothes put in washer for next morning.

3. Clean counter tops, put away anything that was left out

4. Make an extra bottle for MacKinley to have in the morning as well as a sippy cup for each child to have in the morning (put all in the fridge)

5. Check email, read, do surveys, watch TV, workout

6. Bath, then husband time, bed time.

5. Make things easier for yourself!
This is something thats really important but its going to be different for everyone. Just try to simply things for yourself as much as possible. Don't worry about taking shortcuts in life-sometimes they're necessary! If your kids drive you insane first thing in the morning begging for a sippy cup before the sun even comes up, wait until they've been asleep a while and make them a cup and sneak it in their room. Leave it to where they'll see it when they get up to beg you for it. It saves so much aggravation. You might be teaching them that there will always be a cup there waiting for them magically haha, but hey, like I said, it says aggravation. You can handle the "where'd it come from" element at another point in time. Does the baby wake up at the same time every single night to have a bottle handed to him? Then buy a formula dispenser (I use Nuk's!), fill it up for the night, and have a bottle of room temperature water already waiting in his room so all you have to do is dump the formula in, shake, and hand it to him. So easy you can do it half asleep!

6. Make a chore list
We just did this a few days ago and its already been a hit in my house. I gave the kids super easy jobs that I knew they wouldn't mind doing. Then we made a colorful poster for each and drew a picture of them beside the list so that they would know it was their list. Then we put a sticker beside each chore that would remind them what their chore is since they can't read. The chores are really simple things like putting their clean clothes up every morning (they have a sticker of a shirt beside it so they say "oh yeah, I have to put my clothes up!"). We also have help mommy put up silverware, wipe off table (they have their own little Mickey Mouse table they eat at in the kitchen), and bring dirty clothes from the bathroom to the laundry sorter. Reward them for doing them if you want to, but for mine just having the very visual and exciting "to-do" list is enough. They love it. I hung them on the bottom of the refrigerator door so its the first thing they see in the morning.

7. Set a bed time and a strong bedtime routine
I thank God for this every day. No, really, I do. Its what I'm most proud of. 9:00 pm is bedtime in our house. No kids are up after 9 whatsoever. Not even the baby. Since the boys share a room, this is how our bedtime routine goes:

1. Eat dinner

2. "Free" play time (they all play together in the same room, not the living room). It gives them time to run off their last bit of energy and wear themselves out.

3. While they play I get bed stuff ready: Lay their pajamas out in the living room, all in their own stack so they know where they are. I lay out any ointment, cotton swabs, lotion, or medicine we need as well. I make a hot bottle for MacKinley so it will be warm when he gets tucked in. I lay out a diaper with his pajamas, and of course underwear with the older kid's pajamas. I go to Balin's room and if the kids are playing in there I tell them they have to help clean and I tell them where every thing goes and they put it away. If they aren't in his room I call them in and have them get started.

4. Bath time (all of my kids take a bath together, its just easier that way right now). When I get MacKinley clean I wrap him in a towel and call Daddy in to take him and then I get the other two out. While Daddy and Mac have their little bonding time (he just slips his diaper on and pajamas), Balin and Gracie brush their teeth and we dry their hair. I tuck MacKinley in his crib with his bottle and leave him to get to sleep (he still occassionally cries for a few but not often).

5. Tuck ins-While Mac is getting to sleep I get the other kids in their pajamas and then we head to Gracie's room and clean up. Even if they didn't both make the mess, they always help clean each other's room. At the moment this is just easier for us because it pushes the other one to do the same and clean better or just as well. We read a book and then we tuck Gracie in. I take Balin to his room, tuck him in, say prayers, and then I go back into Gracie's room and tell her good night without anyone else in there and I say prayers with her.

8. Insist rooms be cleaned before anything else is done, no matter what!
Your mom probably had a rule when you were younger that your room had to be cleaned before you went to stay with a friend, or that the house had to be cleaned before vacation. Well, good for her if so, because this is a great rule and its one to take one step further. Make it a "before you do anything" kind of rule. We clean rooms here every single night before bed. No matter how tired I am or how tired they are, we clean. I sit in the floor, or stand in front of the door, and I point and tell them where to put every thing. Its not as hard as it sounds because we've designated spots for every thing (dolls and stuffed animals all go in the corner of Gracie's room, dishes and play food all go in her kitchen, she has a bag for baby clothes, etc, and Balin has a bookshelf, a dresser where he puts all of his "big" toys, a toy box, and a box for MacKinley's toys, plus one of those three-drawer organizers for smaller things like his trucks and action figures and stuff). We put every thing in the right spot every time, and we keep it in the same place so no one gets confused. We sit Gracie's babydoll strollers and baby beds and stuff in the same spot every day, and Balin's toys get set in the same spot. This just makes it easier for them to remember where things go. They like routine! Cleaning before bed means they wake up to a clean room and a good start to the day. If they get up in the middle of the night and play with something and don't put it up, its all cleaned up before they come out of their rooms in the morning. If they're leavning for the weekend to stay with their grandmother, or if its the middle of the day and we have to leave, we clean. If you don't have time for that, MAKE time. Set aside 15 minutes before you start getting ready to go somewhere and have them clean. They'll get the hang of it, I promise!

To make a very long story short, if you have chaos in your life, get rid of it. You don't have to walk behind your kids and pick up every mess they make just to keep things clean, but you do have to be consistent with teaching them how to do that themselves. Yes, they're going to keep dragging the same toys out. Thats what kids do. But just like you get tired of picking up the same damn toy every few minutes, they're going to get tired of it. Eventually they'll start putting it up on their own. The quick 15 minutes it takes to straighten up the house will keep it from taking ALL DAY to clean your house. If you straighten up every few minutes, you can just set aside one day of the week that you do a thorough clean, and then one day a month to do a DEEP DEEP clean. Set up days for every thing. Make a calendar so you don't forget when to do it. Pick up all trash, toys, dirty clothes, and dishes every 15 minutes, or maybe 30, sweep the kitchen once or twice a day, keep your counters cleaned off as they get dirty, and there won't be anything much left to do at the end of the day and your house will always at least look presentable. Vacuum once a day in the spots you can see, a twice a week underneath everything (moving the coffee table, getting the cracks between the walls and in the corners). Dust lightly every day but do a good dusting once a week. Yes your little cleaning breaks are going to interrupt things in your day, but the quicker you get it done the quicker you can go back to what you were doing and the less likely it is that you'll be overwhelmed in a few days and have to devote HOURS to cleaning.

Keep in mind, you may not be able to "retrain" your husband and make him pick up his laundry or put his shoes in the closet, but you CAN teach your kids to do things on their own and to help lighten your load as well. Don't underestimate what kids are capable of doing and DON'T let them force you into being a slave! You are a caretaker, and part of that is taking care of their future which you are doing by teaching them how to be independent.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

9 Months Post Pregnancy weight loss progress & inner thigh gap! :)

Its been a while since I did any good before and after shots and I put these together for my Tumblr, so I thought I'd add them here too. BTW you can follow me on Tumblr as well: http://project-skinny-mama.tumblr.com/

Anyway here are the newest ones including inner thigh gap transformation!
The newest one is actually for my before shot for the Brazil Butt Lift progress!

(the stomach shot is actually an old one i pulled from here, as well as the last in the side views below. I haven't taken any new ones that are decent quality so I'll use these instead even though they're a couple of months behind)

And of course here is the "before" shot for the Brazil Butt Lift
(WARNING: SAGGY BUTT AND GRANNY PANTIES AHEAD HAHAHA! I didnt want to bare my whole booty here so I picked something with good coverage!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Brazil Butt Lift... Day 2- O...M...G.

I've been slacking on exercise, but I am by no means out of shape.
I've had bronchitis since April. I'm still coughing until I choke daily, sitting around wheezing through out the day, losing my voice often, all that... so my lung capacity isn't quite what it usually is.
BUT this isn't an excuse (at least not in my book) to slack all together and give up on my fitness goals. So of course I've redirected myself and decided to start getting hardcore about this stuff again.
I'm one of those "go big or go home" types of people.
I can't half-ass anything. Its either got all of me, or none of me. No in between.
So if I seem obsessed at some point...well... I am.
Anyway, back on topic:
Brazil Butt Lift!

I don't even watch television and I've seen this infomercial so I know you guys have.
With three kids its often easier for me to do at-home-workouts.
It saves me the trouble of having to make the kids go to childcare while I workout and having to use the gas in the car to get there, etc.
I've had a lot of results with my at home stuff in the past few months so I had a lot of faith in this to begin with.
However I did NOT expect the first workout to leave me hurting!
No I mean seriously, later in the evening I absentmindedly thought, "what the hell did I do to pull a muscle in my butt?!".  I didn't actually pull one (that I know of ) but I was so sore that my amazing sleep number mattress even hurt my butt to LAY DOWN!
So imagine my hesitation on day 2 when I knew I needed to get off my lazy "bum bum" as Leandro refers to it, and get started on my workout.
Baby Mac was asleep, hub was watching TV, time for mommy to work that butt.
And work it I did.
Tonight introduced the cardio portion and Holy Oxygen Batman, let me tell you I was dying and sweating. Really. I looked at the timer.... ha... 18 minutes to go.
And then another 30 for the lift routines!
But was it worth it?
I jumped in the shower and when I went to get out I almost cried because my hips and abs hurt so bad.
Oh yeah... 3 c-sections in 4 years and mama is KILLING the ab workouts!
I throw in 200 crunches a day for good measure but tonight's workout really did something to the stomach because it was cramping to the point that I thought it might be that time of the month (it is indeed not.)
So worth it? Hell yes!
Painful? F**K YES!
I'm so glad :]
And after all... they promise I'll have a cute little Alessandra Ambrosio butt worthy of all my Victoria's Secret goodies I've racked up since my weight loss.
I'm down! (and maybe even convinced).

Oh and hey, only half a soda today.
And a made myself down a protein shake (huge for me since I hate fruit!)
I'm taking my sore butt to bed!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Don't be upset by the results you didnt' get...

Don't be upset by the results you didnt' get...

Know what I hate about weight loss blogs? When the weight is lost, the blog entries stop!

Guess who is very guilty of this?
::stand up, slowly raise hand while looking down::

Yep...me. This is bad on so many levels. Probably the major reason this is so bad is for the followers. Now number wise I don't have a shit ton of followers. Thats okay! Blogger isn't really the place to go for that... if I wanted a million followers I would have made my tumblr a fitspo blog and went from there. I do however have a lot of girls who depend on our heart-to-hearts via Facebook to get them through the tough stuff in weight loss. And God knows there are SO many ups and downs! Especially for moms! When I reached my weight loss goal, I also found myself in a crappy situation: we needed some extra income around the house so I took my stay-at-home-mom butt to work (at a gym albeit!). My schedule bounced around... a lot! So I went from being a mom with 3 kids who I stayed at home with all day, to being a mom of 3 who had to keep  those kids on their schedule while maintaining a new work schedule that changed all the time from 9 am-12 pm and going back at 6 pm-9pm! So I wasn't able to do anything except focus on work and keeping everything up with my kids. Thankfully we stuck to our schedule and things are still going great, BUT my social "media" life disappeared completely. My poor blog was thrown under a huge pile of things I no longer had time to do. My weight stayed the same, thank God, but I actually STOPPED working out (and remember, I worked at a full service gym!) because I didn't have the time or energy and wasn't eating enough to give myself that energy. So that toned body I worked so hard to get just turned into a freaking mushy mess. All my messages just started piling up too, I couldn't even make time to reply to every one! I felt horrible!

Now here I am again, back to being a stay-at-home mom, though I am working from home now, and I want to get back to what I feel like I was meant to do. I get so many messages with questions about every thing... health and fitness stuff... Adipex/Phentermine advice... parenting questions.... schedules... couponing... you name it, I get asked it. I don't know why people come to me with stuff like that, but they do and I LOVE it. I've always loved the advice columns in newspapers and magazines and of course I have my big Carrie Bradshaw newspaper column dreams so I thrive off that!

So for all of the people who depended on me to help them with their weight loss, who I unintentionally let down... I'm back! I promise! And I won't let you down again! AND I haven't forgot about you! I've been checking your progress, creepily lurking through your blogs and facebook pages and checking you out! Even if I haven't commented, I've seen it, and I'm proud!

Now for a shameful confession:
I'm not in great shape at the moment!

Numerically my weight hasn't changed but I know my body fat percentage has went up! I slipped up and in my slump and lack of time I found quick fixes in soda and way more meat that I'm comfortable admitting I've eaten! My jeans are still the same size (3's, which I'm STILL proud of!) but they're fitting a lot tighter in my thighs now :( My water weight is more evident than anything to me because I've introduced soda back in my life and its gotta go!
((I need those chunky thighs back in shape!!!))

So for all my girls who read this and keep up with me on FB-Don't let me slip! REMIND ME TO BLOG IF YOU SEE THE ENTRIES FADING OUT! It motivates me- you guys push me! I don't lie on here: if I say I work out so many minutes and eat whatever, then thats what I'm doing!

I got the Brazil Butt Lift dvds today and the first work out kicked my ass. I can hardly move my legs. I'm watching that documentary Forks over Knives and its reminding me how much I need veggies in my life so I'm going here in a few hours to pick up a ton of healthy foods to get me back on track. I big good bye to soda again last night and thankfully that and bread should be my only major vices (I can always cut most of my meat out, I don't care for it too much). I'm not much on sugar anymore so thats no big deal at all. I need my energy back! I want to do this! And I need you guys, so don't let me down!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ever have those "why can't I catch a break" days?

I don't have them often to be honest. But Lord has it hit me lately!

I feel like I've been working towards the same goal since I was 18 and I still haven't made it even half way there. Its so frustrating when I look around a see people I know from school who literally haven't worked half as hard as me and my husband, haven't been through have as much, nor deserved half of what they have, and yet they have EVERY thing. A house that their parents helped them get by giving them a loan or cosigning on a mortgage with them, good jobs that they got because they "knew someone", and of course...big huge famillies who babysit free of charge so that they can both work and have the money to pay bills as well as enjoy a social life.

I on the otherhand started with nothing. Never had a car bought for me in high school, had to get one myself instead, never had a car payment made for me, never had bills paid for me, never got a loan from anyone, never had anyone co-sign on anything with me, never had help at all. I thought somehow things would just happen, that I would go to school and get a good job and buy a house and be on top of things. Instead I went to school, had a job, quit to have a baby, then went to get another one only to find that the economy had completely collapsed, and have since been lucky to find a decent waitressing job. Of course because I've never had a cosigner for anything that means I've never had a chance to build credit so I can't get that mortgage I've dreamed of, not even when I had a downpayment that was well over 10%. All I wanted was to find one of those amazing foreclosed homes that are valued so far above the asking price and fix it up and have my own dream come true. Instead I'm stuck paying twice as much as I would pay for a mortgage payment on rent every month, then still have to add the huge stack of bills we have on top of that.

While all of my friend's husbands have had the same steady jobs since BEFORE the economy went downhill, we've been hoping and praying for temp jobs to eventually go permanent for three years now! (Trust me, they never do.) Every time we're doing good, finally on top of things, finally doing well, the job ends. Then we're screwed until something else comes along. So here we are again, back to job searching, back to being so close to losing everything that its terrifying, and of course, no help from anyone (not that I would ask, but still...). Sometimes I just want to slap the girls in the face who complain about their bosses at work and their frustrations with not being able to go on VACATION and make them realize that there are people like ME who would honest to God take a job at McDonalds if it comes down to it just so I can get by with my family. Hell, if I could find a job for my husband and me both and actually figure out a way to afford day care so we could both work and live comfortably, I would NEVER complain about work! I would be SO HAPPY! And vacation? My God I haven't been on vacation since 2006! Sad huh?

I count my blessings daily, I honestly do. I'm so thankful for everything down to the troubles that I have (if nothing else, they make me more grateful and also give me great stories for grandkids one day!) but sometimes a less stressful life would just be nice. I feel like I've been through too much to just keep having more thrown at me every day. So many people just have it so easy it makes me sick. Its like everytime I feel comfortable breathing and loosen up a little and think, "Okay we're going to be alright now! Things are going great!" its like the world wants to prove me wrong.

Sad sad times.
I'm so stressed, its driving me nuts.

And sorry to just complain.
:( Its just one of those nights.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nearing the 6 month mark...

    So next week will be six months since I had my 3rd c-section. I'm really proud of how far I've come, I was around 160 lbs when I was discharged from the hospital and now I stay in the low 120 range. I went from a 10/12 to a 4/5. I haven't had any slip ups at all, even without Phentermine, and there hasnt even been any pounds that I gained back. I'm finally back down to a 26 inch waist line and my thighs are almost down to 20 inches which is the most exciting thing for me.

I would like to tell all of the ladies who follow this blog and write me on FB with their own updates, that I'm so proud of you and for you! Even if you feel like you have a long way to go, dont go back. The road back is quick and eay but its a dead end once you get there. Get healthy and happy while youre still young. If I can give birth to three babies in three years, all by c section and can still improve my body, so can you. If you knew you would only have one car your entire life you would do everything in your power to maintain it and make it last. So treat your body like you would that car!

Even at my goal, im going to continue working on becoming healthier every day. If I can make the time so can you. So stop making excuses and get up and change it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

MIA for a bit

Thanks to a whole lotta family drama, I'll be withdrawing from Facebook for a while if not for good. Its not really that big of a deal to me but there are a lot of faces I will miss seeing everyday! With that said, if I didn't get your number before I deactivated then you can email it to me at gracienbalsmommy@gmail.com. I also have a tumblr you can follow: http://lostinthelookingglass.tumblr.com/

Anyway, good weekend. Went to supercross in Atlanta, then Sunday had a fun family day at the zoo and then dinner.

I've lost two more lbs in the last week, so yay for me. My pregnancy jeans are loose on me now, but I've been living in Victoria's Secret sweats and leggings anyway.

Boring housewife week but maybe i'll post again :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Skipping over "bleach" blonde and going straight for "platinum" aka WHITE--all at home, of course

I've been rocking white hair for like, 5-ish years now, with only a few changes in between.
I am naturally white haired, meaning of course I was BORN with white hair, not necessarily that it would be white whether or not I colored it.
It started darkening up at the roots when I was in junior high and by the time high school came around everyone asked me why I only dyed my hair once and let my roots out.
EMBARRASSING! Its not cool to have roots showing during the in between salon visits and its even more uncool to have never dyed it to begin with and everyone just assume you need to get your hair done!
So once I turned 18 and could do whatever I wanted to my hair, I went straight for bleach thinking it would turn it white again.
I was yellow. Very quickly.
I looked like I belonged in a trailer to be completely honest. 
It was horrible.
Oh well, you live and learn... and in my case that means lots of experimenting.

So now here we are, five years later, and I've got it down.
No more yellow hair, I go straight for white and still get it by using bleach ( hey at least I had one part right to begin with!)
I want to state first of all that
i am not a professional hair stylist!
I don't recommend you doing this unless you have naturally blonde hair or have bleached it before and know how your hair will react to bleach.
This is basically a tutorial for those who ALREADY color their own hair and are familiar with bleach and know the side effects of using it!
I am simply telling you what works for me so I don't have to go into detail every time someone messages me on Facebook and asks lol.

First of all, here's what I use:
from left to right... 
Salon Care Extra Lift 30 vol. developer
Roux Fanci Full rinse in White Minx
Wella Color Charm permanent toner in T18 lightest ash blonde (formerly known as White Lady)
Wellite lightener (bleach)
Aussie smoothing serum (for styling after)
Herbal Essences heat protection spray (styling)
Avon Advance Techniques frizz control (styling)

You can find the developer, rinse, toner, and bleach at Sally's or whatever beauty supply store you have in your town, or do as I do and order from Amazon!
I use the styling stuff when I blow dry and straighten my hair because I want to keep it in the best shape after coloring it so my hair doesn't break.

Here's my before.... I haven't bleached since October and its February now so I'm definitely in need of some touching up.
I actually used a highlighting kit in between October and now which is why I have more yellow tint that usual... and also my flash added some more :)

Step one:
Mix 1 scoop of Wellite with 1 scoop of developer.
Apply directly to your roots.
If you already have bleached hair, only touch up the roots!
This prevents breakage! No sense in damaging the rest of your hair! Your roots are "fresh", the bleach won't damage them much!
I leave the bleach in about 45 minutes which works perfect for mine, but again, this is just my experience and I don't recommend you leaving it on that long unless you know your hair can handle it!

So then you're going to rinse out the bleach with cool water, shampoo it. I don't use conditioner here since I'm about to use toner.
Notice the roots are completely lightened now but there's lots of yellow left.

 Now for the messy part.
With gloves on apply the Wella toner all over your hair.
Saturate it REALLY well.
YES your hair is supposed to turn purple!
And you may notice this part can hurt a little.
If you have any cuts or sores anywhere that this touches its going to sting but luckily it doesn't stay on the hair long!
I wait 10 minutes at the most before I rinse this.
The bottle says to leave it on up to 30 minutes but I'm telling you your hair will be BRIGHT purple if you do that!
I shampoo about 4 times and rinse with cold water each time.
Then I put TONS of conditioner on the ends and let it sit for a minute before SHAMPOOING the conditioner out (if that makes any sense) and then rinsing it all out again with cold water.
It can be pretty tricky getting the purple tint out. If you work I would recommend you do this when you won't be going in for a couple of days just to be on the safe side. Sometimes it takes upwards of 3 days to get the color out. I like to do it in the morning, and then follow the rinsing steps about 3 times that day, and then by the end of the night its usually all out. Or you can just rock the purple tint for a couple of days! I happen to like it!
This is where mine is after one wash... there is still a little purple there but not much.
Before I blow dry I put the White Minx all over my towel dried hair and then apply my heat protectors.

Here's my roots after blow drying. You can see my little frizzies sticking out but they really aren't that bad for someone who has been bleaching for 5 years lol. Smoothing serum helps this a lot!

Finished product!
And MINIMUM yellow!
For those of you who are wondering why the longer layers of my hair are more "blonde" than white
its not because they're extensions or anything,
I had the underneath part dyed black for about 8 months and this is only the second time I've bleached that part to get it back to white.
So really if you're doing this with black or dark brown, the underneath tint is about what you'll be until the 3rd or 4th time you bleach, then you'll be where my top layers are.
And obviously if you're already a blonde and doing this, my top layers should be where you are already!

Easy enough right?
Feel free to comment with any questions and if you try it out and have good results let me know! I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weigh in+Photo Update- REACHED PRE PREG WEIGHT!

Well I promised I wouldn't be doing many updates unless something "dramatic" happened and despite that not really happening, I had a request for a blog update so I figured I'd do a short one :)

I have been off of the Phentermine since J152anuary 25th... I ran out and haven't went back to get anymore.
My appetite hasn't come back at all surprisingly.
Hopefully I'll be one of the lucky ones who only need it for a month.
We'll see!
I am currently BELOW my pre-pregnancy weight which is huge for me!
My goal was just to fit back into my size 7 jeans again
and I went beyond that and got down to my size 5's so definitely NO COMPLAINTS THERE!
I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking to only healthy eating,
no soda,
I've always been diligent about toning and strength training but never much for cardio
and I can tell you it is 100% necessary for weight loss and for me maintenance as well.

So as you know...
my beginning weight was a depressing 152
well.... my current weight is an EARNED 126!
yes yes, I'm patting myself on the back for that!

That doesn't mean I'm giving up because I'm ultimately on a mission for a complete body transformation.
I desperately want to shed a few inches in the thigh area and there's always improvement to be done on the belly!
So I think my next focus point for the blog will be to continue my journey to a six pack belly again!

I dug up a before picture for a good comparison,
and this is actually from about 2 weeks after giving birth to my 3rd little,
when I was about 160 lbs.
Then of course there are some currents.
And sorry for the overboard picture SLAM but I'm pretty proud so, get over it, or get outttt! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

1 Month Update+ Pictures/Measurements

Well guys I've reached the big 30 day mark.
I was kind of hoping to be at my goal weight of 120 lbs by this time
but I guess losing a pound a day would be a little excessive and since I was 152 lbs that would be about how much I would have had to lose.

This will probably be my last one week update unless I just have an extremely awesome week that I feel worthy of being blogged about :)
I don't want this blog to just be about my diet so I'll get back to some mommy topics after this. 
My tracker on MyFitnessPal.com says if I continue the way I have been for the last month and continue to workout like I am (45-55 mins 5-6 day a week)
that I'll be 115 in 5 weeks. That would be... AMAZING.

No change in side effects, diet, or exercise so not much to report there. 
I am taking a week break from the Phentermine so hopefully I'll get huge results when I start it back next week.
Didn't take it yesterday and still couldn't eat. 
Was tired but able to work out for my normal amount of time.

Last week's measurements:
Hips: 39 in.                                          
Bust: 35 in.
Waist: 29.3
Thighs: 23.2 in.

Current measurements:
Hips: 38 in.                                          
Bust: 35 in.
Waist: 28 in.
Thighs: 22.5 in.

Beginning Weight: 152    Current Weight: 131.2

OH YEAH... see that? Those would be abs. Your eyes don't deceive you!
Mama of 3- all c sections- abs after 1 month. HELL YES!

So when I started this my measurements were as followed: (this is actually at one week)
Hips: 41 in.             =3 in. lost                             
Bust: 36.5 in.          =1.5 in. lost
Waist: 31.5 in.         =3.5 in. lost
Thighs: 25.2 in.        =3.6 in. lost

and as far as weight goes that would be 20.7 lbs lost i do believe :) not too shabby for one month!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A very off topic mommy/life/facebook/family/friends rant

I'm not much of a complainer. i don't use the internet to do my complaining. yes, those who live with me might hear some pretty often, but hey, that's because we live together. 

social media is an outlet. i know this. i get it, i use it, i love it. but what i don't love is going to look at the latest feed and seeing complaint after complaint, gossip, trash talking spouses, trash talking people who you feel the need to note, in the very status that you're talking trash in, that you have blocked, nor do i care to see that every other day you and your boyfriend/husband/child's father have broken up, hate each other, are now obsessed with each other again, whoops decided to call it quits again, blahblahblah.

yes i know there's a lot of people who get tired of looking at pictures of my kids. yeah, i get that not everyone wants to see my weight loss updates, or my coupon/free stuff tips, etc.... BUT at least these are POSITIVE things. 

if your man treats you like crap, chances are every one who knows him and you as well already gets that. so.... maybe its not so shocking when you post for the 10,000th time that you split up. we think you're stupid we feel for you when you go back to him and he does the same thing... but c'mon! you're doing it to yourself! when you keep going back to him over and over the sympathy level from others significantly decreases each time. and if you're going to be so silly and do that, then please don't go on and on every time about how you're NEVER going to do that again and you're so independent and don't need a man. when people tell you they wish you the best and they know you can do it without him and you'll be better off in the long run.... they mean it. no one is just saying that so they can reread what they said and feel good about it. They really want it to sink in! if you notice we stop saying this stuff and just replace those encouraging words with a ":(" or something... thats because WE GIVE UP.

no one can judge you for putting up with it if you keep your mouth shut and don't tell the world just what it is that you ARE putting up with.

just as i feel no need at all to judge anyone else's relationship, i don't judge parenting skills either. now if you abuse your child, neglect them, whatever, that's a different story. but hey, breastfeed/bottle feed, car seat/booster seat, disposable diapers/cloth, whatever, go for it, you bring kids into the world and raise them as your own, its not my responsibility to tell you how to do it. but please don't complain about your child's behavior if you're unwilling to meet halfway on a discipline technique!

ask me anything about how i keep my life chaos free and i will tell you: schedules! routine! don't message me begging for advice and help getting your kids under control and getting them to sleep/eat/stop throwing tantrums/use the potty/whatever else and then tell me- i try a schedule but baby refuses to stick to it. 

EXCUSE ME....who is the PARENT here?

don't be a pushover and give your child the adult role in the relationship and it will work. 

don't want your child sleeping in your bed? TAKE THEM OUT OF IT! the really nifty part about kids being LITTLE is that you can physically remove them from a situation and place them in a completely different one! 

won't stop crying when you lay them in their bed? 
ask yourself these questions:
need a diaper change?
scared of the dark?

once you rule out all of these things (and BTW, if they're scared of the dark... leave the light on. who cares) shut the door and walk out. make their room a safe environment that encourages bed time. if they won't stop playing with their toys, put 'em in a big box or two or three whatever every night at bed time. REMOVE THEM FROM THE ROOM. its the child's room so it should be CHILD proof/safe anyway, so if you take the toys out and you know they're safe, the door can be shut and they will be fine! 

will they cry?
will they kick the door?
will they hit their head on the wall over and over?
go in and check on them periodically and if they're okay, but their butt in the bed again. Don't say a word. just walk in, pick them up, put them in the bed, turn the light off, walk out. easy as that. if they fall asleep they might not make it to the bed, they might be asleep in the floor. so what?

boohoohoo, baby cried all night because they were scared.
HECK NO .doubtful. baby cried because baby wanted mommy to come get them and let them sleep in her bed. end of story.

put them in bed at the same time every night. lay them down at say, 9 o'clock. if its 3 am and they're still up, oh well. as long as you know they're okay, go to bed. they'll fall asleep eventually. 

TAKE YOUR BUTT IN THERE AT 9 AM and WAKE THEM UP! Drag them out of the bed if you have to. spray water on their face to keep them awake when they do get up.

you are the ADULT!
chances are if they went to bed at 5 am and mommy made them get up for the day at 9 am, yeah its gonna be a CRAZY annoying day, but I bet they'll take a nap at the time you want them to every day and they'll be ready for bed at 9. it might take a few weeks, but it'll happen. before you know it you'll know its 9 pm by the way they're acting because their body will tell THEM they're TIRED and they'll try to fight it. eventually they'll only cry a little and then before you know it, NONE. and i guarantee you they'll get up every day at the same time no matter what. 

do they switch back and forth between foods every other day?
one day they love something, the next they hate it?
don't make them one thing and have them tell you NO THEY DON'T WANT IT and then turn around and spend another 20 mins on something else just to have them turn that down as well.

of course this isn't ALWAYS the case, but most of the time the troubles people have with their children come from their weakness and the lack of discipline they give the children. children thrive off of routine and discipline believe it or not.

i will never tell someone to "spank" their children.
BUT i will tell you that if a child does something repeatedly and NEVER faces the consequences for what they did, telling them its "bad" isn't going to change anything. they don't care. as a matter of fact that sweet little angel of yours probably LOVES to intentionally do bad things just to see you get irritated about it and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! 

its like that game that us mean girls play where we don't like someone so we push and push and push until they BREAK just for our own entertainment. and because we know we can!

time out works wonders.
oh your child won't sit in time out?
neither would mine, i always said.
here's the trick.

put a chair in the corner and make this the time out spot. no one can touch it or even come near it unless they're told to sit there. its not a fun place to be.

know that little rule that you put them in time out for a minute for every year?
1 year=1 minute
2 years=2 minutes and so on?
that doesn't mean sit them down and listen to them cry and kick and scream for 2 minutes.
it means sit them in the chair and tell them to look at the wall and not to talk or cry and after 2 minutes they can get up. if they choose to sit there silently for 2 minutes, good for them, they can get up. but if they choose to kick the wall and scream and cry, throw themselves out of the chair, hit their face, play with their feet, laugh at you, talk to you, whatever, JUST IGNORE IT AND START THE TIME OVER AGAIN. if you want to warn them, go ahead, but i advice you just flat out ignore it. 
remind them from time to time that every noise they make, every movement, etc, the time starts over. i just say "2 more minutes" and go on about my business.

when they get up, get down to eye level with them and tell them why they were in time out and make them apologize. if they won't apologize, make them sit there again. the point is to learn whats right and whats wrong.

know how dogs sense fear? well, kids sense weakness. and when they sense it, they take advantage of you. 

okay okay, moving on from the child thing.....
FOOD. Diets. weight....
touchy touchy subject, huh?

if you're overweight,
PLEASE, never EVER EVER EVER put someone down for dieting.
STATUS UPDATE: starting a liquid diet! fun!
COMMENT: that can't be healthy!
ummm you know people can survive days and days without food........ right?
you know that doctors put people on liquid diets.......right?

also.... don't go on Pinterest and pin 10,000 fitspo pics and say you're going to look like that soon and you're going to work out like this and you're going to lose this much weight and turn your life around and eat healthy..... and then pin 100,000 recipes for chocolate cake, cookies, 2500 calorie casseroles, and then top it off with pictures of you devouring it getting posted straight to facebook after you make it.

its like a meth addict updating their status and saying okay guys, i'm going to get clean, i'm so proud, no more drugs everyone! Lets do this! and then being tagged in someones pictures holding a pipe.

don't want to be fat?
want to get in shape?
do what i do... pin those recipes, make them for someone you love, watch the joy THEY get from eating it, and pin a few for yourself that are healthy, and make those. 
then go spend half the time that you spent cooking working out.
might not seem like much, but its a start!

OH, and girls who want to post subtle hints about how tired they are of seeing everyone's kids every time they get on FB, and they're so glad they aren't like "everyone else and getting pregnant"... 

most of US don't care to get on FB and see pictures of you in ANOTHER slutty dress, at ANOTHER party or club, drunk again and looking like a hot mess, holding your cigarettes, and hanging all over ANOTHER guy, who isn't your boyfriend. 

and for those moms who live at home with their parents and don't work, or work and let someone else watch their kids all the time, and then go out once the kid is in bed or go out EVERY weekend..... please just don't EVER brag about your skills as a parent. sitting on the couch nursing a hangover while your kid watches TV and eats a meal that your mom made them is not "mommy time". mommy time would be changing diapers, cleaning little butts when they get off the potty, picking up their messes, making their breakfast, lunch, dinner, giving them baths, tucking them in, whatever. 

COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO SOCIAL MEDIA BUT ANNOYING ALL THE SAME... people, stop taking GOOD people for granted. i get the joy of experiencing this daily for the most part. if you have someone who loves you, who takes care of you, who thinks of you all the time, who would do anything for you, don't ruin that just because you're a jerk. there are a lot of bad people in the world and those bad people make it harder for us good people because nowadays everyone just thinks everyone is out to screw them over.

DON'T MISTAKE KINDNESS FOR WEAKNESS. just because i might not come right out and say it, if my feelings are hurt i'm not just going to swallow my pride and ignore it, i'm going to remember it. screw my over once or twice and then prove to me that you are sincere when you say you made a mistake and you're sorry, then we're okay. screw me over again and it doesn't matter how sorry you are, i'm done. i will not invest my time into someone or something that doesn't deserve it. 
just because someone is family doesn't mean they're exempt from this either. just because we share blood, you don't have the right to walk all over me, use me as you please, take advantage of me, and expect me to forgive. 
it'll be a cold day in hell before i take that.

there is only one time in life when i am just down right mean and that is when i'm hurt. if i'm going on and on throwing the cruelest words at you that you've ever heard, if you think i hate you and don't understand why i'm so cold towards you its because you did something that has SHATTERED my heart.
i let people see me cry for too long, i let them see what they did to me when they hurt me and i saw the satisfaction they got from that and i realized i had to stop it from happening again. hurt me today and i might push it down so far in me that you don't even realize you add had an impact on me at all, but just wait it out and you'll see how much anger manifests from pain. and it feels a lot better to let out than some lousy ol' tears do.

if you're a skanky girl who has a good guy who works hard for you and you take him for granted and treat him like crap.... SCREW YOU.you don't deserve him, let him go. i have my own good man who i love with all my heart. he might make me mad, i might wanna kill him sometimes, but he works hard for me and our family and he takes care of me in ways no one else ever has. and because of that i'll take care of him like i feel like a woman should. i'll cook, i'll clean, i'll handle the kids, i'll wash his clothes, if he needs me to i'll even lay them out for him, because i know if nothing else, he's rare. good men are hard to find these days and if you take them for granted when you have them, you never deserved them and there's a wonderful girl somewhere being treated like crap and wishing she could find a man like the one you don't want.

finally for all those people who put down stay at home moms: find a new hobby. okay, you go to work for 8 hours, 12 hours a day? cool. you get paid right? you get a lunch break... right? you can stop at any point and run to the restroom.... right? you get at least a day or two off every week... right?

i wake up every day right after the sun comes up.  this is, of course, after i go to bed at midnight, get woken up at 1 am to change the baby's diaper and give him a bottle, go back to sleep, wake up again at 4 am and do the same thing, then catch a few more hours of sleep before i'm woken up by a 2 year old and a 3 year old SCREAMING at me to wake up. oh wait, not just wake up. 

make me a cup!
i'm hungry!
i peed in the bed!
mommy, i'm sick!
mommy...mommy.. mommy.

yeah. imagine your boss standing beside your bed at 7 am telling you to get up and start working.

once i get the clean clothes on, the breakfast made, the juice poured, the table cleaned back off, and have them entertained for a minute, the baby is awake and needs to have his diaper changed, a warm bottle made, burped, clothes changed, etc. then when i can get him entertained for a few minutes i get to start making my breakfast. just as i sit it on the plate, someone is hurt, someone is crying, someone is sick, someone made a mess, someone is breaking something. food sits. food gets cold. oh crap, its lunch time. kids need lunch, kids are hungry. make them lunch. eat my cold breakfast. clean the kitchen, clean the living room, clean the bathroom, get spit up on, get thrown up on, peed on, vomited on occasionally, break up a fight, get yelled at, drag a kicking child across the room to time out, all that fun excitement. oh finally, dinner time, time for work to be over right? not quite. make dinner, clean the mess made, wash the dishes, start the laundry, put the laundry up, bath time, baby needs to be put to sleep, oh, kids bedtime, wait lets fight that for 2 hours until they will finally stay in the bed and go to sleep. work out. time to climb into bed. CRAP! forgot to take a shower! take a shower.... baby wakes up. feed baby. lay him down for a few minutes. dry hair. pick baby up, get him ready to go back to bed. spits up in clean hair. put baby back in bed, finally climb back into bed. stomach growls, didn't ever have time to eat. go eat a snack. come back to bed. oh, cool, 2 am. hubby home from work. slams stuff around, makes noise, turns the tv on, wakes Mommy up, get back to sleep, baby wakes up. daddy falls asleep. mommy gets baby back to sleep.... finally falls back asleep too..... MOMMY! MOMMY! Wake up! I want a cup! I'm hungry! MOMMY! WAKE UP! 

YEP....morning time again.

good overtime pay though, right?
OH wait, i forgot.
there's no pay involved. 

NO. i don't sit on my butt all day in my pajamas watching tv.

NO. i don't get to do whatever i want and sleep as late as i want.

nope, getting out and running errands really isn't that fun. not with 3 kids. not when those errands are go get groceries, take the kids to get shots, go buy diapers, blah blah blah.

sorry to ruin everyone's idea of a housewife and mommy.... but its not an easy job!! 

but its one i love.
most of the time :)