The ABC’s of Being a Working Mom

The ABC's of Being a Working Mom

 

The ABC’s of Being a Working Mom

 

A is for alarm clock. A maniacal task master that controls your life.

B is for bed, the place you want to be more than any where else but your children refuse to go!

C is for chauffeur. Between sports, band, karate, cub scouts, and piano lessons you will be schlepping your little darlings all over town for years.

D is for dinner, a meal that you have to cook every damn day because your husband refuses to eat Cheerios for dinner.

E is for energy, something you have very little of these days.

F is for Facebook. You are so busy managing your children’s schedules that this is the only form of communication you have anymore with anyone you don’t actually work with.

G is for garage. This is the place where you can’t park your car because it is filled with over sized toys, multiple bicycles, and sporting equipment.

H is for happy. It’s a crazy life, but really, you wouldn’t change a thing. Well, maybe just one or two things.

I is for iPhone. This is the small device that you use to control every aspect of your life. Loss of this object can result in uncontrolled panic and anxiety.

J is for juggle.  You have more balls in the air than Bozo the Clown but you are careful to not let any of them fall…ever.

K is for keys. Damn it, where did they go this time! I’m going to be late!!

L is for Lego. These little pieces of creative play will soon consume every room in your entire house and no matter how many you buy your child will still want more.

M is for milk. Seriously how can I buy four gallons a week and we still run out???

N is for nuthouse, which is your current residence, and you gave birth to your fellow inmates.

O is for occupation. Sure, it pays the bills as well as your child’s private piano lessons, but you are quite sure you would be a better mom if you didn’t have one. If not better than at least calmer.

P is for purse, and ever since you had kids you now only carry industrial sized ones to hold all the crap you need at any given moment.

Q is for quiet. This is something you long for but have not experienced since giving birth.

R is for run. This is what you do the minute your feet hit the floor and you don’t stop until the children are in bed for the night.

S is for sick. You can always count on one of your children waking up sick in the middle of the night on a day that you absolutely, positively can not miss work.

T is for toilet. This is the one place in your house where you can actually have ten minutes to surf the net on your phone and decompress. Sure, you pants are at your ankles and you lost sensation in your rear end five minutes ago, but the door has a lock so you aren’t getting up any time soon.

U is for uneventful. The best days now are the ones where you actually get to stay home all day wearing your pajamas and not putting on a bra.

V is for vodka. Sometimes you don’t even bother waiting for 5:00. There is no shame in admitting that.

W is for wrinkle cream. You suddenly find yourself slathering this stuff on your face every night.

X is for Xanax. These little magic pills keep the anxiety attacks away when work, school, and family obligations collide and your brain goes into maximum overdrive.

Y is for yo-yo, which is the perfect word to describe your ever changing emotions. Is it PMS? Menopause? The constant stress? Who knows, but you can go from happy as a clam to I’ll rip your face off in 0.6 seconds with just one flippant remark from your teenager.

Z is for Zoloft. When Xanax isn’t enough your gynecologist will write you a script for these.
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Yes, Mommy Loves You…Now Please Be Quiet

Yes Mommy Loves You Now Be Quiet

Yes, Mommy Loves You…Now Please Be Quiet

Boys, can you keep it down, I’m trying to grade papers. Seriously, I need you to keep it down! What? What do you need to tell me now? Oh, your friend Charlie drove the teacher nuts today? Wow, you don’t say. Sarah picked her nose and put it on Jackson. That’s fascinating. No, I didn’t roll my eyes, really that was fascinating. I really don’t want to hear about how Tyler accidentally rolled over on his new baby sister. I need to finish grading these papers. I have a lot of work to do. Mommy loves you, but will you please be quiet.

You hit 17 out of 30 balls at the batting cages. Awesome! Can we talk about this after I finish cooking dinner? I’m glad you think your new baseball bat, the one that cost a $100, is the reason why you are hitting so much better this year. Yes, I know your bat is blue and Jessie’s is yellow. Yes, I have seen them. I saw them at your frist practice and I saw them at the field cleanup. I already know that dad said no to the cleats. You really don’t need them. I know you think they are cool but you don’t need them. No, you really don’t have to explain it to me again. I remember from the first four times you explained it. Yes, I remember seeing the baseball bat that was $539 at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I was there, too. Now why don’t you go outside and toss some balls to your big brother. Yes, mommy loves you too…now go outside.

I know all your friends have iPhones. No, you may not have one. Why? Because you already have an iPod. I really don’t want to have this conversation again. If you need to make a phone call while you are at school you can go to the office, or borrow one of your friend’s phones since apparently they all seem to have one. Just out of curiosity when was the last time you tried to call me while you were at school? That’s right, never. No, I am done talking about this. I told you, if you get a part time job and can pay for your share of the bill then you can have an iPhone, but until then stop asking. Yes, I know, I am mean. I’m the meanest mom in the whole world. Now go away!

What on earth is all that yelling about? The neighbors can hear you all the way down the block. I’m on the phone and I need you to keep it down. Wait, why is your brother tied to a tree? Stop picking on him just because he is smaller than you. I mean it, let your brother loose. No, I’m not yelling at you, I’m yelling at your big brother. Why are you crying? I said I’m not mad at you. Okay, okay, stop crying. Oh dear lord, I need a drink.

Boys! Stop all that screaming. If you don’t be quiet right this second I swear I will ground you both from video games for a month! I don’t care if he hit you in the head with a Thor hammer. I don’t care if you hit him because he broke your Lego set. Life isn’t fair. Get over it!

That’s it. So help me god if you two don’t get into those beds by the time I count to three I will make you both sleep outside on the deck. I won’t even care if you get eaten by a coyote. One, TWO…I mean it…I’m counting to three!

Please tell me this isn’t just my house. Seriously!
~Tina
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Giving the Boy’s Bathroom a Makeover

Bathroom Makeover

I love taking hot baths in the evening to relax after a hectic day but the only tub in our house was in the boys bathroom. I hated the boys bathroom. It really was the ugliest room in the house. I decided to turn it into a mom sanctuary but had a budget of $100 to work with. Since it will still be a boys bathroom there was little point in sinking a ton of money into it because, hello, boys! My boys have a way of breaking and trashing everything.

Still, after a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond, Costco, and finally Target, I scored what I needed and almost stuck to my budget. Okay, so I went over by $20. Still, I am very happy with the end product. Click the link here to see how I did it!
~Tina

https://youtu.be/1jeyGm33Qjs

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Miracle Gel~Sorry, No Miracles Here

Miracle Gel~Sorry, No Miracles Here

I love the look of polished nails and freshly manicured hands. It makes hands look clean and neat and more youthful. But really, I almost never have my nails done. I am always washing my hands, cleaning dishes or doing laundry. A mom’s hands seem to always be in water. I own several pairs or rubber gloves but never remember to pull them out and use them until I am halfway through cleaning something and can feel the skin on my hands wrinkling and getting rough.

I love getting the occasional manicure with Gel Nails. You leave the salon with totally dry nails and for me they really do last two weeks. However, I got my nails done twice in one month this past February, and the removal process completely ruined my nails. They were thin and fragile and quickly broke off. Even as they started to grow back I had to wait for the remaining damage on the surface of the nail to grow out before they were strong again.

polish 1Out shopping I came across the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish. It promised a 14 day Gel Manicure that removed like regular nail polish. I was super excited and quickly selected two spring time hues as well as the Top Coat.

That night I buffed and smoothed my nails and gave them a good filing. I followed the directions and used the pink color 310 called Shock Wave. The first thing I noticed was that the polish was thick and sort of goopy. It was virtually impossible to get a nice smooth finish. The color also went on uneven with shadow spots peeking through. I applied two coats of the color and really wanted to apply a third but it was already so thick that I didn’t.

Then I applied the Top Coat which did go on nice and smooth but did little to help the lumpy color underneath. After a couple of hours the nails seemed dry but I was not very happy with the over all look. It looked like a child had painted my nails because of the thick consistency of the polish. Even worse, the polish did not last 14 days. I started getting my first chips and cracks three days in.

I decided to redo my nails and use the peach color, Rosey Riviter, number 180. Maybe the pink was just a bad bottle? Maybe I didn’t apply it right?

The peach wasn’t lumpy and seemed to go on easier, but I still had the problems of shadows showing though the color. After two coats the polish was streaky. I decided to apply a third coat of color and finally I had nice peach nails. Next went on the Top Coat and I waited for them to dry. The drying time took forever, possibly because of the extra coat of color. Even the next day, which was Easter Sunday, preparing food and getting things ready to celebrate the holiday resulted in smudges and creases in the polish. I’m sorry but after 15 hours of drying time polish should not smudge.

I have now had the peach on for going on four days and it isn’t chipping, but it is starting to peel up near the cuticles. When I run my fingers through my hair it catches the hair and has become annoying.

The whole reason I like Gels is because as a busy working mom I don’t have to worry about them. They are rock hard the minute I leave the salon and last for two weeks. I really wanted to like the Sally Hansen Miracle Gels. They promised me the durability of Gels without damaging my natural nails but for me, this product takes way too much time (who has 15 hours to kill for drying time) and ends up looking sloppy no matter how hard you try to put it on. Keep your money ladies.
~Tina
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Five Minute Makeup Routine for Busy Moms on the Go!!

Are you getting up a 4:00 am to get your kids off to practice before school starts? Haven’t slept in days and are too tired to worry about your makeup? Here is a simple six product face that goes on in less than five minutes and will help to make you look refreshed and well rested, even if you aren’t!

five minute routine

Just click the picture above to check it out!
~Tina

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Fabfitfun Box Review

Fabfitfun Spring

Hi everyone!  I tried something new for my Spring Fabfitfun box review this time. Please check out my video and let me know what you think. This box was pretty awesome as usual so come and see all the great products they tossed in.

Click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZS41C9v0Bc#action=share

Also if you want to order your own box just click here: http://vip.fff.me/8Ccct and use code SPRINGME to save $10 off your first box!

Meditation App~ Because Moms Get Stressed!

Meditation App Because Moms Get Stressed

If someone had told me a couple of months ago that I would not only start meditating but that I would actually like it I would have thought they were nuts. To me, meditating was sitting cross legged with your palms up saying, “Ommmm,” for long periods of time.

Well, it turns out it’s not really. I mean, you can sit that way and hum loudly if you really want too, but it’s not necessary to help you reach your Zen.

Honestly, I felt a little silly trying to meditate. I found my mind wandering off thinking about what I should cook for dinner next week and trying to remember if I signed my son’s permission slip. I needed a little help if I was going to do it right and not feel goofy doing it.

It turns out that just like everything else in life, there is an app for that. Ingrid Nilsen recommended Simply Being on her YouTube channel and I decided to download it. The app was $1.99, which wasn’t a lot of money to lose if I ended up not liking it.

That night when the boys and my husband were in the living room watching television I went to my bedroom and tried it out.  The app is extremely user friendly. There are two main controls, one for the guided speaking meditation and one for the music/sounds. You can adjust the volume for both of these. Turn the volume all the way to the bottom if you wish to have one but not the other.

There are also a variety of music/sounds to choose from.  I love the music, Acceptance, for during the day time. It’s peaceful but won’t put you to sleep. On the other hand, if falling asleep is your goal, then the music, Gentle Night, will do just that.

You can also set a timer for both the guided meditation and the music. So if you want five minutes of guidance and then an additional ten minutes of music just a few taps of the screen will set it up.

The voice doing the guided meditation is incredibly soothing. At first your mind is swirling with a million thoughts but after a minute or two of listening to her speak you stop caring about it all and honestly just let it go.

I like to lie on my bed and close my eyes when I meditate or even listen when I am taking a bath. The best part is if you are a busy mom (and what mom isn’t?) then you can set it for five minutes. Grab your phone, go hide in the bathroom, lock the door and give yourself five minutes to just breathe, let your racing heart calm down, and pull it together before you go back out there. (Can you tell I get wound a little tight sometimes?)

If you are a career mom like me, I find I even use it at work. I can carve out five minutes during my lunch break or my prep to simply be. Also, they say music soothes the savage beast.  Well I wouldn’t call my students savages, but children can definitely act beastly on occasion. I have twice whipped out my phone and plugged my desk top speaker into it and played the music only on low in my classroom on particularly rough days (spring fever has kicked in) and it actually mellowed them out.

So if you are a Type A working mom like me and seriously need to find a way to relax in short bursts, Simply Being might just work for you. It is available for iPhone and Android and for two dollars it is worth checking out!
~Tina
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The Most Comfortable Shoes Ever for Problem Feet

The Most Comfortable Shoes Ever for Problem Feet

Once upon a time I had cute feet. Well, as cute as a foot can possibly be, that is. They matched each other and were a perfect size 8. I was able to wear heels that were four inches high with no problem. In fact I used to waitress eight hour shifts in three inch heels. 

Then I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was twenty years old. Suddenly my three inch heels began to hurt after a few hours, but I persevered and wore them anyway. 

At 29 I got pregnant with my first child, and my normally size 8 feet swelled up to look like fat sausages. Even after I delivered the baby and some of the swelling went down my feet remained an 8 ½. All my pre-pregnancy shoes were boxed up and donated to good will. 

Still, I didn’t give up the dream of wearing cute shoes. I went out and bought a bunch of practical two inch heels and carried on. 

At 35 I got pregnant again. I was less surprised this time when my 8 ½ feet suddenly grew to be a size 9. My husband refused to believe me though. He was convinced that I just wanted to buy all new shoes. 

There was no doubt that the shoes I purchased after baby number two were suddenly a lot more practical. In fact they were almost old lady looking. Basically I had abused my feet for years and now they were done with it. 

Fast forward a couple of years later and I needed multiple surgeries, metal pins, and titanium screws to piece all the little bones back together. I was in a wheel chair for four months because my bad knee wouldn’t allow me to use the roll-about scooter the doctor recommended. 

It was not a pleasant experience. Even worse, I will need another surgery down the road because the foot is becoming rather funky and disfigured looking. My foot even has a name. We refer to it as Frankenfoot. I’m sure you can see why. It is covered in scars and has lovely twists, dents and lumps. Plus, the second toe sticks up in the air because of a ripped tendon that never heeled.

Frankenfoot 2 Frankenfoot 1

 My love of shoe shopping is now a royal pain in the ass. Most shoes, no matter what size, just don’t fit Frankenfoot, especially strappy sandals. Then shoes that fit end up rubbing tender spots on the foot which makes the shoe incredibly painful to wear. 

It sometimes shocks me when I look at how much money I spent to acquire the ugliest of shoes just because they fit and didn’t cause pain. 

I have had luck with a variety of sneakers, but as a rule I don’t like sneakers. Truthfully, I kind of hate them. They are big and bulky, and when your foot is a size 9 they are even bigger and bulkier. Still, if it were up to my podiatrist, rheumatologist, and surgeon I would wear sneakers every day for the rest of my life. 

The Sketchers Store at my mall has become my go to store, because like Vans, they look like a shoe but fit like a sneaker. Recently they came out with new soles in their shoes made from memory foam! It’s like walking on clouds. Seriously, last month we spent four days at Universal Studios and I walked all day for four days straight. I give full credit to my shoes for helping me to last that long.

 Dream Shoes 1Dream Shoes 2

I took all three of these pairs with me. Click on the pictures to see enlarged photos. I wore the black Walkers or the gray thin soled sneakers all day at the theme park. Then, I switched to the Mary Jane’s for when we went out in the evening. I admit these aren’t super fancy and if we were at home I would have worn something a bit dressier but because I knew I was going to be on my feet for ten to twelve hours a day I didn’t even bother wasting suitcase space on shoes that would probably hurt.

  Dream Shoes 3Dream Shoes 4

So if you have problem feet and are looking for a dreamy soft, supportive shoe that doesn’t look like old lady shoes or aren’t the size of bricks, check these out. Plus, the best part is these shoes are all only about $55-$65 a pair, which is half the price of most Borns, Clarks, The Walking Co. and other orthopedic style shoes. Just click the links below if you want to order them. 

If you have any of these let me know what you think about them!

~Tina

**This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased these shoes with my own money. The thoughts and opinions here are my own.**

Black Go Walkers~http://www.skechers.com/style/13756/skechers-gowalk-impress/nvw

Gray Easy Fit~http://www.skechers.com/style/22468/relaxed-fit-breathe-easy-good-life/gyaq

Mary Jane Miss Me~http://www.skechers.com/style/22473/relaxed-fit-breathe-easy-miss-me/blk
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A Mom’s Best Friend

A Mom's Best Friend

Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but about six months into motherhood that shiny ring on your finger loses some of its luster when you are suffering from sleep deprivation and covered in poop, pee and puke.

Whether you are a full time career mom, a part-time career mom, or a stay at home mom, the truth is being a mom is hard work. Is it all worth it? You bet, but that doesn’t mean your days are all sunshine and roses. Usually you days are a mix of cuddles and smiles mixed with crying, snot, cooking, cleaning, laundry, whining, and little people shouting, “Mom, mom, mom!” on a continuous loop. A few shiny baubles do very little to make your days easier.

So here is a list of mom’s real best friends. No matter how bad of a day you are having they are always there for you. They always have your back.

  • Caffeine~ Whether you drink Starbucks, Earl Grey, or 5 Hour Energy, caffeine is your constant companion and never too far from your reach!
  • Chocolate~ When you are at your wits end sometimes you just need a little treat, a small reward to help you make it to bedtime.
  • White wine~ When chocolate just isn’t enough to help you make it to bedtime. We’ve all been there. The days when you don’t know if you should yell at the kids or just get in the car and drive away and leave them to fend for themselves.
  • Red wine~ Really, when you need it, what’s color got to do with it.
  • Nutella~ See chocolate.
  • Yoga Pants~ God truly smiled down on women when he said, “Let there be yoga pants.” A true best friend, they tell us, “Go ahead, have another glass of wine. Eat that second square of chocolate. Don’t worry, I will lift that ass up for you!”
  • Detachable Massaging Shower Head~ You know, for massaging stuff.
  • Vodka~ For the days when even wine isn’t strong enough.
  • The Lock on the Bathroom Door~ Honestly, its the only privacy you are going to get all day. Unfortunately this time will not be considered quiet time since one or more little people will be standing on the other side calling, “Mom, mom, mom.”
  • iPhone or Computer~ Mom’s don’t have friends in real life until the kids are older. Nope, for several years all of your friends are going to live inside of your computer.
  • Candy Crush, Bejeweled, or Pet Rescue Style Game~ You only get to have five lives and then the game shuts off for hours unless you beg your friends for more. Truthfully this is perfect as most moms can only play for about five minutes anyway before a child takes the device out of her hand so he can have his turn.
  • Xanax~ For when you have finally given up and have resorted to a fetal position.

So what items are your best friends? Feel free to share them below!

~Tina
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Battle of the Natural Deodorants~Cause Moms Don’t Have Time to Stink

Battle of the Natural Deodorants

If you follow my blog you know that I try to eliminate as many chemicals as possible from my home and my beauty routine. I want products that are safe but also work. If the product doesn’t work I don’t have time for it.

I have been on the hunt for an aluminum free deodorant for a while. I have tried a couple of brands but tossed them in the trash after a single day’s use. It never failed. In just a few hours after application I began to smell a bit funky. I don’t want to smell funky. I compromised with using Tom’s of Maine with Aluminum. It was free of most chemicals except the one I really wanted to be rid of, but at least I didn’t have flies buzzing around me while I used it.

Then suddenly I had two new deodorants show up. I have been an Honest customer for some time. I use a great deal of their household and personal care products. I purchase these at my own expense, though if they wanted to sponsor me by magically having free products show up on my doorstep I would happily except. So, when they sent me an email announcing their new deodorant I added one to my next bundle and couldn’t wait to get it.

While waiting for the UPS man to bring me my shipment I happened to go strolling through Sephora and what should my eyes fall upon but another all natural deodorant that I had never tried before. Since products at Sephora can be rather expensive and I wasn’t sure if I would like it I purchased a sample sized version so I could really test it out.

I have now used each brand for two days and here is what I found.

Honest HandThe Honest Deodorant comes as a liquid in a 4 ounce spray pump. It costs $8.95 to buy it on its own but the cost goes down to $6 something  if you purchase it in a “bundle.”  The bottle is made well and the pump has a good feel to it. The fragrance is Bergamot Sage. I can’t lie, the scent is earthy and a bit strong when you first apply but it does fade after a while.

This product has witch hazel in it, and I applied it onto freshly shaven underarms. It stung when I first put in on. The second day there was no sting.

As I went through my day doing household tasks and teaching I never did smell or become sweaty under my arms. Would this product keep you stink free if you were working in the garden or at a spin class, I don’t know, but for day to day wear it did its job.

My one complaint is that because it is a liquid once it dries it is gone completely and oddly I felt too dry under my arms, as in when I raised and lowered my arms the skin stuck to itself. After a lifetime of wearing solids I guess I am used to a feeling of smoothness that comes from the solid being smeared on.

Lavanilla HandLavanilla Pure Vanilla comes in two sizes, travel and full, and also comes in several scents. I only tested the pure vanilla scent. To purchase a full size solid you get 1.7 ounces for $14. There is no denying that this deodorant is twice the price for half as much.

However, for me this deodorant was the clear winner. Just like the Honest one it is free of petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, silicone, dyes, sulfates, and parabens. It is also free of the big one, aluminum.

The natural fragrance of the vanilla by far smells better than the bergamot sage. After two days use I was stink free at bedtime. For me what really made this one the winner was that it is a solid.  With just a few swipes I had my creamy silkiness under my arms that I am used too.

On my next trip to Sephora I have every intention of buying a full sized version of this and putting the travel size one away for my next vacation.

If you want to learn more about these products just click on the pictures to be redirected. I hope this review helped you!

~Tina
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