You Might be a Mom Blogger if…

You Might be a Mom Blogger if...

All Mom Bloggers share a lot of common traits.  Here are some ways to know when you have graduated from just getting started to full Mom Blogger status.

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you have your iPhone camera on at all times because any second your child is going to do something cute, funny, or insane and you don’t want to miss the perfect photo op which will make the perfect post.  ~Oh look, my teenager just fell in the trash can!  Whoo hoo!

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you tell your children to repeat what they just said so you can get the quote perfect when you put it on Twitter.  Oh, and of course your Twitter account is linked to your Facebook account so a tweet is instantly shared on your Facebook page.  ~Mom, dad just said I am well hung.  What does that mean?

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if your e-mail account is filled to bursting with e-mails from people you have never heard of and they all want you to review their page/product/website/etc. and they would be ever so grateful if you would write a review for them and then share it on your blog site.  ~Hi, I just invented a faster way to grow tomatoes.  I am sure your followers are just dying to hear about what I am selling.

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you spend hours and hours scouring Google images, someecards, and other sites looking for the perfect jokes to share on your blog’s Facebook page.  ~Booyah!  I just found another “Keep Calm” joke to add to the 500 other ones I have already collected. 

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if your blog has a Twitter account, a Google+ account, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a Bloglovin account, and a Pinterest account and you view checking in on these sites multiple times a day as work, not “surfing the web.” ~Honey, do you think you might be getting off the computer today.  I need my underwear washed and the children are hungry.

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you think Pic Monkey is the greatest website ever.  Jelly on your child’s face, a huge zit on your teenager’s nose, click, click, click, and suddenly everything is picture perfect.  ~And the eye bright is a miracle worker at getting rid of the bloodshot in a tired mom’s eyes.

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you carry a note book with you at all times to write down that idea that just popped into your head and you know you can turn it into a post somehow.  ~Target just started selling Barefoot wine in single serve bottles!!  Hell yes!!

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if your best ideas pop in your head just as you are about to fall asleep and suddenly you are up looking for a paper and pencil to jot down a few notes because you know you will never remember it in the morning.  ~Hold on honey, in a minute.  I just have to write this down!

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you spend real money purchasing digital fonts and “boosting” your Facebook page.  ~$20 for five fonts, sounds good to me.  $5 to boost this original joke, why not. 

 

  • You might be a Mom Blogger if you are guilty of letting your children play video games for five hours on a beautiful summer day because you were on a roll and didn’t want to stop the literary process before it was truly done.  ~Mom, I am tired of playing my Wii, can I have my iPod.  Yeah, whatever.

 

  • Finally, you might be a Mom Blogger if your heart does a somersault when you see that someone actually left a comment on something you posted!  It does a second somersault when that comment is actually a positive one!  ~Whoo hoo!  A comment!!  Honey I just got a new comment!!  Why are you rolling your eyes at me?  This is important damn it!

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Pinterest: Successfully Telling Women Everywhere That Their Lives Suck

Pinterest  Successfully Telling Women Everywhere That Their Lives Suck

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  I first discovered Pinterest two years ago after having two back to back massive foot surgeries that left me in a wheelchair for almost four months.

At the time Pinterest was a god send.  I whittled away days and days of captivity looking at and pinning glorious pictures of bedrooms, living rooms, fancy cakes, delicious recipes, arts and crafts, vacation destinations, and fashionable clothing.

I spent hours creating my boards and arranging everything just so.  I searched for the perfect picture to be my cover shots.  I researched cute quotes and sayings to personalize each board.

I made plans.  I had big, huge, EMORMOUS plans for all the amazing things I was going to do once I was restored to perfect health.

Finally I was out of my wheelchair, and back on two legs.  I returned to work and had to do physical therapy three times a week.  But once I was out of my wheelchair the abundance of time I had had was gone.  There was no more carry out for dinner day after day.  I was back to cooking and packing lunches.  There was no more sitting on my rear end in the evenings.  I was back to doing laundry and cleaning.

But, I am a teacher, and I have summer vacations.  That was when I would put all my Pinterest ideas into fruition.  And I did…some of them at least.  Okay, a couple of them.  The truth is, teachers may have summers off, but we are still moms, so all the household stuff doesn’t go away, and just like everyone else we still have kids yelling, “Mom!  Mom!  MOM!” every ten seconds or so.

Then there is another realization.  Most of the crap on Pinterest looks so special because it takes hours and hours to make it that way.  I love having a picnic on the beach.  We live in the heart of LakeCounrty.  I have multiple beaches to visit all within a ten minute drive.  My idea of a picnic on the beach involves a cooler with some sandwiches, a cold soda or lemonade, and maybe some cookies or brownies for dessert.  Throw in a few ten year old beach towels and my water resistant zip up blanket I bought at Target and we are good to go.

This looks beautiful but the amount of work it would take to set this up would ruin the simple pleasure of picnicking at the beach.

This looks beautiful but the amount of work it would take to set this up would ruin the simple pleasure of picnicking at the beach.

Here is a Pinterest picnic on the beach.  It is beautiful.  Oh yes.  Would I love for my picnic to look like this?  Certainly!  Am I willing to put in the time and effort, and the expense to make this happen?  Um…no, not really.  Not only would I have to cart all this to the beach and set it up, but then I would have to drag it all back home and put it all away and oh just forget it.  It’s so not going to happen!

I realize why Pinterest is fabulous.  It’s because it is so magical.  Pinterest shows us a peek into a fantasy life.  It is the same reason I love Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth one), and pretty much anything on Masterpiece Theater.  Everything looks so beautiful, so romantic and visually stunning.  But it is only beautiful if you are Lady Mary or Miss Elisabeth Bennett.  In my life I would end up being Daisy, the scullery maid.

This breakfast in bed would be wonderful if you had a butler or ladies maid who prepared it and carried it into your room for you.

This breakfast in bed would be wonderful if you had a butler or ladies maid who prepared it and carried it into your room for you.

I love having breakfast in bed.  This usually happens on Saturday.  Bill is gone to work, the teenager now sleeps in and the little one goes to the basement to play on the Wii for a bit.  I get up, pour myself a bowl of raisin bran, grab a spoon and the newspaper and go back to bed with my breakfast where I will relax for fifteen minutes before jumping into the shower.  To me this is glorious.  Then I see a picture of breakfast in bed Pinterest style and my raisin bran suddenly feels a lot less glorious.

I think every girl dreams of being Elisabeth Bennett at least once in her life.

I think every girl dreams of being Elisabeth Bennett at least once in her life.

So thank you Pinterest for showing me how plain and ordinary my life is.  Thank you for pointing out every day that I don’t have a bank account equal to Mr. Darcy’s.  I wish I could quit you all together but we both know I won’t.  I am addicted, hopelessly addicted.  I want to see your pretty pictures and dream of their beauty, even if I have no intention of doing it myself.

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The Red Nightmare

The Red Nightmare

I admit it.  Two years ago I bought into the whole Elf on the Shelf hoopla.  Oh isn’t it cute!  A new family tradition!  My boys loved it.  Casey named him Jingle.  They are anxiously counting down the days until Jingle makes his annual return.  In theory it is a sweet idea, but in practice it’s a real pain in the ass.

First of all, I am busy…and tired.  It may not seem like such a big deal; you just have to put the little red menace in a new location each night before going to bed.  Truthfully though, I always forget.  So come morning I am racing to move Jingle before I get busted by Casey.

Second, a person only has so many practical places to put the damn thing.  The rules are you can’t touch him or he loses all his magical powers.  For little kids this is gospel.  So where ever you set Jingle up, that part of the room becomes off limits.  If you put him in the cookie jar no one is getting cookies that day.  The same goes for the bathtub, the toy chest, or the counter top.

The third reason I am sick of that little Elf is because of all those over achieving moms on Pinterest.  I am an over achieving mom and even I think some of these women are crazy!!

I mean, isn’t there enough mommy stress already?  There is working mom guilt vs. staying at home, tiger parenting vs. helicopter parenting, being an organic green mom vs. being the thrifty coupon mom.  Next comes the homework hell, the dinner debacle (Christ you have to feed them every night!), and the never ending laundry madness.

So with all this daily stress was it really necessary for all these over achieving moms on Pinterest to rub it in out faces how freaking awesome they are by creating a month long staging ritual for a stupid Elf to add on top of the holiday cooking, shopping, wrapping, and cleaning.

cheerio mini donutsI’m sorry but I do not have time to hand decorate individual Cheerios into fake donuts so Elf and Barbie can have a romantic picnic under the mistletoe.  I have no desire to pour flour all over my kitchen counter and get the Elf covered in flour because Jingle felt like making “snow angels.”  Oh, I know, I can use my lipstick to write all over the bathroom mirror a holiday message for the kids from their Elf.  Why are grown women trashing their own houses, making messes that they will have to clean up once the kids go to bed?

elf in flourSo, begrudgingly I will get Jingle out of storage.  I will stick him in the tree and hang him from the chandelier because I created this mess and now I am stuck with it unless I am going to make a little boy cry and take away the magic of Christmas.  I’ll do it, but don’t think I like it.

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How to Pack Healthy & EASY School Lunches

Easy Lunches

Very cute, but would totally unappreciated by my boys.

Very cute, but would totally unappreciated by my boys.

I love to look at all those adorable pictures of the world’s cutest school lunches on Pinterest. I mean, they are absolute works of art! It is almost a shame to eat them.

lunch

Honestly, I just don’t have time to this.

Then I go into my kitchen and get real. Hello, I am a tired working mommy here. As much as I would love to send my kids to school with one of those precious Benito lunches the truth is I don’t have time for that. Not to mention I have boys. Boys don’t eat their food. They shovel it into their mouths in five bites or less and then race out the door to go to recess.

I need quick. I need easy. I prefer organic when I can get it. So what is a tired mom to do? Well it starts with a trip to Costco! The greatest big box store in the world has made it so easy to buy healthy ,and even organic, foods in bulk that I can just toss into a lunch box and forget about it.DSC_2308

Organic milk boxes, nitrate free deli turkey and sliced chicken, Brownberry multigrain bread, organic strawberry jam, low fat high protein Greek yogart, and even small treats.  Costco has it all.  We also love to buy their bananas, big containers of blue berries, raspberries, and grapes.  One exception to the organic rule is my Jif peanut butter.  I love peanut butter, but I can’t stand the “natural” or organic peanut butters because they are practically drowning in the separated oil.

DSC_2312

The containers all snap together, even the ice pack.

I also fell in love with these BPA free containers from Rubbermaid.  The sizes are perfect, the sandwich container is big enough to accommodate the larger sized Brownberry bread, and the built in ice pack totally rocks.

There were $2 coupons for them in this past Sunday’s newspaper, plus Target has them on sale this week for $3 off.  Even if you don’t have the Sunday coupons there are $1 peelies attached to the packaging.

Rubbermaid LunchBlox review

There are high value coupons inside which makes these containers almost free when you budget in the savings, the sale price at Target, and use a coupon.

As you can see I stocked up on them so I’ll have plenty for the new school year!

So once you have your containers and you made your run to Costco, what goes in the lunch box?

I try to cover the four food groups and make sure their is plenty of protein, complex carbs, and nutrition for growing minds.

DSC_2314I am very blessed that both of my boys are allergy free.  So I have an organic milk box.  The picture shows Horizon, but my boys also love the Kirkland Organic Chocolate Milk Boxes from Costco.  I only buy organic and hormone free milk.  I truly believe all the hormones in dairy products are the reason children are entering puberty earlier and earlier.

If your child is allergic to milk then use juice boxes or soy or almond milk.

Because this is a lunch for a first grader, there is half a sandwich which has turkey, sharp cheddar, and spinach leaves.  My boys are not big veggie fans so I compensate with a double fruit serving, fresh blueberries and an Apple Go Go Squeeze.  Finally, a little crunch comes from a Cheeze-It 100 Calorie pack.

DSC_2315

The lunch bag is from Pottery Barn Kids. I love their backpacks and lunch boxes. I especially love that the lunch boxes clip onto the back packs!

The only part of this yummy lunch I actually had to make myself was the sandwich, which is the way I like it!  To keep everything cool I slide the ice pack into the zippered netting on the lid and close it up!  Done, done and done.  I pack 15 school lunches a week, ten for my boys and five for me.  I’m not going to apologize for cutting corners by using prepackaged healthy options!

I also have a small thermos for each of us so I can let the boys take hot soup, chili, stew, spaghetti or whatever leftovers we have from the previous nights dinner.  I cook in double batches frequently.  I have to use a thermos because my children do not have access to a microwave at school.  I don’t know of any schools around here that allow the kids to use microwaves but I have seen lots of articles in Parenting and Parents lately to say to do just that.

Here is a list of really great products from Costco:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My little guy with his big boy backpack and his matching lunch box.

Brownberry Oatnut Bread
Jif Peanut Butter
Kirkland Organic Strawberry Spread
Nutri-Grain Bars
Kirkland Almonds
Kirkland Organic Milk Boxes
GoGo Squeeze Applesauce
Pepperidge Goldfish Crackers
Honey Maid Graham Crackers
Ritz Crackers & Cheese
Annie’s Fruit Snacks
Yoplait Go-Gurt
Fruyo Greek Yogart
Nature Valley Granola Bars
Kraft String Cheese
Nature Valley Sweet & Salty
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
100 Calories Snack Packs
Kirkland Organic Tortilla Chips
Tree Top Fruit Snacks
Stretch Island Fruit Strips
Snyder’s Pretzels

I hope this list is helpful.  So often we feel under pressure to do everything bigger and better until it is ridiculously over the top!  At the end of the day kids need to eat nutricious food, appropriate sized portions, and it needs to be a little bit fun.  So don’t feel guilty if your child’s lunch box isn’t Pinterest picture worthy.  If you have more suggestions please add them in the Comments below!

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Just Because I Have It All Doesn’t Mean I Want It All

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Want it AllI am woman.  I am invincible.  I am tired.  It is more than just a cute catch phrase on my Facebook page.  It is the truth.  Day in and day out I do it all.  Cook, clean, grocery shop, and laundry?  Done, done, done, and done.  Take care of two boys and keep them mentally and creatively stimulated?  Done!  Piano lessons for the oldest, T-ball for the youngest, volunteering at the local food pantry and with the coming school year religious education gets tossed into the mix.

Work a full time job under incredibly stressful circumstances in an impoverished inner city environment that is often violent and do my very best to be a force of good in my students lives.  You bet your ass!

Write a blog offering my words of wisdom, experiences, and tips, hoping someone out there finds all this useful and perhaps a little funny.  Yes, that too, while also maintaining a Facebook page and a Pinterest page trying to find the most useful of information to share with my followers.

full time job

We live in a modest home in a lovely little sub surrounded by woods.  We have two cars, two kids, and a fat cat.  I am living the American dream…right?  Right?!?  So why is it most days I don’t feel quite so dreamy?

My life consists of two parts.  The September to June career woman part, and the Mid-June to end of August stay at home part.  I can honestly say that I know what it is to be on both sides of the fence, and believe me when I say I know exactly which side of the fence is greener, and not because it is covered in bullshit.

yes dear2

I know there are women out there who will want to tell me off, cuss me out, and bitch that I am undermining womanhood as we now know it today, but I will take being a stay at home mom over the working mom gig any day.  What ever I do, I will always do it to the best of my ability, no matter how many jobs are on my plate.

So when summer comes and I am home with my boys it is wonderful to just be a mom, a wife, and a homemaker.  It is nice to slow down and plan out our meals.  It is nice to have the time needed to wash, and dry, and fold, and put away all the laundry.  It is nice to have the time to take the boys to the park, even if it isn’t my favorite thing to do.  It is nice not to make sure every minute of the day is scheduled to the exact minute for fear of not getting it all done.

ask meIt is especially nice to have time to focus on my blog and my “internet job” which at least fills my soul if not my wallet.  Writing has always been a passion of mine, one I had to give up for several years because I had too much to do, but now that my youngest is a little older, and writing a blog is faster than writing Fan Fiction, I am able to do it once more.  Maybe some day I will be able to make a living off my writing but I’m not counting on it.

Sometimes I dream of quitting my job, no longer commuting sixty miles a day round trip, and waking up at 4:45 in the morning.  I think about how wonderful it would be to join my children’s school PTA’s, be a room mom, and all that good stuff, but I can’t.  First, it wouldn’t be fair to my dear husband who works longer days than I do.  Plus, both boys are now in all day school.  Let’s face it, once the kids are in all day school and you are still a stay at home mom, most people would just label you as being too lazy to work.  People stupid enough to think that need to be slapped in the face with a frying pan.

two jobsEven with my boys in school my home would run a heck of a lot more smoothly if I were here to manage everything.  As it is, we pay for a.m. child care, rely on grandparents to pick the boys up from school when one suddenly gets sick, and have to scramble to make arrangements whenever the boys have no school but I do.  My weekends are spent doing all the housework I was unable to do Monday-Friday, when I would rather be free to relax or play with the kids.

So yes, I have it all…but I would seriously like to give some of it back.

Are there any other working moms out there who would love to chuck their full time job?

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