Prepping for Pre-K and Keeping it Minimal

I feel like it was just yesterday that my son was still latched onto me breastfeeding and I researching on my phone looking into all the different schooling options he would have when he finally reached that age. In hindsight, this is comical because it seems like I blinked and then there we were last year sending him off on his very first day of preschool. And now, I have blinked again and here we are about to start his second year of school in a Junior Kindergarten program at a local private school.

I have spent much of the last year working on simplifying, minimizing, and organizing our lives and our home. About a year or so ago, I decided that I had had enough with all the extra stuff or “fluff” as I like to call it. I felt that we were consuming too much, purchasing too much, and holding onto things for no real reason. In an effort to find a bit more peace of mind for my family and to show my son what is truly important and worth valuing in this life, I have worked very hard to clear through the clutter and focus on the things we really need. Figuring out what we really need and what constitutes fluff for our family is an everyday learning process, and with back to school upon us it has given me a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate what is REALLY essential for going into the new school year.

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Back to Busy with a Mom of All Boys

No matter how much I keep hoping these boys will stop growing so fast, each year seems to come and go, flying by faster than the last. As a full-time working mom of three active and energetic boys, the hustle and bustle of getting ready for a new school year has already begun. Between soccer sign-ups, school supply shopping, and a baby on the way, this year is going to be exciting and busier than ever as my oldest enters 2nd grade, my middle child heads to kindergarten, and the youngest begins his adventures into the realm of extracurricular activities… oh yes, not to mention the new addition arriving in February.

Trying to keep track of everyone’s schedule – school and extracurricular activities – while working full-time, making three healthy, organic, and edible meals for five people a day, and getting anywhere on time requires patience, planning, and a lot of preparation. That said, it is always fun and exciting to jump into a new school year watching my boys thrive socially and academically while discovering the joy that comes from learning.

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What Being Separated For a Year Has Taught Me

I’m separated… from my husband of would-have-been nine years this past spring. There’s no need to go into the gory details that led to the most tumultuous time in my young life of 29 years. If you’ve been married for any significant length of time, then you probably have a good idea of what can go wrong. I didn’t expect this, though. I wasn’t the wife who one day woke up and stopped loving her husband, or who decided she wanted different things, or just hated his quirks and decided to jump ship. I was side swiped. Never saw it coming. Until it did… and for the last 12 months, I’ve been trying to understand what went wrong, baffled how I never saw parts of it beginning to unravel, and coming to grips with what my new future is to hold, which still is a mysterious black hole looming in front of me.

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The Graphic Tee Companies Mom Need To Know

In the daily struggle of what to wear, how many days would you say you end up in a comfy and stretchy pair of leggings and a plain tee shirt? We mean, some days doesn’t it just feel like the true “mom uniform”? While we’re sure we all enjoy getting dressed up, sometimes as moms it is just easiest to grab, put on, and go be a superhero. You are the packer of lunches, lover of amazing and spirited little ones, cleaner of toilets, late night researcher of everything parenthood related, and a just all around hardworking mama. Shouldn’t your daily t-shirt collection get a boost from a few companies that make products designed JUST FOR YOU? We certainly think so. Check out these amazing graphic tee companies who are certainly upping the anti for the perfect mom shirts!

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#IMOMSOHARD Judge Me Not

#IMOMSOHARD – we mean, what mom doesn’t?? Well, a couple of moms decided to grab a camera, set the stage in the playroom, and talk about how they were screwing it all up – hard! Meet Jen Smedley and Kristen Hedley who discuss the ongoing cycle of criticism, whether real or perceived, that causes moms to lose their confidence. They paired up with Yoplait yogurt to discover new research that suggests moms are internalizing the judgment and even changing the way they are parenting as a result. To judge or not to judge, what’s funny about that? Well, if it has anything to do with these two… you might be surprised! 

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A Day In The Life Of A Family of 11

“Are you done yet?” After a cordial hello how are you, greeting, we’re then met with that direct and curious question my family hears quite often. Who in this day and age has a family with 9 children?! Sure, you could watch the amazing families on TV who are famous for their multiple children and the lives they lead, but what about the families in your own home town? We’re just like the neighbors next door, but we happen to celebrate more birthdays, more chairs around the dining room table, and believe it or not… more love and compassion to feel for each other.

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Don’t Judge Your Motherhood

It seems like more and more moms are bombarded with perfection. The need to portray this picture perfect life – partly it’s our own fault – unfollow, unplug, delete social media – but yet we cannot. For one reason or another we love social media too much to get rid of it. It does serve a purpose – it allows us to connect to those we love, share memories, pictures, and videos across the miles. But it also can bring us down. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Right?

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Why Moms Need Sleep: Too Tired to Mom

Momming ain’t easy, and being tired is fo’ real. Moms spend so much of their days taking care of someone else, hardly thinking of themselves. Cutting up fruit to the precise angle in which your child will eat it. Worried that we aren’t reading to them enough, teaching them enough, giving them enough encouragement, while also letting them find themselves independently… We are always pushing ourselves to the limit. And we are often doing so on very little sleep, leaving us too tired to mom.

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Raising a family with a Spouse suffering from a Chronic Disease

As I sat breastfeeding my infant while entertaining my toddler, half-listening to a doctor (a gastroenterologist to be exact) tell myself and my husband that he was being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I was overwhelmed to say the least. This made no sense. How was my 29 year old, strong, healthy, weight lifting, food-loving husband being diagnosed with a disease neither of us had ever heard of? A disease that in the middle of a cold night in January 2012 crippled my husband, sent him to the hospital, and resulted in him being admitted for over a week. A disease that would change the course of our lives forever.

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The Online Village: Why Moms are Always on Their Phones

“Seriously, what are you looking at? Who are you talking to?”

“No one. I’m just on Facebook.”

“Facebook, Instagram. You’re always on there. I don’t see what could possibly be so entertaining.”

It’s true. I’m on my phone quite a bit. And in talking to my other mommy friends, so are they. In fact, I can see that they’re active on Facebook right now, or how long they’ve been inactive. I can tell that they were up with the baby at 4am or that it’s dinner time because social media is radio silence. So why are moms on their phones all the time? What exactly is your wife doing as she stares into that bright screen?

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Moments We Love & Regret With 9 Kids

There’s certainly no shortage of “special moments” when you are raising a family with nine children. Those moments have brought laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, regrets, apologies, and my favorite: love. As parents, we just want the best for our children, just like parents of one or two children. However, when you have nine of them, those moments are expanded across nine little human beings, each with their own distinct personalities. If it wasn’t for some of the physical similarities, we’d even think that a couple of them were adopted… surely that one wasn’t from my side of the family!

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Relief for a Family of Allergy Sufferers

We are proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy to help spread the word about how to #BeGreater with #SensimistAtCVS. All opinions expressed are our own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

Seasonal and environmental allergies affect so many people all year long. You may end up snotty and coughing in the spring with everything outside blooming. Pet allergies can cause suffering all the time, as can allergies to dust and other stuff that hides in your home. Over 50 million Americans suffer from these kinds of allergies every year, and while we all experience allergies differently, we can all relate to the suffering that comes with the signs and symptoms involved. You are not alone. Here is the story of my family and how our different allergies affect us and how we learned to fight back and deal with the annoying symptoms.

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A Letter to my (older) Adopted Child…

It is not your fault. It is not always your fault that you are all alone. It is the nature of the beast. It is the way you were raised, it is inherent in you, and sadly, you cannot change it because you are a teenager and you simply don’t have the ability to do so. Your brain is not fully developed, your hormones are raging, and you are angry. I know. And I have failed you. I have failed you because I am so often at a loss as to how to help you. You tell me I don’t understand, and you are right. I was not there for 9 years of your life, 9 of the most formative years of your life. I do not know what you went through, I do not know what happened to you, I do not know how to manage all the feelings and emotions you try so hard to suppress.

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6 Engaging Book Series for Developing the Mind

“Read me another chapter, Mommy” is the nightly mantra in our house as I turn off lights and tuck in covers… there is no end to the creative ways my children will find to get me to read them more stories. And I know, this doesn’t seem like it should be a problem, and it’s really not, but as we already read at least five story books and two chapters of whatever series we are currently engaged in nightly, there truly isn’t enough time. As an avid reader myself, and the progeny of a lawyer and an educator, it is no surprise my children love books. My gift from my parents for my 1st pregnancy was a full-size crib FULL OF BOOKS… and I mean full. Since then I have carried on this collection as I too love children’s books.

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