Sunday, October 30, 2016

The 3 Stages of Mama Bear Warnings

When a mother has a child she not only gains a new little person to love, but she also grows a second self; a Mama Bear. 

Mama Bear is there to protect that little human from everything in the world that might hurt it in any way.

No one can ever actually see this self, but there are times when she makes her presence known. I'm sure you've seen one before, I know mine has made it's appearance more than once.

There was the one time I walked into daycare and saw my baby laying in the crib screaming with tears running down his cheeks. 
Or when someone fed my baby something that was known to give him a bad diaper rash. 
And that time I watched my son fall on the playground and eat rocks while staff members just chatted among themselves.

But I reined her in, put her on a leash and told her to have a glass of wine and chill out.

I try to keep her tucked away in that deep dark cave tethered to the wall. And she tries to poke her nose out every once in awhile; but she quickly gets reprimanded and put back in her place!

But Mama Bear can only hold back for so long before that rope gives way and she comes flying out of that cave with rage in her eyes.

Mama Bear can be a bitch when the situation calls for it. I like to think that she has three stages of protection!

A Claw Rub to the Shoulder 
She's being nice. She's hoping this firm shoulder rub during an informal meeting will help you to check yourself. She's giving you the benefit of the doubt, and constantly checks for understanding. She's hoping that this subtle approach will sink in.

Claw Slapped 
Metaphorically speaking; Mama Bear just slapped the shit out of you hoping to knock some damn sense into you. You've somehow done something that truly impacted her baby. You are at fault. You can think she's crazy, but really she's defending her family. She's giving you a stern warning. Back off. Get it together. 

Mauling Mama 
It's on like donkey kong! Full blown outrage at this point. She got a taste of blood, her teeth sunk in and she's going to tear you limb for limb. She's going for the jugular. Watch out. At this point you are probably regretting all of the shitty choices you've made up to this point. But that little person she was created to help to thrive and survive is her priority; not your feelings.

There are a whole host of reasons that a mother's alter ego can break out of hibernation; child care issues, school problems, health concerns, etc. But one thing is true, as mothers we are designed to have this side of us for a reason. We are to protect our kids, in whatever way that means. That gut feeling that tells you that Mama Bear needs to break out is there for a reason!

To anyone on the receiving end of this, steer clear. There is no winning when you've in some way hurt someone's child. You can apologize, and should, but do not for a moment think that Mama Bear will forget this moment. That crazy bitch remembers everything, and she'll recall it for you if you need her to!

Oh and if you want to keep up to date on my own personal Mama Bear saga, be sure to stay up to date over on my Instagram! As much as I wish for dull days.....this upcoming week should be interesting!

These are Kayden and I's "don't mess with us" faces!
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Parenting Survival Toolbox

I feel like I'm sorta cheating on my audience by keeping a few secrets from you, like all of my favorite things!!! No worries people, no one is paying me a dime to tell you this---actually I wish someone would pay me! With that being said, I'm sharing these secrets without any other motive!

Are you ready to hear how I survive being in a house with 4 boys 6 and under?!

Compression Socks
No, I am not 80. Yes, my blood is a flowin'! I discovered compression socks when I was 19 and had to wear them for a surgery. I stuck them in a drawer, never to look back! Then when I got pregnant with Layne I became a "sweller," and pretty much have been ever since. A potato chip makes me puffy! Cue the compression socks! They are like yoga pants for my calves, ankles and feet. If you haven't tried them, you are missing out! I just Amazon Primed {yes, I made that a verb} a six pack of awesomeness!

Yes, yes I do!
Kidloland (iOS or Android)
PEOPLE! Run and download this glorious app on whatever device you allow your kids be on! We are strictly a "PBS content" type of family, so I was skeptical about the content of this. Well it totally impressed me!

It has nursery rhymes, stories that can be read to them or read independently, phonics, interactive educational games, and literally SO much more! It keeps my 2 year old occupied on those morning (ok, every morning) when he is up before I've managed to guzzle my first cup of coffee! Oh and my 4 year old that hates "working" at home, LOVES the phonics section of it! This is completely mom approved!

Spin Again
We got this from a relative for Jayce's first birthday and it honestly is the best toy we've ever owned. Every single one of my kids play with it and they will even, *gasp* play together nicely with it. If you are looking for one of those elusive gifts for a little one, throw your money at this! You won't regret it, I promise! ......also if the recipients have hardwood floors, it'll provide another gift! Lots and lots of sounds!
Fat Brain Toys Spin Again Toy Baby
Photo credit to Fat Brain Toys
Dry Shampoo
I didn't know what dry shampoo was until I was a mom, and then I saw on all of these mom groups people raving about it! I set out on a search for this magical spray that would be made up of unicorn sprinkles and fairy dust and allow me to look like I didn't just spray my hair down with vegetable oil and then throw baby powder in it!

Well I'm on a strictly Target like budget and have no room for "fancy" brands. Search no more, Batiste Dry Shampoo for the win! I found it at Target for six bucks and haven't looked back! You can get it in different scents and colors, AND it actually comes out of the can DRY! Who would've guessed! Every other dry shampoo I've tried came out wet, which made no sense to me!

Yoyoboko Chore Chart
I always set out with good intentions of following through with chore charts and rewards, and I always fail! It just becomes such a pain to keep track! THEN I found this beauty of a chart! It's magnetic, is available for two or four kids, and has a boatload of pre-printed chore options. Plus you are able to customize it easily.

Now I was going to use this for the boys to get rewards for helping out, being independent and going above and beyond (which it can still do that). But after some recent events in our house (if you follow me on Instagram you are aware of these), I realized my kids need to learn how to be humans and not savage beasts again. Yoyoboko Chore Chart to save my sanity, the week! The kids are working to earn back their toys that the evil trash bag took from them! So far, so good!

I know a lot of bloggers out there are trying to push projects, because they get a cut of it, and that is awesome! Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you; that's not me! I'm not making a dime from divulging all of my secrets to you! I literally am just trying to help a parent out! So go and get on with your compression socks wearing, app downloading, toy buying, dry shampoo spraying, chore chart self! And maybe some wine drinking, I always think that helps!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

On the Days I Wonder "What If"

Everyone does it. It's normal. Something happens or your mind is too quiet or too loud and you think, what if?

I tend to think this when we have really good days and on really tough days.

What if we hadn't struggled with infertility?
What if we hadn't gone into foster care?
What if I hadn't answered the phone and said yes when we got the call for the boys?
What if they had gone back to their biological parents?
What if we hadn't had a miscarriage after Layne?
What if we decided to not try again?

And all of those "what ifs" bring tears to my eyes. There was pain and fear behind every single one of those. There was also the unknown of what was to come or what could've been.

For the first time ever {and I feel terrible admitting this} I recently enjoyed my entire family all at the same time doing the same activity, and it put all of those "what ifs" out the window.

We took the boys to the pumpkin patch, it's our yearly tradition, and we played and snacked and laughed and ran and then played some more. Everyone was smiling and everyone was having fun, even me!

Because happy jumps don't focus!
Or joyful slide rides!
Typically I'm forced into mothering the whole crew; diaper changes, snacks, disciplining, etc. And although all of that happened, it was not a "job" for the first time in my parenting career. The kids were *gasp* EASY! It never happens but it made our day magical! I rode the big slide with the middles, Jason and I chased all four of the boys around in a giant foam ball room, and then I jumped on the bouncing pillows with them.

Dad assisted on the obstacle course!
It warmed my heart beyond belief that we were all together and present in the moment. I now realize  that all of the headaches, struggles and heartaches we have gone through was to bring us to this point. Those big blind leaps of faith we had to take early on put us on this path that we are on now, and it is right where we are suppose to be.

So to anyone struggling with making tough life decisions, follow your gut and take the leap! You are sure to land on your own path that was meant just for you!

And as for me as a blogger, things are going to be changing up a bit! I taking a step into something new and praying I don't fail! Be on the look out soon for some fun stuff, I might even be able to help you Christmas shop for the women in your life!

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Monday, October 3, 2016

To The Mom On the Day Your Kid Loses Their Sh*t in Public

Hey mom over there at the grocery store whose kid is screaming while throwing groceries out of out of your cart! Oh and the mom whose child is screaming, "Don't beat me," while they run from you in the parking lot. Let's not forget that mom of the kid that just sat down in the crosswalk screaming they can no longer walk. I see you, because I've been you....more than once!

Please note the lady smiling in the background, she gets the struggle!
But I have to tell you something, it's ok! I know you are sweating. Inside you are screaming every curse word under the sun and you might even contemplate leaving them there screaming their heads off in hopes that some nice old lady will take them for a few hours and feed them something other than hot dogs and chicken nuggets.

In reality though, every person around you that has had or been around a child before knows that this happens. Your irrational, probably overtired, maybe hangry offspring is acting like kids do some days. No one cares. And no worries, the grumpy old man, that has never been around kids before and is stuck back in 1949, who IS judging you and giving you the side eye, I'm sure my kid will kick him in the shins when we walk by!

I say this because this could be me or any other mom any day of the week, including maybe tomorrow.

My "day" of all days was the other day at the zoo. My four year old ran from me more times than I could count. He wouldn't listen to a word I said. When I peeled him off the playground set and took him to the bathroom, he screamed to every person we past, "Please don't spank me! I'll go to time out instead!" An innocent mom got a dirt clot thrown at her, and an elderly woman got hit with a stick.

Then there was the moment that my almost three year old disappeared only for me to find him on the zoo's train tracks waving to the train that had just departed. I about died!

We went home, survived till bed time, and then restarted from scratch the next day.

Being a parent is a tough, thankless job most days, and some days you cry because you are so stressed! But stop worrying about what everyone that sees your crazy is thinking. If I saw you, I'd buy you a coffee, give you a hug and smack your ass, because you've got this girl!

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