I traveled to NYC recently for the annual BlogHer convention. This is one of my favorite conventions to attend, and this year’s line-up delivered even more than expected. BlogHer recently merged with SheKnows Media, which has a motto of “women inspiring women”, to form one powerhouse unit. I recommend anyone in media, marketing, writing, tech, blogging, editing, non-profit, sponsorship, freelance and promotion to attend if your budget and schedule allows. It’s worth it.

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It’s difficult to describe how one feels when surrounded by thousands of women who share the same vision as you. Everyone there was on a mission to not only better themselves, but to help others. At times, it was hard to control my emotions. I felt tears muster up in the corner of my eyes on more than one occasion. The tears were in response to feelings of pride, empowerment, and in some cases, sadness. Many stories were shared, an abundance of advice was given, and partnerships and friendships were made. With each session, I left feeling inspired to do more, to always try and lead by example, and prove that women really can do what ever they set out to do.

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Among the most influential speakers at BlogHer for me was Soledad O’Brien, the American broadcast journalist and philanthropist. Her few minutes on stage really touched me and inspired me to put a future goal in place. She told the story of her organization, The Starfish Media Group, which provides mentors and resources along with scholarship funds, to help young deserving people earn an education. The stories of the young ladies she’s helped really resonated with me.

I’m one of the lucky ones who did get a college education, and it was also in a time when college was expensive – but not yet out of reach. Like so many others, my parents were not financially able to cover tuition costs. I, however, was determined to get my degree. I started taking classes part-time in the Fall of 1996 and I didn’t graduate until May 2004. But, I graduated – better late than never. The only reason I was able to graduate was because I held several jobs and took out loans to cover any remaining costs. The money my parents could spare a month, was often the only way I ate or made my rent payments. It was a struggle, but my situation was cake in comparison to millions of others. As I sat there and listened to Soledad’s quest to help young women, I made my own goal to one day start a scholarship fund and award the gift of education to struggling youths who deserve a chance. Now I just need to make the money to do it. I will make it happen.

Christy Turlington also graced us with her presence. She enlightened us on the alarming statistics of  the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise in the U.S. In a country that has the ability to prevent these deaths, this pulled at my heartstrings. If you’d like to learn more or help women get prenatal care and know their options for maternal health, please visit Every Mother Counts and share this information with others. Merck for Mothers has also launched a program dedicated to ending maternal mortality. This a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. Awareness is key, so spread the word.

These were just a few of the many pivotal moments I experienced during the convention, but the real magic happened in-between key-notes when I connected with hundreds of other women like me – the dreamers. We talked about life as mothers, career aspirations, how we can balance it all, but most importantly – how we could help each other. I made friendships I know will last a lifetime.

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My overall takeaways and what I’d like to share with you is this:

When you surround yourself with inspirational people – you are able to drown out the noise. Noise like negativity, nay-sayers, and those who try to diminish your faith in yourself and your abilities. I know that I am someone who can make a difference – and so are you. Even if you can only help one person and that person is you, it’s a start. I am also someone who deserves success – and so are you. Lastly, I have a voice that can encourage and support other women and that’s exactly what I intend to use it for – and so should you.

In a world that perpetuates hate, we are the ones who can make a change by listening, sharing and giving. Words are powerful. Stories are powerful. Actions are powerful. When we listen – we grow. When we share – we inspire. When we give – we get. You have the power the make a difference.

 

“I still remember you as a little girl who overwaters plants because she doesn’t know when to stop giving.” – Trista Mateer

 

flight

The night before our flight to visit relatives in Michigan – I couldn’t sleep. My baby was up all night as per usual, but more so because of teething and a growth spurt. My insomnia, however, was caused by trouble shooting and running through a mental checklist of what to do if my son has a full blown melt down in the middle of our first flight together. That’s right – me flying alone, with a baby. I was scared sh*tless. Thankfully we had a nonstop flight, which cut down the amount of time Baby B would have to turn into Oscar the Grouch. The next morning I took a deep breath, loaded up all our things, and said a prayer. Off we went.

Related post: Traveling With a Toddler: Cruel and Unusual Punishment


Luckily I made it through the flight and lived to tell about it. My son was so intrigued by everything, which held his attention. I will add that he also wanted to play with our seat mates and hug them a lot. They didn’t mind. Thank goodness. Overall it was a lot easier than I thought.

Here are some survival tips when traveling with infants that worked for me. Adjust as necessary for your little one:

Fill Them Up. Start them on a full stomach before you leave for the airport. Especially if you have a hike to get there.  By the time you get through ticketing and security, your LO is going to be hungry and antsy. Try to mitigate that and get them through until you can stop for a snack or lunch.

Bring Snacks, Sippy Cups/Bottles.  Even if you’re nursing like I am, bring them.  You can have them already full of milk, formula or juice. Security will do a quick dip (if at all) to test and make sure you aren’t bringing anything dangerous through. I highly considered eating a ton of poppy seeds to see if the drug compound would show up in my milk, just to mess with them. Maybe next time. Or not.

Have the Umbrella Stroller and Carrier Handy.  I brought both my sling and the folding stroller. Not only did I use the sling at our destination, but it made it much easier to get through ticketing and security. I had both my hands free to maneuver and take things in and out of bags for the screen. This also freed up the stroller to place bags in and give my shoulders a break. Word of advice: Do not take a carrier that has a metal ring on it like I did. You WILL have to take it off, however lame and obvious it is – or the detector will go off.

Play Around the Waiting Area.  Seriously. People were extremely understanding. And if they’re on your flight they’ll be grateful you’re trying to expend any extra energy out of your kid prior to takeoff.

Nurse on Takeoff/Landing. The whole “putting cotton in their ears” thing doesn’t work. I checked – with an actual medical professional. However, nursing has the same motion for baby as chewing gum, or yawning repeatedly does for us. Baby B, as hyper as he was, hunkered down for some cuddles and nursing as soon as we gathered speed, and woke up with just enough time to latch on as we started our descend. If you’re not nursing, bring a bottle with milk or formula, or a pacifier.

Let Them Down on The Floor.  Ok, maybe not if you’re on the aisle seat, but having a window seat meant I could let B down off my lap to explore, get a little distance from mom, and pull things out of his diaper bag.  Sure I had to stop him from crawling under the seat to the next row a couple times, but all in all it was a great way to keep him entertained. It also allowed me a few seconds to breathe and shake my arms out before the next round of him spinning in circles on my lap.

Related post: Seven Survival Tips When Traveling With Small Kids


Sit Near The Loo.  Each area on the plane has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but I made the mistake of sitting over the wing. Great for minimizing noise, but not so great when he had a blow out on our return to Texas! I had to lug the diaper bag through half the plane. Do yourself a favor and sit either up front or in back.

Benadryl.  Yup, I did it. It helped. Check with your pediatrician first, of course.

Trust In Your Baby.  I kept telling myself to have faith in B to be calm on the plane and not cause a ruckus. If you think they will scream the whole way, they probably will. Usually your LO picks up their parents’ vibes, so try to remain calm.

Most importantly don’t forget to bring toys, snacks, more toys, more snacks, and lots of diapers. You’ll make it through – and so will they.

Happy Travels!

Need more tips for traveling with little people? Check out the FLYING WITH KIDS App. Clever, easy to use, and everything in one place to prepare you for flying with kids. You’re welcome.

Every milestone in a mama and baby’s life is challenging. Some are pleasant and perhaps even enjoyable as you navigate your way to the actual accomplishment. Walking and talking are some of those “fun” ones. Potty training – not so much. It’s one of the trickiest milestones I’ve experienced so far. Mostly because training is the most vile. It’s filled with fake smiles, fake congratulations and lots of cleaning products and meditation. Which each win, I scream with excitement for her – but mostly I’m elated because it is one less accident for me to clean up.

(photo credit: http://www.quickpottytrainingonline.com)

Here are 5 other things that go through my mind when attempting to potty train my daughter:

  1. Why am I doing this again? Isn’t there a nursery that will handle this smelly milestone? There should be centers that do this as a service. Drop your kids off, pick them up in two weeks perfectly potty trained. Where can I find such a place?
  2. I’m over it. They have teenage sized diapers, right?
  3. I want to kill Elmo and that damn “potty party song”. I know I will be humming it long after she’s fallen asleep tonight.
  4. Am I doing this all wrong? Should I be giving her a gift every time she pees in the right place? How costly will this be? By the looks of it, not much.
  5. Is that water on the floor? Or pee? Or water? Crap, how many more liquids am I gonna have to do a smell test for?

While I’m worried about the mess and hurrying this process up, I’m sure she has much different thoughts.

Here are 5 things I suspect that go through my daughter’s mind while I attempt to potty train her:

  1. I think I’ll pee in this corner this morning, but will save my poop for up front and center for the smell to spread around – you know, to stay fresh.
  2. What’s the big deal if I poop near the potty? Close enough, right? Oh it has to go in there? Why didn’t you say so? Or did you? I wasn’t listening.
  3. Ahhhh! No diapers? This is much better! Freedom and a nice draft! Why were you keeping me in those bulky underwear? Wait, now I know why.
  4. I feel it coming down my leg so I’ll sit on the potty now. Wait, is that not good enough?
  5. There are so many carpets and corners I have to christen with my bowel movements. How on earth will I get it all done? And why the hell does my mom keep removing my works of art and following me around with that weird looking plastic chair?

Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s a huge milestone. I assure you, you will get through it if you remember these things and implement each of them.

Related Post: Pull Your Big Boy Pants Up

Write these down, you’ll thank me later. 

  1. Just relax…they can smell your anxiousness. Fact: They are not going to stop a two year habit in an hour. It takes time.
  2. Keep showing them where mommy pees. Yes, this is totally annoying but shouldn’t we be used to them staring at us while trying to handle our own business? That’s part of mommy hood.
  3. Buy just one potty (yes despite what many of the cultish mommy bloggers say). That’s right. I’m saying use one potty in the same place. Much like a toilet, which is essentially the point, right?
  4. Try to have the same reward you present them with every time they do it in the damn potty – and not smack dab in the middle of your living room carpet, hallway or on your shoes.            Tip: Blowing bubbles really worked for us. Much better than my husband’s suggested positive reinforcement of chocolate, which only resulted in three bouts of diarrhea – a truly enjoyable thing when potty training.
  5. Take advice from everyone but most importantly listen to your child – they will let you know when they’re ready, and follow your gut. A mom’s gut knows best!

Best of luck and and remember, we all pooped on carpets once too! This too shall pass!

Your Typical Saturday Night: Pre/Post Kids

Boy, how life changes once you have kids. Not that we were party animals or Chicago socialites prior to  parenthood, but our weekends did include sleep, festivals, non-animated movies and several adult beverages. Now they are chaotic and a bit overwhelming – but something we definitely wouldn’t change.

Here’s an ode to the good ole’ Saturdays verses what they look like now.

Enjoy.

Sometimes You Just Have to Jump

My father had a rough childhood to say the least. His family didn’t come from wealth, nor were they ever able to achieve it – monetarily. Like most large families in the 40s and 50s, everyday was a struggle. Even though he did without for most of his formative years, he never let his circumstances dampen his spirit. My father always had big dreams. He dreamed of success, adventure, travel and the like. He also knew from an early age that the only person who can change your life – is you. Armed with this innate wisdom, he left school at age 17 to join the military. When I asked him why he decided to join the Army he jokingly said, “Because I knew I would at least get one meal a day and have a roof over my head”. It was also his only chance to be someone, to become something – so he took it.

His first role in the military was a Paratrooper – because why not jump out of planes for fun? As a Paratrooper you wore shiny boots and a beret, which allowed him to stand out among a crowd of brave men. These wardrobe additions, a larger-than-life ego, some southern charm, and his infinite confidence added on at least a foot to his vertically challenged frame. He was popular among his peers and the ladies. I like to compare him to Tom Cruise in Top Gun; he followed the rules just enough not to get kicked out, but broke them just enough to earn respect.

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After a few near death experiences, some parachute malfunctions, being the subject of search and rescue efforts, the threat of being sent to Vietnam and being separated from his family, my father decided to find a new role – on land. Now responsible for little lives, he worked even harder to excel in his career. He sacrificed time with us so he could provide more than he had as a child, which made him a great dad. He pushed himself to the limits – mentally and physically. Anytime someone doubted his abilities, he’d work harder to prove them wrong. Even if he didn’t know what he was doing, he would fake it until he became it. When he accomplished one mission or became an expert in his field, he was on to the next one – never settling.

When I was young he would always encourage me to find my own way, be a problem-solver, and chase my dreams. Even if he wanted to jump in and save me, he’d let me figure things out for myself because he knew in the long run it would make me stronger. If I were ever discouraged he’d remind me that everyone, no matter who they are, puts their pants on one leg at a time. He knew all five of his kids were capable of accomplishing whatever we set out to do – and we have.

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He went from a poor kid with a head full of dreams, to achieving many honors in two branches of the military and achieved success in civilian life. He holds a masters degree and attended law school. His expertise was utilized in all areas ranging from the Space Shuttle Training programs to the International Treaty and Anti-Terrorist Prevention programs. He retired after 45 years of service to our country. Now battling cancer, he’s still a fighter. He takes each day with a grain of salt, as he knows life still has a plan and he’s not afraid to see where it takes him.

It’s because of this drive and the faith my parents always had in me, I’ve been fearless in my own endeavors. Ultimately, my dreams have come true because I was never afraid to jump. For that, Dad – I thank you. Happy Father’s Day. Love you.

“Sometimes you just have to jump and life will always find a way to hand you a parachute.”

 

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It’s HERE! I’m Officially An Author!

Hi Family, Friends and MG2S Followers,

The day has come! Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! has arrived. I’m honored to be apart of this book – and be among such talented writers. When I left my corporate career I loved to follow my aspirations of becoming a writer, I never thought in just two short years I’d be able to add, “Author” to my résumé. It’s pretty surreal. Thank you for all your support and loyalty!

As a “thank you”, I’m doing a GIVEAWAY for a free copy of the book! To enter: comment below or “like” and comment on our Facebook page. If you share the post, you’ll get an additional entry. I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Good luck and I know you’ll love the book as much as I do!

Below you can read all about it and meet the other contributors!

Purchase the book here and read all the great reviews so far: BUY BOOK 

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Martinis and motherhood go hand in hand, but not in a drown-your-sorrows sort of way. We view the relationship, between mom and martini, sort of like that of child and ice cream sundae. It’s a treat! One that busy moms deserve to indulge in. Martini (or mocktini) sipping is a celebratory, and victorious, act best enjoyed in the company of fellow mom friends. Here, within the pages of Martinis & Motherhood you’ll find heart string yanking stories of wonder, coffee spewing tales of woe, and utterly ridiculous accounts of WTF?!; all written by moms who are a lot like you. Each story is paired with a simple-to-make martini that looks fab and tastes divine, as well as a shareable toast to celebrate some of motherhood’s many toast-worthy moments. After the bums are all wiped and the lunches are made; after the homework is done and the sheets have been changed; after we’ve chauffeured, escorted, worried to the max, our sanity’s been questioned, our legs- still un-waxed; after we’ve kissed it all better, and bid them goodnight; we moms deserve to have something that’s just right. * Insert beautiful martini. We hope that you’ll buy our book and that you’ll see yourself, and your own experiences, in the tales that we share. We believe that great things happen when we open-up to other moms, about our moments of wonder, woe, and WTF?! We are hopeful that our stories help you feel connected to other mothers, a bit more normal within the chaos of everyday life, and less alone on your journey through motherhood.

Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!

Tipsy Squirrel Press

First Print Edition: June 2015

Meet the other awesome writers:

Tellers of Wonder
Lynn Morrison nomadmomdiary.com
Angila Peters detachedfromlogic.com
Magnolia Ripkin magnoliaripkin.com
Louise Gleeson latenightplays.com
Jocelyn Pihlaja omightycrisis.com.com
Alison Huff crumbsdown.com
Leigh-Mary Barone Hoffmann happilyeverlaughterblog.com
Shannon Drury theradicalhousewife.com
Patricia Mirchandani raising-humans.com
Lauren Stevens lo-wren.com
Cordelia Newlin de Rojas multilingualmama.com
Sarah Deveau doingallthethings.com

Tellers of Woe
Shannon Day martinisandmotherhood.com
Tara Wilson dontlickthedeck.com
Vicki Lesage vickilesage.com
Abby the Writer littlemissperfect.com
Brooke Takhar missteenussr.com
Kate Parlin shakespearesmom.com
Christina Antus christinaantus.net
Jennifer Baird-Dean thechiofjen.com
Sara Park crcrsmommyblog.com
Tamara Schroeder thattamiam.com
Kristen Hansen Brakeman kristenbrakeman.com
Lori Lu Green LeRoy theinadequateconception.com
Carolyn Mackenzie Global’s Carolyn Mackenzie on FB

Tellers of WTF?!
Susanne Kerns thedustyparachute.com
Sarah Halsall del Rio established1975.com
Lisa Webb canadianexpatmom.com
Jessica D’Andrea Kapp jesskapp.com
Kim McDonald twobugsandablog.com
Lisa Carmody Doiron momologues-soliloquies.com
Olga Mecking europeanmama.com
Holly Rust mothersguidetosanity.com
Kathryn Leehane foxywinepocket.com
Jill Hudkins Robbins rippedjeansandbifocals.com
Kristine Laco mumrevised.com
Andrea Mulder-Slater noreallyandrea.com

Thank you to Dr. Linda F. Palmer for sharing her expertise with us! See her insight below.

Most parents spend an abundant amount of time worrying about what goes into their baby without realizing the great value of observing the substance that comes out. What can you learn from the stuff in baby’s diaper?

poop face

  1. Whether baby tolerates her food: If baby has frequent, possibly green, watery explosions without fever, has infrequent or hard stools, or alternates between these two, it’s very likely that she is not tolerating certain proteins in her formula or in her breastfeeding mother’s diet. Little bits of red blood or black digested blood in the stools can also result from food reactions. Cow milk proteins are the most common cause.
  2. Whether baby’s liver function is impaired: When poops are getting lighter in color, approaching light tan, gray, or white, this is a sign that something is blocking baby’s bile duct; some kind of liver, pancreas, or bile duct inflammation is developing. A call to the doctor during office hours is in line. If this appearance occurs after giving baby Tylenol, make an emergency call to the doctor.
  3. When someone sneaks in a bottle of formula: When an exclusively breastfed baby’s mustard-colored poop is suddenly brown, either the child is receiving iron supplements or has been exposed to a bottle of formula or to some solid foods. The color change signifies impairment to the highly protective bacterial flora that only exclusive breastfeeding brings.
  4. Whether baby is sick: A sudden appearance of watery poops, with repeat performances, can signify a bacterial or viral intestinal illness, as can green poops. These all can also result from food intolerance reactions. Often fever will accompany an intestinal illness, along with tiredness and fussiness. Rashes around the mouth or on the bottom commonly accompany food reactions whereas fuller-body rashes may occur from various bacterial or viral illnesses.
  5. Whether baby is digesting solids: When starting solid foods, if they come out looking an awful lot like they did going in, they did not get digested, meaning that baby is not yet ready for this step. Little black threads may result from poorly digested banana. It’s not a concern, but may be a hint to wait a while longer.
  6. Whether nutrients are being absorbed well: Poop that is orange, or more yellow than usual, and appears greasy or shiny, is a sign that baby is not absorbing certain nutrients well. A common cause of malabsorption is gluten (wheat) intolerance, also known as celiac disease.
  7. Whether baby is receiving too much iron: Excess iron will appear as dark green-black in baby’s stools. When regularly appearing in the poop, it is clearly not being absorbed. Likely a baby receiving iron supplements or consuming a high iron formula could benefit from a lower daily dose of iron, as non-absorbed iron is not only oxidizing but often causes problematic constipation.
  8. Whether baby has freeloading creatures: When tiny white threads appear in baby’s poop, or peek out at you from baby’s pooper, these are little wormy creatures living in baby’s intestines. They need to be exterminated, either with standard worm medication (which may lead to yeast infection) or possibly through a natural treatment regimen of garlic and ginger.
  9. Whether baby has a penchant for crayons: The occasional baby will find something to chew on that they shouldn’t. Brightly colored flakes mean that baby has found big brother’s crayons. Among foods, artificial food colorings in icing, candies, or gelatin desserts can lead to some colorful results, as can healthy berries or beets.
  10. Whether baby has a bowel obstruction: Poop that looks raspberry colored, like red currant jelly, with gel-like blood and mucus, represents a kind of intestinal blockage known as intussusception. This needs urgent medical attention. Dont wait for a doctor to call you back.

Linda F. Palmer, DC, is the author of Pinnacle Award-winning “Baby Poop, What Your Pediatrician May Not Tell You… about Colic, Reflux, Constipation, Green Stools, Food Allergies, and Your Child’s Immune Health.” She left her 11-year nutrition-oriented chiropractic practice after the health challenges of her newborn son overwhelmed her. Perplexed by the lack of appropriate advice from pediatric sources, her extensive literature research led to her first, IPPY Award-winning book, Baby Matters, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Caring for Your Baby.

Hyperlinks:

http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Poop-Pediatrician-Constipation-Allergies/dp/0975317024

http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Matters-Revised-3rd-Edition/dp/0975317040

Website:

www.BabyReference.com

 

 

Mom-Hacks We’re All Guilty Of

Motherhood, along with all of life’s obligations, can often have you looking for any shortcut possible to make it through another day. Parenting, to most of us, is pretty much a daily quest for survival. If anyone says they don’t take shortcuts out of exhaustion or pure laziness from time-to-time when it comes to parenting – they’re full of sh*t. Doing the best you can, when you can, does not make you an awful  parent; it makes you awesome.

So next time you find yourself doing one of these mom-hacks below – know that most of us have too, or at least have thought about it.

Drop your older kid off at school and the younger kids are still in their pajamas. This only means you’re being resourceful with your time and energy – not being a bad mom. Hell, the other parents are lucky you wear yoga pants to bed or you’d be in straight up pajamas, too.

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Look at your phone while your kids are playing at the park. I had a women tell me once I shouldn’t look at my phone because I was with my kids. She, of course, was kid-free so easy for her to say. Yes, you look at your phone to peep Facebook. So what? It’s normal to want to feel connected to other adults when you’re stuck in kid-prison all day. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids or enjoy your time with them, it means that every now and again you need a mental break from them. This is normal people so lay off the judgment. If you’re so amazing, go pat yourself on your perfect back while I scroll on my iPhone.

Feed your kids cereal for dinner a few nights a week. Some nights you just can’t muster up the energy to cook a meal, or even a boxed meal for that matter. Kids love cereal, it’s easy to make, and it’s food. Voilá.

You let water-play outside suffice as a bath. Hey, it’s water and it rinses off all the dirt and sweat. There’s no fighting to get your kids to do it. You don’t have to wash their hair. You don’t have to clean up a gallon of water off the bathroom floor, nor do you get soaked in the process. Sounds like a dream to me!

sprinkler

You run (not walk) out of the house for a girl’s night. You need a break, too. When you get a mental break; your kids benefit as well. Take as much alone time as you need, and do it without the guilt. Having time to yourself allows you to come back refreshed and with guns blazing to survive another day. You deserve it!

Some days being a mediocre parent is all we can be; and that is something to still be proud of. As long as your kids know they’re infinitely loved and they have all the essentials ­– I would say that’s a parenting win.

Things I Did When I Was Kid-Free

This past weekend I was able to take a quick trip to Texas, my home state, to visit family and attend a concert. I tend to get anxious when traveling alone because I hate to leave my babies behind and at the mercy of a free-for-all schedule. At least when I’m home I know my kids eat, nap and bathe (just kidding, Adam!). Either way, I forced myself to go because everyone needs a break once in a while – especially moms.

Once I got to the airport I realized how much I desperately needed this trip and how nice it actually was to travel kid-free. I thought it would be fun to keep a running list of all the things I was able to do since I didn’t have my littles dictating all my time and energy on this trip.

Doing these simple things felt even more glorious than I remembered from my pre-kid days.

  • I traveled with only a carry-on. I have to admit it felt a little odd only having a purse and a carry-on – almost as if I was naked. I typically get to the gate and have twitching arm syndrome due to carrying kids, bags, car seats, strollers, etc. This time I leisurely strolled up to the gate and comfortably sat in peace while I waited to board the plane. Nothing short of amazing.

luggage

  • I breezed through the TSA checkpoint. No breaking down baby gear, pulling out breast milk for testing, taking off layers of jackets, chasing down toddlers to guide them through medal detectors, or getting dirty looks from other travelers – just one bag and me. It was heaven on earth.
  • I sat up front on the plane. Normally I head to the back of the plane in case my kids act like raging lunatics, but this time I sat in front. Why is this such a luxury? Because when we landed I got off the plane within a few minutes, verses the normal 20 it takes to round up babies and personal belongings. I felt so VIP.
  • I read my book in-flight without interruption. I’m lucky if I make it through five pages of a book in normal life even when my kids are in bed. Making it through several chapters was a huge accomplishment.
  • I didn’t have to kid-proof the hotel room. When traveling with my babies I usually have to inspect the room and eliminate any dangers, move breakables, cover outlets, and look for small objects that can get lodged in my kids’ throat. It’s exhausting. This time I just walked in and fell into the plush bed that was all mine. Cue the angels signing.
  • I took a shower and used the restroom in peace and without locking the door. Women throw privacy out the window once they become a mom. I typically can’t go into the bathroom without one, if not both kids. They always barge in on my showers and if I lock the door I hear at least 10 minutes of knocking and crying begging for entry.
  • I had adult conversations without interruption. Another first in a long time. I always tell my friends I’ll just talk to them in five years when both my kids are in school. Until then they’ll have to put up with me yelling commands or hearing my kids whining in the background.
  • I went to a concert that did not include any Disney characters. My sister and I went to the New Kids on the Block concert (no judging) and it was so fun to relive our childhood memories. It was an adult show and even though there were a bunch of screaming girls, at least it wasn’t my kid screaming. I’ll take it.

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  • I slept on the flight home.  Unfortunately sleeping is something I rarely get to experience, especially on a flight. After a long few days of uninterrupted fun a quick snooze on a night flight was just what I needed.

Yes, living the dream for those few short days was awesome and it made me remember just how easy life use to be. But I have to say, the best part of my vacation was getting attacked with hugs and kisses when I walked through the front door. It was pure heaven. If that’s the kind of reception I’ll always get – than I maybe it’s time for another vacation? Wishful thinking. 

 

 

 

 

What Moms Really Want for Mother’s Day

Because moms only get one day a year to be nationally recognized, why not go all out for her this year? Yes sentimental gifts are nice and bring tears to our eyes, but what do we really want? Let me enlighten you now…..

Silence – Real, absolute silence. This means take the kids far, far, far away for the day. Quite time is not the same if you just go into the playroom and she can still hear screaming and crying from a few feet away. Doesn’t count. Moms need silence to clear her thoughts, hear herself breathe and be able to truly relax.

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Pampering – A massage package, mani-pedi day, facial; any of these will do. We need someone to work out those kinks and make us feel pretty since we’re normally covered in food particles and vomit. Also, you need to pay someone to do this. No offense, but your massages are bogus in comparison.

Maid Service – Even if it’s just a one-time service, the small fee is worth it! Trust me, mom will love it! Having someone come and clean the house just eliminates one of the many tasks on our plate, and is deeply appreciated. If you can’t afford a maid service, take over the cleaning for an entire week – and do a good job.

Girl’s Night – Give her a spontaneous girls night out! She’ll never make the plans herself because she’s always too busy – so do it for her. While she is out do NOT text or call her to ask questions. This ruins the night. Besides, whatever it is, you can handle it.

Date Night – If she doesn’t do girls nights; plan a date night. Adults only, and you do all the work! Make it a seamless night for her to enjoy herself and make sure it includes a lot of adult beverages.

Let her sleep in – Wake up early and take the kids to breakfast or to play outside so she can get some much needed shut eye.

pillow over head

Let her go to the bathroom alone. Being able to pee alone is a luxury for a mom. We want just one day where we don’t have a little human staring at us in our private moment asking if we’re going poo-poo. We also don’t need their help wiping.

Change every diaper for an entire day. Just one day free from wiping poopy butts, snot, puke and what ever else my baby secretes would be magical.

Oh, and go ahead and throw in something shiny just for the hell of it. She deserves it.

Happy Mother’s Day!