Summer Sanity Saver – Dancing!!

It’s Summer ya’ll.

Summer.

With kids.

And no school.

Need I say more?  Besides the words coffee and wine?

So yeah, I’m looking for any and all ideas on kids’ activities.  Especially easy and cheap ones.  And absolutely anything that lets them burn energy!

I created a group board on Pinterest, Kids Activities, where we can share these ideas!!  You can follow the board, or message me if you want to be added!! 😊😊😊

First idea:  DANCING!  It gives kids an outlet for their boundless energy, and there are so many options on YouTube.  I like the Just Dance videos because even though it’s not “kids” songs, they still love it and it’s all censored. And they are so fun to dance to!  We also love some of the other channels, too.  I’ve put a couple of playlists together of our favorite dance songs.  The first one is perfect for younger kids, and the second one is our favorite Just Dance videos.

Let me know if ya’ll have any ideas on other songs I can add to these!

#RockingMotherhood

I was challenged by https://bodyafterbaby.blog to make a list of reasons why I’m Rocking Motherhood.  It’s time we all let go of some of that guilt and judgment and recognize that being a mom is AWESOME.  It’s the most amazing, beautiful, difficult, heartbreaking job in the world.  Let’s show a little love!!!

So here are my 10 reasons why I’m Rocking Motherhood 🙂

  1. I’m not perfect… but I’m doing my best!!
  2. I follow my heart in how I raise them, instead of letting other people tell me what I should be doing… but sometimes I wonder if I’m messing up.
  3. Some days I play Legos in the floor… and some days I turn on a movie for them.
  4. I let them eat pizza.
  5. I’m trying to teach them common sense and life skills – which is not to be taken for granted these days, in my opinion.
  6. I hug them every day.
  7. I try to really listen when they talk, and really explain why they are in trouble.  And sometimes I say, “because I said so!”
  8. At 8 months pregnant, I still have my patience and sanity… just maybe not very much of it.
  9. I am rocking motherhood especially now that we went minimalist and got rid of most of the clutter and unnecessary cleaning that was keeping me stressed out!
  10. I always try not to judge other moms, no matter what.  Whether you work, stay home, dress expensively, wear yoga pants, co-sleep, cry it out, drink wine, work out, eat the hell out of those donuts, breastfeed, bottle feed, or let them eat cheerios off the floor of your mini van… I know that being a mom is hard work, and we are all just trying to do the best we can!  I know that we are all supermoms.  And none of us are perfect.

Those are not the only reasons I’m rocking motherhood.  I make mistakes every day.  And it’s time we all realized that it’s going to be okay… So I challenge all of you awesome moms out there to list 10 reasons why you’re rocking motherhood too!  🙂

Happiness Challenge

So recently my husband and I made a decision. 

Long story short, for the past 5 years we have struggled with depression, unhappiness, and lots of stress.  To a certain extent, that seems to be a normal part of being an adult.  We just keep accepting that things are hard, that work sucks, that debt is stressful and that one day maybe things will be better.  Even though we have come a long way in our life in just 5 years, it still feels like we can’t be happy or content with our situation right now.  And the question is, why can’t we?

Don’t get me wrong.  We LOVE being together.  We love being a family, and we love our kids so much.  But the thing is, we should be able to be happy!  We have recently re-evaluated our lifestyle and decided to make some changes.  The most important change is realizing what’s truly important.

And RIGHT NOW is important.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to spend time with your kids, or have a better day, or be content with what you have. 

So here is what we are NOT doing anymore…

We are not going to keep WAITING to be happy… Waiting until this weekend… Waiting on debt to be paid off… Waiting for the stress to go away, for a better job to come along, for life to get “easier”.

We are not going to keep ACCEPTING that this unhappiness is just a part of being an adult.

We are not going to keep allowing ourselves to feel GUILTY or LESS because we have different ways of looking at the world… Or because we don’t have such nice things that “everyone else” seems to have.  Or because we aren’t in the same place financially, or in our careers, that “everyone else” seems to be.

And we are not going to raise our CHILDREN to believe that to be happy, to be successful, you need MORE… More money, more stuff, more of everything.

We are done with that.  And we have decided we are going to choose to be happy NOW.

This doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy.  We are going to have bad days.  We are still going to have stress, and sometimes it can be easy to forget about your own happiness when you have so much to do.  Bills still have to be paid.  Laundry has to be washed.  The kids need to be fed.  And with a newborn baby on the way, I know sleep deprivation will probably be one of my biggest challenges.

But we are not giving up.

Now, here is what we ARE going to do…  We are going to start challenging ourselves to be happy every day.

We are going to try hard to be grateful and content with what we have, instead of feeling like it’s not enough.

We are going to cut out unnecessary stress and guilt, by focusing on what’s actually important instead of what everyone else is telling us we need to focus on.

We are working on loving ourselves.  Forgiving ourselves for mistakes, and telling ourselves that we can feel however we want to feel, and want whatever we want to want (haha!).

We are going to focus less on the future, and what we don’t have, and instead focus more on enjoying life with our loved ones and each other. 

This is a challenge that we will be working on all year, and we want to share it with the world.  Because we could all use a little less stress in our lives, and a little more happiness!

So for every month of 2017 I’ll be posting a new #HappinessChallenge and I would absolutely love it if you would give it a try… You can sign up by email or follow me on social media (Look over at the sidebar – or scroll to the bottom of the page, if you’re on your phone!) to stay updated!  No matter what your situation is, no matter what anyone is telling you right now.  Even if you only take tiny little steps that nobody knows about.  You deserve happiness, too.  🙂

Leave a comment below to let me know about your own #HappinessChallenge (or tag me somewhere), and please go ahead and share with family and friends!  We can all make 2017 a little bit better! 

 

Pregnancy tips to feel better… Because growing a human is hard

Pregnancy Tips that might help... Because sometimes growing a human sucks (2).png

Don’t get me wrong.  I am very blessed to have been able to have my babies.  Beyond measure.  Pregnancy is amazing and wonderful, and there are really no words for it.  That being said, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine every day.  That’s just a fact of life.  It’s painful and scary and sometimes you just want someone to say “want me to rub your feet?”.  And sometimes you just want to be grumpy and complain about what hurts.  So this post is my way of showing support, from one pregnant mom to another.  Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about those aches and pains, nausea and hormones, but here are some things that might help more than the typical “this too shall pass” response…

  1. Chocolate.  It will make you feel better if you let it.  Forget all that BS about “don’t use this as an excuse to eat for two”.  Go get you a cookie.  You’re growing another eyeball in there.
  2. Hot bath.  Don’t get it scalding hot… use some common sense.  But throw some epsom salts in there and relax.  Water makes you feel weightless, for one thing.  Hot baths normally help me with aches and pains – even if it’s only temporary.
  3. Coffee.  Don’t freak out.  You can have one cup every morning.  And then you can drink decaf and pretend it’s the real thing.  It’s better than nothing!
  4. Cry.  Pregnancy is the only time you actually have an excuse to cry and throw a fit whenever you want.  It’s his fault for getting the wrong brand of cereal anyway. Go ahead and let it out, and then take a nap. You’re growing tiny fingernails.
  5. Did I mention taking a nap?  I know this isn’t always an option, but if you do get a chance, TAKE A NAP.  You’re growing a second heart inside of your body.  Take a freaking nap.
  6. Me time.  Sit down, read a book or something.  Paint your nails if it makes you feel better, or not.  Scroll on Facebook for a while.  But enjoy some peace and quiet where you don’t have to do anything.
  7. Quit listening to everybody else.  Follow the doc’s list of do’s and don’t’s, follow your own mother’s instinct (yes, you have it already) and stay off the Internet.  You’ve got this.
  8. Relax and let shit go.  By that I mean quit stressing so much about cleaning and trying to do everything and be perfect.  You’re growing a baby!  Another brain.  A whole respiratory system.  Tiny fingers and tiny toes.  You probably can’t sleep, you’re often uncomfortable.  And all the painful and crappy symptoms that nobody understands.  On top of it you walk like a penguin and you can’t drink.  If you want a piece of cake, you deserve it!

Just remember, it really is more than worth it.  And even though you feel like you’ve been pregnant for 10 years, it will be over before you know it.  Just give yourself some credit and cut yourself some slack… You’re growing a baby and it’s hard work.  🙂

Why my family of 5 went Minimalist – and we are never going back

Let me start by saying this.  Before I watched the Minimalism documentary (which btw, I normally really don’t like documentaries and refuse to watch them with my husband) I didn’t know much about minimalism besides a few things I’ve seen on the internet… Which made it seem more like a style and a fad (white walls, modern expensive furniture) than anything else.  I thought it sounded dumb.

But by the 1st 20 minutes of the video, I was hooked, and we had already made our decision.

Very basic summary:  Minimalism is about focusing less on materialistic things and more on family and experiences.  That’s really the point.  You can actually keep whatever you want, and there’s no set rules you have to follow.  It’s not about the label.  It’s just about intentionally thinking about everything you have, and asking yourself how much value each thing actually has to you.  If it’s something that brings you joy, or you actually need it, keep it.  But if you only have it because you would feel guilty getting rid of it, or because “it’s a set”, or because society has told you that you need it… Toss it.

You’d be surprised how much crap you have that you don’t really care about.  And also how much impact that one thing might be having on your life.

Think of how much money you could save… Not just on impulse spending, but on subscriptions, DEBT, even monthly bills and utilities… Do you really need “unlimited everything”?  Or that storage unit?  Or DirecTV?

All of this stuff is designed to keep you inside.  Entertained.  Sheep.

Imagine if you got rid of everything… You would spend more time outside.  Doing stuff!  Isn’t that exactly what you want for your kids anyway?

Moms… Think of how much CLEANING you could cut out of your day… I know you’re scared to even let that tiny ray of hope enter your mind, but I’m being serious.  If you could just cut your dishes and laundry in HALF, wouldn’t you jump on that?  We’ve kept everything we need, and what we actually want to wear.  We got rid of the things we only wore because they were there.  We cut down on dishes by only keeping what we need for the day… Which means rinsing your cup and using it all day.  Most of your dishes are in the sink because something else was already dirty.  Think about that.

Also, the toys and clutter… At 7 months pregnant, I had really gotten fed up with picking stuff up off the floor.  All.  Day.  Long.  But since we have gotten rid of everything they don’t actually play with often, and everything else we didn’t need in the house… I have so much less to straighten up around the house.  And it’s easier to get the kids to clean up their messes, too.

Not to mention, my house looks cleaner.  It took a little while to get used to it looking so empty (compared to before)… But now it’s so relaxing.  My office is bare, except for my desk and lamp (and the window).  It’s my favorite room in the house.  I’m taking that as a good sign.

A big problem today is, we live our lives looking too much at everyone else, and what they have… Instead of being content with what we have.  We look at popular styles, home décor shows, how big our neighbors’ houses are… And we feel less because we don’t have what they have.  We see buying new stuff and having MORE as a sign of success.  And I’m tired of it.  I don’t even like decorations… All the clutter on my counters has always bugged me.  I’m finally giving myself permission to feel that way and get rid of it.

As for “minimalism”.  It’s a lifestyle that lets you focus on what YOU want out of life, and not what anyone else says you should want.  It’s more about experiences, teaching your kids what’s important in life.  Letting them know that it’s okay to have hopes and dreams.  It’s about LESS STRESS and less feeling so overwhelmed… And as a mom, with two kids and about to have a newborn baby… That’s the biggest thing for me.