Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Backpack shopping tips

1.     Pick the right size- I’ve always opted for a normal size backpack, not the kid size.

2.     Pick something durable- Yes the elmo one is SO cute, but it’ll wipe out after just a couple months of school. Then, you’ll be buying another $15 backpack that will meet it’s death soon after… by the end of the year, you’ll have spent at least $30 on backpacks.

3.     Pick one with decent straps- The straps are what they feel on their shoulders, the more padding, the more comfortable. They should be adjustable so you can fit your child correctly, curved straps are also more comfortable for daily wear.

4.     Pick one your kid likes- This ensures that they won’t freak out after a few months. The other thing about character backpacks is that my kids are over that character pretty quickly. We’ve always picked a design that’s more neutral.

5.     Zippers, snaps, buckles- does everything work with ease? Highly important. We bought a cheap backpack that had a zipper that lasted for 2 months. We’ve also had threads break and get caught in the zippers.

Have fun with it! We picked Grayson a bag that was out of our normal qualities and it failed. It was the perfect style with a wolf on the bag but it wasn’t durable or comfortable and the zipper was a big bummer. Bella, however, has had the same bag for two years. She was able to get another bag at a rummage last year that was the same brand but a different style. We typically stick with Jansport because their quality is amazing. I’ve had the same Jansport bag since I was in nursing school, 15 years ago! Are you kidding me? That’s serious quality. That bag went through the ringer and back.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Struggle bus

Anyone else riding the mom struggle bus? We started the day with two out of three kids asking for crepes and one kid asking for a breakfast smoothie. I did just that, I made a breakfast smoothie for all three kids AND crepes for all 3. I was in the kitchen for about an hour, prepping homemade crepes, smoothies and doing dishes.

Next up, tears. Tears from not enough Nutella on a crepe, tears from having no more Nutella, tears from a tummy ache from too many crepes, tears from having to turn off cartoons, tears from not JUST mangos in the smoothie, tears from a sibling touching you, tears from a sibling touching another sibling, tears from having to help clean up the house… yeah so lots of tears.

Some how, some way, the kids managed to play for a solid hour without fighting. They made a mess from hell from they were quiet. That could mean trouble, big trouble. In the moment, I opted to take it… my house wasn’t burning down (yet!) and my kids were quiet. Sometimes you take the quiet and the mess, because we all know they typically go hand in hand.

Then I opted to create some sanity for myself, prep for the gym. That would provide me with a good soul lift, a good sweat, the feeling of being strong and in control. I also decided to pack swim suits and pool stuff, just in case.

Well, just in case came… and went. People were losing their shit once again before we left the house. It was like trying to wrangle three wild circus animals into a cage… did I mention that they are different animals and aren’t even in the same circus? Oh and they eat each other?! You laughed, you know you did. That’s how it felt.
Today, I rode the struggle bus. At the end of the day, I sat on the back porch and cried while my husband held down the fort. Thank God for being partners in this madness. I was able to sit there and cry for as long as I needed too. He was supportive. I’m thankful for having him on my team and being my biggest support.

Today, the struggle bus pulled into the station at 7pm when their little butts hit the sheets. Today, I did the best I could. It didn’t seem good enough. I felt like I failed more times than not. Today, we all made it out alive. Today, I did the best I could. Tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Be the change

Bella has a way to make everybody feel like somebody. I'm not sure where exactly she gets it. No one is overlooked when she is around. She is genuinely concerned about everyone. She really has a way to make people feel included and loved when she's around. It's one of the things that I adore most about her.

I challenge you to take a little lesson from my girl. I learn daily from her. I learn how to really put myself out there to make people feel included. Last night at a playdate for my soon to be first grader, there were many parents I didn't know. While I'm usually pretty social, I tend to stick around the people that I know best. Last night, I thought of Bella. At that playdate, I walked around and tried to introduce myself. I tried to at least have some sort of conversation with people.

 I want Grayson to have the best opportunity in school. I want parents to know me and feel comfortable having their children at our house. I want them to feel like I at least tried to connect with them. Part of him having great opportunities is how engaged I am as a parent. Be engaged with your kids, meet their friends, meet the parents, talk to them all. Part of me engaging with the kids is getting to know their friends. It allows me the ability to know their friends, know how they are being influenced at school and have their friends feel comfortable with me.

Again, take a lesson from my girl. Be the change!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bike victory!

Like I said in this post every day is a new day. We went on a play date yesterday and there was a strider bike that Bella decided she wanted to try.

"Mom, this isn't that hard!" I smiled and watched.

"Mom, we should take the training wheels off of my bike." We had a little conversation about how she first needed to work on her confidence and comfort so that bike riding was fun. Once that happened, we'll take the training wheels off.

Last night when we got home, Bella wanted to go on a bike ride. The boys were losing their minds one at a time so I opted to stay with them and have Ryan and Bella go. She came bursting into the house when they returned

"MOM, come watch me! Watch HOW FAST I CAN GO!" she was beyond excited. Fast for her is different than fast for Luca (his whole life is at a high speed level!)

I went outside and watched, I videoed and took pictures. I told her how proud I was of her. She talked about how she felt confident and comfortable.

"Mom, I'm getting WAY better at this. I feel so good riding my bike. It's fun and I feel comfortable now!" I was proud. I was proud that she had initiated bike riding, that she initiated speeding up a little, that she didn't get off and pull her bike... that she persevered and kept going.

Proud mama moment, proud daddy moment and most importantly, she was proud of herself!

Backpack shopping tips

1.      Pick the right size- I’ve always opted for a normal size backpack, not the kid size. 2.      Pick something durable- Yes the el...