Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween. Or is it Halloween?

I had every intention of posting cute little pictures of my babies today in their Halloween costumes. Every intention to talk about our plans for the day. How we were going to spend the day in our costumes, make Halloween crafts, bake Halloween cookies, pick up Halloween candy, and of course wait anxiously for papa to get home so we could load the kids up the wagons and then head out to knock on doors and snatch up candy.

You see, we will be doing all of the above, except for that very last detail. You know, the part of Halloween that makes it Halloween.. trick-or-treat. Those famous words that my children won't have the opportunity to say today because we have decided that the government, the city, the towns get to decide when Halloween is appropriate. Due to weather conditions. Weather conditions that we know very well are unpredictable and unreliable.

I understand that it is important to keep the city safe and to give warnings and recommendations. To make sure that people don't go out in inappropriate weather and risk their lives. Frequent updates are good. Suggestions are appreciated. Adjustments are okay too. I understand. But ultimately whatever happened to a parent's judgement and allowing them the opportunity to decide? Can we not trust that they will trick-or-treat during safe hours, and when weather becomes unsuitable to do so, then they would make that decision for their family. On their own. On top of that, why are we so afraid of rain and wind. Really. Rain. And wind.

I grew up in a childhood where we just dealt with what was handed to us. We didn't look at the weather ahead of time, and we didn't decide to predict the future and decide when the "perfect" time would be to celebrate a children's tradition. We just dealt.

I guess what bothers me the most about all this is that I feel as though the ultimate decision maker should be the parent. I am already bothered by how much the government and "officials" try to control our society, that this just seems too over the top.

If it's raining so hard and the wind is blowing trash cans across the street? Don't worry, I won't be taking my children out there. If the weather doesn't allow us to trick-or-treat? Don't worry, I'll figure out a way to make up to them. If there's ever a time where we are dealt with a change in plans or weather? Don't worry, we will learn to deal.

That's why we parent. That's why our children put their trust is in. And that's why you can't

So today? Today we will embrace this holiday and celebrate it just as planned. I have hopes that the weather will clear up and we will trick-or-treat anyway, but regardless... I will make this the best day possible for this kids.


We'll put on our outfits.
We'll take our pictures.
Bake yummy cookies.
Make some Halloween crafts.
Watch a spooky story.
Read some pumpkin books.

And trick-or-treat so that at the end of the night we all pass out from eating too much candy.

Candy will be on the dinner menu tonight.
Because last time I checked, it was October 31st.

And October 31st for the past 27 years of my life has meant Halloween.
Today included. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My kids are going to be bad.


"Bad girl,  bad boy." It's something we, as parents, have chosen early on not to say to our children, mainly because we never want them to think that they are a bad person for the way that they are acting, or that they are only good if they do certain things or behave in a certain manner. Andrew and I had this discussion when our daughter was very young, and have had no issues following through with our decision. So bad girl, bad boy? They're just words not spoken in our home.

Imagine the look on my face when I first heard my daughter utter them while we were playing nicely at a local park. I instantly froze, mouth dropped open, and went through some fast-paced history run through in my head trying to think about where she could have possibly heard them.

"Elli, where did you hear that" I demanded.
"I'm going to be a bad girl," she says.
 Then goes on, "And Graham is going to be a bad boy."

Again, frozen, I sat there and thought about this. How do I have this conversation with her and explain to her that we do not say this and that children are not bad. I know, not a big deal, but because we stressed the importance of not saying it, we want to make sure that she understands the meaning of it.

"We may make mistakes and act in a way we shouldn't, however, that does not make us a bad person," I go on to explain to her. I tell her she's special and that we have never thought, yet alone, said such words about her and her brother. And to certainly not repeat them again.

She seemed pleased enough with my answer and went on to the yellow slide that she had already gone down 20 plus times.

But me? I was sitting there, still very much puzzled, and decided to call Andrew to talk to him.
"No, I've never said that to her," he tells me.
"Well she had to hear it somewhere." I replied.

And at that, we were both at a loss, and Andrew had to go back to work, and I just tried to brush it off as a one time thing.

And then again, and again it was repeated. "I'm going to be a bad girl. Graham is going to be a bad boy." All the way home in the car. At home. In between bites of food. In between playing. And I thought... oh my, she sure is stuck on this word, people are going to think we say this all the time.

Of course I tried to correct her and explain each and every time, but she just giggles and tells me..."But mama, you said I am going to be a bad girl!"

No I didn't.
Yes you did.
No I didn't.
Yes you did.

Oh man... did I?

Am I having some sort of old-woman crisis over here {exaggeration, by all means}. I mean, clearly, I must have said it if the toddler is telling me that I did. Toddlers are really good at telling the truth {at this age}, because they don't understand lies....just yet.

And then Andrew comes home with a package in his hand.
And we open it.
And Elli screams "Graham bad boy!!!!"

I looked at her.
Looked down at the package.
Looked back at her.
Back at the package.

And finally it all made sense. Graham is going to be a BAT BOY. And Elli was going to be a BAT GIRL. Except, the problem is that I was notified two weeks after purchasing her costume that it was no longer available, and we had to find a different solution. A super girl.

But now, I had it all figured out. A bat girl. A bat boy. I did tell her these things. She was right. But here I was stressing all day over something that was never said.

I just really suck at toddler language sometimes. Clearly.

So yeah. We're going to be superheros for Halloween. And I can't wait to share the pictures! 


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Best. Round Two.

I had so much fun typing up my the best post last month that I was sort of in the mood to do it again.

So. The best....

Surprising your child with something as simple as ice cream....and seeing their face light up, their arms hyperventilate, and "thank you mommy, thank you mommy" on repeat.

Cloth diapering. Because really? I cannot believe I hadn't started sooner.

Making a second instagram account {more on that later}, and posting pictures without anyone else seeing {besides your two followers... hi sister and MIL!}.  Sometimes I have that urge with blogging too. Sometimes.

Getting a package. Really. It never gets old. I swear I swing that front door open at least 5 times a day hoping that a package will appear. And when it does? I get so excited to open it. Even if it's not for me.

People who get my humor. There aren't many that get to hear the real me and my ways. Some people call it annoying {ahem, sister and husband}.

My OB doctor. No not pregnant. But really, I was thinking about him the other day and scheduling my yearly exam and not going to lie... I am preparing for the questions that will be thrown at me.. "So when is baby #3! Isn't it time?!" He is totally that person. I mean, it is his profession after all. But he is not shy about it one bit.

This article that lists the "10 most unhealthy cancer causing foods." I nodded my head and was reminded yet again why it is important for us to at least be aware of what we are putting in our bodies.

The newborn smell. The baby smell. That smell. What is it. It captivates you and makes you just harass the child with kisses. Even if it's not yours.

When you walk into the room that your kids are playing in, and you hear your daughter saying to her brother..."Little guy Graham, it's not easy being funny." I died.

When your baby crawls up to you while you are washing dishes, and does that whiney "ma ma ma ma ma" and pulling on your pants. I mean, my oldest does that too... except with a little bit more force. But seriously, it's the best to know that you are wanted and needed.

Getting a new iphone after yours has been cracked for a couple months now.

Getting RSVP for your daughter's birthday from her "little fwends." I mean, I'm excited to have a house full of 3 year olds. Why.

Putting the kids in Halloween costumes. Picking pumpkins. Finally getting cooler weather. Pumpkin spice lattes. What is it about fall that just automatically puts you in that uplifting here come the holidays mood.

Two kids napping at the same time.

Saving money, shopping, of all things. I love when I am scoring things 75% off, using discount codes, and getting free shipping, all at the same time.

Driving in the car, and actually being able to listen to real music. None of that nursery rhyme business that is on 99% of the time when I'm in the car. 

and of course:

Waking up at 5 am to a quiet house, getting a cup of coffee and just... writing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Halloween Costume On A Budget


Growing up, one of the holidays that I looked forward to the most as a kid was Halloween. Me and every other child out there. Choosing costumes was always the most difficult part though since my family was on a very strict budget and simply could not afford to buy every child a new costume for every year. Understandly so. That is why one had to turn to creativity. Something that I was never born with.

So here is how the costumes went; Wear all black, draw whiskers, and pin a tail on your back and you have yourself a cat. For free. Wear all white, make a paper halo, and maneuver it in a way to stick above your head, and you have yourself an angel. For free. Tape leaves all over your body, and paint your face green, and you have yourself a tree. For free. The ideas are endless, and it just goes to show you that you don't necessarily have to spend a lot, to get a lot. I mean, after all, I think the most important thing out of all this is the candy in the basket. Right?

A character that I never got to be for halloween though was a mummy. The great thing about being a mummy is that it requires one of the most used household items, toilet paper, and a little bit of tape. That easy.


Continue reading here about our child into mummy transformation.

A Letter to the Newlyweds

Dear Newlywed,

Congrats. You survived the wedding process, the walking down the aisle, the {most likely} drunken person from your bridal party, and made it home {or hotel} with the person that you committed your life to, your spouse. Or, if you took the route that I did, you walked down the beach, you said your I Do's, had a lovely dinner for two, and went to bed with the person you committed your life to, your spouse. You may have even gone to the court house, signed a few papers, did a little celebration, and then went home with the person that you committed your life to, your spouse.

However which way you decided to make it happen, just know that you did. And what you did was exactly what anyone else did... make a commitment to another person. Elaborate or not, we all took that step in our lives. Now the commitments you made? That's between the two of you. I imagine though that the ultimate commitment of all was to stay together, until death do you part, through sickness and health, for better or worse, children and finances, and everything else in between.

Those everything in between? The unspoken commitments? Let's talk about mine.

I commit to revealing my spending habits {or being really good about hiding them}. Whether you decide to have a joint bank account or not, whether you share your money or not, you seem to find yourself {post marriage} talking about money in your casual conversations. And judging how the other person spends it.
"What did you buy? And how much did that cost? You spent that much on a man's haircut {and must you get one every month}?! You spent that much on a purse {must it be designer}! Why can't you leave Target with just the things that you went in to buy? Why can't you enjoy shopping and spending money the way I do? Look at the amount of coffee you drink at work honey... I could buy a new bag for that. Look at the amount of packages showing up at our door. I spend less. You spend more. No I don't. Yes you do. Okay, I do."
I commit to showering from time to time, shaving my legs, and throwing something decent on before you come home from work. It won't be often. Not nearly as often as you like. And you may half-ass it most of the time {for instance, shower but not shave}, but regardless, you make that effort occasionally because you realize that that is the closest you have gotten to dressing up in a long time. And that your husband is probably tired of seeing you in a t-shirt and sweat pants with holes on the rear end... for the third day in a row. Mind you, this is post kids ladies. No worries, newlyweds, you'll probably do more dressing up and being cute before kids. And probably after baby number one. But definitely not after baby number two. It's a deal changer in the maintenance department.

I commit to not buying mom jeans. I don't even know what mom jeans are, but my husband made me promise to never buy them. I tried to tell him that I think it's a mom butt that develops and so the jeans tend to look a certain way.. but he's convinced that it's more than that. I haven't violated this rule yet, so I guess I'm in the clear for now.

I commit to pretend to cook. Men love a home cooked meal. Whether we are good at doesn't even matter... it's the presentation. The idea of someone cooking for them. So you have to learn how to pretend when need be. You'll learn to be clever at times. Like get a takeout from somewhere, throw it in the oven, have the oven go off while the husband is walking through the door, and say "Honey, dinner is served." Throw on an apron and heals? And they'll be drooling over whatever you put in front of them. Men are predictable creatures.

I commit to doing it all. They {the men} don't expect you to do it all... but they do. Really. I think they just think that just comes with the title of wife {and mother}. It's like the house gets cleaned, the kids get their needs met, and food gets placed on the table, and it's just the easiest thing in the world. In their eyes. But I promise you, the minute that you ask them to do the same while you are out doing work or other committments? You'll come home to dishes piled up high from who knows what, because in the trash is the carry out food that they ate {for all three meals}, except they will most likely forget to feed a child at least one meal throughout the day. And speaking of said children, they probably only got 2 diaper changes {only because they smelled}, and will most likely be in their pajamas {or unmatching outfits}. And your house? Forget about it. Toys everywhere, and things placed in areas they shouldn't be. Most likely? The husband slept on the watch as well.

You're better off hiring a babysitter next time you need to go anywhere.
I commit to pretending to like sports. Except I really don't, and I no longer hide it. Football season? That consumes half a year of our lives. Steals my husband away from me every Sunday, Monday, and sometimes Thursday. Don't even get me started on the "fantasy football" talk.

And lastly, I commit to staying up until at least 10pm {most days of the week}. Oh boy. This is a tough one for me, and I'm in violation more times than not. Most nights? I end up passing out while Elliana is falling asleep. Which means like 8:30. Staying up past 10pm is for the young folks. And young, young I am not.

There you have it newlywed. Just a glimpse of some of the commitments that I have made, and the ones that I have violated. You'll make your own. They may be very similar to those stated above. They may be very different. You'll break them as I have, because it seems as though the "little things" in a relationship are the hardest to keep tabs on.

But rest assured, you will survive the first year of marriage, and the second, and the third, fourth, and 50th, if you do all things together. And I mean all. Whatever all means to you.

So again, I congratulate you on this new chapter that you have started. The great thing about it, is that you are the author, and you are in the control of how the story ends.

Make it a good one.

With love,

Just a girl married to a boy and writing her story.

Complete list of topics here 
Next week: Finish the sentence.... how well does he know you. {write a sentence or question, and have your loved one answer them}

Complete list of topics here 
Next week: Your strengths and weaknesses in your marriage
- See more at: http://www.frommrstomama.com/2013/10/all-you-need-to-know-about-my-other.html#sthash.KDNnGJId.dpuf

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meet Krystal+ $25 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

Happy Saturday! I love to introduce new faces around here, and really excited to share Krystal and her blog with you. She is a mother, a runner, and a health advocate. And so much more. I asked Krystal to share a little about her, and some of her favorite memories.

And also, she's decided to giveaway a $25 Amazon Gift Card + Ad space! Enter below
** 

Hi!  I’m Krystal.  My little part of the blog world is over at My Life of Travels and Adventures. I write about all sorts of things… 


  • Being a Momma to a 21 month bundle of energy, named Reid.
  • My attempts to eat healthy and lose weight (again). 
  • Training for yet another half marathon… This time all while pushing a stroller (and 28lb running buddy).  
  • Life with not 1 but 2 crazy pitbulls.
  • My efforts at being crafty and creating a tasty new recipe.

I started my blog as a way to remember (and tick off) my ever-expanding bucket list but since then it has transformed into first a healthy living/running blog, then a pregnancy journal and now it is just an assortment of all things me.    


My five favorite memories:

1. Becoming a mother.  At 39w1d pregnant, I left work after lunch and had a beautiful baby boy only 5 hours later.  I knew I wanted to be a mother since forever and on January 9th, 2012 my biggest dream came true.  
2. Running my first half marathon.  I never thought I would enjoy running but I fell in love.  I ran my first (of 3) half marathons when I was 8 weeks pregnant and in the full throws of morning sickness. 
3. Ziplining in Costa Rica. I do not like heights.  I did love ziplining.  The Costa Rican rainforest made the perfect backdrop.  Consider this fear slightly conquered. 

4. Vacationing in Alaska.  This was the last vacation my husband and I took before Reid was born. And it was great!  I was 23+ weeks pregnant while exploring Alaska for two weeks... Our last vacation alone and without any worries.  
5. Watching my Little Guy grow up.  Cheesy?  Yeah.  But watching Reid grow and learn each day is the absolute best feeling and memory ever.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday

{ONE} Crafts

A few weeks ago, I introduced a new website that I found where you can print out worksheets, crafts, and thousands of other things to work with your kids and help to stimulate learning. My hope is to share some of my finds {since there are so many great things out there} with you every week. I'm actually trying to incorporate this on a daily, and we are starting to have a fun little "school learning" routine.

Anywho, more on that later. About those worksheets and crafts. Here are my favorite for the week.

  1.  9 ways to learn shapes {in a fun way!}
  2. Understanding patterns, and following them {they have many different kinds}
  3. Practicing fine motor skills
  4. Sight word Bingo--- this is a favorite for Elli, and she loves to shout "bingo!" We kind of twisted the rules to make it work for just her {since we aren't playing it with others}. I say the words that are on her board, and she finds them and covers them out with the cut out doggy, kitty, or birds. It's a great way to recognize the different words!
  5. Bat craft-- I followed the rules, then taped a popsicle stick on the back, and we used the stick to fly the bat around. I then googled information on bats {because, this mama here doesn't know little weird facts}, and found out fun things to share with E. Such as --- Bats are frugivores, and insectivores {majority eat fruit and insects}. They are also the only flying mammal! Fun huh. 
  6. And lastly, most importantly, a quick and important article on preschool activities and boundaries. I have learned to step away and get frustrated, but I only learned that because I made my own mistakes and learned from them. You know, sometimes I wish we had a video camera watching us throughout the day, and when the kids are in bed, we watched it back. I bet many of us would cringe at how we, as parents, react sometimes. I know just replaying the internal video {and audio} camera in my head, I tend to cringe. But, that's the beauty of parenthood, it's never perfect and we grow through time and experiences.
{TWO} Pictures.

I know that no one else probably misses the pictures on this blog, but I know I do miss opening up this space and seeing my two little loves. Not to mention my family members that keep calling me asking..."Where are the pictures!" So pictures, here they are. Just a few.






{THREE} Cold.

Everyone in our house got it. It first started with E {I think I mentioned this last Friday. I went to work Friday and came home Saturday morning feeling like a truck ran over me. Had to call in sick Saturday and Sunday. Passed the cold on to my son, who then passed it to my husband. So we have all been battling a cold in this household, but are thankfully on the mend. 

Speaking of cold, it's been a cold on out there. It went from hott to cold. No in between. So actually it's been kind of nice being cooped up in the house with my family. Sometimes? It's nice not to be running around from one activity, play date, and commitment to the other. 

{FOUR} Goals.

I want to do something with this blog, these ideas that are brewing inside of me. I have discussed many things with my husband about starting something, but I just have not had the push yet to actually do it. Time has sort of gotten the best of me, and with so many other obligations pulling me in different directions, it's been hard for me invest any more of my time and energy on to a new project.

But I do. I have these dreams. These dreams of starting a website. These dreams of making a mom planner. These dreams and ideas.

I just hope that I push toward them, and not let other things get in the way. We shall see. I'm excited to share some of the ideas that I have.

{FIVE}

Ebates. Look, I'm not going to stop hasseling each and every one of you, until I know that you are all shopping through this site. It's free money and I just can't get past the idea of taking a second to go to that website and then shop through there so that you can get money back for the things you shop online for.

And look, Christmas is right around the corner, and I know all you homebodies like myself, with antsy children like myself, who can't ever go to a real store and prefer to shop online. So? Why not reward yourself.

Perks? Get a free $10 gift card {of your choice} after signing up and making your first purchase {wherever your heart so desires}. And then on top of that refer only two people and get a $50 bonus. Seriously, did I mention all of this is FREE.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

To sleep or not to sleep... NOT sleep.


Our sleeping arrangements.

I feel like every now and then I have to update this space on sleep. Really? To just write it out and make sense of it all. For my own sake.

I know I have talked about in the past. Multiple times. Good sleep, bad sleep, lots of sleep, no sleep. How we could not co-sleep with E because she had no interest in it at the beginning. Until she turned 21 months old and decided to climb out of the crib. Then we co-slept until her big girl bed came in. Only to completely mess up our whole sleep routine {we had a great one} and faced with the issue of having to lay down with her every night. Except, not so much an issue because we loved that she now showed an interest in sleeping with us. Well, then the baby was born and although we tried to push the whole "big girl" on our baby, she was definitely having none of that. And still isn't. Graham joined the co-sleeping family and the four of us found ourselves every night in our little old queen bed. Although sometimes rough, it was always so wonderful to wake up with both our babies by our side. And Graham? Graham was a cuddling little monster. That is until now.

Oh, now? Let us talk about the now.

Elliana still co-sleeps with us. She goes down every night, we lay with her until she falls asleep, and then we sneak out for a bit to do our own personal stuff, only to come back later to join her. Naps? The same thing pretty much. We used to just lay down with her in her room, but ours has the blackout curtains, and she seems to be able to fall asleep quicker in our room versus hers. And quick is kind of important around these parts. But by quick, I mean anywhere from 15-40 minutse. So... not so quick.

Little man? Little man was a co-sleeping machine up until he turned 6 months old. Then he tossed, and turned, and woke up about every hour throughout the night. That's when we made the transition to crib, and that's when he blossomed. Only woke up once or twice {rarely twice} and sometimes even slept through the night. If he woke up for a feeding, I would normally nurse him and then try to get him to go back to sleep with us... but... again, he was having none of it. As soon as I would lay him down in his crib, he would be out. And sleep in until 8-9.

Naps? Same thing. He tossed and turned when in bed with us, but slept perfectly fine in the crib. So although I would love for the little guy to be close by my side, I have come to terms that he much prefers his own space. And that's okay... because we all know that things may easily change when the climbing out of the crib all begins.

I guess what this boils down to is us just doing what we feel is best for our babies' needs. I guess that is what parenting entails anyway. Adjustments, compromise, and accomodating to what works best at this present moment of time.

Who knows, next week E may decide she wants nothing to do with us and sleep in her own bed. And G? Maybe he'll all of a sudden have a change of mind and want to be close to mama and papa.

But my guess? My guess is that in a matter of time they will just want to sleep together. The two of them.
It's a good thing we got a trundle bed.

And my hopes? My hope is that the little guy will eventually join us in the big family bed and they two never want to stop snuggling up next to mama and papa. Honestly, I would not object to that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I have a question for you. Or Four.

I have spoken from the heart about to important topics the past couple of days, and just needed a break from posting anything. That includes a post that has been scheduled for months, but what is another day, right?

Thank you to everyone who continues to show support to this space of mine, and I just want you to know that I appreciate each and every one of you that comes over here to read. Really appreciate it. I don't say it enough.

So today, instead, I wanted to ask you a few questions, and if I could so selfishly ask you to take the time to answer them, I would be so thankful. I have a few ideas brewing in my head about this little space of mine and just wanted to reach out for some input.

1. Wordpress. I've been thinking about switching, mainly because I love their design options. My question to you is would this effect the way you read my blog?

2. If you have Wordpress, tell me how much you love it so I can make the switch. If you can, tell me what you love about it. And if you made the switch from blogger to Wordpress, did it effect your traffic?

3. Should I do a Q&A? Are there questions that people have been meaning to ask? It's been a while since I have done one of those, but not sure if it's something that is needed right now.

4. Lastly, what do you want me to write about? I have so many scheduled posts, scheduled ideas, and other things that are lined up, that I feel as though I may be forgetting things/questions/requests out there. Please do tell.

That is all. Four questions... and then questions within those questions {because I am so needy, you know}.

And here is to Happy Wednesday and a break from a real post.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's YOUR excuse

***I use words such as you and we in my writing as it is my way of writing. I write as though I am speaking to the person directly.  This is not directed to any specific person or group of people, but merely anyone who has purposefully put down another person and their successes. 

Have you ever noticed how overly-sensitive our society has become. How quick people are to point fingers at one another. How defensive one gets over a sentence, a picture, another person's success, or something as miniscule as a pinterest-inspired birthday party. The judgements. The opinions. The expert that one seemingly becomes over another person's life. You know what I'm talking about. The proclaimed excuse makers.

Well she probably has a nanny that watches her kids.
Her husband works from home.
She doesn't know what it is like to actually work.
She's never dealt with a colicky baby.
How selfish of her to not spend time with her family.
It's just her genetics.

I've had 5 kids.
Well I've had 7.
She doesn't know what it's like.

She's making me look bad as a mom, and that's annoying.
How dare she act as if I should look like that.
I actually interact with my children, thank you very much.
Spending that much money on clothes? Clearly she only cares about herself.

It's hard enough being a woman and a mom in this society, I don't need the added pressure.
I let my kids be kids, unlike her who only cares about being perfect.
She's a helicopter mom.
She's too lax of a mom.
She sucks at being a mom.

I feel sorry for her kids.
I feel sorry for her husband.
I feel sorry for her dog.
I feel sorry for her.

I have it much tougher than her you know.
I don't have that kind of time.
I would never do that.
I could never do that.
Why would I want to do that.

Nauseating right? Complainers, complainers, complainers.  I mean, whoever said that you get anything accomplished in life by complaining about it. Really. Whoever said that you shall get rewarded without putting in the hard work. Whoever said that making excuses for yourself should make someone feel sorry for you.

People have guilt. Mothers have guilt. And so they may read one sentence out of on article, and be thrown into a rant of whatever they are struggling with internally. Whether it is weight. Whether it is their finances. Whether it be marital issues, health issues, or emotional issues. Whatever it may be, they are struggling, and to watch someone else succeed in something that they may not be able to, ever, just triggers something inside of them. And then the fight begins. And it's never ending. And the ranting and back and forth one-upping the other is seriously embarrassing to watch, or in this case, read. Sometimes I have to remind myself that these are grown women {lets face it, it's always women}. That sometimes {often times} these are even mothers. Mothers with children that are bashing other women, other mothers. And you can't help but wonder what these people are teaching their own children.

Surely not the importance of respecting others.

Lets talk specifically here about the ridiculous outcry by mothers and women over the image of the mom, fit mother, with her children, ages 3, 2, and 10 months {rough estimate here}, and a caption on the photo stating "What's Your Excuse." The one that popped up on everyone's news feed. The one that had everyone waving their arms up in the air crying "How dare she!"

I saw that picture, and thought to myself "Good for her! Beautiful children! Hard work! And she should be proud." And almost kept going, until my eyes met the comments. Oh those comments. People sitting behind their computer screen, making those excuses and accusations. Here they go.

Others? They saw this picture as her bashing fat women, fat mothers, and anyone else that did not look like her, strive to be like her, and put in the hard work like her.

And that's when I just put my head down in shame. She never said any of those things. She never insinuated any of those things. Yet, here these people were ripping her down for exactly just that. Words she never said. 

Three words. 

Three words was all it took to start a mom war, women war, and downright embarrassment out of the community. Because anyone who sat there and took the time to actually bash this woman, make assumptions of this woman, make excuses for themselves, and write pity parties should be ashamed of themselves.

Look, some people will never look like that. That's okay. Look, some people will not have the time to devote to look like that. That's okay. Look, some people don't even want to look like that. That's okay.

Have I mentioned that that's okay?!

I get that. And yet, I'm not an ounce jealous, bitter, or upset by a photo of a mother with her children and three little words. Why would I be.

If I was bitter, jealous, or upset, then I surely wouldn't be blaming her. She didn't do anything to me. She didn't belittle me. She didn't talk down to me. She didn't say anything more than "What's your excuse." She didn't do anything but show me what she has accomplished.

Anything else? Then that's within me, and has nothing to do with her.

So, again, good for her!

Who are we trying to convince here by telling our story of self pity, all while tagging on that this woman is selfish, doesn't spend time with her family, and is not the mother to her children that you are to yours. You know why that picture hurt anyone? Because deep down in their stomach, they may have regrets about something that is going on in their life. Something they are struggling with. Something that may have not worked out for them. And it doesn't necessarily have to do with weight. Or it may have everything to do with weight.

Weight or not, they struggle. And they used that moment, that picture to take it out on her. A real person with real feelings. By the way.

But my question again is this: Is it this woman's fault that we struggle? Is it her fault that she accomplished something that many women and mothers may not be able to. Is it her fault that you couldn't get past a picture of a mother with her children, in shape, and see something positive. Instead the caption spoke to you, in a negative way, and the only way to defend why we don't look like that is by attacking the person that does.

Why.

Why, in life, do we resort to attacking another person for the decisions that they make, the hobbies that they partake in, or the way they live their life. Assuming that they have resources we don't, that they have genetics that we don't, that they have a life that we don't. Minimizing their accomplishments in order to make ourselves feel better.

Why.

The thing is, this mother's story is no different than when I see people complaining about mothers who throw pinterest like parties. Mothers who like to do elf on the shelf. Mothers who do cutesy homemade valentine's day crafts with their children. The critics? They bash these women for making them look bad. How dare they do all these crazy, silly, over-the-top things for their own children. How dare they try to parent however they like, do crafts whichever way they like, and throw parties however they want. How dare they.

Excuse me here, while I bluntly say, how stupid does that sound. Blaming another woman for making you look bad. Blaming a mother for doing something for her children, something that while you may not enjoy, she does, and trying to take away from her happiness. And why. Why why why.

Why.

Look, accussing pinterest, elf on the shelf, or anything or anyone else for one feeling like an inadequate mother, wife, or person, is like blaming {and suing} McDonalds for being overweight.

At the end of the day? No matter how much hate you spread, no matter how many excuses you make, and no matter who you want to blame and point fingers at... You'll still feel inadequate. Just like suing McDonalds wouldn't take the weight off, belittling another person won't make you feel better about yourself or your life. Pointing fingers, shaming, and hating does not bring upon change.

Actions do.

The question you have to ask yourself is not, What did she do. Not what did she have. Not what did she sacrifice. And surely not what is easier for her. Instead, ask yourself what you are doing, what you are sacrificing, and how you can make a difference, if not for anyone else, but for yourself.

Spread positivity.
Inspire.
Work hard.
Set goals.
Complain less, achieve more.
Compliment.
Give.
Celebrate.
Be the positive example for our children.

Because I can't help but ask.... What's your excuse not to.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Strengths & Weaknesses in Marriage


We all have them. Right? Strengths and weaknesses in our marriage. We can't all possibly be perfect in our marriage. Right? Surely, we can all agree that marriage has its ups, and it also its downs.

Right?

If you nodded your head to any of those, then you understand. You have probably been there where you thought to yourself that no one prepared you for this. That sometimes the person that you love the most is the one you don't even want to be around. Briefly. That surely you are the only one dealing with this. And damn it... WHERE DID THOSE BUTTERFLIES GO!

It's natural. It's a normal thing when you spend x amount of hours together. When you combine finances. When children come into the picture. When you have to keep another person in mind with every decision that you make. When they see you at your worst. And when they see you at your best. Which may not be the best that it once was.

It's all a part of marriage.

I don't know anyone that has the perfect marriage. To this day. And I've encountered many amazing married couples. Sure, there will be people that will try to make themselves look perfect, make themselves sound like "Oh that's never happened to us" and make you believe that you are doing something wrong. Those people? Those people are the ones that are in more trouble than you are.

Trust me.

I won't sit here and give you marriage advice, because hell, I don't think I'll ever master marriage over here. There are qualities about myself that I know are difficult to deal with, and I know that unless those change, my marriage {and every other relationship in my life} will be affected. Those that know me and love me? They understand it. One of those people being my husband.

So marriage.... marriage {for us} will never have that P word. Perfect. And you know what, I'm okay with that. Because I know that what we have is special, that there is no one else I would rather grow old with, and that the only person that I want to fight with on life would be my husband, Andrew.

That is something I know with 100% certainty. Everything else? I'm just learning as I go....

One of the reasons that I believe marriage fails {insert one of many reasons out there}, is that people have this fairytale view of what marriage will look like. It's kind of like parenthood. People will shout at the top of their lungs to anyone that will listen..."That will never be us, and I will never do that" and they say it with such conviction that the only person they are really trying to convince here is themselves. People look at dating and love as a glimpse of what marriage will be like. So when things don't go exactly as planned? When those giddy feelings in your stomach go away? When bigger life changes require you to deal with hardships and challenges? They freak out. They didn't sign up for this. This isn't who they married. And gosh darn it, they want that prince charming {and perfect wife} that they always dreamed of.

The reason that I say this, and no this doesn't apply to every marriage that has ever ended, is because I have spoken to people who are engaged. Who drop their mouths when they hear others talk about marriage. Who make these judgmental statements that lead me to just nod my head, giggle a little, and say..."talk to me in a few years."  Who I hope will be able to get past the idea of perfect before they sign on that dotted line. Who unfortunately, ended things before they even started.

Marriage is work.

You have to take the time to show that person you care. You have to take the time to not think about yourself and put their needs first. You have to take the time to treat them like a spouse and not just someone that is living with you. Because at the end of the day, life gets busy. Add children into the equation, and life gets crazy. Days, weeks, and months fly by. Stress is added into the picture, and next thing you know, your partner has seen the uglier side of you. And perhaps you have seen the uglier side of them. And so you have to work at it. Work at what you can do differently. Work at what you can change in your life. Work at what stress you can get rid of. And work at how you can give him or her more of your time, and your heart.

They need that from you.

Look, if you can get past the idea of a perfect marriage, you are already steps {miles} ahead of the others. It takes two people here to make a marriage work, and it takes two people to acknowledge that what you signed up for was forever, regardless of how tough things got, regardless of the lowest of lows, and regardless of what other marriages look like. Looks can be deceiving.

Marriage can be {and is} a beautiful thing. I wake up next to my husband and thank God that he gave me this man in my life. Being able to share my everyday with someone, to share a home with them, and then raise children together, is by far the most rewarding gift out there. This man loves me for who I am, and understands me more than anyone out there. We both have struggles that we deal with because of life, and a part of marriage is dealing with those struggles together. The thing that excites me about marriage is that I know the best years have yet to come. And that? That's what I look forward to in the future.

Being married brings a new set of butterflies in the pit of your stomach. They may not be the same as when you were dating, but believe me, they can be that much more special. As you get older, you do become wiser. Funny... that statement you hear so often, is in fact, true. You have this growing appreciation of life, and you learn to value those in your life that much more. Including your spouse. I get excited about every holiday that I get to spend with my husband. I get excited to share every milestone that our children go through with him. I get excited about all our travels, experiences, and changes that lie ahead.

I just get excited about the fact that we get to do life together. Good or bad, easy or not, we get to do it together.

So my strengths and weaknesses? Regardless of what they are, just know that we have them. We aren't a couple to aspire to be, and we don't have the marriage that they write about in books {you know, those expert books written by the experts that give you the expert definition of successful marriage. Experts}. But we have one another, we have our home, and we have our children.

And we have 60+ years of life ahead of us. Hip replacements, walkers, dentures and all.

My fairytale marriage? Is right here. Imperfections and all.


Complete list of topics here 
Next week: A letter to the newlyweds

Friday, October 18, 2013

PSL + giving away iphones + and screaming toddlers= HAPPY FRIDAY

once again linking up with Darci for 5 on Friday
{ONE}

Pumpkin Spice for all:

Okay so I finally made the trip to McAdees {in other words, McDonalds}, and ordered the PSL that everyone has been recommending to me, and I have to say... win. Winner winner PSL dinner. For one, the price was half of that at Starbucks, and two, it actually, surprisingly, tasted a little better. Not sure what it is with the PSL this year at Starbucks, but they are not nearly as good as I remembered them being.

Even better, I was in search for my very own pumpkin spice creamer recipe... and I found one. Without even looking honestly. I think the blogger just knew that I needed it. It was written just for me, I'm sure about it.

Anyways, here it is my PSL friends. Haven't tried it yet, but probably will be doing that on Friday {today, technically when this posts}.

{TWO}

Let's talk iPhones.

Like I said a couple of weeks ago, I had been carrying around a cracked screen phone. For ages. I finally {after much persuasion from the annoying, I mean loving, husband of mine} ordered a new one. Except, you all are going to laugh at me...I ordered the iphone 4S. Why? Because it was free. And at the end of the day, to me, an iphone is just an iphone. If you give me an option to have an iphone for free or have one for $260... guess which one I am going to always pick? Free.

And the only reason I even switched was because of my screen that was getting dangerous.

Anyway, the next best thing to free, is winning one for free. Enter this giveaway below if you haven't already!


{THREE]

This one. I just want to talk about how thankful I am for this little boy that has not only stolen our hearts, but has made us better people, especially ones that appreciate the little things more in life.

On top of that, he has decided he wanted to start walking. He's taken a few steps every day, and as many as 4 at once. Stands alone, unassisted, holding on to nothing for minutes straight. My guess?   By the time E turns 3, he'll be walking.

{FOUR}

This little lady. Andrew showed me this video a couple nights ago. Actually it's a vine. I had a private account, that I used for a couple of days, and this was one we made one night when I was on maternity leave.

Warning, turn down your volume. Insert high pitched screaming toddler: "TURN ON THE LIGHTS"

But in all seriousness, I keep watching the video simply because I can't get over how much of a "baby" my sweet E looks like. It must be the cheeks. I just want to freeze her in those moments and be able to go back in time sometimes... screaming and all.

{FIVE}

Recipes.

I made a couple things this week that we are loving:

Frozen Fruit Yogurt: So easy, and the kids love it. Just put two cups of fruit {I just used raspberries this time} and 2 cups of vanilla yogurt. Blend, and then freeze. Original recipe called for adding 1/4 cup of sugar, but I thought it was already plenty sweet enough.

Philly Cheese Bell Peppers: Cut and empty out your green bell peppers. Cook on high for about 5-10 minutes just so they soften a little. Preheat oven to 350. Sautee mushrooms, peppers, and onions {and any other vegetables you so desire}, then throw in roast beef {we buy the Trader Joe's kind with no nitrites or nitrates}. Place one slice of provolone cheese at the bottom, then add in your roast beef mixture with the veggies, and then top with another provolone cheese. Cook for 20 minutes.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love easy recipes? I do.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Taking time with number 1.


It's been a while since I blogged about life with two. You know, the current, now, life with two moments. Because although we are 9 months into it, it's still a new and exciting and different world with its own number of firsts with each passing month and milestone.

I don't think that is going to change anytime soon. The newness of it all.

So one thing that I have learned that I really enjoy a lot is taking the day, hour, or moments here and there to spend alone with Elliana. This is something that I made an effort to do more and more after Graham was born, but now that she is older, talks a whole lot more, and gets excited about the world around her, I am more aware of this and want that alone time as much {if not more} than her. I know that this is something that will become equally as important as Graham gets older, but for now, his alone time is satisfied simply with me carrying him around 12 hours a day and a boob in his face the other 12. And sleep and other food in between.

By the way, I am typing this while lying down {neck hurts}, a toddler snoring next to me, and a baby out cold. I'm uncomfortable and cannot move. It will be surprising if I make it through this post without passing out.


Today we did that and I was almost a glob of mush by the time I got into my car.

Let us back up here. We went to my parent's house for the weekend, and after spending the day apple picking, playing, and plain old enjoying ourselves, my mom decided that we should make something apple for dessert. I wonder why... Oh yes, the 40 apples that were sitting in the kitchen just staring at us. However, it was perfect timing because a friend of mine at work had just texted me her favorite apple crisp recipe. So an apple dessert... coming right up. But first? First we need some more ingredients.

I grabbed my keys, wallet, and was just about to be out the door when I saw E and said..." Hey baby, want to come with mama?" She was in the middle of putting a puzzle together and instantly stopped. "Yes!" She said with the most excited face and exclamation in her voice. We put on her shoes, kissed on Graham, and said "we'll be right back!"

Except it wasn't exactly right back. Although it should have been.

We got to the store and Elliana kept talking about riding in the "baby car" as she calls it. It's her favorite thing to do at the grocery store, and unfortunately I did not see on in sight. I made multiple apologies to her and placed her in the regular cart. As we are walking through the automatic doors, in the corner of my eye, I spot that big hunker of a yellow car. And I kid you not, it was almost embarrassing how excited I was to see that thing. I mean, stupid excited.

So I whisked her out of the cart and placed her in the "baby car" and all was well. As promised, I also gave her the 3 dollar bills that she had earlier earned so that she could pick something out for herself while we were shopping.

Sugar. Butter. Oats. Beer. Ice cream. Starbucks iced coffee. Among other things.

All thrown in the cart. Then we made it to the toy aisle. I mean... it's Kroger guys, not much of a toy aisle. But it was enough. For a toddler? More than enough.

It was cute. The way she got out of the cart and stood staring at the two rows of toys with the "hmmm" expression written all over her face. Thinking. Choices. Choose wise baby.

She did. She picked the toy that was originally $8, on sale for $2.50. Saving money just like her mama.

We decided then to go through the self-checkout. I wanted her to be able to do her own transaction and not have to feel rushed by others around her. Plus, she loves to "scan" items.

So she did. I lifted her up so she could scan her toy and press the pay button. We then unwrinkled her dollar bills {eh, I haven't paid with cash in what seems like forever}, and let the machine "eat" them. She got her change {which was probably the most exciting part of the transaction for her... literally, mouth dropping}, grabbed the receipt, and placed it in her bag.

I then completed my short transaction, placed my hand into Elli's, and walked out of the store.

And without asking, without prodding, without me saying anything at all, she says to me as we are walking out.. "That was fun mama."

Remember how I said I was almost a pile of sobbing mush in the car? That. That does me in right there. Reminds me that I don't have to send her to the zoo, the museum, fancy musicals, or anything else to appreciate little things like letting her be a part of the every day.

So life with two? We're learning, and it's exciting, and it seems to only get better and better with time.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What if you no longer could walk up the stairs to kiss your kids at night. What would you do?

Andrew and I were on the phone one day, when he started telling me about how hard putting the kids to bed was the night before when I was working. Elliana still requires us to lay with her until she falls asleep, and at times, this can take an upwards of 1 hour. Graham? Graham is still a baby who just so happens to wake up as many times as he pleases throughout the night. Most times it is just once, but upwards of 2-4 on others. Regardless, it wears on him.

As he was talking, I cut him off. Something I need to work on anyway. It reminded me of something I had read the night before. And as I started telling him the story... I had to pause in between moments to hold back tears.

"Andrew.. honey... I know it's tough, and I know that it can be frustrating, but remember... we will miss these moments." 
"Becky, I know that but.."
"No buts. Think about if you only had a few nights left with your children. How would you approach bed time then?" 
"You can't say it like that"
"But I can... you see, I read about this mom. This beautiful, loving, caring mom. Who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Who during her last few nights at home, became so weak that she could no longer walk. One of the moments that she cherished was bedtime with her two kids. So you know what she did?.... She crawled up the stares, just so she could have those moments to hold them, stroke their hair, kiss on their innocent cheeks, and whisper I love you. Think about if you didn't know when it would be your last time to do that."

Silently, I cried. I cried for this mother that I didn't know. For the children that I would never meet. And for the widow husband that I wish I could hug.

"Becky, you know I hate all these sad stories you tell me. Stop reading that kind of stuff, and lets talk about something else."

I wiped away the tears, and I let it go. I knew what I had said was already enough to make him think about it and remind him in the future when he has yet another one of those {inevitable} stressful bedtime routines. There was no need to push it on him. I knew that he preferred that I didn't share so much sadness with him, but at times, I feel like I have to. This one in particular hit home.

And so this got me thinking. Why are we so moved by other people's stories. More importantly, why are there so many sad stories.

Look, I'm not sure why sadness happens in the world. Why the young can't live until they are old, why pain and suffering occurs, why mothers, fathers, and children die. I'm not sure why things end the way they do and why we may never get that explanation as to why they do. Not while we are on Earth that is.

But I do know one thing, and that is that everyone has a story. And when they leave this life, we, the ones that are left behind, get to share that story.

If stories like this didn't exist? Then how could we possibly ever know how precious of a gift life truly is. How could we possibly know what it is like for a mother to know that she will never get to kiss her children at night again. How could we possibly imagine a life without our loved ones. Without our health.

Or without the strength to walk up the stairs to tuck our children in at night.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

iPhone 5C giveaway!!! $650 value with Tech Armor Accesories

Thank you to Tech Armor for sponsoring this post

It's yesterday's news that I have had issues with my phone {which had a cracked screen for a month before it was replaced} and that I am notorious for dropping it at least once a day.  It's gone through quite a bit in the past two years, and something that I have promised my husband this time around was that I would actually invest in quality products to prevent any future damages. 

The key here is quality. I can't tell you how many iphone cases I have owned in the past, how many "screen protectors" I have gone through, and how many times I have thrown such items in the trash because they simply could not last. You know why this was happening? Because I was not investing in the right ones.

I was excited when I heard about Tech Armor and Andrew and I actually got a chance to sit on our daughter's bed while the kids fought over blogs and browsed the site. We were instantly intrigued by their products, and in no time I was searching on amazon to read further reviews. With a 4.9 star rating {and over 5,000 reviews on one product alone}, we were pretty impressed to say the least.

And now that the I-Phone 5C and 5S have come out, with the most advanced technology out there, it's more important than ever before to make sure that our phones are protected with cases and screen protectors. There are so many different cases to pick from, and it definitely suits a variety of paranoid individuals like myself. Kind of worried? There's a slimmer one for that. A lot worried? There's a thicker on for that. You know how they say there's an app for that? That.

Oh,  yes,  let me just mention here that the Tech Armor even offers screen protectors in Ballistic Glass in addition to HD Clear and Anti-Glare Anti-Fingerprint!



The picture clearly does a better job of explaining it than I could ever put into words. I mean, really... this is what I needed two months ago before I dropped my phone flat on the ground in the parking garage.

Let me just say, Andrew is pretty giddy {like a school girl} to get his cases in the mail. Not going to lie, I'm a little excited for him.

From Tech Armor:


Prices are so low on Tech Armor cases that you can get several to mix and match with different outfits. Tech Armor keeps their prices low by selling directly to consumers and avoiding the big box mark-ups of the major retailers. 
The Tech Armor Relax Series quality is right on par with similar $20-$40 cases. 
Tech Armor hired a color fashion expert to help select the colors including Cobalt,  Berry,  Turquoise,  and many others that will be in style for the next few seasons. 
Tech Armor made this video to show off the cases in a fun way while showing off their Southern California lifestyle! 
The Tech Armor company mantra is "You Play, We Protect!" and they absolutely stand by it! Known for setting the industry standard in customer service, they truly will not rest until their customers are satisfied!
Tech Armor Amazon customer feedback rating is 4.9 out of 5 stars with over 87, 000 customers weighing in over the last 12 months alone! 
In addition to the iPhone 5C giveaway, Tech Armor is doing a Case-a-Day Giveaway of the Relax Series iPhone 5/5S and 5C cases on their Facebook page every day from now until Jan 1st
And now, what you all have been waiting for.... {{insert... a braaaand new car}}..... Except not a car. Even better than a car....

An I-PHONE 5C DELUXE PACKAGE valued at $650!

$650 value that will consist of 

1.) iPhone 5C, in the color of your choice. 
2.) Tech Armor iPhone 5C case of your choice. 
3.) Tech Armor Ballistic Glass Screen Protector. 
4.) Tech Armor High Power Dual USB Car Charger, choice of black or white. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress, Instagram, Bloglovin' or Blogger. No purchase necessary to enter. Must be 18 years or older to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only. Winner must provide verification of all entries and respond within 48 hours of being contacted by Tech Armor. If winner does not respond within that time, a second winner will be chosen in their place. From Mrs to Mama is in no way associated with Apple industries. Tech Armor is responsible for sending the product to the winner that is chosen and From Mrs to Mama blog has no responsibility in the products.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Being a healthier you + $100 spafinder giveaway



Being a mom of two is busy. Being a mom of two, working at night in a hospital, taking care of the home, pet, and writing a blog from time to time is busy. Making appointments, getting to those appointments, activities, and playdates is busy. Meal planning {and making} is busy. And before you know it, you are just constantly telling the whole world on how busy you are. All the time.

Except, the word cannot possibly illustrate the amount of "busy" that you are. Not even close.
Now that I have told you how busy I really am, let me further explain one thing that is lacking in my life. Exercise. Something that I struggle with a lot is finding the time to get away in order to go running, squeeze in a workout, and do a quick video with Jillian Michaels.

Therefore, I have to learn how to compromise and make it work with my ongoing responsibilities involving the kids, house, and work. But with time, there have been a few things that I am able to do throughout the week that help me feel healthier and a better me.
In addition, I believe staying healthy and active goes beyond physical activity. It is also about maintaining a healthy balance in your diet. This can be easily remedied using Probiotic Pearls which i will talk about later on in this post.  
Here are some tips that I have compiled from personal experience:
1. Walking. With two little ones running around? There is a lot of opportunity to walk. Now that we have cooler weather, the kids and I try to squeeze in a walk in the early morning or late afternoon. It's a great way for us to start the day, or sometimes end the day. We have the same path that we walk to, either around the lake or to the park. Of course for the kids, the second path always takes preference. The park.
2. Thinking smart. This means: parking far away. Another component that forces me to have to walk further, especially when at the grocery store and having to push a big cart around. Not to mention, I babywear Graham most of the time, which then adds 20 pounds to my walk. And secondly, taking the stairs. Unless I have the stroller with me, then it's me and the stairs with the kids. We try to make this fun and count our steps as we go and sometimes we will go down and up again. Per my daughter's request.
3. Water water water. Staying hydrated is so important, and I always have a large water jug with us on our walks, in the car, and at the park. I bring one for my daughter as well and make sure to ask her frequently about drinking water. Since making the switch to only drinking water, it's amazing how much better I feel.
4. Fruits and vegetables. Lots of them. Shop more in the produce than any other section at the grocery store. Best advice ever given to me.

5. Playing ball. My daughter is at a very active age right now and loves to hit the soccer ball around. Also, my husband used to play basketball, and we happened to move into a home that has a basketball goal, so when we have the opportunity, we like to play together. Of course I always win.
6. Bounce. I have to say, nothing keeps the attention of the kids as a big bouncy ball. So throughout the day I try to jump on this thing and do some ab workouts. They think it's hilarious, my belly thinks it is torture. But it's worth it. Even if it's just for 5 minutes multiple times throughout the day.

While we are on the topic of making healthy choices, let's talk about Probiotic Pearls. One thing that I have read as an important element in living a healthy lifestyle for others was maintaining a healthy digestive system. Makes sense right?

Probiotics helps the digestive system by delivering the "good" bacteria to the intestines, and because of their three layers, they survive through the stomach acid to reach their destination. One there, the good bacteria is then released to maintain an optimal healthy digestive and immune system.

Have a busy lifestyle? They come in a small round shape making it easy to swallow.

Overall, I think it is important for all of us to find ways to be at our healthiest self. For me, it's not just about me anymore. I have a husband and two children that need me. And I believe as parents, we have to work toward giving ourselves the best opportunity for a long healthy life.

Sweepstakes:

Enter for a chance to win $100 SpaFinder gift card!
Leave a comment answering this: What are some ways in which you create healthy digestive habits with your busy schedule?


Rules:

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b:Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c: Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d: For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/14/2013-11/15/2013


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