Let them eat cake! Or potato chips… or cookies…

My days used to be spent lacing people up in corsets and helping them pick out fancy costumes. Now I feel like 95% of my day is spent trying to find something my toddler will agree to eat. It’s quite a lifestyle change and takes some adjusting.

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Potato chips for dinner! #ParentingWin

Why do toddlers hate food? Or love something one day so you stock up on it and then they refuse to even touch it?
I clearly remember my great grandmother feeding me steak piece by piece while I pretended to be a little bird stealing it from her fork. It probably took 45 minutes for me to finish the entire thing but she kept up with it. I now totally understand why. Being a parent has given me insight into certain things from my childhood that I never really would’ve understood otherwise. I also remember her making me a pizza at 10 PM at night just because I said I was hungry. Parents (and grandparents) will do anything to get a kid to eat.

I can tell Keelan is going to be a skinny kid, just like me and his dad were. I hope he eventually embraces our love of good food and cooking. Right now I might as well make him a nice dinner and then dump it on the floor because that’s where it ends up. But I will keep trying! I really look forward to the day he is helping me make gourmet dinners the kitchen and picking out his own sushi at dinner. (Early 20s maybe? Lol)

Until then, I’ll just keep slicing up those hotdogs. Unless he hates them this week of course.

#BodyAfterBaby and Why the gym is my new favorite place

gymOne of the best things I’ve done since becoming a stay at home mom is join a gym with child care. I have never had quite such a great incentive to go work out. No time for yourself? Kid driving you crazy and you just want to zone out in your own head for an hour? Go to the gym for a stress-relieving hour and a half break!

Of course the only drawback sometimes is that you actually have to workout. Though I confess to pushing the limits of that definition while peddling the recumbent bike on a level one while playing around on my phone. And even better- my gym has a cardio theater! The other day I hung out and watched Suicide Squad while peddling slow enough to fall over if the bike were real. 

But just being back at the gym has actually inspired me to start working out for real. I already lost a stubborn 7 pounds I’ve been fighting with for a few months. Five more and I’ll be back to my pre-baby size! Though I think some parts of me are permanently changed in shape just due to housing a child for 10 months in there.

Now that it has become a habit and a welcome break, I actually miss it when I don’t go. I even went on a Sunday last week! Normally I don’t even hit my FitBit step goal on a Sunday so this is quite a change for me.

But I look better, feel better and am happier for the little break every time I go. 🙂

Star Wars Mac & Cheese Makes Forks Easy

As a first time mom, I am learning as I go. I had no smaller siblings, so I know nothing about babies and kids. I wanted to start doing little reviews of products and things I found useful. So here’s my first thing:

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Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Star Wars style!

ok, so yes I bought it because it was Star Wars mac & cheese, but I came to find out it was actually really useful! The little shapes make it so much easier for my two-year-old son to pick the pieces up using a fork (or spork) and that means he eats more of his meal and less lands in his lap/on floor/in hair.

It cooks fast, but gets pretty hot. If your toddler is anything like mine, than anything over room temperature is deemed “too hot.” So I cook it up, dump it in a bowl and then stick it in the freezer. Stir a couple times and it is good to go. Or if  you are in a hurry, make it a little thick and toss in an ice cube for a quick cool down.

PS – if they don’t eat it all, it is also a tasty adult snack as well. I find that a plus in any toddler meal.

The Invisible Parents

Before baby, I used to get a little pissy every Christmas when the cards would start rolling in and it would be just one smiling kid after another. I don’t know these kids! I want to see my friends! Same with Facebook. Thanks for the 100th photo of your child doing something mundane like using a spoon (which I know now is actually mind blowing) but can I see a photo of my MIA friend for once? I couldn’t understand why on Earth all people with kids did was post photos of their kids!

So, oh hey…I get it now (I often feel I should just title this blog “how I got everything wrong and know nothing”)

Every photo of your kid is cute. Everything he does is amazing and you want to share it with the world, or at least with his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who are all on Facebook. And you are busy, frazzled, and most likely covered in some foreign substance whether it be spit-up, snot or food. You didn’t have time to even comb your hair. You tried to take a selfie but that took about 20 tries with a squirmy kid and the lighting was just terrible and no filter is going to help. They should create a filter for moms called “Before Children” that dresses you up, does your hair and takes at least 5 years off.

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My not-so-glam selfies. I’m still in the pics…I’m just not posting them as much anymore! lol

So I understand why only every 25th photo posted has you in it. I do that now myself. But just because I understand does not mean I’m letting you Christmas card people off the hook. Go comb your hair and get in the pic dammit. As much as I actually enjoy seeing all my friend’s kids pics now, I still want to see them just as much.

Although when you guys use a spoon, I’m way less impressed.

Diary of SAHM – Day 120

Ok, to be honest, I don’t exactly know what day it is. I started in November so I just averaged the months together. If you are doing this too, you understand I’m short on time!

Time is this amazing valuable commodity I can’t seem to get enough of. In fact, that’s the only present I requested for the next year. I told my husband “I only want guilt-free gifts of time for myself.” Guilt-free means they are given without making a fuss about how it is taking away from his precious time to get all his very important things done. And also a good chunk of time because a couple hours is NOT enough and it just sucks to have a little time for yourself but rush everything because you feel like you have to get back home asap.

This is my first blog since the holidays. I missed all those golden blogging opportunities the holidays present, the optimistic or often nostalgic “where did this year go” New Year’s blog…and now we are heading straight into Valentine’s Day and all I asked for was a day to go get my hair done at a salon. Something I used to take for granted. I could spend alllll day getting my hair colored and cut if a wanted. But now I have to plan way in advance, coordinate schedules, etc. I really want to get low lights and be a little less of a blinding blond color. But that takes time. About 4 hours last time I tried it. Where on Earth does a SAHM get time for that? Well they probably don’t and they manage to whip some box color up during a nap time to get by. That’s probably where I’m headed. And if all else fails, at least I look good in hats.

You know what the weird thing is? I’m still super happy I made this decision and I still love it. Every day. Even the tough days, of which there are many. But I had tough days when I ran my boutique. No matter what you choose in life, there will be tough days. As my Green Beret husband would say, “Embrace the suck.” So I do have some seriously sucky days, but somehow they still make me happy when I go to bed at night.

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But seriously, he needs to embrace the suck a bit more and let me have a spa day or something because this momma could use a pedicure, a massage and new ‘do!

We’ve Become Those People

My husband and I used to go out to dinner a lot. We would usually sit at the bar and spend several hours drinking wine and eating appetizers for meals. We rarely sat at a table and would just enjoy the experience of sampling food and drinks.

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Not my actual child, but you get the point

Now no more bar for us- we need a table that can fit a highchair. Also, you probably want to stick us somewhere in the back where we won’t be a nuisance. But not too far back because one of the kids may open the emergency door and set off the very loud alarm.

So last night, as I sat on the toilet at the restaurant, listening to the screeching alarm going off, I totally knew that was our table causing the commotion. We were out to dinner with friends that had two boys, 4 and 6. So I did not burst out of the bathroom worried there was some sort of actual emergency. I may have actually lingered a moment or two longer than usual, hoping the alarm would be off by the time I stepped out.

Back in before baby days, we would be at the bar, rolling eyes and laughing at the hapless parents trying to enjoy a meal and wrangle their children. Most likely thinking what a bunch of brats they were and how if we had kids they would be sitting quietly like little angels.

Bwahahahahhahahahha

Oh how the mightly have fallen…right off their barstools.

 

Like a Toddler in a China Shop

In my big effort to “get out there and do stuff,” I signed us up for a handprint ornament class at one of those make it and paint it pottery places. In other words, I took a toddler to a fragile land of no-no filled with colorful animals, flowers and even tanks and video game controllers that he can’t touch! In case you are wondering how fun it is with a 19 month old, well on a scale of 1-10…it’s maybe a 3. And that’s if you just really like arts and crafts. And chasing toddlers. We spent 10% of our time on the handprint and 90% of the time it was me chasing him around going “No Touch! No Touch!”

It all sounded so lovely – a story time with snack and drink, followed by creating a pottery piece that went with the story. Unfortunately they started with the crafty part, so by the time the story time came he was WAY over it. Then the snack and drink were terribly inappropriate for his age group. Little hard gummy bear type things and juice in a small Styrofoam cup that he immediately grabbed and tried to crush in his tiny toddler hands as it sloshed all over my lap. I quickly ate all the gummy bears, took the shot of juice and then gave him a pouch from home. Oddly enough the only thing he didn’t try to crush was his handprint. I could barely make a dent. I was starting to worry I was hurting him, trying to cram his hand into the clay.

Other highlights include a kid peeing his pants in the corner and a mom who thought a loud airplane might be a tornado. I’m serious. She went outside to check the clouds.

So in just a couple weeks we will get a lovely $18 handprint turned Santa ornament to mark this occasion. I’m glad we tried it, but it will be a little while before we try it again. It is making me reconsider the $90 art class I’ve been eyeing. Maybe save that for a couple months from now…

I’m glad I didn’t stick around for the footprint (an additional $18) because I found this nifty idea online on how you can do the exact same thing at home for free:

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The NeverEnding Story and Its Never Ending Impact

My son and I go to a kid’s gym type play place called My Gym once a week. He loves to play in the ball pit. Today he tried licking them all. I’m just going to ignore that and move on.

So as he was sinking slowly and I was pretending to save him, I was like “Artax noooooo…..” because all I could think of was Atreyu losing his horse in the Swamps of Sadness. I have not seen this movie in years, but it made quite an impression me growing up. I loved The NeverEnding Story with a passion. I also had a massive crush on Atreyu. And as an animal lover, I found it heart-wrenching when Artax just gave up and sank.

It got me wondering, what movies will make such an impact on my son? What movies have made a huge impact on you guys? Is anyone else still sad about Artax? lol

I can’t wait to share my favorite movies with him when he gets a little older. I just might have to make a “horses are actors too” disclaimer before the swamp scene. And I know he’s totally going to want a Luck Dragon. I still do!

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I Don’t Know How to Not Work

I’m currently in the process of closing my business I’ve run for the past 11 years. I grew it from a little kitchen table eBay enterprise to a real brick and mortar boutique. It was something I dreamed about doing since I was little. I wanted to grow up and own a costume store, so that’s what I did.

I’ve always had my own business. I started at 6, coloring rocks and selling them door-to-door. I can only imagine if there was an Internet back then, I’d have a rock decor empire by now. I started this business making costumes myself and then expanded into retail and then manufacturing my own line of corsets and costume items.

I always said if I had a baby, I’d just keep right on working, and I did just that for the first year. In fact, I couldn’t wait to get back to work. Then a funny thing happened and I couldn’t wait to get back home. Instead of thinking about work all the time, I was looking at photos posted by the daycare and seeing my son playing, painting, learning and doing all the things I wanted to share with him. And here I was, stressing out over other people’s orders and watching my son grow through pictures.

So I decided to take on a new job. If I was going to be a stay at home mom, then darn it, I was going to embrace it and become CEO SAHM. And to do that, I needed to cut out all the distractions and close my store and main website. But, I also can’t stop doing what I love! So I will continue to make costume things for my Etsy shop when I can. I’m not pressuring myself to crank out a huge inventory, or take a lot of custom orders. I plan to just go back to making what I want and posting it for sale.

And if you happen to like costumes, corsets or cosplay – check out the site before I shut it down Dec. 15th. Everything is marked down below wholesale, and there is a still a good bit left:  www.3MusesBoutique.com

 

It’s all about the activities

Since I don’t intend on just sitting around the house, I am on the hunt for activities for my son and I to do now that he is home with me. There’s always the scramble to get the house/work/life stuff done, but I don’t want him sitting around watching me try to get things done. I’m intent on experiencing things together. So I spent this morning scouring the Internet for toddler-friendly activities that are also free or pretty cheap. I’m trying to save money on daycare and not make it up in pricey activities! I actually had a great (and free) morning at the park, where we jogged around the lake a couple times and then he played so much that he took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Score!!

So far I’ve found:

  • Barnes & Nobles has free story time
  • All the local libraries have free storytime and arts/crafts
  • Our museums have a free day but not sure how excited he’d be about that
  • The science museum has fun stuff but he’s still too young for the events I saw posted
  • There’s a bouncy place called Rebounderz that has special toddler times for $8
  • There’s an art class I really want to do called Color Splash but you have to buy the whole month and it’s $90-$110! I wish they just had per class options.

So, I’d love to hear from other SAHM’s about where they find activities and what I should check into!