3 Ladies blended into 1 SuperMom

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How Bruno Mars Helped My Son Find His Voice

How Bruno Mars Helped My Son Find His Voice

“Twenty-four carat magic in the AAAIIIIRRRR!” The sound caused her to slowly peak around the corner into the kitchen where then 4-year-old Nate stood facing the radio, eye-level with the speaker, bellowing at the top of his lungs the lyrics to the chorus. My aunt […]

What I Wish People Understood About Mental Illness

What I Wish People Understood About Mental Illness

I wish more people understood mental illness. I’ve been a mental health nurse for 8 years, and I can tell you with great certainty that you know someone with a mental illness, whether you are aware of it or not. We all know someone, because […]

If My Kids Are In School, Why Am I Still At Home?

If My Kids Are In School, Why Am I Still At Home?

For as long as there are stay-at-home moms, there will be moms that question that decision.

I had to be a stay-at-home mom.

I still remember it, the feel of it, the heartbreak of it. We were living in Alaska at the time, and after work one day, I headed off to pick my girls up from daycare. As we stood by the door chatting and talking about the day, the sitter handed me my sweet baby, Grace. As our conversation went on, Gracie reached back out of my arms for the babysitter. She reached back like that was where she was comfortable, like that was where she belonged, like that was her mama. And I was just a stranger passing through. That moment forever sealed itself into my story.

On the drive home, my babies in the back seat, I cried. That was my baby. I’m her mama. I knew at that moment I had to be a stay-at-home mom. After the sting of it wore off, I started planning. If I worked x amount of overtime for x amount of hours for x number of months, we could pay off the car. I spent the rest of the evening with my mind spinning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a difficult conversation to have with Lou. There was no pushback. It was decided: when we left Alaska (we’re a military family), I would officially become a stay-at-home mom.

And a stay-at-home mom I was. My babies were ages one and two, they needed me. We bought our first house, the house needed me. I started couponing to help out however I could. All said and done, we were fine. There was so much to be done. School enrollments, drop-offs, pick-ups, potty training, home decor: the list was endless.

But it seems that while I was cleaning the bathroom, the world had moved on.

What now?

Once the girls were in school full-time, I found myself wondering what I should really be doing all day long. I plan meals, run errands, bring lunch to my husband when he can’t get away. So what? How did I get to the point where what I do seems so unimportant? Did my importance boil down to whether or not I had hand soap in the house? And yes, one day when my husband asked me for soap, I cried.

I briefly thought about returning to the workforce; however, I was quickly hit with the realization that the band played on and whatever I could bring to anyone’s table was just irrelevant. How can that be an example to anyone?

I encourage my girls to be something, to do something, and to rely on only themselves. When they say they want to be like mommy and stay home to take care of their family, I don’t feel the sense of pride that I think I’m supposed to feel and it makes me sad. I don’t want them to ever wonder if they are enough. I don’t want them to ever feel as though the world has moved on. I want them to do and be so that if someone ever tries to pull the rug out from under them, they will land on their feet.

My mother raised my sister and me to be women who don’t have to stay (something that has proven priceless once in my life already). I want the same for my girls. I struggled to reconcile how I can be for myself and still be there for them.

Raising my kids is the most important thing I could ever do.

After some serious soul searching, I realized that what I am doing is so much more. I am there to hold my babies when they are sick or there to hold them just because. I get to spend the time with my children so many other parents long for with their own. Still, with all the time I am given, I find myself wondering where it all goes, and why so fast.

Being present is important, but so is being an example. I have shown my girls how to be kind and empathetic towards others. I have shown them how to keep a home, not just a house. I have even shown them how to make a chicken dinner on their own. Now, as they grow older, I want to show them what being proud of yourself looks like, and selfishly, a little part of me wants them to be proud of their mom.

Having something beyond motherhood is good (for everyone).

I decided to become a freelance writer and blogger. It’s the perfect storm, really. I could write about the things I love and maybe help others in the process. I am able to work on my terms, and still be available for my kids and my husband when they need me. Writing, researching, and blogging have given me a newfound purpose. I am excited to work on my blog every day and I go to bed every night unable to fall asleep because my mind is spinning with new ideas. I have something to pour my creativity into, something that is mine. I found my happy medium.

And as I sit here writing this article, my daughters are sitting at the table with me, working on their own “blogs.”

My cup runneth over.

This piece was originally published on Her View From Home.

I Was A Victim Of Sexual Assault, But For Years I Told Myself It ‘Wasn’t That Bad’

I Was A Victim Of Sexual Assault, But For Years I Told Myself It ‘Wasn’t That Bad’

I spent over 20 years denying my experience of sexual assault and harassment during college. It wasn’t violent, so I didn’t think I had a right to complain. I blamed myself and assumed there was something wrong with me for not being able to let […]

Here’s What Happened When My Tween Tried A Weighted Blanket

Here’s What Happened When My Tween Tried A Weighted Blanket

For a couple years now, I’d been hearing about weighted blankets, and each time I heard about them, I thought to myself, “My son should try one.” Ever since my son (now a tween) was a baby, he’s been kind of a live wire. He’s […]

Today Was One Of ‘Those’ Days

Today Was One Of ‘Those’ Days

It has been one of those days.

Those days that start hours before the alarm to get the kids ready for school goes off. When you hear one baby crying for you and the other coughing in her bedroom, surely sick and needing to stay home from school.

The ones when you walk into your baby’s room and the smell of urine smacks you in the face at the same instant you feel three little Legos impale the sensitive arch in your right foot like shards of broken glass.

That’s the kind of day it was.

When at breakfast, your previously urine soaked baby screams louder and more shrilly than the thousands of Justin Beiber teenyboppers you were surrounded by with your oldest daughter at the concert last night.

The kind of day when there is no Excederin left in the medicine cabinet, and your 2-year-old has just dropped an entire bowl of milk and Cheerios across the freshly swiffered dining room floor and then decides to take that moment to do an ice skating piroutte, fit for the Olympics, landing nose first into the corner of the wall. And you have to stop yourself from thinking that at least it got the baby to shut up.

That day when your husband is at work on his third 14-hour double shift in a row, and you are stuck in the house with no transportation and three children demanding snacks and fighting over what cartoon to watch — when you start counting down the hours until bedtime before 9 a.m.

It was one of those kinds of days.

That kinda day when naptime finally rolls around and after struggling to get your baby down in his crib, he is awoken minutes later by your screaming toddler as you bring her upstairs to put her down for her nap.

It’s that day when you suddenly realize you cannot remember the last time you showered as you look down at your two napless two-year-olds, and see that while you were reheating your coffee for the third time, they had gotten into the garbage and were now putting pieces of sticky banana peel in each other’s hair.

That’s the type of day it’s been.

The one where I snap at my kids too often. I curse under my breath. I ask myself how I have made it this far as a mother. I question not how I will make it through the rest of the day, but even the next half an hour.

That’s the day I’m dealing with it.

But as I finally sit down after this hell of a day, I realize that I made it. It’s over. My kids are still healthy, and taken care of. We are safe and provided for. And I remind myself that these kind of days are going to happen. And they’ll drive me to the brink of insanity again and again. But I’ll make it through each one of them. And I’ll have good days that outnumber these.

Who knows… maybe tomorrow will be one of those days.

This Viral Image Shares Some Awesome Strategies To Help An Anxious Child

This Viral Image Shares Some Awesome Strategies To Help An Anxious Child

We tend to think of anxiety as something that primarily strikes stressed out adults. But the fact is, many kids deal with anxiety on a daily basis. The latest statistics from the CDC show that as many as 1 in 7 kids have a diagnosed […]

Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Quit My Job

Why I’m Glad I Didn’t Quit My Job

When I got pregnant with my third child five years ago, I sat down one day to do some money math.  My teaching job, which I loved, paid a decent salary. But our childcare bills, which would grow again with the addition of another baby, […]

Islands Celebrates Pineapple Season *Giveaway*

Islands Celebrates Pineapple Season *Giveaway*

For years, I dreamed of visiting Hawaii. When the four of us finally jet-setted across the Pacific Ocean to the majestic island of Maui, I found the breathtaking beauty of that place to be intoxicating. The crystal clear water and white sand beaches seemed to leap off the pages of the travel magazines I had studied intently before our trip. And while I knew that pineapples would be in abundance, I had no idea just how many different ways the tropical fruit could be served up.

Mahalo

Image: Islands

{Consideration provided by Islands}

Pineapple Season at Islands

Pineapple Margarita

Photos remind me that our trip was more than just a dream, and thanks to Islands, I can get my pineapple fix! Through July, Islands Restaurants across the country will celebrate Pineapple Season with featured menu items and the return of their Makaha Maggie Margarita with Pineapple-Infused Tequila.

Islands Restaurant

Pineapple Menu Items

Hawaiian Burger - Islands

  • Hawaiian Burger: Fresh pineapple, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, swiss and mayo
  • Toucan Sandwich: Grilled chicken breast, teriyaki sauce, fresh pineapple, swiss, lettuce, tomato & mayo

Yaki Tacos - Islands

  • Yaki Tacos: Flour tortillas stuffed with grilled chicken, teriyaki sauce, cheddar and jack cheese, fresh pineapple salsa, lettuce and tomatoes with a side of ranchero beans
  • Chicken Hoisin Bowl: Grilled chicken, topped with fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli & diced scallions w/hoisin sauce, served over brown rice. Also available with teriyaki sauce.
Hoisin Bowl

Image: Islands

  • Grilled Fish Hoisin Bowl: Seasoned and grilled fish, fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli and diced scallions with hoisin sauce, served over brown rice. Also available with teriyaki sauce. (available at select locations)
  • Big Island Iced Tea: Vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice and strawberry purée
  • Mai Tai: Dark rum, pineapple & orange juices, sweet & sour, orgeat syrup, grenadine and a float of Myers’s Rum
  • Piña Colada: Don Q Rum, pineapple and coconut cream
  • Lava Flow: Don Q Rum, pineapple juice, strawberry and coconut cream
  • Side/Dessert: Fresh Pineapple with Yogurt Dip

Thanks to Islands, I recently visited our local restaurant at the Shops at Mission Viejo to try out their Pineapple Menu. I’ve often incorporated tropical fruits into my fish dishes at home so we opted for the Yaki Tacos with grilled fish. The mildly sweet flavor of the pineapples was a wonderful compliment to the grilled white fish. The Yaki tacos traditionally come prepared with chicken, however, you can customize many of the dishes based on your taste and dietary preferences.

Cobb Salad

Queso Burger

My memories of Islands go way back, and it wasn’t uncommon for our family of three to be dining at their Burbank location on a Friday or Saturday night. It was here that I was first introduced to spinach & artichoke dip and made it a habit to order their Moa Kai every time we visited the restaurant.

Kona Pie - Islands

I tend to have a sweet tooth, which is why I exercise discipline during the week and allow myself the freedom to indulge a bit come the weekend. We ended our meal with Islands Kona Pie. Each of us had planned to simply take a few bites. But the combination of mocha almond fudge ice cream, chocolate fudge, roasted almonds and a cookie crust was enough to throw us over the edge. Not a single bite of that pie remained.

Islands uses nearly 182,000 fresh pineapples per year for their dishes and tropical drinks. So while the Pineapple Season runs through the end of July, you could easily enjoy their featured dishes throughout the year.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Margarita Month at Islands

Through the end of May, you can save $2 on select margaritas including the Rocks, Frozen, Mangorita, and Strawberry Margarita (not available during Happy Hour).

Pineapple Coloring Sheet

Kids Pineapple Coloring Contest

Through the end of May, kids are encouraged to design and decorate their own pineapple coloring sheet (provided by the restaurant) for a chance to win $50 to Islands. You can view the official rules here.

Win It!  One of you will win a $25 gift card to Islands Restaurants. Simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave me a comment with the dish you’d like to try. Comments will close on June 7th, 2018 at 11:59 PM PST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.

Your Complete Guide to Visiting Knott’s Soak City

Your Complete Guide to Visiting Knott’s Soak City

Our summers here in Southern California can get quite warm, so an escape to cooler (and wetter) places is typically in order.  If you’re looking for things to do in Southern California with kids this summer, a trip to Knott’s Soak City may just be […]


Best 7 Books for Kids

Top 7 Stories For Kids

Top 7 Stories For Kids

Best Childrens Books

Since we can remember, we all have enjoyed stories.

Every day we use stories to communicate to others our thoughts and feelings. We all started from Children’s stories, and Kids Story Books, until one day we we’re able to handle bigger words and read much more effectively.

This list is a compiled list of the best books from our childhood, from the classics, to the new way books have been developed.

Childrens books are the backbone to what make us love a good story, and without them, we definitely wouldn’t be as creative or optimistic like we are.

I present you with the best Stories for Kids, enjoy!

Best 7 Books for Kids#7. Where the Wild Things are.

Where the wild things are, is a story about calming down from being a wild child, how our parents do a lot for us, and to not take them for granted.

Max is a troublemaker who is grounded, he goes to sleep, wakes up and his room transforms into a moonlit forest where there is a vast area of water when he then hops on a boat and travels happily without his mom.

He is taken to a place where big fluffy mammal type creatures are, and though extreme looking, they are tame creatures. They try to scare him off, but Max doesn’t take the bait, this, in turn, makes the creatures flabbergasted at him. They immediately make him king over all of them, as he is the most ferocious of them all. They spend days going completely bonkers, until Max finally believes it’s time to stop, he sends them “to bed without dinner,” just as his mother did to him. At this point, Max misses his mom and realizes that it is hard to be in charge of things. Max smells something good, some really good food, he believes it is his mother’s dinner which he wasn’t allowed to eat. He then travels back to the place where he started and goes back home.

6. Charlotte’s Web.

Charlotte’s Web is a story 100% about Friendship and how friends make us who we are and how they will always be there for us to help us succeed and keep us out of trouble.

Wilbur the Pig, a pig who grows friendships with Fern Arable, who is the little girl who adapted him, and other barnyard animals including Charlotte the spider. When a pig at the barn has piglets, Mr. Arable(Fern’s Father) decides he is going to slaughter Wilbur, because he is a runt. Fern persuades him to keep Wilbur alive. Her father does know that he will end up doing it in the future anyways and tries to break their bond. When Wilbur is strong, he is sent to Mr. Zuckerman’s(Fern’s Uncle) barn and lives there, Fern sees him as often as she can. Wilbur is quite lonely when Fern isn’t there, until one day a spider comes and meets him. He then meets the rest of barnyard animals at this new barn. Charlotte tells Wilbur he will be slaughtered in the winter. She agrees to help him. She begins to spin words in her web and attracts the likes of Mr. Zuckerman to which he thinks it’s a miracle. She spins many words in her web, thanks to the help of a barnyard rat who helps her copy more words. Wilbur is entered into a Fair, where Wilbur is praised thanks to Charlotte and her web.

Unfortunately, though, Charlotte is reaching the end of her life and creates a nest of eggs of other spiders. She entrusts them with Wilbur and tells him that she won’t be going back to the barn with him after the fair. Wilbur guards the eggs with his life. When they finally hatch, most of the spiders leave, but 3 stay behind at the barn and stay friends with Wilbur.

5. The Cat in the Hat.

Cat in the Hat is a story of Sally and her brother at home. They sit alone and bored in their house. Outside it is a cold, rainy, sad day. They both stare endlessly out the window until they hear a big “thud.” The noise came from a big Cat wearing a Red striped hat and a bowtie. The Cat wants to entertain the children with some tricks that he knows. The children’s pet fish doesn’t want that but does want him to leave. The Cat then balances the fish on his umbrella and starts to throw more stuff up and balance it all. It ends with him falling on his head and dropping everything. The fish gets mad at him, but the Cat decides to show another trick.

He brings in a big red box from outside, filled with 2 twins, called “Thing 1 and Thing 2.” They begin to cause havoc and go absolutely crazy inside the house, destroying and breaking things.

The children’s mother is then seen from the Fish, to which sally captures the things in a net and the cat, who is very sad at this point, put them back into the big red box and leaves.

He soon comes back with a machine that begins to clean and fix all the damage caused by him and the things. The children and fish are very happy at this point, and right before their mother walks in the door, the Cat in the Hat leaves with the things.

The mother walks in and asks what the children did while she was gone, but the children do not answer.

The story ends with the questions, “What would you do if your mother asked you?”

4. The Giving Tree.

The Giving Tree is about the joy of giving and selfless love.

The giving tree is a book about a female apple tree and a boy that begin to have a sort of relationship together. The tree always addresses the boy, even thru his various stages of life, as “boy.” The tree in this book “gives” to the boy throughout the story, at first, it is all about climbing the branches and enjoying the apple from the tree, and the tree is happy.

At various stages of the boy’s life, he begins to take more and more. As a child, he gained happiness from her apples and climbing the tree, and the tree is happy. The boy grows into a teen and begins to take all the apples to sell them to make money. When the boy gets older and turns into a man, the man chops her branches down in order for him to build a house, and the tree was happy. Later on, the man chops down her trunk and uses it to build a boat, and the tree was happy.

The Man begins to turn old and the Tree is now a stump. The Boy returns to the tree as an old man and states he just wants a quiet place to sit and rest, which is the only thing the tree can now provide. Despite being chopped down and practically nothing left, the tree was still happy.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

It starts with an egg. Inside the egg hatches a big green caterpillar with a red face. He is hungry, so he decides to go and look for some food. At first, on Monday he has just 1 apple. Tuesday he has 2 pears. Wednesdays he has 3 Plums. Thursday he eats 4 Strawberries. Fridays he eats 5 Oranges! TASTY!

On Saturday he has an enormous feast which includes a very… balanced 😂 diet… He then begins to eat: a piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon. By the end of the day, he gains a stomach ache and gets sick from all the food he ate!

On Sunday he is out of his food coma and returns to a better diet of a big green leaf. He then spins a cocoon which he stays in for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks are up, he emerges from the cocoon as a big beautiful butterfly with large multi-colored wings!

2. Superoo – The Helpful Hero.

At the mall, Chloe leaped at the chance to help others. On that day, she became Superoo! She likes coloring, jump rope, and music. She has the biggest heart on the HeroPals Team.

Did you know that friends, brothers, sisters, moms, and dads sometimes need help just like you do?

Chloe the kangaroo noticed that lots of people needed help. She didn’t let being a kid stop her from being a hero!

 1. Darkpaw – A Tail of Bravery.

When Max finds a costume in the attic, he becomes the hero, Darkpaw! He likes climbing, comic books, and action figures. He is always the first Hero Pal to leap into action!

Have you ever been afraid of the dark? Scared of dogs?
Freaked out by strange looking food?

Before he became the Hero Pal known as Darkpaw, Max was a scaredy cat. See how he learned to be brave!

 

 

 

 

About Hero Pals.

ADVENTURE BOOKS FOR YOUNG HEROES!

Introducing the Hero Pals, a new series of exciting story books that are sure to bring smiles to your heroes-in-training.

Every adventure has been specifically designed for maximum fun and entertainment for ages 3 to 8.

VIDEO ANIMATIONS & READ-A-LONGS!

Use the free app to unlock special features on your mobile device. Scanning the inside of the book will give you access to interactive content that brings the stories to Life!

LEARN MORE