Hot Minute

Y’all, it’s been a hot minute- or more like months…
I promise we’re still here!

So much has changed, so much has happened and I can’t wait to tell you about ALL of it!
Clearly, that means a few blog posts otherwise you’ll be here for DAYS!

Let me give you a brief rundown:
-Little Bear turned ONE!
-Bubba is learning sign language!
-Mama’s got her very. own. business!
-Everyone is on the move!
-I VLOGGED for a month straight!
-Summer is HERE!
-New family photos
…and more!

Why do I feel like a circus announcer hawking the ‘guess your age‘ machine?
Ahh, must just be the times- can you tell I’m stoked!?

Until I get into the nitty-gritty of what we’ve been up to I’ll leave you with this sneak peek!


Photo by the amazing Visuals by J. McKenzie

In the Blink of an Eye

Wonder upon wonders- raising kids is like playing dominos. Once one thing starts, everything goes faster and faster and faster.
Just a few short weeks ago we were excited about Little Bear crawling
Now she’s not only crawling but pulling up to standing and staying upright for an extended amount of time.
Just the other day, as you can see in the video above, I went to bust Little Bear out of Baby-Jail after naptime, and to my surprise, she was standing in her crib waiting for me. We’ve seen her pull up to standing next to the couch, on her toys, etc.- but never in her bed.
You can see on her face exactly how proud she is.

I am going to make a confession here:
We didn’t push Bubba to crawl, walk or run.
In our thought processes, we determined that he would meet all of those milestones in due time. Selfishly, I found comfort knowing that at least for a little while, he would stay where I put him… and then he began moving. It’s a whole new world from there- baby proofing, removing dog toys, chasing and general business.
Now. Add. Another. One.
They say the second kid does things quicker than the first as they have someone to watch and motivation to be like their bigger sibling. That is definitely the case over here.
Yet we didn’t force, coerce or encourage early movement for Little Bear either.

As parents, I think we tend to push the next step onto our kids earlier than necessary.
Of course, things like sleeping through the night benefit everyone involved. But maybe they just aren’t ready to crawl, stand or walk just yet. Maybe they’re working on language or eating new foods or another skill they need to give their full attention to.
I fully believe that parents need to take a look at their child’s development overall before beginning a new skill. When they’re ready, they’ll let you know.

Hubs said it best when I suggested that the “binky fairy” comes to Bubba’s soon.
“He’s potty training, learning to coexist with a sister who can now touch his stuff, and he’s working on his emotions… do you really want to remove the binky now? He won’t get married with it. A bit more time isn’t going to ruin him.”
Well said dear, well said…

Be Great,
M

He Gets It From His Mama

We know that children take cues from those around them.
That is why we have to be so careful about what we say.
Earlier in Bubba’s little life words like “fork” and “finger” were definitely pronounced with the wrong sounds causing me to shout No No! He said fork- f-o-r-k. I promise!
Now that he’s older we have a whole new set of worries with which to contend.
He’s repeating our (my) frequently used words and phrases.
I’ll tell you what- you never know how often you say something until you hear it from the mouth of your almost three-year-old.

As Bubba is almost three, we’ve reached that stage where he believes he get’s to have an opinion of equal weight to that of his parents. Now- we encourage him to have his opinions and feelings freely but that he needs to respect and follow the directions and decisions of those in charge of his care. To put it lightly- it’s a fun time.

The other night after a particularly difficult day due in part to the cold (can’t go outside), pent up energy (due to the cold) and general naughtiness (because he’s a child) we decided to blow up the bouncy castle that has been relocated to the basement.
Upon waking from his nap, Bubba was pleased to discover the appearance of said bouncy castle.
As were we.

In bed that evening as we were singing our songs and tucking Bubba in he decides to ask some questions about what he will be able to do the next day.
He launches into a story about the bouncy castle- it went a little like this.
Mind you- he talks about a mile a minute, and we can hardly keep up, half the time.

-“Okay, Mommy. Tomorrow I get up, and I can go jump in my bouncy castle. My Daddy blowed up my bouncy castle so I can jump in it. It in the basement. It not upstairs anymore. You take it downstairs and then my Daddy have to blow it up again. Now it blowed up, and I can jump in it when I get up tomorrow. Right, Mommy? Right, I can jump in it? But when there’s no more room in the basement then obviously we have to bring it back upstairs.”
-Wait- what? What about bringing it upstairs, buddy?
-“I say, when there’s no more room in the basement than obviously, we have to bring it upstairs.”
-Did you just say ‘obviously?’
-“Yes Mommy, I said obviously.”
Ahh, yes, of course, you did. Well, okay then, I think it’s time for bed… for Mommy.”

Obviously… He’s not even three yet. Hubs just looked at me and said, “Well, we know who he’s listening to.”
Yeesh…

Side note: He knows how to say Au Revoir due to one of Little Bear’s toys.

Maybe I need to start teaching him ASL…

Be Great,
M

The Candy Conundrum

Kids love candy.
If I’m being honest I’ll also say that Hubs loves candy too. I, on the other hand, am fond of ice cream.
It’s a delicious weakness to have but one we probably don’t want to encourage with Bubba.

Potty training + candy = success
candy + toddler = hair & temper loss
potty training + toddler = wet floors (shudder)

(Those child locks are no match for a 2-year-old’s dexterity.
Bubba is a smarty-pants. In the beginning of the PT phase, we were giving 3 skittles for a successful visit to the powder room. It worked like a charm.
Then… it didn’t.
Someone decided that he really likes candy and wanted to eat it all the time.
He discovered that when he goes successfully, he gets candy.
So why not go every three minutes- right?

After a particularly difficult bedtime routine, the product of being overtired and extra sugar, Hubs and I decided that something needed to change.
Being a former teacher I employed a behavior system that I used with my students, Class Dojo.
It is a points system where children can earn (and lose) points based on choices and behavior.
We set a goal for ten points earned equalling a reward and crossed our fingers.
Bubba is ROCKING Dojo and the mere thought of ‘losing a point’ has been enough of a warning to correct behavior several times.

So- if you’re closing in on the teen-3’s as we are (I’m thinking that 3 really is worse than 2) give Class Dojo a try. It’s free and you won’t find stickers stuck to your windows (or your yoga pants) anytime soon.

As a quick story:
We’re teaching Bubba to use the potty correctly and I thought it would be a good idea to encourage him to try standing. We have little shark decals in the bowl (got them from Jane.com) for him to ‘aim’ toward in the hopes of saving my floors and cutting down on cleaning time. Remember, this is my first child, I’m blissfully unaware of what the future holds for my bathroom cleaning experiences.
So, we go in. Get ready and… I’m at a loss.
I suggested the idea without thinking that I have no personal experience with the skill in which to offer suggestions or teaching points. Ugh, Mom-Fail.
I spent the next few minutes scrubbing the bathroom wall.
I also texted Hubs to share the story. He thought it was hilarious.
Not my area of expertise…

Be Great,

M

The Magic Number

I feel like each time we get to another milestone something magical is supposed to happen.
A new normal appears. Some things change and some things don’t.

We’ve reached another milestone in Little Bear’s life.
She’s been filling our family with smiles for NINE WHOLE MONTHS!

Can you believe it? I can’t.
9 months (really 10) months of pregnancy.
9 months of baby girl.
That’s 18 months of Little Bear in one form or another.

She’s growing so quickly and learning new things week after week.
It’s hard to keep up!

So- here’s to our nine-month-old Princess.
May you continue to grow and chase your brother around the house.

Little Bear’s 9-month accomplishments:
-Crawling on hands & knees
-Pulling up to stand
-Terrorizing her brother’s toys
-Chasing Bubba around the house
-Baby Babble
-Feeding herself puffs/crackers/baby foods
-Blowing raspberries

Little Bear’s Current Likes:
-Hugs & Snuggles
-Giggling
-Playing with Bubba
-The dog’s tail… and paws.
-Crawling into the bathroom, just because
-Putting EVERYTHING into her mouth. #ByeByeLegos

We love you Little Bear!

Be Great,
M

They say

I don’t know who they are. But they tend to say that when you have a second child, everything starts to happen faster and faster. Well, they seem to be right.

Bubba began crawling around 9 months. At 13 months he was walking. At 13 months and 1 day, he was running!
We were in the camp with Bubba that he would hit his milestones when he was ready. We didn’t force him to crawl or walk. This was with the full understanding that once he hit that walking milestone, there was no going back. I can honestly say that I’m not sure he’s stopped moving since the day he started walking… no wonder the poor kid’s pants fall off when he runs. Can’t keep any extra meat on those bones- if only we could all be so lucky.

Enter Little Bear. We are of the same camp, yet it’s a bit different this time. We don’t have to wonder if or when she will crawl but where we will find her next. The girl has got some serious sprint when it comes to the army crawl. Yet, here we are barely a month into her scooting around and the girl. is. pulling. up.
Pray for us.
At the ripe old age of 8.5 months, Little Bear has decided that there are bigger and better things to see. Namely, whatever Bubba has put on the couch out of her reach. So naturally, standing it is.
Not only is she starting to pull up on things, she’s an equal-opportunity-puller. She doesn’t care if it moves, is a dog, or a sturdy object. She’s going to try and stand.

Attempt 1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempt 2:

Attempt 3:

 

Third time is the charm and look at all the toys up here!

Wish us luck.

Be Great,
M

Like A Boss

Can you tell I’ve been “away” a bit?

Don’t worry- I’ve been doing some AMAZING things with my time away.
You’ve not been forgotten; I’m just preparing to give you a few awesome reviews that many of you may find useful!
For this one, I am not being paid, endorsed, encouraged or asked to share this- I just love this book and want everyone to know about it!

What do you already know about social media? What do you know about vlogging?
No, it’s not all politics though it may seem that way.
From Wiki0 Vlogging: A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog /ˈvlɒɡ/, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata.
Too boring? Okay, try this: Amy Schmittauer?
Do you know who that is?
If not- you are completely missing the boat on one of the biggest networks, YouTube.
I promise, it’s not all cat videos and unboxing content. It’s actually a very viable, relatable and accessible platform for reaching potential clients, followers and like-minded people.
If you’re like most of us, dabbling, learning and attempting to make our own way in the world then you may have stumbled upon YouTube, seen the various amazing creators, shot a few videos and then went “Well, that was fun. See ya!” But WAIT, there’s MORE!
Amy has done the world a serious service by providing us with a resource about how to plan, shoot and provide video content in a way that is evergreen and necessary.
In her book, Vlog Like A Boss, a current #1 Best Seller on AmazonAmy shares her formula for planning, creating and sharing relevant content in a way that helps people want to connect to you.
I’ve read her book, cover-to-cover. If we’re being honest, I’ve ready it cover-to-cover twice. To put that in perspective, it dropped on Jan 31st… Yes, I know. It’s an exceptional read that just keeps you flipping the pages to learn more, plan more and get your creative juices flowing.
Amy shares her expertise in the way a trusted friend would chat with you about their favorite movie or recipe. Except here, Amy’s recipe is for video success.
Due to Amy’s influence, I have decided that in the near future I will be launching my own video series. You’ll have to stay tuned to find out when and what it will be about. I have to keep some secrets.

In all seriousness, if you want to be successful online with video content, or really any social content, Amy’s book is a must read. So much so, that both Hubs and I each have our own copy. One for each of us because I promise you- mine is highlighted to the max with important information, notations and ideas.

Not sure? Visit Amy’s YouTube channel to see her valuable content, video after video. Then visit: VlogLikeABoss.com to learn more about Amy and her journey.
Hint, Hint- Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted on the front cover.

Be Great,
M

Chef Verde!

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

I don’t know any mom who would say “no thanks, I’d rather shop, prepare, cook and serve a meal on my own with no assistance.”
If you’re that parent, you get 10 gold stars. If you’ve been here before you know that the chef in our house is Hubs. He loves to cook which works out because I’d rather stick a spoon in my eye. Notice I said spoon… I do it when necessary but it’s not my passion. Enter, Green Chef.

We’ve tried other home food services before and unfortunately they were either too fancy, hold the Brussel sprouts please, too difficult, you want me to do what? or just not our forte. So when we had the opportunity to try Green Chef I was a bit jaded about the whole experience. How could this one be any different? Is Bubba going to eat any of it? How will it stand up to our usual home cooked delicious meals?

Green Chef’s unique features:
From their website:

Green Chef is certified organic by CCOF. From wild-caught salmon to GMO-free soybeans, our ingredients are fresh and sustainably sourced.

No synthetic pesticides.
No genetically modified organisms.
No artificial ingredients.
No growth hormones or antibiotics.

For a mostly crunchy mommy-  this ticks all the right boxes.

So let’s discuss:
Delivery time– we received a note that our ‘Green Chef’ had shipped- it arrived the next day. Talk about service!
Freshness of Food– Everything was ripe and ready, no brown or bad spots anywhere.
Edibility (are these things that we want to eat)- It was salmon & potatoes, and meatballs & orzo.If I can pronounce it, that’s half the battle. A+ on this one!
Ease of Prep– Hubs made the meatballs & orzo first. It was quite easy and, bonus, was completed in about 45 minutes. I believe the directions said 30 but add a few minutes for the addition of a nagging wife and two kiddos under 3. 45 minutes isn’t anything at which to sneeze.
The second meal was salmon and potatoes. 1) you can’t go wrong with potatoes in my book. 2) I’m a sucker for salmon. This one fed not only us but Nona & Papa and we had enough for leftovers.

Taste
– It’s all about the taste, right? Have you tried services with ingredients you couldn’t pronounce? Us too- this wasn’t like that at all. It was tasty, minus the kale on the orzo meal- not a fan. BUT Hubs made it again using store bought ingredients for his family about a week later. If that isn’t enough to give two thumbs up, what is? The salmon meal was fantastic, repeatable and, for a girl who avoids leftovers like the plague, I did have the remainder for lunch the next day.
Toddler Test– Bubba ate the meatballs and enjoyed them! A definite win on that part. We didn’t offer the salmon as we’re not quite there yet. Still developing his palate. 

So, if we’re grading- we give Green Chef good marks overall.
Pricing wise at about 13.50 per plate, considering all of the certified organic ingredients- it’s two thumbs up from this family!

If YOU would like to try GreenChef, new customers can get $50 off of your first box!
Fifty smackers!
Use the following link: bit.ly/GratefulForGummies and then let me know how it goes!

Eat Great, 

M

You Wuv Me?

Little ones are naturally egocentric. It’s a proven fact and, frankly, they should be. It isn’t their job to worry about others and what others think of them early on. Heck, they’re just trying to figure out how to follow directions themselves and the best way to keep from getting peanut butter on the couch. Imagine adding do they like me to that mix!

Yet, at some point, they begin to realize that they are a part of the world around them and they come by it quite naturally and in an adorable way.
Bubba is getting to that point.
He is really fortunate to be surrounded by not only his parents and sister but both sets of grandparents and his great grandparents. He’s surrounded by people who tell him that they love him and that they are proud of him. As he now understands the concept of ‘parents’ and a ‘family’ at least on a basic level he is starting to ask questions.
His two most favorite: “Do they love me?” and “Are you my fwend?”
Here are a few examples:

He’s asked his grandparents “Daddo, You my fwend?” “Oma, you my fwend?”
Of course, we are!
“Okay, I wuv you too.”

One day while we were around the house Elena of Avalor came on the Disney Channel (if you haven’t seen Elana, it’s adorable). Little Bear gets a kick out of Elena so we do pause to watch when it comes on. Bubba noticed it was on and said “Mommy, Wena Wuv Me?”
Umm, who?
“E-Wena! Do Wena Wuv Me?”
I would suppose so. Sure, Elena loves you. (How do you tell a kid no?)
“Why Wena wuv me?”
Well… Elena loves you because you are a sweet and smart boy who makes good choices.
“Okay Mommy.”
I had to chuckle. This kid.

Then again a few days later.
“Mommy, my hair a mess. I need haircut. I need see Toriana.”
Oh, do you? We can get you a haircut.
“Mommy. I wuv Toriana. She in my family. I wuv her.”
That’s really sweet buddy. But she’s not your family. She can be your friend, and yes, she’s very nice.
Again, this kid.
For the record, “Toriana” is actually Victoriana, the only woman who has been able to successfully cut Bubba’s hair without him sobbing through the whole ordeal. For that, if she wants, she can be family.

I’m sure he’ll continue to ask family, friends and mere acquaintances to profess their love for him.
At some point, we’ll have to explain that not everyone he meets will love him, but we’ll let him hold on to those feelings of acceptance for a while longer.
Ahh to be a child and love, like a child.

Be Great,
M

Super Fast

Another month has come and gone!
They say time passes in the blink of an eye- and boy are they right.

Little Bear is now a whopping EIGHT months old! 
She’s got a ton of personality and is generally easygoing. At least as easygoing as a baby can be. 😉

So instead of boring you with my love for my little one, I’ll just share her photos.

Likes:
-Army Crawling
-Big Brother
-Big Brothers Toys
-Smiling/laughing
-Music
-Doc & Mickey

New Talents
-forward (backward and every kind of) motion
-Using her Voice
-Feeding herself snacks
-The ability to find exactly what bothers big brother and do it repeatedly without care.

Be Great,

M