Grandpa





*This is the Eulogy I wrote to read at My Grandpa's memorial service. He passed away at the age of 95, on January 1st, 2017*

Robert Warren Rogers was called Bob by many, but the lucky ones got to call him Grandpa.

Grandpa was the kindest and sweetest man you could ever meet. I really mean that. I honestly do not think it is possible to know anyone sweeter than him. My mom keeps saying, “To know him was to love him.” That is absolutely true, but what may be even more telling of his character is to say, “To know him was to BE loved by him.” He made every person he came in contact with feel special, appreciated and valued. When you were engaged in conversation with him, he was focused on you and nothing else; in that moment, you were his top priority and he was a really good listener (as long as his hearing aids were turned up).

When I was in middle school, Grandpa came to live with us. I remember when he first moved in, my parents were working on getting their garage converted into an apartment for him. During that time, he stayed in my room and I bunked with my sister. He felt bad about taking over my room, and he thought he was putting me out. He kept suggesting that he would sleep on the floor in the freezing garage until his apartment was built. Of course, we didn’t let him do that, but it’s just one thing that I have always remembered, an example of his kindness. 

Grandpa liked to watch the news and sports, but he would never turn the TV off when they were over; he just left it on, even when he wasn’t watching. When I was a kid, I always thought it was so scandalous when I would go into his room and see that he had daytime soap operas on.

There were many things important to Grandpa, one thing that mattered a lot to him was a good, firm handshake. While he was living with us, he would judge any boy my sister or I introduced him to based on his handshake. He was always very impressed with those we brought home; what he didn’t know is that we warned everyone about the handshake before they met. 

Grandpa was a giver, anytime we went anywhere or did anything, he was always trying to shove money in one of our hands. He tried to make it seem like you were doing him a favor because he “Needed to break a 20." Also, for every time I had to remind him to put his seat belt on, he would give me a quarter. I got a lot of quarters.

I used to drive him to Winco to do his grocery shopping; he would return his pop cans while I bought his groceries. His list always looked the same. He would write the items he wanted, and the exact amount each item would cost. After writing his list and tallying up the total, he would go back and make sure he included something for everyone at home: a candy bar for dad, Shasta cola for me, donuts for Bre and something with blueberries for mom. And he always made sure he was stocked up on winter green life savers because my sister Bre and I would steal them from his pockets during church.

Grandpa was funny, when he sneezed he would say, “Bless me!” and he would often randomly say, “Too bad, so sad, your dad.” I still don’t get that one, but he thought it was hilarious so I always laughed too.

He was such a good friend to everyone, a loving husband to my Grandma, a caring and understanding Grandfather and a wonderful father to my mom and aunt. I know, without a doubt, that he would have done absolutely anything for them. 

Some of us will particularly miss having conversations with Grandpa, some will miss fishing with him, other’s will miss his stories and showing of his coin and stamp collections. We will all miss his smile and laugh, and the way he said “I love you.” Personally, what I will miss the most is how excited he always was to see us. Whether it was when he lived with us and saw us every day, or when our visits were further apart, his face lit up when one of his family members entered the room. He wanted to be with us; we were important to him and he loved us. I have never seen anyone get the same genuine excitement and twinkle in their eye every single time they saw me, like Grandpa did.

On New Year’s Day, Grandpa saw Jesus’ face for the first time. He got to see the same look that he always gave to us; Jesus, the son of God, was happy to see him. 

We love and miss Grandpa dearly, but right now, in this moment, he is home. He is in glory with the One who created him, and standing a long side of those who went before him. (He is probably also fishing, eating ice cream, and watching baseball.)

I am thankful for the hope I have, and today I celebrate that I will see Grandpa again. He will have a new body that will never fail him and he will take me fishing.

Even if we all live to be 95 or even 105, this life is still nothing but a vapor in the wind, the blink of an eye, a speck compared to eternity. 

If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and savior, you will get to see Grandpa again! And don't you know it, he will be SO excited to see you!












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The Day I Ran Into My Younger Self




“How do you like it?” She asked expectantly. “Being a stay-at-home mom has always been my dream, but everyone tells me that I am crazy.”
The young barista stared at me from the window of the coffee shop waiting for an answer; I looked away, suddenly feeling embarrassed. I had been complaining about how tired I was and how hard my day had been, a day spent being a stay-at-home mom.

It had been my dream too.

I used to be her, just out of high school, working at a coffee shop, dreaming about starting a family and spending all day raising my kids.
For a second, I envied her. She was barely an adult, body un-touched by pregnancy, hair and outfit thought out and neatly put together. She could go home after her shift and relax if she wanted to, maybe marathon a show on Netflix. She could go out with her friends spontaneously and stay up late. She was responsible for only herself, she seemed weightless and free.

I miss those days, sometimes.

But when I was like her, single without a care in the world, all I wanted was to find the right guy. I didn't let myself fully enjoy the time I had to be on my own, away from my little hometown, outside of my parent’s house. I didn’t fully grasp that this would be the only time in my life that it was just me. I should have spent that time growing and making memories, but instead I spent it on an endless prowl for the “One”, I needed him to really start my life, to begin my dream.

A month before I turned 21, I found my man; I was infatuated from the start. We fell in love pretty quickly and instead of soaking in the time I had to simply date and get to know him, I sat around wondering when he would pop the question. Once he “finally” proposed, I was so excited for the wedding. My engagement was yet another time that I would never be able to return to and it was overshadowed by my desire to move onto the next step. I practically couldn’t sit still until I finally made that anticipated walk down the aisle. As soon as we got back from the honeymoon, I started looking forward to the next big thing: Babies.

The little ones came quicker than even I could have imagined. We had barely even finished finding places in our new home to put our wedding gifts when we found out I was pregnant. Sadly, just as quickly as the pregnancy had surprised us, we lost it. To our disbelief, a month later, we were blessed again and this time it stuck! Our sweet, blue-eyed boy came into our lives exactly one month after the first anniversary of our wedding. Only 3 months after our son was born, after watching me spend most of the evening in the bathroom, my friend convinced me to go buy a pregnancy test, just to rule it out. Those pink lines showed up instantly, and we were shocked to find out that we were expecting, again! (Yes, we know what caused it, but thanks for asking.) Just one week after our oldest son turned 1, his precious little brother joined our humble home. Just like that, after being married for 2 short years, we were a family of 4.

And here we are. That was fast.

You would think that by now I would stop trying to hurry life along and that I would stop to smell the baby powder, but no, all I smell are dirty diapers and spoiled milk. I find myself looking forward to the time when my kids will take themselves potty, no more dirty diapers or waking up in the middle of the night to change their bedding. I can’t wait until they can get themselves up each morning and pour their own cereal. Oh, how glorious the day will be when I can shower without worrying they are pouring laundry soap all over the house, or when I can pee with the door closed.

What is wrong with me?

As I sat there in my car, the barista’s question still hanging in the air, I was convicted. I couldn’t believe how long I had been living this way, how long I had let myself go through life desiring to be somewhere else, doing something else. How often do I thank the Lord for everything He has given me, how often do I just stop and think of how blessed I am?

I am living the dream right now, my dream.

Someday, when my kids are grown, a young mother will ask me how I am enjoying the empty nest and regaining all of my freedom. She will tell me how she is tired and how she doesn’t want to look at another dirty diaper or hear another cry in the night. I will envy her, I will think of this sweet time I am in right now, when I had it all, when I was living the dream and I didn’t even know it.

So for now, I will stop saying I can’t wait. I will cling to the time I have and embrace every beautiful, fleeting second. I will acknowledge every day that this is the time I have dreamed of my entire life, it is all I have ever wanted. One day, I will want it all back- the time I wished away.

Today, in front of a little coffee shop, a simple question changed my heart.

I blinked back a tear and turned to look at the girl still waiting for an answer,

“Staying home with my kids is my dream too, but I often take it for granted. It is amazing. Enjoy every minute of your life from now until then, the future will be here before you know it and you can’t get the past back.”

She smiled and handed me my coffee. As I drove off I thought to myself,
“I hope she takes my advice…I wouldn’t have.”







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I Won’t Blink



It is midnight, which means it is officially my oldest son’s 4th birthday and the anniversary of the day that I became a mom. To be honest, I am struggling.

All of my mom friends warned me about how fast it goes, my own mother never let a conversation go by without reminding me how quickly children grow up, even strangers at the grocery store would point at my growing belly and say, “Don’t blink!” But somehow, I didn’t think it was going to happen to me. My baby wasn’t even born yet, but I would cherish every single moment, time would go slowly and nothing would get past me; I would not blink.

Then, exactly 4 years ago today at 8:14am, I became a Mom. That little boy stole my heart right from my chest, he was the sweetest thing I had ever laid eyes on and I was captivated. I did not want to take my eyes off of him. After a few days, we went home and settled into the new normal. All I wanted was to sleep through the night, I was a new kind of exhausted and I wished someone else could feed him and rock him so I could go back to sleep. Then he became a toddler who I had to watch like a hawk, I was constantly wishing that I could relax behind a closed door, or even take a hot shower by myself. When he got bigger, I could not wait until he was out of diapers and able to do a few things for himself. 

Now, he is 4.

He no longer keeps me up all night, he doesn’t pull on my jewelry or grab at my hair, he doesn't take a bottle or eat baby food, I don't have to worry about him trying to play in the dog’s water dish or eating pennies, and he does all his business in the toilet without even asking for my help. He is getting more independent by the minute and needing me less and less. He is not a baby anymore, not even a toddler; he is a little person.

I didn’t just blink, I wished it away.

Somehow, while I was busy complaining about dirty diapers and never getting sleep or a shower, I didn’t notice that my baby was getting bigger. I feel like I missed it all. I see the pictures that I took and obsessively (possibly annoyingly) posted on Facebook, the milestones that I wrote about, the tiny clothes he used to fit into that are now gathering dust in a closet, but I still don’t understand it. I still can’t believe how much time has passed, how is he not a baby anymore? Everything happened so fast that I can barely remember it all, it is just one big blur of a whirlwind. I feel as if I closed my eyes for one tiny second and when I opened them, I was planning my son's 4th birthday party.

I will never get that time back, he will never be a baby or a toddler again.

I will no longer naively act like I will have my kids forever, that somehow I will defy time and they will never grow up. Instead, I will live knowing that the good and bad parts in each moment are fleeting. No matter what I do, time will keep moving just like it always does, like it always has. I won’t let any more time pass before I realize what I have been missing. I won't close my eyes and wake up to find myself planning his graduation party.

From now on, I mean it; I won’t blink.






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How To Get To The Laundromat With Kids in 76 Easy Steps



  1. Sort laundry.
  2. Set “helpful” toddler on the couch and sort again.
  3. Give up on sorting and throw everything into the laundry basket.
  4. Put the basket by the door.
  5. Start looking for your kids’ shoes.
  6. Tell 3-year-old that he doesn’t have any clean socks and will be wearing flip-flops.
  7. Watch him start to throw a fit.
  8. Insist, again, that he is going to wear his flip-flops.
  9. Take his Batman tennis shoes away from him.
  10. Hold your ground in the flip-flop battle for 20 minutes.
  11. Empathize with him as he tells you that he will wear the flip-flops, but he will not like it.
  12. Wipe his nose and eyes, give hugs and kisses.
  13. Realize you cannot find his flip-flops.
  14. Let out a heavy sigh.
  15. Give batman tennis shoes back to him.
  16. Find (dirty) socks.
  17. Put on his socks and batman shoes while he laughs.
  18. Get out the door.
  19. Turn around and walk back inside because you forgot the laundry.
  20. Herd the kids into the car.
  21. Buckle them into their seats.
  22. Cringe as your toddler melts down because his brother has found the only toy in the car.
  23. Find an old receipt on the floor and hand it to the toddler.
  24. Turn the radio up to drown out the fight that has now begun over the receipt.
  25. Drive to the laundromat.
  26. Get your kids and laundry out of the car.
  27. Sternly tell your kids to stay with you in the parking lot.
  28. Walk into the laundromat to see your favorite washers are available.
  29. Let your kids slowly throw the laundry into the washers.
  30. Suddenly come to the realization that you forgot the laundry soap at home.
  31. Cry a little.
  32. Remove clothes from the washers.
  33. Lug the laundry basket and kids back to the car.
  34. Drive back home.
  35. Unbuckle confused kids and drag them back into the house.
  36. Quickly grab laundry soap.
  37. Notice 3-year-old has already taken off his shoes.
  38. Agree to let him put them back on “his self”.
  39. Call your other child to come stand by the door.
  40. Hear him crying because he can’t find his favorite toy that he NEEDS to bring with him.
  41. Come to the conclusion that it would be easiest to just help him find the toy.
  42. 10 minutes later, carry him and his toy to the front door.
  43. See that your oldest has put his shoes on the wrong feet.
  44. Decide to fix them later.
  45. Remember you set down the laundry soap somewhere while you were looking for the toy.
  46. Locate the laundry soap.
  47. Double check that you have everything: soap, laundry, quarters.
  48. Finally get the kids out the door…again.
  49. Buckle everyone back in the car and repeat steps 21-23.
  50. Begin second drive to the laundromat.
  51. Mumble a cuss word when toddler says he has to go potty.
  52. Stop at the store to take him to the bathroom.
  53. Realize he didn’t quite make it in time.
  54. Change him in the bathroom stall.
  55. Scold his brother for peeping under the stall door.
  56. Realize you need to go as well.
  57. Sit on toilet while holding onto your kids so they don’t touch everything, or run away.
  58. Laugh when they congratulate you for going on the potty like a big girl.
  59. Lift each kid up to wash their hands.
  60. Pretend you don’t notice the soap streaks and puddles of water you left on the counters.
  61. As you leave the bathroom, remember that you need to buy toilet paper.
  62. Stop by bakery to get the kids a free cookie.
  63. See that there is a sale on laundry soap, buy spare bottle for your car.
  64. Visit the in-store Starbucks to get a coffee as your reward for doing the laundry.
  65. Leave the store 45 minutes later with a full shopping cart.
  66. Buckle the kids in the car for the fourth time.
  67. Realize that you need to feed them lunch.
  68. Pull into the nearest fast food restaurant.
  69. Sit in parking lot and eat.
  70. With a full belly, finally start driving back to the laundromat.
  71. Sigh when you hear the 3-year-old say he has to go potty now.
  72. Look in your rear-view mirror to see the youngest rubbing his eyes.
  73. Arrive at a crossroad; you can turn left for laundromat or right for home.
  74. Turn right; it’s nap time.
  75. Decide to try again tomorrow.
  76. Decide to try again tomorrow, after you call your Mom to watch the kids, which you should have done 75 steps ago.









This post originally featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds.



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Things I Have Learned About Coffee Since Having Babies






1. It is now a necessity.

2. It is still good after being reheated 7 times.

3. An experienced Mom always wears clothes that will go well with both spit up and coffee stains.

4. It is a good reason to sit down and get a break for a few minutes. "Don't come over here baby, Mama has HOT coffee."

5. It is a great excuse to buckle the kids in the carseat and get out of the house in the morning. "Who wants to go for a drive to the coffee shop?! (and then maybe just stay in the car until nap time!)"

6. I always know which coffee shops have specials for any given hour of the day. "It's 11 o'clock? Human Bean has $2 drinks for one more hour, hurry kids, grab your coats!"

7. Coffee motivates me to get out of bed in the morning, and I definitely need help with that.

8. I also can use it as a reward. Ex: For every load of laundry I fold, I get to sit and drink one cup of joe.

9. It needs its own column in our monthly budget.

10. It is a great way to get other moms to hang out with me, “Want to come over? I have coffee!”

11. With each sip, I am taken away to my quiet place.

12. It is the one thing that is all mine, I do not feel the need to share my coffee with my little ones.

13. Coffee syrup and creamer calories don’t count. (Okay, file this one under: Lies I tell Myself.)

14. Going to the coffee shop is the best way to get adult interaction, they are paid to be nice to you and they have to pretend to be interested when you tell them every detail of your day.

15. It fills me up. I rarely remember to feed myself before nap time, but I never forget my coffee. As long as I add a little milk, I’m totally good to go without shaking or passing out until at least noon. 


Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! Remember these coffee facts in the morning, after the fireworks have kept you up all night! 

Cheers! 



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Why I Love Being a SAHM




I am a stay-at-home mom and I have been in a rut lately. It seems all I can do is sit around and dwell on the negative; I either feel bored, stressed or under-appreciated, but today I had to slap myself,  I want to stay home with my kids and I would be heartbroken if I wasn't able to. Many people aren't afforded this luxury and I don't want to take it for granted, so in an effort to bring some positivity into my life, here are the top 10 reasons I love being a SAHM.

1. I don't miss out on anything.
Their first words, their first steps, their first time going in the potty (he will go in the potty every time he needs to eventually, right?), their first time telling me "No!", their first time spreading their poop on the walls, well...you get the idea.

2. I can stay in my pajamas all day.
As I write this, one of my kids is mad at me because I won't let him build a tower out of our dining room chairs. I just got done scrubbing poop out of the carpet and I'm on my 4th cup of coffee because my kids woke up 7 times last night, BUT I'm wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt, so at least I am comfy!

3. I can run all my errands during the day.
It's not always easy lugging my small children with me, fighting with them over sitting in the cart and constantly reminding them not to pee in their Lightning McQueen underwear. However, I feel super accomplished after one of these trips and I am always so glad to have it all done by nap time.

4. I can get all the housework done during the day.
Well, I try anyway. Some days I really do get stuff done, but most days I just give up, turn the lights off and pretend it's clean. Eating dinner by candlelight is fun, right?

5. I can take naps with my kids.
Oh my gosh, this is the best part about being a SAHM, and possibly why I don't actually get any housework done.

6. I can make home cooked, nutritious meals for my family.
Or I at least have the option. See numbers 4 & 5.

7. I don't have to work for anyone else (besides my kids).
I get to be the boss, I set the schedule and make the rules. Although my kids are demanding and I constantly wonder if I'm doing right by them, they are super quick to forgive and they really, really love me. Also, my co-worker is hot.

8. Life is short and it goes by so fast.
Despite most days going by so freaking slow, there is a weird time warp thing that makes the years go by unbelievably fast (totally scientific). Sleeping time goes by fast too, that lasts about 10 seconds. Point is, I can't get this time back, so until someone invents a way to pause time whenever I feel like it, I want to soak up as much as I can.

9. I can do what I want, when I want (as long as my kids are with me).
We can walk through Target, we can go for a drive to get a latte, we can visit friends and family, I can work on my blog or start a DIY project, I can even sometimes sneak in a TV show during the day. I can cuddle with my kids, play games and do puzzles. We can watch movies and have a lazy day, or go outside and play; there are so many options, I just have to take advantage of them.

10. It is fulfilling. 
This is what I have always wanted, being a SAHM has always been my dream; I honestly never imagined anything different. I really do want my days to be loud, chaotic, messy and beautiful. I truly feel like I'm exactly where I am supposed to be. It may seem crazy to some people, and that is okay, it isn't for everyone, but I am thankful and blessed with this life and I pray it never has to change! (Seriously, someone invent that time-altering remote!)

Disclaimer: I am in absolute awe of working parents, I think you are amazing and I don't know how you do it all!




 








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17 Things People Say to Moms and What This Snarky Mom Really Wants to Say Back.


These are real life things people have said to me in public places, I'm sure most of us hear at least one of these remarks every time we leave the house. I bite my tongue and smile politely with a humble response (usually), but the responses in my head are much, much different.

1. I don't know how you do it.
I don't have a choice, I am their Mom and I just have to be, so I am.

2.  You sure have your hands full!
Your's look empty, want to help?

3. Where are your kids?
I left them home alone, they should be fine.

4. When are you going to have another baby?
When these ones move out.

5. You're not having anymore kids are you?
Right this second? I sure hope not!

6. Whoa, what have you been feeding him? He is huge!
Mostly brownies and ice cream.

7. He sure is tiny, are you feeding him enough?
Well, he is fasting right now.

8. Oh poor baby, your Mama didn't put socks on your feet?
Ya, he HAS gotten frost bite before from a trip to the grocery store, I had better watch that.

9 . Baby is crying, he must be hungry!
Yep, there are no other reasons a baby could possibly be crying.

10. You have two boys? Oh, I'm sorry.
You will be sorry if you don't take that back right now!

11. You look tired.
I was up with a teething baby all night last night, but I didn't realize I was tired until you pointed it out, thanks for letting me know.

12. Awe, why is he sad?
Because he is 2, same reason I'm about to cry.

13. Just wait until they are teenagers.
Just wait to do what? Are you suggesting I just sit around and wait for them to be teenagers? Can I do that?

14. How does he sleep?
With his eyes closed.

15. Oh, you're giving him a bottle?
Yep, someone on aisle 12 just told me that he was hungry.

16. The planet is over populated, people shouldn't have so many kids.
Ok, I'll line my kids up and you can choose which ones to put back.

17. You are doing a great job and your kids are so adorable and well behaved. 
Did my husband pay you to say that? Can you always grocery shop at the same time as me? Can I buy you a coffee? Can we be best friends? Are you on Facebook?







Please feel free to 'like' and 'share' my posts, I really appreciate it when you do. I'm not saying I check all day long to see how many people enjoyed my posts, but I'm not saying I don't either.


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No Frump Friday -- blog remodel edition! (It's Sunday, I'm gonna have to work on a better name, or learn to read a calendar.)


Sorry if you stopped by earlier and everything was a disater...I was doing some blog remodeling. It was totally on purpose, except not at all, because when I went to change one thing I accidentally erased all of my HTML codes!! You guys, to be honest, I have no idea what I am doing, so my blog and I will hopefully probably continue to evolve until I figure it all out...and I bet right when I do, everything on the internet will change and I'll have to learn it all over again! (Wow, I sound old.) There are still a few things that I need to fix and it will always be a work in progress, but what do you think? Everything should be a little easier to navigate now and I think it looks prettier. I spent alllll dayyyyy working on it, which wasn't my intention. I planned to spend most of the day writing, so now all you get is this lousy post explaining why I don't have any new posts. Oh, I have also been pretty darn sick and now my kids are too, so let's add that to my list of excuses, okay?

Well, I better actually get to the matter at hand. Without further adieu, here is my No Frump Friday tip for the week:
Do not set your yoga pants on top of a burning candle (DO thank God that you didn't burn the house down) and whatever you do, do not wear said yoga pants -with giant burned hole in the butt- to the place of your husband's employment. This will not help you feel like a hot Mom. 
I am just saying if this happened to someone, it would be more than a little frumpy.

I'll be back soon with a legit post. Let me know what you think of my blog makeover!

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Things Dads Say...And What They Really Mean




Since I have already made a list like this for moms, and seeing that Father's Day is coming up soon (move on over, moms, it's all about dads and grads now), I thought I would write one for the dads. With a little help from my husband, I came up with a list of things dads say...and what they really mean.

1. "Let's not bother putting on pants."

We aren't going anywhere today.

2. "Who wants Mac 'n Cheese?"
That is quick and easy!

3. "Batman can't fight crime with a dirty mouth." 
Open your freaking mouth so I can brush your teeth. 

4. "If you want to grow big and strong like the Hulk, you've got to eat your broccoli."
 I wonder if I can get him to eat mine too. 

5. "We are only going to play video games for a little while."
We will play until Mama makes us turn them off.

6. "Who wants to watch cartoons?"
Daddy is going to doze on the couch. 

7. "Okay, let's clean up as fast as we can!"
Mama is on her way home.

8. "Let's go play catch."
If you're gonna go pro, we need to start practicing early. 

9. "You want me to put you down so we can race?" 
You're getting heavy and I am tired of carrying you. 

10. "Ask your Mom."
I don't want to make this decision.

11. "Let's do the dishes and get Mommy some flowers!" 
The kids are going to bed early tonight. 

12. "Are you having fun, Buddy?"
I love spending time with you, being your dad is awesome.

13. "Should we take a picture?"

I'm really going to miss this someday.

14. "Let's go visit Grandpa."

I owe my dad a thank you.









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If you enjoyed this post, give it a "like" or "share" so that other people can enjoy it too! --And so I can feel good about myself. ;) 



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Things I Never Understood About My Mom Until I Had Kids


Although it is no secret that parents make sacrifices for their kids, it is hard to completely comprehend unless you are a parent yourself. Since having my first baby, I have found myself thinking of my own mother when things get a little crazy, like while I'm wiping pee off my face or glaring at my stretch marks in the mirror. As I am now able to picture her going through the same kinds of things as I do, I have grown so much more thankful for my mom and all she has done for me over the years. As a mom of two toddlers, I still have years to go before I can really begin to understand everything she has gone through, and I will never fully understand her struggle because she did it all WITHOUT THE INTERNET, but here is what I do know so far about what my Mom has done for me.

1. She went through a pregnancy for me.
Love it or hate it, being pregnant is no walk in the park. It's uncomfortable, painful, sweaty, unflattering and scary. I never really gave a second thought to this until I was pregnant myself, but giving your body over to someone else for 9-10 months is a huge gift!

2. She went through labor for me.
I didn't actually go through hard labor myself, I had C-sections with both of my boys, but from the few contractions I did experience, as well as countless stories from other moms who have been through it, I can only imagine how painful and difficult it is! Thanks for not giving up during labor (even though I heard you wanted to), Mom.

3. She had to clean up my bodily fluids for me.
I don't know why it is so hard for me to imagine my own mother cleaning up pee, poo, blood and vomit, but she obviously had to do it. Until I became a mom, I didn't realize how gross it must have been to take care of me over the years. Seriously, kids are disgusting. Thanks for not making me sleep in my own pee, Mom.

4. She worried about me all the time.
This is one you just absolutely cannot comprehend until you have kids of your own. You never stop thinking about them, about if they are safe right this second, if they will still be safe tomorrow and what the future holds for them. You worry that you're doing everything wrong and that you will mess them up. It doesn't matter if they are awake or asleep, at home or away, you worry about them. Mom, I hope you can stop worrying now. You did a great job with me, if I do say so myself.

5. She went through being sick while still parenting me.
Obviously, we all get sick, whether we have kids or not, but getting sick once you're a parent is a totally new kind of miserable! You can't just lay in bed all day watching Netflix and sleeping, you can't walk around whining and only thinking about yourself. When you're a sick Mom, you suck it up, pull yourself out of bed and make your kids breakfast. You carry around that box of Kleenex or puke bowl and continue about your day changing diapers, dealing with tantrums, reading stories and kissing boo-boos.
It is the worst. It sucks. A lot.

6. She had to cancel plans because I needed her.
Obviously, the loss of freedom is one of the hardest things to cope with when you become a parent, and we all know that sometimes in order to put our children first, we have to cancel our plans. This is so much easier said than done. Sometimes you just really need a date night, but the babysitter cancels. Other times, you have been planning a night out with your friends for over a month but your son has a high fever and just needs his mommy (and you would worry about him the whole time you were gone anyway). Even though it totally comes with the territory, it can be a huge bummer to have to miss something you have really been looking forward to. Thanks for skipping out on some fun times for me, Mom.

7. She lost a lot of sleep for me.
It is such a cliche to say that when you become a parent you will never sleep again, obviously that isn't true or every parent would literally die shortly after becoming one, but it is true that sleep sorta becomes a luxury and you don't get nearly as much as you did before. My mom always drank an entire pot of coffee a day, it all makes sense now.

8. She loves me.
When my mom told me she loved me I thought I understood, but in reality, I had no idea what she actually meant. It wasn't until the moment I held my first born baby in my arms that I understood. She LOVED me in a way that cannot be described or understood unless you have experienced it. There is a deep love for your child that will never be replaced or duplicated, you don't have to work for it or choose it, it just happens...and it is amazing.

Mom, I get it now.

Thank you.

Happy Mother's Day!

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No Frump Fridays! (On a Monday?)


In theory, it seems that as a SAHM, I should have more time to get ready each day, to put on some makeup, fix my hair, get dressed in something besides yoga pants etc. I have a friend who lives in the same apartment complex as us, she has a baby and a toddler to get ready every morning. She has lunches to pack, bottles to wash, diapers to change etc. etc. etc., but yet she is always super cute and put together for the work day, if she can do that, what is my excuse?! Honestly, I think my main problem is that it isn't very motivating to get ready with no place to go, but every day I look in the mirror and feel like a frumpy, stain covered, last-night's-yoga-pants-wearing Mom. I would really like to change this, not just for myself but because I think my husband and kids deserve to live with someone that doesn't look like she just stepped out of a "People of Walmart" video.
I have been watching a lot of beauty YouTube videos lately and really feeling inspired to be a little less frump Mom and a little bit more hot Mom.
My new favorite routine (ok, so I have done it three times so far, probably not quite considered my "routine" yet), is showering at night and fixing my hair after everyone else is in bed. I watch half of a show while my hair partially air dries, then I blow dry it as straight as possible, and then I sit on the floor in the living room and run the straightener through it really quick while I finish my show. For obvious reasons, this takes me so much less time than when my little ones are awake, it doesn't cut into time with my hubby and it doesn't feel like much work because I watch TV while I do it. I'm always much more motivated at night, too. For some reason, it's also a little bit easier to get up in the morning knowing all I have to do is brush my hair and wash my face and I will already be a step above most other days in the looks department.
I am thinking of starting 'No Frump Fridays' or something like that (the title needs some work, especially since today is Monday). It really isn't that hard to do just a few things to make myself feel better each day, I have made some goals to help me do that and I'll be sharing them with you over the next few weeks! What are some things you do to help you look and feel your best-ish? Do you have any beauty tips for me and my readers? What is a really awesome YouTube channel or blog to follow with quick beauty stuff for busy Moms? I'm really excited for this new series and also for this Mama to start looking and feeling a little better each day.



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Lies Parents Tell Their Children



Whether you like to think of yourself as a completely honest parent, or you go all out with Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, I think we all can agree we have told a little white lie to our kids a time or two. Sometimes they are said in moments of complete desperation and sleeplessness, other times, they just seem like the right "parent" thing to say.

1. "I know, I'm sad that it is bedtime too."
In reality, I'm singing Hallelujah choruses in my head.

2. "You are the cutest kid in the whole world!"
We all say this to our kids, it cannot be true in every case, there can only be one that is THE cutest. (And it's both of my kids.)

3. "Maybe we will do that (fill in blank of random thing they are asking to do) next week."
They have no idea when next week is and will most likely have forgotten by then.

4. "We were just wrestling."
I'll leave that one to your own interpretation.

5. "Yes, that is a space ship in the sky!"
My son thinks jets are spaceships, I let him have this one because why not?

6. "Ok, just a minute."
Most of the time I actually mean this one when I say it, but then I forget. They always remind me though!

7. "Yea, that's awesome!"
This is my response to a lot of things, usually because I can't understand what they are talking about or because I cannot figure out what that drawing is supposed to be of.

8. "It isn't morning yet, because the sun isn't awake."
This is the winter lie.

9. "It isn't morning yet, the sun accidentally woke up too early, he is going to go back to sleep now too."
This is the Summer lie.

10. "That food is really yummy, it's what sharks eat!"
What sharks eat? Why does that make it more appealing?

11. "Oh no, all the (insert holiday here) candy melted, want some grapes? You love grapes!"
We definitely ate it all and I feel kinda bad about it, but they really do love grapes.

12. "If you eat all your veggies you will grow strong like the Hulk!"
It isn't going to take them long before they realize that this isn't true.

13. "Of course Mama always eats all of her veggies!
Pfft! No, I don't.

14.  "All the electronics are dead right now and have to be charged."
This one always bites me in the butt because now I can't use the electronics.

15. "You can be anything you want to be!"
All the money, power or fame in the world and my kid still couldn't be Captain America (there can only be one Steve Rogers).

16.  "We should always tell the truth, it is really bad to lie."
Hmm...is this one a lie? Or am I just really bad? I guess the kids and I will have a nice philosophical discussion about this when they are older.







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Toys are Overrated (Especially on Christmas)


My kids play with their toys for about 2% of the day (enough time to pull them all out and make a mess), and the rest of the day is spent following me around saying things like,

"Mama, whatcha doing?"
"Mama, where is Daddy?"
"Mama, what is that noise?"
"Mama, what are the neighbors doing?"
"Mama, I don't want you to get anything done ever, or drink your coffee without reheating it 12 times before you give up on it entirely, or go potty without my company, or ever get to take a shower."

Before you get all judgey and say I'm a terrible Mom because I want toys to babysit my toddlers, let me just say that I adore my sweet boys, I love their persistence and their continuous ability to speak without stopping to think about what to say next...or breath. I love spending time with them and I love that they want and thrive on my attention. Go ahead and judge me if you wish, but every once in a while a parent could use a few minutes of the kids playing with the toys that they spent lots of time and money picking out for them. If I spend $40 on a simple wooden train set, plus countless amount of time setting it up into a figure 8, complete with overpasses and tunnels, it ought to be able to give me half a cup of coffee or a few bites of cereal before I have to answer another round of never ending toddler questions.

Oh, and that's another thing, why are toys so freakin' expensive? I mean, have you seen how much a Tickle Me Elmo costs? When people told me that kids were expensive, I didn't realize how much of that expense was going to fall on entertaining them alone! My kids saw a toy tractor at the store the other day, they thought it was the coolest thing ever.
"Maybe for Christmas." I said, with real intentions of possibly getting it for them for Christmas, until I saw the $50 price tag for a yellow piece of plastic on wheels.
"Why are toys so expensive?!" I asked my Mom.
"Because they can be." She said.
Well, I guess that's true. Supply and demand, folks! Parents are willing to pay a pretty penny for anything that could possibly give them a minute on the loo in peace. So, they take out a second mortgage on their house and buy their kids awesome toys that they are sure to love.

Here is what really happens:

Christmas morning rolls around and your precious youngsters run down the stairs to see all the pretty packages under the tree, labeled beautifully with the burlap and chalkboard gift tags you saw on Pinterest and stayed up all night making. They excitedly rip open their gifts, tossing the elaborate gift tags and wrapping behind their heads; they jump up and down with glee as they see they have received the fire station set that they have always wanted.

"Open it, open it, please!?!?" They proclaim.

You are so excited to give them this gift that has been sitting in your closet since Black Friday-- when you stayed up all night and stood in mile long lines outside in the freezing cold in order to get them this toy. So you tell your husband to hurry and grab his pocket knife and you both go to town trying to get this sucker open. Once both of you have spent 45 minutes opening the theft-proof/child-proof/parent-proof/wild animal-proof packaging and set the toy up for them, the kids have already found a new interest: the box it came in. So you go ahead and let the children be entertained by flimsy cardboard for a few minutes while you learn everything there is to learn about the new toy you just assembled. Eventually the box they were playing with rips and the little ones reluctantly come over to check out their new novelty toy. You teach them how to put the firefighter in the fire truck and how to make the lights flash, how to turn on the siren and honk the horn (something you will come to regret by the first time you finish microwaving your coffee), you tell them the names of all the figurines it came with and how to make the plastic water splash out of the hose in order to put out the plastic fire.

Once you have them settled with their new toy, you skip happily to the bathroom to take a shower. You turn the hot water on, step into the steamy tub dreaming of coming out clean, with untangled, soft hair and smooth, silky hair-free legs. Then at the exact moment the warm water hits your greasy hair, you hear it, the creak of the door opening slowly, the patter of little feet on the bathroom tile and the sweet toddler voice saying,
 "Mama, I need help peeeeese, firetruck water, can't do it."
"At least he is enjoying his new toy!"  You think to yourself as you wash your hair with one hand while holding the shower curtain closed with the other to keep him from ruining you Christmas by peeking in and saying "Eeeew!"

You barely have time to rinse the shampoo out of your hair before you realize he has gone from bugging you in the shower, to throwing parts of his new toy into the toilet bowl (seriously, nothing is sacred with these kids). You jump out of the shower with shampoo still running down your forehead and into your eyes, your hair rattier than it was before and your legs anything but smooth. You quickly shoo the blue eyed, curly haired, sticky fingered boy out of the bathroom, tell him to go play with his toy and that you promise to join him after you get dressed. You close and lock the bathroom door behind you, quickly dry off and then slowly re-open the door hoping to sneak into your room to get dressed without being spotted, but there are two little boys sitting cross legged outside of the bathroom door waiting for you, with their new toy completely abandoned in the other room. And so it begins all over again.

"Mama, whatcha doing?"
"Mama, what happened shower?"
"Mama, how about go to Papa's house for presents now?"

Well, at least you got to wash your hair.

A word from the not-very-wise and not-very-experienced Mom who likes to think she is learning along the way, just give the kids cardboard for Christmas, maybe a bowl of water to throw things in and a recording of all the answers you could possibly give to their many, many questions. You will be able to afford to keep the power on, skip the toy sales and have kids just as un-entertained as they would have been with the overpriced pieces of plastic that make noise and light up.

Now take a deep breath, heat up your coffee and enjoy the time leading up to Christmas knowing you don't even need to go near the toy aisle! Or at least make sure you have a bottle of wine in your fridge when you get back from shopping. The truth is, we love the look on our kiddo's faces when they open their gifts on Christmas morning. Whether we are answering their many questions while pushing trains on a wooden train set, putting firemen into their fire trucks, or reading their new book with them, it really is some of the best time spent, even if our coffee is sitting across the room getting cold and our legs are so hairy that they blend in with the carpet.








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