Motherhood & Expectations

Who ever knows if they're getting it right?  Life, motherhood, marriage.  It's all trial and error.

I have great expectations for my kids.  However, with that said, I also know that no one is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes and everybody is different.  That's one reason why I just want my kids to be the best that they can be.  They are not in competition with their friends to see who is the most academic or most athletic.  If our friends have accomplished something great, I think it's important to celebrate with them.  Let's be genuinely happy for them, but let's not get caught up in comparison.

In the grand scheme of things success is so incredibly subjective anyway.  A polished veneer doesn't mean things are perfect underneath.  In an age of iPads and name brands, it can be easy to get caught up in these veneers, but that's not what's important.  

My goal is to teach my children to embrace what we have and be grateful for the many blessings in our life. I want to teach them confidence and the importance of aiming for their own personal best - not their friend's personal best.  

So, as we soon enter another season of sports and school, I want to be better than I ever thought I could be.  I want to push myself to do more, learn more and love more.  It's not easy when we face daily challenges, both big and small, but I'm up for the challenge.  As a parent, that's my job.

My kids are watching and learning.

Fun Kid Finds - Feature Monday!

Local Fun Mom Blogs: One mom's reminder to back-up your hard drive, What happens when a mom writes a letter to President Obama and More! 

As usual, I've thoroughly enjoyed browsing the Local Fun Mom Blogs.  There are so many great posts to talk about, but here's a small sample of what's been going on across the country...

Go Back Up Your Hard Drive Right Now.  Seriously!  - 3KidsandUs has survived the loss of irreplaceable photos, videos, memories, etc., not once, but twice!  In this post she hopes to spare anyone else going through this experience and offers extremely valuable advice regarding the importance of backing up your hard drive on an external hard drive--on a regular basis.  Unfortunately she learned just how crucial this is---the hard way.

A letter to Obama - Mile High Mamas have an article about a local mom who took action when she saw her son's class trip might be affected by the looming government shut down.  She knew how hard her son and his classmates had worked over the year to make this trip happen and she couldn't sit by idly.  Find out what happens when she decides to send a letter straight to President Obama!

  When Your Daughter is Afraid of a Butterfly - Go West Young Mom has a post about what to do when your preschooler is suddenly afraid of everything--particularly if the list of fears happens to include something that you're afraid of too.  Unfortunately, this issue comes up a lot in our household.  I am terrified by spiders, and most things that move quickly and have many legs---those thousand-legger things seriously creep me out.  I try my best to keep these fears to myself, but some encounters are definitely more challenging than others.  Multiple times I have screamed out loud when surprised by a thousand legger scurrying across the floor when I move something or a spider in the bathroom.  When I see my kids worried faces and hear them yell "What happened?" I instantly feel terrible and try to make up lame explanations..."Everything's big deal, just an interesting bug.  Bugs aren't scary guys...mommy was just surprised to see go get daddy, k?

Freschetta Pizza and 3-piece Storage Set Give-away - Sippy Cup Mom - Who doesn't love pizza?  In our household we are big (big) fans!  Our top 5 fave pizzas from the grocery store include Freschetta and this new pizza by the slice thing has me intrigued.  Does this mean that I could eat something super tasty like Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom pizza while my kids eat their perrenial favorite--Four Cheese Medley?  Hurry up and head over to Sippy Cup Mom's site to get the details on how to enter!  Ends on April 20th.


Here are some other posts from 'Local Fun' Moms to check out:

10 Reasons to Switch to Glass- Kingdoms First Mom - Some really great cases for making the switch to glass from plastic when it comes to food storage.

Fail safe way to introduce gardening to kids - Akron Ohio Moms - I love the look of these mini Miracle Gro Kits!  The fact that they're guaranteed to grow something, and even include extra seeds (just in case), sounds perfect for the gardening-challenged sort like me. 


I hope you enjoy these posts.  If you're a 'Local Fun' Mom and have a great post that you want me to share, just email me here, and maybe I can feature you next week!


Close to My Heart: Newborn Baby Pictures

Every child begins the world again....

~Henry David Thoreau

When I saw these photos, I was speechless.  In my opinion, these are some of the most beautiful baby pictures I have ever seen.  Yes, I am biased, because the baby is my new nephew, and my sister shot these gorgeous photographs. But, I had to share them with you.


The photography is by: Robert Trueman Photography which is based in the Philadelphia Area.

The crocheted photo props were purchased at One Stinkin Petunia's Etsy Store.

A Very Special Valentine's Day

This morning, I was lucky to receive sweet Valentines from all three of my special guys. 

 " Here's a Valentine to tell you,

in case you haven't guessed -

Of all the Mommies in the world,

You're the Sweetest and the Best! "

~ from the American Greetings card that my son gave to me

The greatest gift anyone can receive is unconditional love.

 Have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Weekly Blog Round Up of 'Local Fun' Moms

A day in the life of a SuperMom - by The Ohana Mama - We've all been there.  You know... the days when you forget show-and-tell, left the diaper bag at home, or your kid got soaked sliding on a wet slide at the playground and the only thing you have in the car is a pair of snowpants (well, maybe that last one is just me...)  but these things happen to the best of us! Ohana Mama can relate.  Read all about it here. 

Things to Make - Salty Watercolors & Water Painting - by No Monsters in My Bed, DC-  This is an easy activity you can do with your kids at home.  All you need is watercolor paint or food coloring, white glue, table salt, a pan or platter, and thick paper or cardboard. Here are all of the details on how to make Salty Watercolor paintings with your kids. 

Home Made Mac & Cheese - by The Big Binder, MI-  I was watching a little bit of the Biggest Loser last night and Macaroni and Cheese was one of contestants' favorite food.  As I was watching, I was thinking how the boxed mac and cheese didn't look tasty enough to tempt me.  However, this mac & cheese recipe on The Big Binder sounds amazing!  There is even a word of warning that "It is dangerous" and "Do not plan on left overs!"  If you're on a diet, please forget you ever read this.  But, if not... here is the recipe.

4 Easy Ways to Save on Children’s Clothing - by Atlanta with Kid- A lot of moms use clearance and consignment shopping to save on kids clothes.  But, this post from Atlanta with Kid shares a couple other ideas that I've never heard of such as and Thred Up Clothes Swapping website.  Check out the details here.

Homemade French Bread Recipe by Iowa Moms - Before I had kids, going to the store to buy a loaf of French bread was easy.  But, once you have a kids, things change.  There have been so many times I didn't make it to the grocery store because my kids were napping, sick, just plain cranky, or all of the above!  So, the thought of staying home and making bread might actually be an easier alternative than running to the store. Here is Iowa Mom's easy recipe for making French bread at home.

Photo by Tina Phillips @

'Local Fun' Mom Blog Round-up

This past week, there have been so many great blog posts from 'Local Fun' Moms.  Here are some that I wanted to share.  Enjoy!         


Monster Jam - Just Spotted

Easy Indoor Fun: Yoga With Youngsters - Go West young Mom

Birthday Party for Baby: Planning Checklist - Springfield Moms

Family Fun Weekends at Disneyland - Daytripping Mom


Easy & Yummy Bread Pudding - Boston Mamas

Why You Should Make Home Made Pasta With Your Kids - La Jolla Mom

DIY: Maple Candy Using Snow - Fun 4 Kids in Buffalo



In Defense of Pajama Jeans - Birmingham Mom

From There to Here: The Pregnancy Police - Chambana Moms

Disrespect and the Disney Channel - Chambana Moms

Things that will cost more in 2011 and what you can do about it - Akron Ohio Moms


How to lighten the burden of bed rest - Mile High Mamas

10 Tips for Safe Sleep - Mile High Mamas

Homemade Baby Wipes - Chester County Moms

A Few Fun Things...

Last night, I hopped on Twitter and was over the moon to see my post about Man Flu had been featured on Parents Magazine website in their Weekly Blog Roundup!  Every Friday, they select a few of their favorite blog articles from that week, and, this week, Local Fun for Kids was highlighted.  It was a fantastic way to start the weekend!  You can read their article here.

Also, I want to Thank everyone who contributed their crafts and recipes to Fun For Kids Friday.  There are so many amazing crafts and recipes that I want to try with my kids.  Now, when the kids wake up and say "Mom, what are we doing today?", it's easy to fill in the blanks. Between all of the fun things to do with kids locally via the Best Blogs for Local Fun and all of the cool crafts & recipes on the Friday link-up, mommy bloggers have completely inspired me!  Don't forget to come back next Friday for more!


Finally, I want to announce the Winners of the Purex Crystals Giveaway. The 3 Winning Comments (chosen using are:

Follow via GFC by Rachel

 The first word I think of when it comes to laundry is: UGH! by Aubrey

When I think of laundry, I think of "long" in it takes a long time! by Erica C

Congratulations, Ladies!

'Local Fun' Bloggers: Valentines Day Recipes, Postpartum Health, Blissdom and More!

Local Fun Moms have Something for Everyone

Happy New Year!

"Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You'll look ten years younger. Don't be afraid to say, 'I love you'. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world."

-Ann Landers Photographer: hinnamsaisuy

Kids' Safety & Snow Play

Last year, I waited too long in the season to buy snow boots for my son.  By the time I went to buy them, all of the nearby stores were sold-out. We ended up piling on layers of socks and using a pair of his rain boots. But, this year, we’re ready!  We all have snow boots, hats, gloves, and everything in between.

The only thing is… I’m not the biggest fan of playing outside when it’s about 30 degrees and the wind makes it feel even colder.  When I was a kid, I would be out in the snow all day, but now, after 15 minutes, I’m ready to come inside and get cozy.  But, I knew the kids would be begging to play in the snow today, and I wanted to make sure I was prepared

I was doing some online searching trying to find a 'golden rule' for the amount of time kids are allowed to play outside. I couldn't find a 'golden rule', but, from what I read, it seems like the main goals are to keep your kids happy, safe, warm, and dry.  Younger kids need to have regular breaks inside so that they can rest and stay hydrated.

Did you know you should be putting sunscreen on when you’re out in the snow?  Even when it’s cloudy, ultraviolet rays from the sun reflect off the white snow on the ground.  So, it’s important to protect your skin from the UV rays, just like you would at the beach. You may even want to get those sunglasses out again.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some great winter safety tips that will help keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know to keep your kids safe in the snow.  Just remember to have fun and take lots of pictures!

P.S.  Just in case your child asks "What is snow?"  There is a website called Weather Wiz Kids that has the answer.

Photographer: Tina Phillips /

The things kids REALLY play with...

Did you ever give your child a toy and they preferred the package instead of the actual toy itself?  Kids prove that "One Man's Trash is another Man's Treasure"

One Christmas, my kids and their cousins were together for a family Pollyanna.  They had some of the coolest toys under the Christmas tree.  They opened up all of their presents with excitement.  We unwrapped the presents and waited with anticipation as we watched the kids.  They play with the toys a little bitThen, what did they do for the next hour?  Played with a spool of ribbon that they found around the house. 

Their new favorite toy consisted of about 3 feet of ribbon attached to the cardboard cylinder. The giggles were non-stop as they pretended that this was a dog on a leash.  The spool of ribbon was given a name, almost treated like royalty, and got their undivided attention as though it was the hottest toy on the market!

We see it all the time.  They have some really cool bath toys too.  But what do they fight over?  The empty shampoo bottle!  They have a play room that could easily double as a toy shop.  Yet, on a daily basis, they generally stick with one or two favorites and ignore the rest. 

If you are a parent, this probably doesn't surprise you.  Although, my kids will be spoiled with presents on Christmas morning, sometimes I think that these new toys are completey over-rated. 

Kids have the most unbelievable imaginations, and that is what I love watching them use the most! / Photographer: Idea go

'Local Fun' Moms help you survive the holiday season!

Holiday Simplicity & Gratitude

The holiday season can be really exciting and also overwhelming for small children.  Kids on the Grand has a cute article about trying to maintain sanity during the Christmas season when your little one wants to stir things up!  Read more about etiquette during the holidays with the kids and tips for emerging tantrum free!

Infertility During the Holidays

Inferility can be hard during the holidays, but the Wannabe Mom is taking a moment to think about her "Favorite Things"Read more on the Chambana Moms's blog here.

Less Stuff & More Local Fun

Birmingham Mom has some fantasic ideas for local gifts that you won't be tripping over in the living room.  Whether you just don't have room for more toys or need a break from all the "stuff", these tips are sure to help!

All About the Stomach Flu

Springfield Moms' Blog was lucky enough to get the inside scoop from the Springfield Clinic on the Stomach Flu.  Read more about how to avoid the stomach flu, how to make it better, and when to call the doctor. 

Photographer: Idea go

What Teachers REALLY Think About Holiday Gifts...

Now that the holidays are coming up, a lot of Moms are thinking 'What should I get for my child's teacher?'

I've seen some suggestions online, which included everything from candles to homemade jams or a mug.  Instead of coming up with some more suggestions or crafty ideas, I decided to ask four teachers and listen to what they had to say.

Denise: “I am often humbled by the gifts I receive. … I know I'll miss the whole realm of teacher gifts when I retire.”

Melissa: “As a teacher in the city, I don't get too many Christmas gifts. I usually get something that belonged to the kid, like they decide to give me their old stuffed animal or something.  But every once in a while I do get a nice gift, and I'm always pleasantly surprised!”

Amy: "The kids' excitement in giving the gifts is the best part!"

Remembering their favorite gifts from past years

Denise:  “Really, I think gifts are only appropriate when they mean something to the child who is giving them.  I love the things the kids make and wrap themselves. I have ornaments on my tree that were made by students and they mean a lot to me. Last year at the end of school one little girl gave me homemade peppermint foot scrub. LOVED it! The basket of Italian food specialties, even an original framed painting. Those were humbling but appreciated gifts”

Melissa:  “A movie night basket. It was just a little basket with a box of microwave popcorn, some raisinettes, and a small gift card to Blockbuster (it may have only been for about $5, but it was perfect).  An ornament where the child wrote his name on it and the year. That ornament is from 2001 and I still put it on our tree. I always remember the boy's name too, because it's on the ornament. A nice box of candy is always good.”

Jennifer:  “Once...although not during Christmas a dad brought in a giant container of blueberries from the local farm that he worked at...that was nice.  Locally made items are good, especially if the parent works there.”

Amy:  "One mother brought a spread of Dunkin Donuts (Coffee bagels cream cheese and donuts) for the five adults that work in the classroom the day before Christmas break. That was great."

You Can’t Go Wrong With Gift Cards.  This is one thing that all four teachers agreed on.  Even a $5 or $10 gift card to Target, Dunkin Donuts or the local convenience store is very much appreciated.

Thanks, But No Thanks On The Homemade Food

Denise: “Some of the homemade food was iffy.”

Melissa: “The one thing teachers generally do NOT want (unless we have a long-standing personal relationship with the family) are homemade baked goods… I always throw those things away after the kids leave for the day. All the teachers I know do the same thing. “

Jennifer: “Food! Homemade food, although thoughtful, is kind of gross. I threw out any homemade food gifts that came in from kids. You never know how clean the household is.”

Gifts for Re-gifting

Jennifer and Melissa agreed: ” Cheap bath sets. So many people have allergies or sensitive skin that cheap bath sets are a bad idea.  People are particular about scents, so even if you LOVE vanilla, someone else could have strong opinions about not liking food smelling items. But, a gift card to Bath and Body Works would be a great alternative!” 

Ultimately, there's a lot more to teaching than the holiday gifts

If you ask any teacher, they would probably agree that the best gifts from their students are the smiles and fun moments throughout the year.  Those are the things that they will remember for years.

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it.” 

Quote from The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994


If you have something to add about this topic... please comment below.

Photographer: Suat Eman

Quote from:

Locked Out

Today, I was playing outside with my kids and suddenly remembered all of the times I've been locked out of my house.  It's November.  It's getting cold (brrrr).  And, it's getting dark earlier.  Winter is that time of year where you really don't want to be locked out of your house without your keys.

New moms & dads are so busy remembering the diapers, the bottles, the pacifier, the extra clothes, and most importantly, the baby, that sometimes getting out the door is the only thing that's on your mind.  Then, when your kid gets a little older, they have the ability to lock YOU out!  It's happened to me and so many other mommies. It's one of those things that can be sort of funny until it happens to you.

So, make sure you have a neighbor or friend nearby with keys.  Or just have a spare pair hidden somewhere. Because one day you will be playing outside with your kids, and the door will shut, but, this will be one less thing you have to worry about!