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    My Dearest Daughter: Saying Goodbye to Gender Disappointment

    My Dearest Daughter, Though I’ve never actually met you, you have always a part of me: a dream, a desire, a hope. Until today. Today I say goodbye to the dream that was you in order to make room for other dreams. For as long as I can remember I dreamed about hearing ‘it’s a […]

  • Our Boys Are Watching Too

    Our Sons Are Watching Too

    This past winter I had the privilege of attending a conference called “Shine” where the main speaker was the talented pastor and author, Bo Stern. Recently Bo also wrote a blog post discussing one of the main points that she spoke of at the conference. To summarize, both were about the shame that surrounds women and […]

  • Summer Themes

    Summer Vacation Weekly Themes

    I’ve had some interest in my “themed” summer so I thought I would take the time to type it out as it’s currently in scribble form on my notepad at home as a compilation of ideas and outlines that I continue to add to. Depending on where you live you may have more or less weeks than […]

  • That Parent 1

    You’re only “that parent” to yourself

    It was lunch hour in the middle of a very large metropolitan Red Robin that was way over capacity. We had 4 starving children and we were pushing nap after 2 very full days visiting the Portland Zoo and Ikea during Spring Break. The wait would be long but because we knew it would be […]

  • Advice for New Dads

    26 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Being a New Dad

    If you missed last week’s posts about the  25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy,  the 25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Birth, and the 25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know about Postpartum I suggest starting there. I’ve compiled some advice from several veteran dads and their wives about what soon to be […]

  • New Dads and the Postpartum Period

    The First Few Weeks After Birth: What New Dads Need To Know

    If you missed the following advice for new dads: 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy, and the 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Birth I suggest starting there. Once you bring your baby home from the hospital you and your spouse are on your own. No more nurses, no more doctors. On. […]

  • Advice for Dads about Birth

    25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Birth

    If you missed yesterday’s post about the 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy, I suggest starting there. After waiting 9 months the time is finally here! Birth. Some fear it. Some are excited for it. Or, maybe you’re feeling a little of both? Totally normal. Birth is incredible. What the human body […]

  • Advice for New Dads

    25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy

    First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…uh, what? Oftentimes soon to be dads (and moms alike) don’t know the first thing when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the weeks following birth. The very thought of having a baby can be scary and overwhelming. Don’t worry, with the help of several veteran dads and […]

  • Dating Kids

    Dating Your Kids: 10 Fresh Date Ideas to Get You Started

    All too often I have gotten to the end of the day and stopped to realize that I was never fully present with my children. Sure I was there in the flesh. But my mind was constantly multitasking: making mental lists of everything I needed to add to my to-do list for the next day […]

  • Brothers

    Redefining family after baby gender disappointment

    They sit across from me waiting anxiously, eager to play cars, trains, superheroes, or ninja turtles. Boys. My destiny. I’m learning to embrace this. Honestly, it hasn’t come easily. My parent’s closet still has my American Girl Doll neatly packed waiting for my daughter to play with. There also sits my dollhouse my grandfather made […]

Mar
10

The First Few Weeks After Birth: What New Dads Need To Know

New Dads and the Postpartum Period

If you missed the following advice for new dads: 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy, and the 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Birth I suggest starting there.

Once you bring your baby home from the hospital you and your spouse are on your own. No more nurses, no more doctors. On. Your. Own. Bringing home a new baby is a lot like being told to go sail a boat across the ocean with no instruction manual and never having sailed before. The learning curve is steep, you’ll often wonder if you’re doing it right or if you’re going to injure the boat.  You’ll wonder if you’re going to die in the middle of the storms, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it and sail along beautifully. You’ll learn to navigate the rough waters, and enjoy the smooth seas.

I’ve compiled some advice from several veteran dads and their wives about what you need to know regarding the weeks after birth…aka The Postpartum Period… 

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Mar
7

25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Birth

Advice for Dads about Birth

If you missed yesterday’s post about the 25 Things New Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy, I suggest starting there.

After waiting 9 months the time is finally here! Birth. Some fear it. Some are excited for it. Or, maybe you’re feeling a little of both? Totally normal. Birth is incredible. What the human body is capable of doing is amazing. And you’re about to meet your child for the very first time. Your first baby will be a complete life changer. Going from being entirely selfish to having a helpless, screaming creature in your house that needs all your love, attention, and patience will be a huge change to your reality. Take it from other dads…it is the best change ever (though it may take you awhile to get to that realization…or it may not).

I’ve compiled some advice from several veteran dads and their wives about things soon to be dads need to know about birth…

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Mar
7

Alternatives for things to put inside Easter Basket other than candy

I just found this on Pinterest and thought I would share it here since I know a lot of you are looking for an alternative to candy. Check out the full post for great ideas on things to put inside your child’s Easter Basket besides candy. Alternative to Easter Candy
Here is the full article:

Growing A Jeweled Rose: Easter Egg Hunt

Photo Credit: Growing A Jeweled Rose

Mar
6

25 Things Soon-to-be Dads Need to Know About Pregnancy

Advice for New Dads

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…uh, what? Oftentimes soon to be dads (and moms alike) don’t know the first thing when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the weeks following birth. The very thought of having a baby can be scary and overwhelming. Don’t worry, with the help of several veteran dads and their wives I’ve compiled a list of 101 things soon-to-be dads need to know about pregnancy, birth, the weeks immediately following birth (postpartum) and the awesomeness of being a new Dad. This will be broken into 4 different posts so it isn’t so long to read at first. So without further adieu…Advice for New Dads

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Mar
3

Parenting hack for kids that remove their diapers

Disclaimer–we’re doing some potty talk here.

With 3 kids I’ve dealt with my share of poop. Obviously I’ve changed a large amount of diapers but I’ve also cleaned poop out of the bath, off the carpet, off the walls, off the crib, cleaned it from under fingernails, cleaned it off bedding…you name it, I’ve probably cleaned poop off it. Want to come over now?

The majority of this was due in part to a toddler that learned how to take his clothes off, and then his diaper off, during nap time. It was a great, unsupervised time to “play” in his crib. And by play I mean we’re talking the stuff was everywhere.

It wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th time of feeling like I had tried everything that a friend of mine introduced me to this Parenting Hack for kids that remove their diapers… Parenting Hack

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Feb
28

How to date your kids

Dating Your Kids

Now that I’ve shared what got us started in dating our kids and given 10 fresh date ideas to get you started in dating your kids I wanted to share how we date our kids.

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Feb
27

Dating Your Kids: 10 Fresh Date Ideas to Get You Started

Dating Kids

All too often I have gotten to the end of the day and stopped to realize that I was never fully present with my children. Sure I was there in the flesh. But my mind was constantly multitasking: making mental lists of everything I needed to add to my to-do list for the next day or who I forgot to respond to via text, or if I replied to so and so’s email. If my mind was there, my body wasn’t as I raced around trying to prepare dinner, gather a grocery list, change a diaper and respond to various other needs. It was in this realization and in my quest to redefine family my husband and I began dating our boys. The power of quality time is not one to underestimate, especially as we add more children to our brood. It is so easy to become consumed with day to day menial tasks that I often forget the importance of really being with my children. I don’t want my kids to go through life thinking I value trivial things more than them. As it is in our married relationship after a “date” we always feel closer and more connected…like we matter, are valued and have purpose. It is the same in our relationships with our children. In this realization that we decided dating our kids would be as important as dating each other. It isn’t as easy as it sounds though.

Dating Your Kids

10 Date Ideas To Get You Started…

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Feb
24

Demystifying Workout Excuses

 Guest Post: by Sarah Mayo of Sarah Mayo Health and Fitness

 “I just don’t have time!”

 “I’m just so tired. I don’t feel like I have the energy.”

“I’ve had such a long day- that’s the last thing I want to do when I get home.”

“I’m not a morning person, and that’s the only free time I would have.”

“The cost is just too expensive.”

“I feel guilty taking time away from my kids to do something for myself.”

Excuses. Reasoning. Justification. Call it what you will, but as moms, I am sure we have used them all. I know I have at one time or another. But the truth is, they aren’t true. At least not all of them. But somehow, we find ways to talk ourselves out of doing what we know we need to, and this is the way it plays out. I don’t claim to know every mom in the world- her schedule, her triumphs, her strengths or insecurities. But I do know what mine are and these excuses used to own me, define me, shape me. BUT… they don’t have to and here’s why… Read More

Feb
19

Until We Meet Again

This past week has been an extremely difficult week. This is the week I should be finding out if my babies are boys or girls. I should be prepping my older boys in the excitement. I should be going shopping for gender outfits and I should be planning a celebration. In fact, I’m not. I’m not doing any of those things. At this pregnancy milestone I’m instead trying not to blink for fear that the icy tears of disappointment and grief that are pooling in my eyes will spill over. If my sadness is masked by my lack of blinks it won’t be hidden with my burning hot cheeks, my red nose, my puffy eyes(I am not an attractive crier) as I soak in this new and different sense of longing. If this wasn’t enough also coupled with this week is the painful reminder brought on by my first period since the miscarriage. Since I lost them. You know blood is a funny thing. It is part of what gives us life, and yet, it in this case it’s a painful reminder of everything that isn’t.

Baby LossMy heart still hurts. I still find myself bringing my hands protectively to my belly expecting to feel it’s roundness as if my presence there can change what is no longer. My eyes magnetize to every beautiful pregnant woman around me focusing on her growing belly which of course seems like these days is everywhere I look. I long to put my hands on my belly and feel them there, safe. I long to feel their kicks. And damn it I even long for the morning sickness to assure me everything is okay. But it isn’t, and every time I’m only being reminded of my own emptiness.

This is still hard. I feel like with miscarriage it’s expected that you’ll get over it quickly. Maybe the thought is that it’s not like the babies were really here. I realized how quickly the perceived grieving period for a miscarriage is…maybe a week at most? And then you’re expected to push your grief aside and jump right back in to life with a smile on your face. Maybe I’m wrong in that assumption but regardless for me the pain is still real. Sure, it’s not as raw as it was 2 months ago; I’m not crying at the drop of a hat, or the mention of a new pregnancy and I certainly have more good days than bad but it’s most definitely there. I know everything I’ll be missing with the twins as I look at my 3 beautiful boys recalling all my experiences with them… I’ll be missing their tiny flutters inside my belly, their kicks and jabs as they grow, and the excitement leading up to their birth. I will be missing their beautiful birth story, holding them for the first time, covering them in kisses, getting to know each of their tiny little features. I’ll be missing comforting their cries, hearing their sweet giggles and coos, encouraging them to walk, to talk. I’ll be missing them calling me mama, rocking them to sleep, and kissing their booboos. I’ll be missing seeing them grow and learning their own unique qualities despite their identical looks. Instead, I’m just missing them.

But I am timidly pressing forward. Something I am incredibly grateful for are supportive friends. The ones that still ask how I’m doing, know when to be protective, and yet are also there with hugs as I bravely face discomforts because I want very much to be included in everything. I have beautiful reminders of my tiny twins that I hold on to and wear close to my heart that I can cling to when I am missing them. I’ve learned the hard way how to support friends through pregnancy loss, what not to say, and how heavy their hearts are. I am pressing forward knowing that there must be a reason for this. Though I can’t walk with my head held high yet, I am walking…one foot in front of the other. Confidence slowly finding it’s footing. Will these be our last babies? We don’t know. We felt certainty and finality over this pregnancy and our new definition of family so we’re carefully praying. Carefully waiting and hoping for answers. But never forgetting.

My heart still hurts, this is still hard, but I am timidly pressing forward. 

Sadly so many women have gone before me in pregnancy loss. I pray that no one ever feels this type of pain again but with a heavy heart I know am I am not the last. I am not alone in this journey and yet, some days I feel like I am. And some days I want to be as my shoulders heave and I relinquish to the tears seeking solitude. My heart goes out to all the women hurting. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. To all the women that have lost babies. To all the women that are longing to be moms. To all the women that have loved and lost or not even had the chance to love. My heart is with you. 

What I do know is that my heart, though full of the life and laughter of my 3 older boys and loving husband, will always have a void until we meet again.

Feb
17

Veteran’s Guide to Baby Shower Gifts

 

Top 10 Worst and Best Baby Shower Gifts

Tongue-in-cheek (or not) look at the Top 10 WORST and Top 10 BEST Baby Shower Gifts

Top 10 WORST Baby Shower Gifts 

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