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Poop & Circumstance

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” – Mary Poppins

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There’s a reason her name wasn’t Mary Poopins, y’all, and clearly, she never had to deal with one of Jane or Michael’s poop diapers. Sometimes there simply isn’t a big enough spoonful of sugar to make those BM explosions go away.

You’ll find a common theme in my posts among the rest of my Disney references that involve Miss Poppins. Girl had it going on, y’all, and I’d kill for that bag (in an updated fabric, of course). But, as is characteristic of opinions, I have to disagree with one of my favorite fictional characters on her “element of fun” mantra. I just can’t see myself gettin’ jiggy with a poop disaster. Sorry, lady — “A” for effort!

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I’m not necessarily complaining about diaper changes, guys. It comes with the territory, after all, and truth be told I’d rather deal with having to hose my kid down than having a little one with constipation issues. On that note, however, a spoonful of sugar ain’t gonna help that issue, either.

Being a mom of three, I feel like I can confidently say I’ve seen my fair share of different tummy and booty-cover nightmares. All three of my guys have had varied tummy issues, all of which have been a chore to sort out. Gabe was lactose intolerant until pre-k and, thankfully, we figured that out relatively quickly. He took to almond milk products really well and still likes them even now. Connor was my easiest to figure out as far as gastrointestinal fun goes, but even now his tummy can’t hold much of anything which leaves him as a “grazer”; no lie, it takes him an hour to eat dinner — or anything, for that matter — and even then he becomes full quickly. Mason has occasional bouts of constipation, which can be normal for his age, but Lord when he is experiencing constipation it’s a doozy. He has been harder to figure out as far as formula goes because he also deals with moderate acid reflux from time-to-time.

When he hit six months he was able to begin eating small amounts of whole milk yogurt. I bought a brand that I’d been eyeing since he was a newborn and was so excited to give it a go. I was a little nervous giving it to him as sometimes yogurt can be a little sour, but I was determined to try it anyway and hopeful that it would grow on him eventually. As luck would have it, he loved it and, bonus!, his tummy loves it, as well. The probiotics in HappyFamilyOrganics have done wonders with helping regulate his digestive system and the taste is absolutely on point. They aren’t limited to just yogurt for babies though, guys! Their products begin with mommas (breastfeeding bars!), and move on to babies, toddlers, and kiddos!

Listen, I’m in no way getting paid or otherwise reimbursed for my opinions. This may be a no-no in the blogosphere, but I just really felt like other moms and dads out there might need a recharge for baby tummies. I sure did! You all should also note that this product is being used in addition to small amounts of gripe water (when needed!). I try really hard not to give in to gas drops and gripe water unless absolutely necessary, although neither hurt him (gripe water is 100% natural! — here is the brand we use for drops and GW).

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I’ll be so glad once we are all finally past the baby tummy ache stage — I hate it when they hurt! But I am relieved to know that there are products out there that help keep everything moving as they should. What are some remedies or products you use or have used? Hit me up! Like this post? Sharing is caring!

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What is This “Effortless” You Speak Of?

What is with all of these “effortless” families I’m seeing on Instagram lately? Like, seriously. There is no way on Earth that you always look like you’re ready for an impromptu photo shoot.

I mean, we get it. You like for everyone to think that you have it all together as though you’ve stepped out from the pages of a Nordstrom catalog. And it really helps brand your creative image. But just like those effortless buns, that, again, let’s face it, we all know took you 2 hours and a 1/2 a can of dry shampoo to put together, we know all about the righteous chaos that is your life. Why? Oh, honey. Because we’re there, too.

Embrace it. Accept it. Life with children, although a wonderful thought, is not a fanciful, whimsical world. It is chaotic, loud, and often a muddy mess. Even Princess Kate has her off-days — even though, thanks to royal protocol, her kiddos kind of have to always look put-together. But don’t be fooled! She’s definitely the kind of mom I’d want to have triple shot mimosas with.

Listen, I’m not mom shaming or even being judgmental. I’d love to be “that mom” who color coordinates with her kids and has matching (but not matchy-matchy) tee shirts. I’d also love for my own messy-yet-effortless bun to be less Miss Trunchbull and more sexy, exotic Pinterest board, but that’s just not my life. But I digress. Like I said, I’m not mom shaming. I’m inviting you to the ease of letting kids pick out their own outfits (within reason and season), pull on some leggings, and come sit amongst my laundry pile fort and have a margarita with me. It’s five o’clock somewhere, and even if it isn’t I’ll toast up some frozen waffles and we’ll call it brunch.

You can go back to your regularly scheduled programming of fake-it-or-make-it after you’ve ugly cried and even uglier laughed during a Boy Meets World/chips and salsa marathon if you want. I won’t mind. But come sit with us hot mess moms for a second. You may hate it — but I’m betting you won’t.

Just a heads up — we wear pink on Wednesdays. But only because Karen left a red sock in with her whites a few weeks back and, well, we still haven’t beaten that joke to death yet.

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If Moms Put in Resumes

I’ve been a stay at home mom for going on three years now. Let me tell you — it isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be. In fact, just being completely honest, it’s flipping hard. I went into my current “gig” thinking it would be a cinch; that I would be able to get SO MUCH DONE with all that FREE TIME I’D HAVE. Pftttttt. What is free time?! And y’all, I’m getting next to nothing done these days. Do you want to know when I’ve actually been able to achieve any of my housework/me-time goals? It was the three-month span between Connor starting pre-k in August and Mason’s birth in December of 2017.

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I got SO MUCH DONE. No, seriously. My house was clean. The baby’s room had (relatively) effortlessly come together. My laundry was largely kept up with. I SHOWERED DAILY. Hell, I even made it to the gym almost every day in those three months. It was amazing. And it all ended as quickly as it began. I don’t know what sparked my post-partum baby blues faster: the fact that my productivity levels would abruptly stop or the crashing hormones. In truth? Probably knowing that my house would, once again, be on permanent upheaval.

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I’m going to be real with you guys right now: I’m not a Mary Poppins, spoonful-of-sugar kind of mom. Nope. I’m definitely a weird mixture of Roseanne and Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond (minus the awful in-laws. I legitimately love my in-laws). My kids can attest to the fact that I put the “bear” in “momma bear”. With that said, three years in and I’m still not adjusted to this SAHM lifestyle. It’s just not something my personality type knows how to handle. And you know what? I’ve come to realize that’s okay.

Anyway, I’ve said all that to get to this: I’m very much looking for a job. Any job. I don’t care if it’s Hobby Lobby’s day-shift, I’ve got to have some Sarah-time, adult interaction before I blow a fuse. Unfortunately, my search has turned up a whole lot of nothing. I had an interview a few weeks ago for a school secretarial position, but the job was given to someone else with prior experience in that particular “field”, which — I get it. Really, I do. Total bummer and hit on the ego, but I understand why the decision had been made.

But that got me to thinking about maybe fixing up my resume, which got me to thinking, “What if moms put in resumes? What might that look like?”

This inquiry resulted in a surprisingly difficult-to-answer response. What makes moms tick? What makes us special? What makes us the so-called “glue” of the family? I don’t know about y’all, but I have a super hard time coming up with adjectives for myself — even those that are somewhat obvious. I also have a hard time giving myself credit where it is due. I’m the poster-child for being one’s worst critic. What I came up with was slightly humorous (not guffaw-worthy, obviously) and a little cliche. Okay, a lot cliche. But this little accidental exercise also helped me realize and remember some of my pre-mom self-worth. I was definitely given pause towards the end of my quick-ish presentation.

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Long story short: it’s hard being any kind of mom. At least, it’s hard if the mom in question is actually doing the “momming”. For me, personally, it’s hard because most of my mom friends work, live out of town, or have conflicting schedules. Sure, I have a tribe — but it’s a busy one. I can’t expect them to slow down to keep up with my pace. It’s also because my husband is gone Monday through Friday practically every week; the boys take that so hard and I really believe a lot of our week-to-week issues are because they just miss their dad. It’s because I went from being an independent, 3-job-working, college student to being a full-fledged mom. Obviously, this wasn’t an overnight occurrence, but y’all know how time flies. Gabe will be nine in August, and Connor five. I still vividly remember the days they were born. To further frost that cake, Mason will have his first birthday in December. My caboose baby is definitely not tee-tiny anymore and that hurts. It’s because I have literally craved peer-interaction since I was a toddler; it’s a weakness, I know — but that’s just part of my personality. Finally, I need to feel productive and worthwhile. I need to feel like I’m contributing to the cause and like I’m not just a glorified butt-wiper and toilet cleaner.

Is being a momma important? Absolutely. I love my boys; they are my heart. I’ve long-fought this, shall we say “demon”, of mine for a long time. Being a mom is part of who I am, now. And I love that. But this feeling that maybe I can find part of my old self in the chaotic toy-bin that is my head these days? That gives me some hope.

What would your mom resume look like?

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While in Biloxi

I’ve been MIA for awhile because, well, life has been unusually hectic. Our schedules could be likened to the Twister sequel, so I haven’t had much time to update much of anything. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know where we vacationed over the weekend. If not, this past Wednesday we decided enough was enough and that we all needed a change of scenery. We didn’t have much room in our budget for a huge vacation, but we still wanted to do something that all of us would enjoy. A beach trip sounded like the ticket and, with that, off to Biloxi we went.

The boys had a blast on the beach and they love “camping out” in hotels. Mason did surprisingly well even though he did battle “travelers tummy”. Luckily, we found a Walmart near our hotel for a remedy and that seemed to fix his tummy woes.

 

 

We hit up some great new-to-us restaurants (Slap Ya Mommas BBQ) and some family favorites (lookin’ at you, Waffle House) and took in the sights over the pier. Evan even found a train & Lego museum just outside of Biloxi in Gulfport and the boys were in love.

 

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After a long but enjoyable couple of days, we headed back home for The Boot. It was a nice, much needed break and the little guys can’t stop asking when we’re going back.

Family vacay for the win!

Hit me up with all of your family adventures below! I’d love to hear from you.

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The Floor is Lava

Bedtime (bed-tahym) n. –

  1. the time at which a normal person usually goes to bed
  2. the time at which my children shift gears to FULL. FLIPPING. TROTTLE.

Bedtime around here has always been a bit painstaking.  When Gabe was first born, he had serious acid-reflux that, of course!, always triggered at nighttime.  His tummy finally settled as he grew and when he was about two he would put himself to bed.  He still does this (thank God!), but now he wakes up during the night to either a) pee or, B) have a full-on night terror.  Good times, y’all.  Connor has never, I mean NEVER, been a good sleeper.  Not even now.  He’s four and an acrobatic, ass-kicking ninja from the fiery ball pits in the sky.  Co-sleeping with him is less like co-sleeping and more training to kick Chuck Norris’ ass — with your eyes closed.  To date, Mason has been by far and away my easiest to put to sleep and the most likely to stay asleep — until lately because: erupting teeth.  Can’t really fault him for that, and most nights he still sleeps pretty well.  HALLELUJER.

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When your kid gets out of the bed for the millionth time to “go pee”.

Those of you who are parents know my plight well.  You probably read all of that and pictured your own sleep-anxiety-riddled spawn and experienced a cold chill down your spine.  No, that’s not winter coming; it’s bedtime.  In t-minus eight(ish) hours.

For those of you childless individuals, I have a pretty graphic example of what bedtime is like — around here, anyway.  I’m sure there will be some Betty Badass momma who is scoffing at my inability to keep my children in their beds (we’re not even going to talk about their pajamas).  But this example is coming from a real, live, nannyless parent.

Imagine, if you will, a less-chaotic opening scene from Titanic.  “Rated E for Everyone” Rose and Jack are enjoying each other’s company playing, I dunno.. freaking Rook.  And then, out from nowhere, an alarm sounds.  A band of pirates (read: the children) ram into the ship, causing it to collide with an iceberg (read: your patience).  Your recently thought “unsinkable” vessel plummets into the abyss.

THEN SHIT GETS REAL.

I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret: there is a way to train for bedtime.  It’s painful and a bit legendary — but it’ll save at least a few hairs from being ripped from your noggin.  If you’re still hangin’ in there, then follow along:

  1. Journey to the worst part of your town and find a group of stray cats.
  2. Pick the leader of the cats and bring it home (make sure you’re up to date on your shots).
  3. Give said stray cat laughing gas and a wine cooler.
  4. Now try putting that cat in a bubble bath.
  5. THE FLOOR IS LAVA.

If you can survive that, then there’s a 62% chance that you’ll survive putting children to bed.  Notice, please, that I said survive.  I didn’t say you’d be successful in getting your kids to stay and sleep in their beds.  I mean, I’m not a miracle worker here and Jesus has bigger fish to fry than making my kids stay in bed.

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I’m not going to lie to y’all, though; there is something infinitely more terrifying than sleep-allergic children that exists (and oddly enough, my preference).  And that is when the kids who never put themselves to bed… PUT THEMSELVES TO BED.  Gah, y’all — I just made myself dry heave a bit.

When Connor puts himself to sleep it isn’t because he’s trained himself, or that he’s super tired, or just needs some quiet time (what is that, anyway?!).  No, no.  It’s because at 1:15AM he’s going to be puking.  In his bed.  And down the hallway.  And then in my slippers — in my room.  I mean… I just can’t even.  And then after the puking?!  He’s totally fine and ready to roll, leaving me a gagging, half-asleep, pants rolled up to my navel hot freaking mess.

You may be thinking, “There’s an obviously better option here, Sarah; pick your battles!”

Oh no, friends.  It may seem obvious.  Sure, most people would rather be a bit sleep deprived than swim in an ocean of Kool-Aid vomit.  But I’m not necessarily one of those people.  I can’t say I’m one of those, “If I don’t get my eight hours of sleep…” people, because let’s face it: I haven’t gotten more than 4 hours of sleep (not consecutively) in going on nine years.  But I am one of those, “If I can get at least forty-five minutes of sleep I won’t hit anyone with chicken nuggets at Walmart” people.  Y’all — I’m not trying to go to Walmart jail for assault with frozen foodstuffs.  So as terrifying as it is to watch my kid’s head spin around like he’s in need of an exorcist, all the while spewing what I can only hope was something he didn’t find off of a public restroom floor, I’ll take puking kids over sleep-deprived Mombie any day.  Because kids are going to throw up, anyway, and I’d rather be somewhat alert to deal with it.

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I can’t be the only one here who deals with that bedtime struggle.  Hit me with some of your favorite bedtime stories below!

**The above post was written entirely out of humor.  No animals were trapped and given wine coolers or laughing gas, nor were children harmed in the making of this post.  I, on the other hand, might possibly have a bruised lung courtesy my ass-kicking ninja child.  All crappy, can’t-take-a-joke comments will be kept on this page so that people with a sense of humor can see what a turd you’ve been.

 

cropped-untitled-22.jpgA SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse wearing monkeys who live there.

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CSI: Underpants

I’m going to go ahead and give y’all fair warning: there is TMI ahead.  Most of you reading are mommas, so there may or may not be such a thing as “TMI” for you.  Been there, done that, had spit-up down the t-shirt sort of thing.  But on the real, we’re about to venture into what some of you might classify as gross or unsavory.  Don’t say you weren’t warned.

I had our caboose baby in December of 2017.  We decided that we were done and did not wish to continue trying for a girl because: our luck.  I mean, hell — I’m wildly outnumbered as it is and am not a super firm believer in “what’s one more”.  Birth control is not an option for me; the side-effects pretty much destroy my already whack hormones.  Hubs didn’t want to venture towards the vasectomy route, and really, who could blame him?  We decided that it just made sense for me to have a tubal since I was already having a c-section anyway and you know… easy access.  So immediately following Mason’s sweet arrival, all exits were shut down.  I made damn sure that my OB sealed everything up so well that even Chuck Norris couldn’t break down that barrier.

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Now, look.  All of my boys have been section babies.  Gabe’s section was not by choice, for those of you who were wondering, it was by necessity.  The following sections were for safety precautions, as well.  Luckily for me, the maternal genes really kicked in and I can see through walls with my back turned.  But I digress.  Like I said, all of the boys were section babies.  I was up and walking around not even a day later after Gabe and Connor were born.  This was not the case with Mason.  I don’t know if it was due to my age or if it was because of the tubal, but it took me a solid two days to move around without everything hurting.  And hurting is an understatement; I felt like everything in me was going to hit the floor.  EVERYTHING.  And all my poor husband could do was listen to me bitch and hold my hand.  Looking back, he was really a trooper.  I got used to the pain and I could finally feel my legs in the way God intended.  But nothing and no one prepared me for the horror that was going on “downstairs” after having my tubes tied.

I’m writing this to prepare those of you who are considering a tubal after delivery — not to shock and awe.  Y’all need to be prepared for the freaking crime scene that you’re going to witness.  And not just immediately post-partum either, guys.  No, no.  Mason is 4.5 months old and I’m here to tell you that this mess seems like it is here to stay.  And man, oh, man is it getting old fast.

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I’m sure some of you are shaking your heads, “Nah.  It can’t be that bad.  Someone’s being a drama queen.”  Go ahead and take several seats, because no.  It’s awful.  Thinking about grabbing a box of tampons a month post delivery?  Think again, Nancy.  Go ahead and buy all the maxi pads from all the Targets within a hundred mile radius and you might have enough to get through the first month.  Don’t even think about wearing cute underwear unless you’re okay with them looking like they survived a zombie apocalypse.  “Oh, but I’ll buy the super plus tamp–” NO YOU WON’T.  Oh, honey, no.  Mother Nature beats the hell out of those things.  So just get used to the idea of wearing a diaper for at least the first six months if not longer.

There was a time in my life (about a year ago, actually) that my heaviest period lasted three days.  I never even thought about buying anything other than regular strength tampons.  In fact, I vividly remember gawking at the S+ boxes and wondering who on earth could possibly survive a period that crazy.  Y’ALL.  I AM NOW THAT WOMAN.  So go ahead and stock up on granny panties (they’re comfy as hell, guys) and a truckload of the biggest maxi pads you can find.  Also, Midol isn’t going to touch the cramps you’re going to battle.  Go to your local pharmacist, slip him a $20, and ask him on the DL to take the strongest stuff they’ve got and add about 100MG to it.  You’ll thank me later.

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What you’re going to experience, believe it or not, is normal.  You’re not bleeding out, you’re not going to die, and if your kids are like my kids, your offspring will learn to sense when you’re at that time of the month (sorry, boys!).  No kidding, my kids volunteered to unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, and bathe the baby for this last visit from my heavy-handed Aunt Flo.  And. it. was. INCREDIBLE.  Sure, I had to go back and relocate a few dishes and refold a few towels.  But beggars can’t be choosers, and I think it’s safe to say that my boys’ wives will one day be very happy, indeed.

Side note, the hospital you use will give you a ton of those massive pads if you ask for them upon leaving.  My nurse gave me six unopened packs, y’all.  Talk about not all heroes wear capes!  She officially made my Christmas card list.  So be sure to ask for those as well as the mesh undies.  They’re definitely not attractive and they do nothing for your backside, but they won’t irritate your incision and, believe me, you’ll be glad to have them.

Family, Humor, Mom blog, Motherhood, Nostalgia\, Parenting, Relatable, Sitcoms, Uncategorized, Writing

Does Everybody Know What Time it Is?

If you instinctively answered, “Tool Time!”, then you might be a product of the nineties, or you’re at least familiar with sitcoms from that era.  I grew up watching Home Improvement with my dad; it brings back good memories and it’s a show I don’t mind my own kids watching.  Coincidentally, the things I remember laughing at as a kid (things I likely laughed about because my dad was laughing, too) are things that I laugh at now because they are so relatable.  The other day, my husband and I were talking about one of the episodes.  It hit me when Evan was mimicking a scene from Tim’s bit that we are, in fact, living out in our own version of Home Improvement.  In this particular scene, Jill is complaining to Tim about their eldest boys’ incessant bickering and is trying to come up with a logical way to correct the issue.  Tim’s response?  His trademark grunt, a quick room switch, and all’s well that ends well.  Naturally, Jill wasn’t very happy to be kept out of the loop, but even she can’t deny that the problem at hand is, well, no longer a problem.

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All of a sudden a flood of H.I. episodes came rushing to the forefront of my brain with one very clear thought: WE ARE THE TAYLORS.  It could be worse; we could epitomize the Conner family from “Roseanne”.  No thanks.

I’ve been putting an enormous amount of time into thinking about my theory, because, you know… I’ve got a lot of time on my hands (*snort*), and I think most of us mirror if not a full-on sitcom then at least a character, or group of characters, from a sitcom.  You think I’m kidding?  Go ahead.  Think about your favorite show or a popular show from any era.  The odds are, if you’re honest with yourself, that there is something out there that you can relate to at least a little.*  Hell, a good friend of mine is practically living out “Everybody Loves Raymond”.  Now that’s a show that’s great on a screen, but Lord have mercy am I ever thankful that I’m not living across from Marie, Frank, and Robert!

I think that’s the key to good writing, though.  A good writer has to pull his or her audience in enough to get them invested.  Generally speaking, an audience member becomes “invested” when he or she can relate to a character’s personality or situational moments.

For me personally, I can relate to Jill.  I’m married to a (not-so-idiotic) Tim and I have three boys who are all wildly different and who make me crazy.  Her days of being a SAHM really hit home for me as far as her feeling she isn’t living up to her potential, but I’ve also been a working momma.  Like Jill in later episodes, I know what it is like to juggle work and home life, hoping everything comes down in relative calm, only to wake up to a souped-up toaster gone horribly wrong.  Talk about being a chaos coordinator.  Yikes!th

My boys even fit the Tool Time bill.  Gabe is very much like Brad — likable, funny, and a little spacey.  Connor is the poster child for middle-kid syndrome, much like Randy.  He is smart and quick and, somewhere down deep, a sweetheart.  Mason is only four months old, but I’d be willing to lay a bet he’s calm, mild-mannered Mark.  Someone who just wants to fit in and be involved.  Most importantly, they are all mine and I love each of their unique personalities — even the crazy parts.

I’m not completely deluded; I know it’s just a TV show and we’re obviously not living in Detroit next to a know-it-all neighbor.  But somehow, on a super weird level, it’s sort of nice to know that there’s some writer out there making up storylines about a life that, I’m just being honest, really stacks up to my own real, off-screen life.  So think about it; what characters remind you of you and yours?  I’ve shared with you my weirdness — now it’s your turn.

* Side note: if you’re relating to things like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and perhaps you should scale it back to Barone level.  Just saying.

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