Sunday, June 29, 2014

Separation Anxiety

Both of my boys are mamas boys and have been since birth.  My husband works evenings and I stay at home with them.  Whenever I leave my now 22 month old with a babysitter , it turns into quite an ordeal.  Hysterical crying, death grip, and lots of guilt.  I know that this time frame age wise is very typical of this type of response- but it doesn't make it any easier.

Some things to make the time away easier:
1)  It is like ripping off a bandaid but once I drop them off I leave pretty immediately.  The longer I stay the longer he yells.

2)  Familiar Toys- My little one loves Thomas the train so much so that he sleeps with them at night.  So I make sure he has his favorite toys available.

3)  Familiar Person-  If I can I try to make sure he is with the same person as much as possible.  Too many different people makes it harder for them to feel comfortable.

In my experience I have found that the crying and hysterics are only temporary by the time I come back and peek in he is playing and fine.  Now when I announce my presence the hysterics start again but to get him.  If I didn't know any better, I would swear he was upset the entire time.  As with all things with time and diligence your little one will start going easier on you and actually have fun when left with your babysitter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Love Being A Stay At Home Mom But....

I am thankful that I get to stay home with my boys and I love having lots of time with them.  There are some things that are challenging with no breaks and little ones in tow.  I know this applies to the working mommy too when you get home or weekends.

1)  Eating a meal - without sharing or interruptions.  I am always getting things for my boys throughout the meal.  Most of the time, mine must look more appealing because my plate is never my own.

2)  Making a phone call - any phone call I make has at least one of my children screaming or "Mommy, Mommy!!!"

3) Bathroom time- There is a reason this blog is called Learning To Pee With The Door Open, I have no choice or privacy for that matter.  In the short time it takes to pee my boys can get into a lot of trouble.

4) One Man Show- It is all me, all the time.  No breaks or time to myself.  Errands are always done with them, doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, etc.  Depending on the day it can be really exhausting.

These things are all challenging but I am so happy to have my little munchkins and I will endure all of these things...I don't really have a choice in the is all part of being a mommy.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Our First Giveaway

We want to every so often give our fans a chance to win things that are fun or experiences that you can share with your kiddos.  This prize is for Build A Bear Workshop.  I thought having boys I wouldn't get many opportunities to take one of my children there.  That was until my oldest became a brony.  If you don't know what a brony is- a brony is a boy who likes and watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  We have a bit of an obsession about this show, every Saturday he can't wait for the new episode and I like it too.  Build A Bear Workshop released My Little Pony characters to make and hence the first time I was ever asked and begged to go to Build A Bear Workshop.  We now have 4- Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Spike and Scootaloo.

Enter to win a gift card for Build A Bear Workshop for $10.  This is in no way sponsored by Build A Bear Workshop.

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Alone on the Town

Occasionally I get the chance to go out my own-without the kids in tow.  Normally it is for dental or doctors appointments and for the rare Mom's Night Out.  Everytime I do go out I notice some awkward moments, things that are constant in my subconscious.

1). In the car - First of all, compared to the norm it is eerily quiet.  It is a nice break to have the quiet but it feels odd.  Also, before leaving the car, I go towards the car seats.  Yes, I am that lady that opens the back door then awkwardly closes the door.

2) In crowds- I have always been overly polite, saying thank you far too many times.  When squeezing through crowds I say, excuse us, with the kids there-totally normal.  Not so normal, when I say excuse us, when there is only me.  Once again, a little awkward, now I am the lady with the imaginary friend.

3) Going to the bathroom-  Announcing to your group that you need to potty, as if everyone announces their need to go to use the bathroom this way- a little odd

4) Other kids- Sometimes when I am out, I see kids unattended or doing something dangerous, I am on high alert.  Which in my mommy mind seems totally normal but to everyone else I am the lady who stares at children.
Life will never be the same again, I don't think I will ever be able to go out on my own without looking a little odd or awkward.  It's okay these are all things that make me a mom and I can be okay with it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Favorite Summer Attire

I am going to state the obvious but summer is hot, especially in Florida.  I am so happy to wear all the cute summer clothing.  Here are some of my favorite key summer pieces:

1) A cute sundress
I love this casual bandeau dress at H&M only $14.95

I found this dress on amazon for $28.99
2) Swimsuit
    I found this adorable suit for only $9.39.  This is a great one piece that can hide any trouble areas you have.

This suit is at Victoria's Secret in a variety of colors

A tankini at Venus for $26 for the top and $22 for the bottom it comes in several colors

3)Cover Up- Can't have a swimsuit without a great cover up
This one I found at Venus for $42.00 and it comes in 4 other great colors

This cover up is at Victoria's Secret for $59.50

4)Wedges-  I love a shoe with a lift and wedges to me just screams summer
$49.00 at Macys

Wedge sandals $24.99 with a little bling

***This list is composed of research I did on my own and is no way sponsored by any of the items on the list.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Amazing Husband

This is a rare post but I wanted to brag a little on my amazing husband on this Father's Day and our 12th wedding anniversary.  I met my husband 14 years ago in Dennys.  We were both eating with our respective friends and it was a very middle school situation.  I thought he was cute and I had a friend go over to ask if he was interested.  My friend returned with a number and reassurance that he thought I was cute.  Our first date was at TGI Fridays and we were both next to each other in the waiting area and didn't recognize each other.  After he asked another girl if she was Nicole,  I realized he was my date and said "I'm Nicole" and our date began.  We had a lot in common and hence our relationship was born.  We dated for a year and he asked me to marry him and a year later we got married.  6 years later we had our first son and 4 years later our second.  We have a pretty great relationship and I am very lucky to have him.

When we had our first son I saw another side to my husband- he was always amazing with me but seeing him with our boy was mind-blowing.  He is an wonderful father and makes our family a priority even though he is crazy busy with work and his business. I am so thankful that my boys have such a great dad one that I know is going to be there no matter what.  This is important to me because my dad was never around and I haven't seen him since I was 6.  They say you marry a man like your father normally but I think I married a man the opposite of my father.  Thank God for that!!!!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads today!!!  Hope you take the opportunity to let your guy know how important he is to you and your family.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beach Bag Musts

Beach Bags can be difficult to pack, unless you go frequently and/or are ultra organized, things can easily be overlooked.  This is the list of things I try to remember to pack in my beach bag.

1)  Towel-  This is an obvious one but the next part is not, I always bring one towel for every person and 1 extra.  The reason for the extra one is have you ever been to the beach and you, your spouse, or kiddos get something in there eye?  Normally the culprit is sand.  After the towels have been used they are full of saltwater and sand from being used.  I always keep an extra one for the sand/ocean water emergencies.

2) Sunscreen-  You should never leave home without sunscreen- I understand the need to be tanned you always look thinner, prettier, etc with a tan.  Have you ever come across the people who forget or don't apply sunblock properly?  Lobster city or odd tan lines.  Hopefully you have someone there who can help you with the trouble areas.  For sunscreen there are two things you are protecting against UVA and UVB.  UVA can cause premature aging of your skin and long term damaging effects on your skin. UVB is what causes the painful and dreaded sunburn.  SPF stands for sun protection factor and it lets you know how long you could stay in the sun before getting burned.  For example, if you normally burn after 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen a sunscreen SPF of 15 will enable you to stay in the sun 15 times longer using the sunscreen.  Of course, the time of day the sun can be more intense.  I would rather be safe than sorry so I go for at the very least SPF 50.  Knock on wood, I haven't had any unfortunate sunburn mishaps in a really long time using the higher SPF.

3) Plastic Bags- I like to bring a plastic bag per person which comes in handy when it is time to go to store those treasures from the beach or wet swimsuits.

4)  Toys- With little ones in tow, beach toys are a necessity.  I have made the mistake of remembering one bucket for 2 children, lets just say I won't do this again.  I try to make sure I have enough for both boys when possible.  There is always the occasion when there is one beach toy both of them want but overall I am able to avoid too conflict.

5) Food and Drinks-  The reflection from the sand and the sun beating down on you can get you really hot and dehydrated.  I try to bring lots of drinks and food when on the beach.  Food and drinks aren't normally convenient or readily available so Be Prepared!!!!

6)  Sun shade tent-If you have babies a tent really comes in handy it keeps your immobile baby protected and some of the older ones might enjoy the break from the sun as well.

7) A waterproof case- I guess my husband and I are a little paranoid but we have a waterproof box that we got at a water park which seals water out.  We normally put the key and cards/money in 2 plastic ziplock sandwich bags and then put that in the waterproof box.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Guilt oh the Guilt

There is nothing worse than feeling sick with kids to take care of and other responsibilities.  Lately I can't get a break one sickness after the other.  First it was a horrible 24 hour stomach bug and then this week a throat cold (one of those it will hurt if I swallow kind).  My husband works evenings and sleeps during the day so it is all me with the kids.  Today I felt better than yesterday and we committed to a party to attend for a little girl in my oldest's preschool.  I felt pretty good at the beginning of the party and by hour 2 things were quickly going downhill.  My littlest just wanted to run around and my oldest was having such a good time. I started to feel really dizzy after running after my youngest for 2 hours.   I felt horrible telling him we had to go.  After a minute of crying, he pulled it together when he realized I wasn't feeling well.  Let me tell you, we have come a long way, it used to be a temper tantrum to leave places.  Did I mention the party was super awesome including bounce house, face painting, balloons, sno cones, popcorn?- like I said a kids dream party. I tried so hard to stay as long as I possibly can.  I felt so guilty having to leave.

I think I have a habit of putting my kids first and sadly neglect myself.  Their needs are always before mine.  Even in regards to my free time, I don't often take time for myself and when I do it is after the kids go to bed.  When I do things after they go to bed I am sacrificing sleep.  I have trouble justifying time for myself but I know it is something I need to do every now and then.

When was the last time you took time for yourself? Or felt the guilt?  Lets commiserate together.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Disney Car Masters Weekend!

If you have a "Cars" fan at your house, you are not going to want to miss this exciting event this weekend, June 14-15, at Downtown Disney! It's the Car Masters Weekend, and all of the big stars from "Cars", Lightning McQueen, Finn Mcmissile and Mater, will be there for your children to meet and take pictures with. They will also have a "Cars" and "Cars 2" movie marathon at AMC Downtown Disney that you can purchase tickets to. New to the event this year will be a real fire truck on display to celebrate Disney's "Planes: Fire and Rescue" and rumor has it that little ones will be able to try on a real fire fighter outfit. And for the adults, there will be a car show featuring both classic and exotic cars that the guests can vote on their favorites to see who wins! There will be food trucks throughout the area, and if you vote on your favorite car you can get 20% off lunch at special locations. So if your looking for a fun idea this weekend or something fun to do with dad on Father's Day, why not head over to check out Car Masters Weekend at Downtown Disney!

Daddy Day Gift Ideas

I don't know about you but my husband is SO hard to shop for.  If there is anything he wants he buys it.  I try to every year come up with some great unique gift, sometimes I hit it out of the park and the other ones we just won't talk about.  I tried to find things on this list that are unique and fun for your guy.  Hope this list gives you some good ideas.

"Perfect" Father's Day Gift Ideas:

For the griller

These are a different gift than normal for the griller infuse food with smokiness and a hint of red wine $10.46

Personalized Grilling Utensil Set $44.95

For the gamer

Thought this one was pretty funny- A zombie survival kit $99.99

This is a gamer retro survival kit $99.99

For the tech guy

I thought this was really neat it is a printer for your phone to print out photos directly from the phone.  As with most tech gadgets this one has a pricey tag at $164.59

If your guy likes to take photos with his iPhone this is an attachable lens $69.99

For the golfer

Golf Bag for golf shoes you can get it personalized $34.37

Portable Golf Set $79.99

For the comic guru guy

Definitely for a star wars fan $8.68

Personalized Comic $60.34

For the alcohol connoisseur

This is a kitchy flask for $24

Beer Making Kit $39.99

For the handyman

These are a pretty inexpensive fun gift, these are pens and are only $5/piece

For a handyman who loves cookies some tool cookies for $45.00

****This is in no way sponsored by any of the products listed in this post

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Post Mommy Body

Coming to terms with the post mommy body is a challenge.  In my pre kids life I worked in an industry were looks were important, in fact they were everything.  I did frequent acting and modeling so there were certain standards with my body that I had to maintain.   I have always been the stick figure girl in school and it was always easy to maintain my weight in my teens and twenties.  I got pregnant with my first child when I was 29 and my body surprisingly bounced right back (Yes, I was one of those girls).  My second pregnancy, I was 34, and it has taken awhile to get to the point where it is now (21 months).  For the longest time I would go to family gatherings and was asked if I was pregnant again.  Then I got the dreaded mommy muff- devastating to me at least.  I have met several women who have had lipo to get rid of the mommy muff.  Due to my fear of needles, blood and being cut anywhere for a surgery on my body I don't think that is an option.  But if you have the money, don't have fear of this, and are done having kids then why not?

A couple of weeks ago I cleaned my closest for charity, and I put all of my small sizes in the pile.  Through a little emotional realization,  I realized-I am NEVER going to be a size small again.  No matter how many diets or exercises I do.  My curves have changed, I have now what they call child bearing hips and my breasts have gained size as well.  As I came to terms with not being a small anymore, I realized for some weird reason- I'm a grown up and not like the young girl who once wore those clothes.  The girl who wore those clothes barely experienced life and the woman now, in my larger size clothes, wouldn't trade even one of the reasons that got me to this point.  So I am learning to embrace my curves (it will be a long road) and one day I can accept the mommy muff (once again in time, all things are possible).

Share your thoughts about your post mommy body.  If you like this blog please share with your mommy friends.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Temper Tantrum

My oldest is known for being a lot of things; social, friendly, fun, and when he was younger something else- the child who has a temper tantrum whenever it is time to leave.  It was inevitable no matter how much time we spent, it was never enough.  When it was time to leave, the screaming would begin, limp body, flailing arms, running away, pretty much anything to make us stay a little longer.  It was a nightmare!!!  It was so draining and it was the thing that hung over every outing we had.  Not only that it was embarrassing, the glances of disaproval of not being able to handle my kid, the dreaded shaking head- it was too much and entirely too stressful.  I kept thinking it is a just a phase but it continued for what seemed like forever.

One day, I don't know why I didn't think of it before, I gave him a countdown to when we were leaving.  Now this first time it didn't go perfectly, but I noticed there was far less crying then usual.  Each time I did it the reaction was better and better.  Then I realized what I had been doing- normally when it was time to leave, it was sudden and unexpected to him, plus I was pretty rushed to go when it was time to go.  So the countdown prepared him to go more gently then my normal seemingly abrupt, "Time to go."

How do you deal with temper tantrums when it is time to go or other temper tantrum issues?  Leave a comment and share a tip with our mommy friends.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Light Catchers

Here's a fun art project that the kids will love while they also get some great fine motor practice. All you need are some plastic beads and an ovenproof pan (we used pie pans). We dumped the beads into a big pan so there would be less digging around looking for a particular color. Preheat the oven to 400. Have the kids line the bottom of the pan with beads making sure to only have one layer. My 5 year old very carefully picked out one bead at a time and had a special spot for each bead, which is great for fine motor skills, while my 3 year old just scooped out handfuls of beads and threw them in the pan! When planning this activity I definitely thought that the 5 year old would be just doing handfuls and the 3 year old taking more time, but that's how kids are, you just never know what to expect! Once the beads are set, you want the bottom completely covered, set the pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes or so until the beads have melted together.

 Yes, your house is going to get that burning plastic smell, but it honestly wasn't too bad. Once completely cooled it should pop out of the pan relatively easy. The kids hung their light catchers on their bedroom windows and love them!