8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood

I’ve partnered with Poise as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network to tell you 8 Things I’ve Learned From Motherhood.

Things I've Learned From Motherhood

Motherhood is incredible.  It won’t all be a bed of roses (some nights you will barely see your bed!) but the good will overpower the bad and your life will take on a completely different meaning. You will become a hero in someones eyes and that someone will be calling you mommy.  Your life will never be the same!  Here are 8 lessons I’ve learned from my short few years of motherhood.

  • – “Twinkle, Twinkle” and the alphabet song are the same tune.  My 3 year old pointed that out to me.  Light bulb moment!  How did I live this long without noticing that?
  • – One reason that parents are so sleep deprived (even though their kids sleep through the night!) is because we want to cram in as much as we can between the kid’s bedtime and ours.  Maybe I’m the only one but I often find myself at midnight, or 1 a.m., just getting to bed, because I had to do the dishes, prepare for tomorrow, fit in a little exercise, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (loving watching this again on Netflix!), read a bit of a book, and do this…write a little bit on my blog.
  • – When your kids are behaving in a way that makes you least want to give them affection and attention, that is usually when they need it the most.  When life gets crazy put down the phones, block out the distractions, connect and engage and life will be better for all.
  • – Your patience will be tested.  Before having kids I thought I was a patient person.  I didn’t grumble about a long line in the grocery store (which is good because I always happen to chose the slowest lines lol), I didn’t care if I made a wrong turn, and even though I liked being punctual I knew it wasn’t the end of the world to show up somewhere 5 minutes late.  After having kids I realize how impatient and selfish I can be.  It’s not pretty and something I have to remind myself of many times a day.
  • – Don’t worry what other people think of you.  You will be judged, sometimes harshly.  Don’t give a lot of thought to those opinions that are outside of your immediate family.  People will judge the number of kids you have, how far they are spaced, the way you gave birth, the names you chose, breastfeed or bottle fed, cloth diaper or disposable, sleep training or attachment parenting, homemade baby food or store bought, and on and on and on and on and on.  Research your heart out.  Choose what works for your family and stand confident in that even if it’s not what everyone else is doing.
  • – Keep a small vase handy at all times.  Flowers from children are a gift to be cherished.  Last weekend my mother-in-law told me a story about when her kids were younger and they picked flowers from a neighbor’s yard.  When she found out she apologized to her neighbor and what that neighbor said stuck in my mother-in-law’s mind all these years.  “I never mind when children pick my flowers because I know they’ll always give them to their mother.”  That makes me heart smile.
  • – Simple is almost always better.  Cardboard boxes are better than the latest toys (Appliance boxes are the best!! We’re currently enjoying a dishwasher “house” in our living room now).  An evening playing board games and talking with family is far better than another activity the kids need to be shuffled off to.  Family time is indispensable.
  • – Research what to expect after birth.  I read pregnancy book after book.  I read about the first week and month with a newborn.  I read and read and read but never once did I read what would happen to my body.  I figured that they would tell me at the hospital and didn’t give it much thought.  To my surprise a lot about my body changed…and I’m not just talking about how my stomach didn’t go back to it’s previous shape right away.  For one, if you’re not planning on breastfeeding you need a tight sports bra right away.  The cheap ones from Walmart won’t do, trust me.  Get the good ones! …and buy a few in case your baby is a spitter.  One more thing is to have some Poise pads on hand.  No one told me my bladder control would be out the window after birth.  Sneezing, running, laughing too hard, and even being startled will cause it.  Ugh!  No wonder no one told me about it, it’s embarrassing to admit!  We shouldn’t be so ashamed to talk about it though because statistics say that 1 in 3 women have light bladder leakage (LBL).
  • Poise pads
  • The Poise brand has teamed up Brooke Burke-Charvet to help educate women about LBL and empower them to seize their Poise moment.  That moment being the point where they stop letting leaks interrupt their lives and reach for products, like Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads.  The new Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads are the thinnest pads for LBL.   You can grab a sample at Poise.com.   They are thin-shaped pads, offer 3-in-1 protection, are designed to move with you and are 40% thinner than the original, but they stay 3 times dryer.  Those were two of the biggest after-birth surprises but there are a few others so if you’re pregnant, go google it.

Motherhood is one of the best things that could happen to a person.  It changes the way you see the world.  You care about another person more than you ever thought possible.  You get the joy of celebrating their successes and encouraging them through their struggles.  Motherhood is a wonderful, wonderful gift and it has taught me so much.  These 8 things I’ve listed don’t even scratch the surface.  What things has motherhood taught you?

Adorable Kid’s Clothes at Swap.com

If you know me at all you know that I love kid’s clothes.  I have since the moment my daughter was born.  It’s fun to dress my kids up in all sorts of styles but there’s only one teensy tiny problem with that.  The cost!!  Kid’s clothes cost an arm and a leg!

One way I try and save is by shopping consignment sales.  I love the ones that we have in our town semi-annually.  They’re great fun but there are only two a year, we have to get up very early, bring our game faces, and fight the crowds.  While I love the challenge and embrace it I also like to shop slowly, at my own pace. …at home in my pjs. 🙂

Swap.com contacted me to partner with them for this post and I jokingly told them later that I wish I hadn’t heard of them because I’m now addicted.  I spent some time browsing their site seeing if they had any good brands (and they did!), seeing if shipping was outrageous (it wasn’t!), and to see if they had anything in the styles I like (they did!).  I’m happy to report back to you that Swap.com has a lot of great clothes at affordable prices.  Not all the clothes are in like-new condition but they list every flaw and price them accordingly.  I love that!  I can even buy affordable play clothes from the comfort of my living room in my “play clothes.”

Here’s what I found on my first (of many) shopping trips:

Hartstrings Skirt Swap

Check out this Hartstrings skirt!  It was on sale for $3.50 (originally $48!).  I saved 93% off the retail price.  That’s a great brand and an unbelievable price if you ask me!

Carter's Shorts

These Bermuda shorts from Carter’s were listed as good condition but they looked absolutely perfect to me (and I’m picky!).

I found another pair of shorts and was about to check out when I saw that they had a toy section.  I’m not one who loves to have a lot of toys but I wanted to see what they had.  They had a lot of character items, some toys were even brand new, and some that really caught my eye.  Check this out, a My Fair Lady Barbie doll from 1995!

My Fair Lady Doll

I love My Fair Lady (who doesn’t?) and my daughter is loving Barbies right now.  Modest Barbie, a chance to introduce my daughter to My Fair Lady, and a birthday gift for my soon to be 5 year old? Win-win-win! 🙂 Oh, and I price matched the doll on Amazon before I bought it and it was $25 cheaper here.  No brainer.
Swap Shopping Cart

Here’s what my shopping cart looked like.  Easy peasy.
Swap Clothes

The clothes have now arrived and they are perfect.  Look at that detail on the Heartstrings’ skirt.  Beautiful!  These are clothes my daughter can easily throw into her summer rotation and they were so cheap!
Swap Order

Here’s the doll!  I just love it and can’t wait to show it to my daughter.

My Fair Lady Barbie

If you love adorable and affordable kid’s clothes you should definitely check out Swap.com!

Little Girl Swimsuits

I’ve been kind of addicted to swimsuits lately (for my daughter, not for myself!) and I found some ADORABLE ones that I just had to share with you.  I think these suits are unique, fun, and modest (as much as swimsuits can be!) for little girls.  Remember, prices and sales can change at any time but this is correct as of today, May 21st.  Happy shopping!

Little Girl Swim


From left to right and top to bottom (sort of):

Disclosure, affiliate links have been used in this post.

Life Lately

Chalk Drawing - Dandilions

This past week, has been full of fun.  My kiddos and I went on a few shopping outings, made some beautiful artwork with chalk, and had a blast creating silly photos to enter in an online contest.  We’ve been enjoying the slightly cooler weather and we’re excited about fall coming.  My husband is ready to watch some football {UGA plays their first game today!} and I’m excited about breaking out my fall decorations and attempting to create the best apple pie there is.  I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend and I’ll be back here on Tuesday morning!

Here are a few random thoughts bouncing around in my brain tonight…if you care to know…

Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR

The newest item on my wish list is this Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera.  It’s a hard to justify the expense but I’d love to have it.  Well, maybe I’ll settle for a new lens for the camera I have now (Cannon T1i).

Little Giraffe

My son’s lovie bit the dust, or more accurately, was beheaded during a recent run through the washer and I’ve been in search of a sweet looking, super soft security blanket/lovie.  Do you have a favorite that you would recommend?  I’m looking for something along the lines of a grey, deep navy, latte, or mocha colored lovie.  I’ve been checking out the Little Giraffe line of lovies but there are so many options that all sound great!

Baby's First Tooth

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!!!  My littlest one got his first tooth, said “mama”, and a few days later said “dada.”  He said my name first -Woot!  I win!

Have a great weekend, ya’ll!

Easy Back-to-School Lunches with Del Monte

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

First Day of School

As I opened my eyes this morning, the realization that my daughter is starting school this year gripped my heart.  Of course I worry what she’ll study, how she’ll socialize, and a million little things but what really has me troubled is that my little girl is growing up.  My baby.  My daughter who just learned how to sit up on her own yesterday…or so it seems.  While writing this I see a carousel of photographs twirling in my mind.  This gallery of memories brings burning tears to my eyes.  I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast!  Cherish each day.  That’s this mama’s motto.

While I can’t slow her down, and I don’t want to {entirely}, I can do my best to make sure she gets all that she needs to succeed.  Starting today, I’m going to be more purposeful in working with her.  We’ll have a set time to study and have structured play.  Not only will I get to help her learn but I’m excited about this one on one quality time with her.

In addition to purposeful activities I’m going to be more intentional with the meals I provide.  Before now it’s been easy to eat leftovers for lunch and throw together a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  I want to take the time to provide more nutritious meals for her.  I’ve been wanting to do this for a while actually and back-to-school time seems like a great time to reevaluate and make changes.  I’m thinking of a dozen different ways to make crock pot oatmeal for busy mornings and a handful of different fruit combinations for lunch.

Bento Ideas

While at Walmart the other day I noticed these fruit cups were on sale on the end cap of the aisle.  I love a sale and fruit cups happen to hold a tiny space in my heart.  Every single time I eat them I’m reminded of eating canned fruit with my dad.  It was a special childhood memory that I look back on fondly.  It seemed that all the back-to-school shoppers had flooded Walmart at once so I ventured down the aisle to browse the fruit cups without the fear of being trampled.  There I found something pretty amazing!  No really, amazing!  Fruit Burst Squeezers by Del Monte have a pack with fruit AND vegetables inside.

Del Monte Fruit Burst Squezers

These are great for on the go, a quick snack when Mommy has her hands full with the baby, and for back-to-school lunches!  There. are. vegetables. hidden. inside.  This is every mom’s dream come true.  {Okay, maybe mom’s that need to get out more – myself included.}

Girl With Fruit Squeezer

She gave them her seal of approval – Success!!

Del Monte Coupon

Right now, while supplies last, you can get a free back-to-school photo offer from select Walmart Super Store Print Shops with purchase from August 1 – September 13 while supplies last. If your store is offering the promo, and if you participate in the free back-to-school photo they offer you’ll receive $1 off the purchase of (2) Del Monte 4-pack Fruit Cups or (2) Fruit Burst Squeezers.

Easy Back to School Lunches

Are you having back-to-school woes like me? Do you have any coping techniques or back-to-school lunch wisdom you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it if you do!

Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue Collection at Kohl’s #MagicAtPlay

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kohl’s. I received a promotional item to facilitate my review. #MagicAtPlay

Can I see a raise of hands for all the moms and dads out there who are excited to see Disney’s new Planes movie?  Does anyone have kids who are excited?  While the movie isn’t released until next month, July 18th to be exact, you can get exclusive Disney apparel from Jumping Beans now available at Kohl’s.  You can shop in-store and online for some great little outfits for summer!  For those who like to plan ahead, you could even grab some great deals on Planes long sleeve tees, pants, and hoodies for back-to-school.

Disney Planes Tee

Isn’t this shirt just adorable?

Disney Planes Shorts


Especially with these cute shorts!

Check out the rest of the Kohl’s Planes: Fire and Rescue Collection today.

See more of the collection on my Little Boy Style Pinterest board (or see my Little Girl Style Pinterest board for Minnie Mouse clothing exclusively at Kohl’s).

Pamper Your Piggies: Mommy & Me Manis

This little piggy went to… the nail salon?  My little piggies haven’t danced in the door of a nail salon since my technician buffed away too much skin and left me with a painful raw spot.  He covered it with a liquid band aid but it hurt to walk on it for weeks.  While I miss the massage chair, pretty polish designs, and overall pampering I’m not a glutton for punishment.  There is no way I’m going to tote my toddler to the salon for the same reasons.  Not to mention the cost for a polish that will chip off her nails in a matter of days!

Daddy painting daughter's nails

BUT my daughter loves to have her nails painted.  I mean loves it!  She’ll point them out to the cashier at the grocery store.  A stranger at the mall.  Anyone who will listen!  If you follow me on Instagram you may have saw the picture I posted last night of her daddy “painting” her nails.  He was using a clear, glittery, oily type of pretend polish.  He’s not brave enough to try with the real stuff and I don’t blame him!    

Piggy Paint Colors

Even when we use real, safe, kid-friendly polishes they still manage to chip ever so sightly within a few days.  My semi-OCD daughter will have none of that so we end up painting her nails over and over and over before we finally remove it completely and leave her with bare nails for a few weeks.  Which makes me sad because she enjoys painted nails so much and she likes to “look like Mommy.”

Mommy and Me Jamberry Nails

I may have found the perfect solution for her nail obsession. Mommy & Me nail wraps by Jamberry!  Now, I haven’t tried this myself yet but I’ve ordered them and I can’t wait to!  The picture above is of a friend’s daughter trying them out for the first time.  Cute, right?  My friend just started selling these wraps and because they look so great on her that I had to buy some for myself.

Gingham Nails

Check out the ones I ordered called Gingham and Berries.  Can you picture these on tiny toes running through the grass this summer?  So stinking cute!

I’ll update you with pictures of my daughter’s new fancy mani-pedi soon and quite a few nail wrap combinations of my own too.  I couldn’t help but buy a bunch, they look so fun!  If you want to have a little Mother/Daughter time for Mother’s Day this looks like a great, affordable way to do so.  Plus, I hear that they’ll last for weeks on little one’s toes and a few weeks on fingers.  You can’t beat that!

Here’s my friend’s website {that I’m not making any commission on what-so-ever!}: Jamberry Nails.

Happy early Mother’s Day!!

Teaching Children Responsibility

This post was written by Jo and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

I have always said that I am a Marketer by Trade and a writer by nature. I have always dabbled here and there along the way but being a writer for me is not an option but rather an inherent part of who I am.

– Jo Whitehead

Teaching Kids Responsibility

One of the things that all parents have in common is that we want the best for our children and for them to grow into responsible, confident adults, but unfortunately don’t always know quite where to start. Responsibility is a life skill and not necessarily a personality trait. It is something that can be taught. Something that can be instilled – but it’s our job to teach it to them.

It would be unfair of us one day to expect our teenage child to behave responsibly if he or she was never taught the basics and given the opportunity to put it into practice. The trick is to start early and as they grow older to increase the level of responsibility accordingly. A good age to start is when your child is a toddler.

As long as there is housework to be done, there are plenty of teaching opportunities available. Make housework a team effort and make it fun. Yes, the chores may take longer, but not only will you land up with a clean house, but children who realise and understand that they are part of a unit and need to pull their weight too.

If you want your children to act responsibly you need to act responsibly too so that they are able to model your behaviour. For example, once you have finished eating dinner, insist that each family member takes their plate through to the kitchen and places it in the sink or the dishwasher. Make sure your child sees you placing your soiled clothing in the laundry hamper and help him or her to do the same.

Reflect on your behaviour and see if there’s anything that needs changing. If you are the type that enjoys being at the mall shopping, at the bowling alley or batting cages playing, or any other place for hours on end, don’t force your child to stay with you while you ‘unwind’, but rather spend some time with them and once they’ve gone to bed  you can shop or play games online.  There are many apps available for shopping and several for playing games. Or perhaps you have the opposite problem. Perhaps you spend plenty of time online shopping and keeping up to date with social media on your mobile phone? Schedule a time each day when the children are at school or having a nap to check your newsfeed and not while you should be spending time with them. Your children need to realize that they are important and that you take your responsibility as a parent seriously.

And finally, remember to praise your children for acting responsibly. Children thrive on praise and when you praise them, suddenly chores don’t feel so much like work. A positive attitude goes a long way.

Visit TheHappyHousewife.com to get a printable list of age-appropriate chores for children.

Toddler Pool Fun!

Baby Looking DownMy little girl was hesitant to get in the pool and it took a while for her to get the courage to get in but once she did…

Wet BabyShe absolutely loved it!

Sad Baby in PoolShe looks sad here but I think she was just deep in thought.

Happy Girl in a PoolThere’s her smile again!

Cutie Pie in the PoolI love her silly faces.

Baby Girl in the PoolI can’t believe my little girl is now two years old!  She’s not so little anymore.

Air Walker Bounce Castle Giveaway Ends 6/14

Air Walker Bounce Castle Giveaway
Hosted By: So Sew Mama
Sponsored by: Blast Zone

“BLAST ZONE” is American company and their bounce houses have every feature you could ever want!   Plus, the colors are bright and vibrant!

Enter for your chance to win an Air Walker Bounce Castle!
Giveaway open to US residents 18+ only
All entries are optional but will increase your odds of winning.
May 20- June 14
There is a Mandatory email entry, all of the rest will increase your odds of winning.
Good Luck!

*Disclosure: So Sew Mama and Embracing Beauty are not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment. I was not compensated for this post. So Sew Mama received a sample to try with her family. All opinions are 100% her own. Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest are not affiliated with this giveaway and are released of any obligations.