Mouthguard Challenge: Game Night Just Got More Fun

Who doesn’t love playing games at family get togethers during the holidays? It’s so fun and a great way to connect with family you may not see very much, if at all, throughout the 51Si5d+l+yL._SX300_.jpgyear. Last year, Pie Face was a huge hit at our get togethers but it was extremely hard to get your hands on one. This year, Mouthguard Challenge needs to be on everyone’s wish list and is a must for your holiday parties!

It was created by Alex Mandel, funnyman Howie Mandel’s son, and the apple definitely did not fall far from the tree! Alex did not disappoint with this hilarious game! It not only contains speaking challenges but “extreme” challenges that are actually challenging, like drinking water without dripping on the table and who can eat a banana the fastest – way harder than it sounds! There are 51 specifically developed tasks, revenge cards and mouthguards included, along with rules of how to play. It’s super easy to play and can be played with 2-5 people and is meant for those 16 and older (not because it’s a dirty game, it’s family friendly, I think maybe because of the size of the mouthguards). Check out this video of my husband and I playing for the first time:

If you’re looking for something to spice up your holiday parties and get togethers this year or if you just want to add something fun and unique to your collection of games, this is the game! Find yours at Hallmark, select specialty stores, or here on Amazon for only $14.99 + free shipping with Prime. `At that price, you can buy a few more to give as gifts! Watch Alex and his friendmouthguard Roman do the Mouthguard Challenge here and see Howie Mandel’s Mouthguard Challenge video here! Your stomach will be hurting from laughing so hard! 

And don’t forget to follow Mouthguard Challenge on Instagram and Alex Mandel’s Vlog on YouTube for more hilarious videos!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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Barbie Lied

animated barbie childrens artA good number of us spent our youth playing with Barbies. Making them get married and have babies. They lived in their colossal Barbie Dream Houses, drove around their expensive Corvettes, and Barbie stayed home with the kids all while wearing her pearl earrings, with perfect hair, and perkier than ever boobs. Ken was rockin’ six pack abs and always brought home the bacon, all while maintaining their seamless landscaping. To say that Barbie didn’t prepare us for real life would be the understatement of the century.

Where is my mansion?

Why isn’t my hair perfect every day?

Where is my endless wardrobe?

Why is Barbie so unconcerned about her finances?

Why does my yard look like it’s straight out of Jumanji?

Barbie influenced us to believe that life was going to be the same for everyone. That we would all grow up to get married, have babies, and live the “American Dream.” Looking back, I wish someone had burned all of my Barbies and said “this isn’t real life.” Not only are many millennials not following Barbie’s lead, but we’re also coming to the realization that Barbie was a huge liar.

I am a millennial and in all reality, I followed the typical trajectory for a young twenty-something. I finished up my bachelor’s degree, got married a few months later, traveled a bit, bought a house in the city, and had a baby. I am the cliché of life. And while there might be some Freudian-subconscious-Barbie-impression shit going on somewhere deep in the darkest pits of my brain, this life is truly what I wanted, which is totally not to say that I don’t dream of what other versions of me I could have been at times. Could I have gone rogue and lived in South Africa or been a journalist for a prime time station or been a tattoo artist and shaved half of my head and had sweet ink up and down both arms? Definitely the latter. And, a tattoo sleeve could still totally happen sometime in between mom groups and my white collar job. 

But what Barbie didn’t prepare me for is the emotion that comes with changing who you are when you become a mother. Barbie convinced me that nothing changed. She didn’t teach me that my “mansion” (aka- century home that needs work) would collect dust. That my new tiny human would actually spend most of his first year not sleeping and spitting up on me. And that Ken would also be exhausted and that the Corvette would probably be more like an unwashed SUV with maximum storage for a stroller and baby necessities. Worst yet? Barbie had no less than 30 pairs of heels. Where are my designers shoes? These days, I care so little about heels that I spend most days in a nice pair of Dr. Scholl’s flats. Attractive, I know.

Barbie didn’t have postpartum hair loss. She didn’t have stretch marks or bags under her eyes from staying up all night. She was peppy and most certainly never wore yoga pants. She didn’t have an identity crisis when trying to figure out how to balance being a working mom. And she definitely never seemed phased by the criticisms that are christened upon us as soon as our tiny humans are born. Her bank account was endless and she never worried about paying for diapers, organic baby food, and tuition to preschool. Barbie’s house wasn’t littered with entirely too many toys. She and Ken somehow still enjoyed romantic vacations next to their Malibu pools and didn’t think twice about hiring a random babysitter to watch their kids.

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#MomLife

So here, in my late-twenties, I have serious misgivings about the impression that Barbie left upon me. And what I want moms to know is that it’s okay to be a hot mess. If this is the life you dreamed of, but you still don’t have it together day-to-day, welcome to the club. If you do have it together, please leave a detailed report in the comments so that the rest of us can figure life out. What I’ve learned in my year and a half of parenting is that you can be totally happy and also totally unprepared for life all at the same time.

And to Malibu Barbie, we say Bye Felicia.

– Katie

What is your parenting truth?

Parents aren’t perfect.

Sometimes it’s so painfully evident.

At BurritoBuzz, the intent is to make parents feel like they aren’t alone, to offer some guidance, and to show that parenting in its rawest form is pretty rough sometimes. The endgame: we all love our little ones so stinking much that we’d do anything for them. Most of us are just trying to be the best possible person for them every single day. Are all days perfect? Definitely not.

So we want to share some of our imperfections. We want to shine a light on the humorous side of parenting. Tell us your stories of your imperfect days. Your comical days. The days when you haven’t had time to shower and the T.V. is babysitting your kids. We want to hear it all.

We plan to compile an anonymous list of parenting woes and post it here on BurritoBuzz. So leave us your stories! Head over to our welcome page and at the bottom you can submit your truths.

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8 Annoying Toys for Babies & Toddlers

When you become a parent, you also become an expert on all things that are annoying. It just comes with the territory. I think toy companies create the most annoying toys for babies and toddlers to drive their parents insane. Literally. Whether or not you buy these annoying toys, or if you try to keep them out of your house, they’ll still likely end up in you child’s toy box thanks to birthdays, holidays or from grandparents who love to spoil their grandchildren. As a mom to an almost four year old and four month old, I’m remembering all of the annoying baby toys my oldest used to have (and thought I got rid of forever) because they’ve once again popped up in our toy boxes. Here is a list of the most annoying toys (baby and toddler) according to me:

  1. Brilliant Basics Corn Popper by Fisher-Price – you all know why this is at the top ofpTRU1-2789443enh-z6 the list. It is possibly the most annoying toy ever created (thanks Fisher-Price!) Baby just pushes it and pop, pop, pop, pop, pop goes the balls. It. Never. Ends. If someone gifts your child this toy, they secretly despise you.
  2. See n’ Say by Fisher-Price – it seems like Fisher-Price makes several toys that torment parents. This toy is decades old, I remember annoying my mom with it as a child. Point the arrow at an animal and pull the lever down to hear what animal is is and what is says. You’ll hear “the cow goes moooooooooooooo” over and over and over.
  3. Any kind of musical instrument – this is self explanatory. I love music and my husband is a musician but we cannot stand hearing the our toddler’s toy instruments. Her keyboard, maracas, tambourine, drums and recorder (oh, the recorder is a nightmare) are often hidden because they’re just too much for us to hear all at once when our daughter is playing in her “band”.
  4. pTRU1-6647019dtGo Baby Go!™ 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail by Fisher-Price – another Fisher-Price toy, this snail would always start singing and lighting up when just sitting in the toy box with no one near it because there are no buttons to push to make it turn on. Simply touching it turns it on. Its songs and sound effects are highly annoying and my crazy kids absolutely love it.
  5. Playskool Poppin’ Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper by Playskool – the fan noise this
    thing projects is really annoying in and of itself but then it spits balls all over the place. My precious toddler loves throwing them at at me. They’re good for target practice I guess.
  6. Doc McStuffins Musical Light-Up Microphone – my husband brought this home for our daughter about a month ago and I thank my lucky stars everyday that he did (I’m being totally sarcastic). This thing never freaking stops and it’s so loud that it wakes my sleeping baby during nap time when my oldest plays with it. It’s now hiding on the top shelf of her closet and won’t be found for some time.
  7. My Pal Scout & Violet by Leapfrog – at  first I loved this dog when my oldest got it as my-pal-scout-violet_19156_2-1a gift a few years. I liked that it could be programmed with your child’s name so it could talk to them. But the buttons get jammed and the songs get stuck on one word or sound and it just repeats. The only way to stop it just turning it off or taking out the batteries. So annoying.
  8. Shake & Sounds Learning Pup by VTech – the only thing I can’t stand about this puppy is the constant barking. It’s cute and my daughter loves to play with it (she even named it Pumpkin Bubble Gum) but it barks. All. The. Time.


This is by no means a complete list, because according to my husband,
any toy that lights up and makes noise is annoying. This is just a small list of the most annoying toys (in my opinion) that we own or have owned. My husband and I often talk about taking the kids’ noisiestbusiness-software toys outside and going Office Space on their annoying asses.

If you have an annoying or noisy toy that you’d add to my list, let me know in the comments or tell us in the comments on this post on Facebook or Instagram! I know I am missing a lot and I’m curious which toys to stay away from!

– Casey

Stop trying to one-up the struggle…

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The comparison of struggle. Sometimes, it seems like parents are wanting to complain in a way that makes it seem like one person has it worse than the other. Like, “oh, your baby doesn’t sleep? Well, my baby is teething horribly which is so much worse.”

But I’ve said it before, where’s the empathy?

*Disclaimer: I’m addicted to ecards, which I’ll be using in abundance in this post.*

Why can’t one person’s struggle be acknowledged instead of mulled over and one-upped by another person’s struggle? babbleoneupper.png

And here’s the truth: we all have some kind of struggle going on. Whether we talk about it openly or not.

Even then, sometime I’ll just be in conversation and talking about a difficult phase we’ve been going through. Right now we’re dealing with some major toddler tantrums. Instead of saying “oh, I remember those days!” or “this too shall pass” or “it gets easier” or something uplifting, I often hear things like “he’ll be worse when he’s two!” “wait until he talks more…” blah blah blah.

When our son didn’t sleep, like at all, for 9 months, I got so much advice on things we should be doing. Like hello, I don’t enjoy being sleep deprived. If you think I hadn’t already tried those things, you are very wrong.

images.pngSo here’s what I’m getting at: it’s okay to identify and acknowledge someone else’s struggle without being upset that they aren’t facing your exact struggle. Sometimes we all just need to talk about what’s going on to get through the day.

A comparison I’ve heard recently: If you break your leg, you might scream that you’re in pain. In response, someone says to you “every bone in my body is broken!” But here’s the thing, the person with the broken leg is still in pain, whether or not it’s the same pain that you have or to the extent that you have it. It doesn’t make their issue any less of an issue.

This idea goes far beyond just parenting, but I’ve never before experienced such negativity and lack of compassion and empathy as I have since becoming a parent. 1338588890104_3927523.png

When someone takes the time to tell me their struggle these days, I try diligently to get on their level, to show that I care about their difficulties. And it’s impossible to always say the right thing, but I think that if we all try just a little harder to empathize we’ll be in much better shape. Our relationships will be stronger indefinitely.

– Katie

Dear Daughters: Don’t Always Be Like Me

FullSizeRender (59)There are things I don’t like about myself. When you have kids, you think about all of the characteristics and traits you don’t want your kids getting from you. Not that those traits are necessarily bad, but that you, as a parent, don’t want to deal with in a little person. There are also things you hope your children don’t pick up from watching you because you suck at those things.

Here are 10 things I hope my girls don’t learn or inherit from me.  

  1. My inability to do makeup. Seriously, I am so bad. I only wear mascara and eyeliner (because putting on anything else would take hours) but I end up with black all over my face. I use an embarrassing amount of Simple Face Wipes, they can literally remove anything. I hope while watching me over the years, my daughters don’t think that that is how you apply it. I will be directing them to YouTube makeup tutorials when it comes time for them to start wearing makeup.
  2. The fact that I can’t do anything but straighten my hair and put it in a pony tail. I got a curling iron because I wanted to do “beach waves” (because beach waves are so in) and I literally can’t figure out how to use it. It just leaves kinks at the ends and doesn’t curl very well. So I hope my girls can learn how to do their hair from YouTube tutorials as well.
  3. I’m am stubborn as shit. The only reason I know I am stubborn is because my almost four year old is exactly like me and she’s stubborn as hell. The two of us butt heads like you wouldn’t believe because of it. I can only imagine how the teenage years are going to go. I also pray my four month old is an angel. I cannot handle two mini-me’s.
  4. My daughters will never, ever see me wearing heels. My husband and I have been together 6 years and he’s never seen me in a pair. I have super flat feet and can barely walk in them but when I was 19, I thought I was cool and went clubbing a lot during that winter. By spring, I was in a cast up to my knee to help set my foot (I sprained it one icy night) and the toenails on my both big toes died and fell off. So, no, I don’t like heels and my girls won’t catch me wearing them.
  5. I can’t cook to save my life. Yes, it’s true. I can’t cook and what I can cook isn’t the greatest. My husband jokes that he should have married my best friend instead because she is a phenomenal cook. Maybe I should have married her, too.
  6. I don’t want them to be afraid to make a mess. Even though they see mommy cleaning constantly, I don’t want them doing the same and worrying about the mess they’re making rather than playing with their toys. Mommy has OCD, they don’t need it, too.
  7. Mommy has an anger problem and yells. A lot. Don’t be like Mommy. My parents never spanked us, but my dad yelled and his voice had the power to bring me straight to my knees and tears to my eyes. He can still make me cry just by raising his voice. I’m the same way with yelling, however, I’m trying my hardest not to lose my cool so easily. I’ve already noticed my oldest yelling (like her mommy, because we’re identical) and I hate seeing her getting angry like that.
  8. I look like I’m seizing when I try to dance. I can’t dance at all. I like dancing, but I have no ability whatsoever. So I hope my oldest, who is taking ballet this fall, will have the dancing gene that is completely absent in me.
  9. Please excel in school like Daddy and let us be able to watch you walk at you high school graduation (unlike mommy). It’s true, I got suspended on the last day of school because I drank all night (with about half of the graduating class) and passed out while taking my final French exam. Because of the suspension, I couldn’t walk at graduation. My parents were pissed and I feel bad that they weren’t able to see me walk across the stage and get my high school diploma (I did graduate and get my diploma though). I just hope my girls take school more seriously than I did (and not worry about boyfriends and the crazy parties) and get good grades to get into a good college.
  10. Sunscreen is your friend! I went tanning in a tanning bed almost every day for years in my late teens/early twenties. My skin, at 28, is awful. I will slather the shit out of my kids with sunscreen until they’re physically able to beat me off of them. I better never catch them in a tanning bed either. But seriously, I hope they’re smarter than me when it comes to the sun.

– Casey

I Swore I’d Never Do That

I’m sure you’ve said it before children and I know you’ve heard it many, many times from people without children or those expecting their first baby.

“I’ll never let my child do that.”

“I’ll never give my baby/child that.”

“I’ll never do that with my baby/child.”

The “nevers” are endless before you have kids. It’s entirely way too easy to judge someone and to say you’d never do something with your child or let your child have or do something. I’ve done it and I can guarantee every parent-to-be has, too. But once baby is here and baby gets older, your whole perspective changes. Those “nevers” turn into “okay, just this once” then they turn into “sure, whatever it takes to shut you up”. Here is a list that I swore I would never let my kids do or have but instead are now regular occurrences in our house.

  1. Co-sleeping. I said I would never ever co-sleep with my children. My motto used to be “my baby sleeps in her crib and only in her crib”. With my oldest, she only ever slept in her crib. Baby number two changed everything. She started sleeping in our bed around 2-3 weeks old, when we learned she slept much better with me. My husband Baby in Bed with Mom and Dadhas been sleeping on the couch for the past 3 months but as long as we’re all able to sleep, we’re totally fine with her in our bed with me. **The AAP does not recommend co-sleeping with baby. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website for the recommended sleeping guidelines to prevent the risk of SIDS.
  1. Formula. Nothing is wrong with formula, as both of my girls have strictly been formula fed. However, when I was pregnant, I was hell bent on breastfeeding my first. It would have saved us a ton of money which was another reason I was determined to breastfeed. Fast forward to my emergency c-section and pneumonia after my surgery, I didn’t care how baby was fed as long as she was fed. I tried for the first day but it was just too hard for me so we immediately went with formula. My now almost four year old is a 40 pound, perfectly healthy little monster. With my second, I tried breastfeeding for two days but ultimately switched to formula as it was extremely painful. Kudos to all of those who kick ass at breastfeeding!
  1. Pacifiers. I never wanted my babies to use pacifiers. I hated (still do) seeing older kids using them when they clearly didn’t need them anymore. I’m okay with infants having pacifiers to help sooth them, but I didn’t want to go through the weaning once they were older. So with my first, I chose not to use a pacifier. However, the nurses in the nursery at the hospital gave her one (eye roll) but she gave it up on her own at 3 months old. With my second I gave her a pacifier right away, as I learned with my first that it is a little silicone savior. She’s not crazy hooked on it, but it has saved several meltdowns at naptime and bedtime and I am totally okay with her having one.
  1. iPad/TV. We’ve all heard it, TV rots your brain. So when I was pregnant, I was adamant about not letting my kids watch too much TV, let alone have a tablet or iPad. Fast forward a few years and my oldest can work the iPad better than me. She can navigate through Netflix and Hulu to find her shows so fast, it’s kind of crazy. I swore my kids wouldn’t fill their time just watching TV but when you have a wild toddler to occupy and you’re tired from said toddler being up half the night, yomcdonalds4u cave. You give her the iPad to hopefully get a few more minutes of sleep. It’s happened more times than I like to admit but hey, TV has helped keep this mama sane.
  1. Junk food. Another thing I swore I’d never let my kids have is junk food. McDonald’s, pop, stuff that’s plain bad for you. “I will never let my child have McDonald’s!” is something I know I’ve said quite a few times. And now, my oldest gets a Happy Meal once or twice a month. When we’re out running around at dinner or lunch time or she’s been an especially good girl, she gets one as a reward. The same with pop. We let her have a little bit of Sprite (and only Sprite – no dark pop) for special occasions, like at the movies or sometimes with dinner at a restaurant. It’s not the end of the world but I remember judging other parents for it and I’m sorry for that.
  1. Calling my oldest Sissy. One thing that always irked me (for no real reason) was when older sisters were called “Sissy” by her parents. I would always say to myself that I’d never call my oldest Sissy when she became an older sister. Welp, that’s exactly what I call her when talking to her baby sister. I actually have a million cutesy, probably annoying to them (or they will be annoying in the future), nicknames for each of my girls which I never thought I’d do.
  1. Spanking. This is a huge one. I never thought I’d be the one to spank my child. Growing up, my brother and I were never spanked by our parents. My dad always yelled, which can still make me cry at 28 years old. Our three year old ispinocchionose2 a wild one and sometimes nothing else but a little spanking on her behind works. I don’t do it to hurt her, I do not do it hard enough to leave a mark or when I’m angry. It’s more of a swat to get her attention.
  1. Become a liar. Since becoming a mom, I’ve also became a pretty good liar. I never thought I’d lie to my own children, but it is so necessary to be a liar. Just little, harmless lies like when the ice cream man’s music is playing, it means he’s out of ice cream or their teeth will fall out if they don’t brush them (my personal favorite).

If you’re an expecting parent, you’ve said you won’t do at least one of these things. At the time, it’s nice to think you won’t. But trust me, you will break and you will cave and you will end up doing things you never dreamed you’d do just to make life easier. And an easy life is a good life.

– Casey

Mommy has OCD

Being a parent is hard. I mean, it’s a never, ever, ever ending job. Your work is never done and will probably never be done even when your babies are grown with babies of their own. But I find being Obsessive Compulsive AND a mom is literally the hardest thing I may ever do. When you have OCD, you obsess over specific things. For me, it’s cleaning and tiporganization. If you come to my house and I’m expecting you, you most likely won’t find any toys in the living room, kitchen, bathroom or our bedroom. All of my three year old’s toys are in her room with a few lucky ones in the future playroom in the basement. All of those toys are organized to a damn T. You wouldn’t even know we have children if it weren’t for their pictures plastered on the walls, artwork displayed on the fridge, the rack drying my youngest daughter’s bottles on the kitchen counter and the mamaRoo in the living room (it’s hard to move and store). Being told “for having kids, your house is the cleanest I have ever seen” is one of the best compliments I have ever gotten. Here is a little glimpse inside my irrational and sometimes crazy OCD mind.

Dishes: There cannot be any dishes left in the sink at night for me to do in the morning. There is no way I can sleep knowing they are there. I just can’t. Also, iftoys2 you want to see me to go bat shit crazy, go ahead and put a dirty dish in the sink right after I get done washing and drying all of them. I freaking double dog dare you.

Toys: Ahh, with kids come massive amounts toys. You can throw one away each day and it seems like three show up in its place. Who buys all this crap anyway? When I notice my daughter is done playing with something, like Lego Duplos for example, no matter how bad I fight it, I have to clean them up and put them away even though I know she will get them back out five minutes later (it happens every time). They all have specific places for them in her room, too. Although my husband knows this, he refuses to put them where they go. I think he does it on purpose to see if my head will actually spin all the way around.

Sweeping: If you have a dog or cat or both, you know how much hair they can produce. You can find it along the baseboards of each room, clumps of it stuck to the carpet, pretty much everywhere in your house. It is utterly disgusting and gets even worse the two times a year when our Border Collie/Lab mix sheds his coat. There are days when I don’t get to eat but remember that I had some of his hair in my mouth several times that day so that must count as eating something. Anyone know how many calories hair has? No matter how many times I vacuum the entire house and brush his coat outside, the hair never goes away and it’s almost maddening Washing windowshow fast it finds its way back to the baseboards.

Windows: The hardest ‘chore’ (if you want to call it a chore) for me are the windows. They are never clean enough, even the ones my toddler isn’t able to reach and lick. If I see a smudge or streak, I have to drop everything (except the baby, I lay her down), get my Windex and paper towels and get to cleaning. But it’s never good enough. Sometimes it looked better before I tried to clean them which fills me with rage which means it’s earmuff time for my toddler as I drop a few f-bombs. Someone should invent self cleaning windows or a spray like Rain-X so it repels everything. Did I just invent a multi-million dollar product? Shark Tank, here I come! 

Laundry: I never understood when people said ‘it’s laundry day’ and have mounds and mounds of laundry to do. Every day is laundry day at this house. I do at least one load a day. We have a hamper in our room but no clothes ever see the inside olaundryf it. They get thrown downstairs and get put in the washer and I run it when it’s full. There are never any towels on the floor or random socks anywhere. If you looked in our closets you would definitely know someone with OCD lives here. All of our clothes are organized by color and sleeve and pant length. Yes, I know I have entirely too much time on my hands.

Making Beds: If I could, I would make the beds while my husband and and daughter are still in them. I just can’t with unfolded blankets, pillows thrown about and the sheets wrinkled. It makes my skin crawl just looking at an unmade bed. I don’t drink coffee or tea in the morning (or at all – how am I so high strung without caffeine?) so to get my day going I have to make our beds. Now that I say that out loud it sounds a little crazy.

Organizing: I like to think of myself as the Queen of Organization because my house is so organized that it annoys the shit out of me (and my loving husband, too). Everything has to be lined up perfectly, centered on the wall, facing the right way, labels out and it has to be clean. Rugs on the floor have to be lined up perfectly to the couch or in the center of the cabinet it lies under. I don’t even like my husband to touch certain things because I know he won’t put it back the correct way. He knows he will feel the wrath of his crazy ass wife. How in the hell am I still marriCrazy housewife with kitchen toolsed? My husband is an honest to God saint.

I’ve seen quotes saying “a messy home means love lives here” or something to that effect. A messy home may mean that love lives there but it doesn’t mean love doesn’t live here. It’s just a spotless, well manicured kind of love so mommy doesn’t lose her shit.

– Casey

Pickles and Broken Glass.

 

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My typical day is chaotic. From the time my 15 month old son wakes up at the ass-crack of dawn (5:30AM) to the moment that I binge watch Game of Thrones for a solid episode and a half before retiring to bed.

My typical week consists of working 8-5 MWF, shooting weddings Saturdays, sometimes shooting on Sundays, and editing photos all the time I have free in-between. On top of that, I write for this bad ass blog (I might be biased,) clean, grocery shop, do laundry, yard work, and chase my VERY active toddler around. Somehow, I’ve only had one late bill since having my son, and I haven’t caught anything on fire or forgotten to lock the door.

Today is my day “off” from my regular job. However, days with my toddler are infinitely more exhausting (even though better and more rewarding, definitely more exhausting.) This morning we went through the motions of a typical morning, and then after Dad left for work, Lucas and I packed up and went to the grocery store.

I take my son a lot of places by myself, but it’s no less daunting each time. I never know how the trip will go; thankfully, today was an easy trip.

After getting home, I contained my tiny human in the living room. He was instantly like “WTF Mom, I want to play,” and proceeded to growl at me. I quickly started unloading groceries in turbo-speed from my detached garage. I would quite literally rather dislocate both of my arms with grocery bags than have to take two trips into the house, but today was a two-tripper. This means I’m usually carrying at least 10 bags at a time, up the steps of my porch, inside, and stepping over baby gates with all of said bags.

Today I dropped them.

No big deal, until I heard all the glass break and fluid came flying out and proceeded to flood my freshly cleaned kitchen. (Of all the things, it HAD to be the Kosher pickles. WHY GOD couldn’t it have been something I don’t give a shit about, like the soup my husband eats but that I insist isn’t real food.)

So, then commenced my mom meltdown. Groceries to put away, and a toddler that is P.O.ed and needs a diaper change and a snack before he goes in to full-on apocalyptic meltdown.

But today I’m thankful for my spilled pickles (which I carefully picked out of broken glass, washed off, and put into Tupperware.) Those spilled pickles gave me an epiphany that I think I’ve needed for some time. The epiphany to slow down. Just to slow myself down.

I rush so much, and feel obligated to do so much for so many. I love being busy, mostly. But some days, I just need to stop. I need to take four trips in with the groceries, and entertain my toddler in-between. I need to take a nap. Drink a cup of tea. Read a chapter of a book.

When did I stop doing all of those things?

We’ve said it before: you can’t serve from an empty cup. Sometimes we all need the reminder that life is going to go on, and that the groceries can wait.

 

-Katie

My Toddler Needs a Leash


This past Sunday, my two daughters, mother-in-law and I celebrated Mother’s Day at our local zoo. My husband works Sundays so it was just us four. It’s a small, quaint zoo 
which is perfect to walk through for a few hours on a beautiful sunny day. While walking up a hill to the black bear exhibit, I noticed a woman “walking” her toddler. Literally, she had her little girl on a leash which seemed appropriate as the little girl was tryingllleash to run away. As her mom yanked her back several times, I got to thinking about my own crazy toddler. Surely she could benefit from being restrained, right? I had witnessed some disturbing behavior from her while on our outing and since a straight jacket in public seems a bit rash, I may have to invest in a leash.

Playing chicken in the parking lot

When we pulled into the zoo parking lot, I got her out of the car while I got her sister’s stroller out of the trunk and packed our stuff into it. Maybe because I’m new at being a mom to two kids and this was our first real outing, but I sort of wasn’t paying attention and there was my daughter, playing in the middle of the parking lot. Luckily for us both the car that was coming toward her (and by coming toward her I mean at least 100 feet from her) was driving very slow. A leash would have been very helpful.

Keep her away from the penguin exhibit

The first exhibit we came upon was the penguins which is equally fun and scary because you can penguin2walk up a set of stairs and look down into their tank. Unbeknownst to me, she had the head of a little Sofia the First figure in her hand from the car. She walked up the stairs to get a better look at the penguins and tossed poor Sofia’s head right down into their tank. She then had the balls to throw a fit when I said she was gone forever. Leash, please.

She prefers eating lunch off of the ground

When it was time for lunch, all she wanted was popcorn. Which is probably the healthiest thing she at that day (popcorn = corn, corn = vegetable, vegetable = healthy). The small box, which was anything but small, of course made its way to the floor and there she sat, eating it off of the floor. At least she was eating, right? She’s a very picky eater, so I consider this a win.

Name Game

In my opinion, you should always like the name you pick for your child. But when theyname hit the toddler years, you better really love it. I probably yelled my daughter’s name 200 times while at the zoo (four hours total). Every two minutes I was asking her not to do this or that and to come here or stop walking ahead of us. By the end of the day I wanted to rename her Jerkface.

The hills have eyes

What’s fun about a hilly landscape is your toddler trying to roll down those hills. Unless they’re very steep and have pools of water and sharp rocks at the bottom of them. I had to stop her from tumbling down a handful of times and then listen to the tantrum that ensued because I wouldn’t let her throw herself down the hills to mangle her pretty little face.

My little kleptomaniac

The zoo is smart. To exit, you have to go through the gift shop. How genius is that? To leave you have to either buy useless shit for your kids or you have to drag them out kicking thiefand screaming because you don’t need anymore useless crap in your house. Because I was tired, I didn’t want to fight her so I told her she could have a little pink octopus stuffed animal and a squishy little frog. That little klepto tried walking out with said toys because she’s impatient and didn’t want to wait in line. If I had a leash I could have yanked her back instead of chasing her thieving self down.

Mother’s Day at the zoo was a blast, don’t get me wrong. Toddlers are nuts so I expected her to be a little wild. But I’m guessing that mom with her little girl on the leash was laughing at me as she saw me chasing my daughter around. I mean she was the smart one, she just had to give a little tug on that leash to bring her daughter back. One should be running for only 3 reasons: someone’s trying to kill you, something is on fire or someone said free food. Not because your child is insane when in public.

– Casey

If You Take a Mom to Target….a circular tale.

IfYouTakeAMomToTargetBurritoBuzzIf you take a mom to target she will ask for a cup of coffee.

When you give her the coffee, she’ll probably ask you for a cake pop.

When she’s finished she’ll ask for the dollar bins.

Then she’ll want to look in a mirror, to be sure she likes her new sunglasses.

When she looks in the mirror, she might notice she needs a purse. So she’ll probably ask for a pair of high heels to go with it.

When she’s finished giving herself a guilt trip about how she doesn’t need the purse, she’ll want to start sifting over the new clothes.

Her toddler will run through every rounder.

They might knock a pile over as well.

When she’s done chasing the toddler she’ll want a nap.

She’ll have to go through the baby section.

With two boxes of diapers and some wipes she will creep into the baby clothes and wander from side to side a few times.

She will probably tell you to look away as she disappears into the storage solution isle.

You will find her stopped to catch up scanning everything into her Cartwheel app.

She’ll ask to see the throw pillows.

When she looks at all the throw pillows, she’ll get so excited she’ll want to design a new room all on her own.

She’ll ask for candles and frames.

She’ll find a picture.

When her new room is finished in her head, she’ll want to make sure she gets coffee beans, creamer, and milk for home.

Looking around in the refrigerator section will remind her that she came for the paper towels that she is out of in the kitchen.

So…..

You’ll get the paper towels and head to the door.

You will check out, and chances are you’re now broke.

You’ll get home.

She’ll realize she is still tired and ask for some Starbucks….

…..and chances are…..

If she asks for the coffee she will want to go to Target to get it.

~Amanda

Payback is Coming, Little Girl

They say when you have children, they will be twice as rotten and bad as you were when you were a kid. Now I don’t know if there is scientific proof or if you can chalk it up to karma, but in my case, it’s absolutely true. My daughter is a complete basket case lately. It could be caused by her new baby sister and she’s rebelling or the fact that she’s three and a half and that’s what three and a half year olds do. She’s always been known to be able to push my buttons just imageright but recently she’s taken it to a whole new level. I’m guessing it’s payback for all the hell I caused my poor mom, God rest her soul. When I think I’m going to lose my shit, I take a second to daydream about all the ways I will wreak havoc on my wild child when she’s an adult and I’m a little old lady.

Change My Diaper 

She may be 3 and a half and completely potty trained when it comes to peeing, but she STILL will imageonly poop in a pull up. She can go on the toilet, she just chooses not to. It’s like I’m changing an adult’s diaper and it’s disgusting. But payback will come when I’m too old (or too lazy) to use the bathroom and require a diaper and she’s the lucky duck that gets to wipe my ass.

Take Me Shopping

When I get too old to drive, she will be the one to take me grocery shopping. And when I ask for a imagecandy bar in the checkout line and she tells me I can’t because of my diabetes, I will throw the biggest, loudest, on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming tantrum she’s ever witnessed. She’ll cave from embarrassment.

I’m Hangry

When it’s time for dinner, she’ll make something healthy, possibly organic, and I will refuse to eat. imageShe’ll demand I at least try it and I will promptly throw it, along with my dentures, on the floor and flash a huge gummy smile. Nothing will enrage you more.

Grandma Time

When it comes to her children, my grandchild, she will probably be over protective (as most mothers are) and only want the best for them (as most mothers do). So does grandma. That’s why I will give them WHATEVER they want, when they want it. I will spoil the shit out of them and send them back home loaded up on candy and Mt. Dew. Payback, baby.

I love my strong-willed, slightly crazy little girl and I wouldn’t want imageto change her or dampen her wild child spirit because it’s what I love most about her. I will, however, pay her back tenfold when it’s her turn to take care of her aging mama.

– Casey

Take Your ‘Meternity Leave’ & Shove It

Unless you live under a (nice and cozy) rock, you have probably heardimage about this article an author wrote wanting all the perks of a maternity leave – without actually having a child. Meghann Foye’s book, Meternity, and New York Post article describes the jealousy (honestly, what is there to be jealous of?) she has toward her co-workers who get to take a maternity leave when they – gasp! – gave birth to a child. She even goes to say she is entitled to a ‘meternity leave’ (a sabbatical-like break she says) to reflect on her life. As a woman who is 7 weeks post partum, the words “perks”, “self-reflection” and “sabbatical” make me want to punch this woman in the face. The only perks imageof maternity leave are bonding with your new baby and getting to smell their delicious new baby smell (a baby’s head is intoxicating). It is not a vacation. There is no time for self reflection. If a childless woman wants to take a meternity leave (you know, because she’s entitled to it), I think there should be certain things that she must endure that post partum women go through.

A Swift Kick to the Vag
Your meternity leave will start off on the right foot once you get kicked square in the vagina – with spikes. That’s sort of what it’s like to push a baby the size of a bowling ball out of your hoo-ha.

H is for Hemorrhoids
When pushing out that precious bowling ball, some women (okay,
most women) get hemorrhoids and they feel absolutely amazing. I’m not sure how one can actually mimic hemorrhoids, but just imageimagine pain, itching and bleeding from your read end. Sounds like a good time, huh?

Chapped Nipples for $100 Alex
If you want to go on a tropical vacation or travel the world during your meternity leave, you must do so with sore, chapped, bleeding nips. The first 6 weeks of breastfeeding is difficult. It hurts. Your nipples bleed. And they leak.

Pump, Pump, Pump it up
Speaking of boobs, you have to pump every 2-3 hours, just as a new mom does. I know you have no imagemilk, but you need to fully understand how fun it is to have a newborn. Oh, but you can eat your BonBons and watch your soaps while you pump. Put those feet up, too. You deserve it!

Wakey Wakey
I know you’re on vacation, but you need to set your alarm for every 2-3 hours because that’s what moms with newborns (or children in general) do – EVERY. SINGLE. FREAKING. NIGHT.

Loud Sirens
To get the effect of a crying baby image(who cries and cries and cries), put a loud, annoying siren on repeat for hours. Buy tylenol in bulk for your many headaches.

That’s just a tiny glimpse of what a new mom goes through on maternity leave. The first 6-8 weeks of their baby’s life is hard. It’s not fun. Their body is going through so much; healing, hormones changing, sleep deprevation. It is so worth it, but it’s not easy. A mother deserves this time off and for a childless woman to have the nerve to say she’s entitled to the same time off for doing absolutely nothing, she has to be batshit crazy.

– Casey

…Not the mainstream mom.

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Oh the things I thought I would be as a mother BEFORE having my child… I was living in some crazy dream world.

I thought for sure I’d be the Pinterest moms in the photos. You know the ones: cute matching t-shirts, making all meals organic and from scratch, doing a different educational activity every day while also balancing a career.

Let me tell ya’ folks, I’m not that mom.

As I sit here in yoga pants and a shirt I wore in high school, with a pile of laundry next to me that has no less than 5 other pairs of yoga pants (ya know, enough to get me through an entire week,) I wonder if these supermoms really exist, or if it’s a big facade. (If you’re actually that supermom, just don’t tell me so that I can continue to think this is normal.)

We’re pretty active parents. We both work during the week, (I’m working part-time, and my husband full-time,) and run a business on the weekends. We grocery shop on a whim, clean the house infrequently and on turbo-speed during our son’s short naps, and our lawn looks like it’s battling some disease (it probably is.)

All those things I pinned on Pinterest while I was pregnant, planning to do when my son was finally here? I don’t think I’ve looked at a single one of them.

If I get through a day and have even 10 minutes to myself I feel pretty stinking accomplished.

 

Moderation. We hear it’s key all the time, but it’s so true. When I became a mother I completely lost myself in trying to keep up and have a picture-perfect life. It’s like I saw bits and pieces of how others parented, picked out all of the good, and tried to be that parent. I had zero time for myself.

And while I’ve learned to balance and make time for my own needs, I’m still often feeling inadequate thanks to the world we live in now where comparison is always glaring in your face (thanks, social media, you cruel bitch.)

My son is smart. Loving. Ornery. He’s exactly what a toddler should be, even if he isn’t doing Pinterest crafts every day and using baby sign-language or whatever the latest craze is.

So here’s the reality: my son is SO well-balanced, and so am I. Sometimes that means that he’s walking out the door with cheerios in his hair, or that the TV was on an episode longer that it should have been during the day, or that I haven’t had time to clothes shop for myself in an eon, and I live on coffee and dry shampoo.

Here I am world, imperfect. Imperfect, but somehow whole. I’m not leading a lesser life because I don’t add up to what other mothers add up to (whether they’re faking it or not. I’m speaking to you Hilaria Baldwin.)

-Katie

What I’ve Learned After 4 Years of Marriage

My four year wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I know it’s not the longest time, but being married to someone for any length of time comes with lessons and should be celebrated these days. Marriage doesn’t seem to mean much of anything lately. It’s ‘just a piece of paper’ is what a lot of people say. But that piece of paper binds two people together, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. It’s easy to bail and get a divorce if it gets hard, but it takes much more to stick it out and make it work. Here are a few things I learned over the past four (wonderful) years of marriage. My husband has the worst memory. When it comes to taking out the trash. The trash goes out the same night every week (unless there is a holiday to throw it off), which is Monday night for Tuesday morning pick up. For the life of him, he cannot remember to take it out without me writing a note or telling him 12 times before I go to bed to take it out. 

You can’t smother your husband because he is snoring or breathing loudly. I am a very picky sleeper. I can’t sleep with any noises other than the fan on the nightstand. But my dear husband sometimes snores or simply ‘breaths’ as he says (which is loud) and it makes me want to smother him with a pillow. But that is illegal. So I just shove him so he rolls over or I put a blanket on his face (making sure he can still breath) so I don’t have to hear him.   Let your husband know you’re OCD about cleaning before you wed. I can’t stress this enough. It will prevent a lot of arguments if he knows exactly how you want things done. Ha, who am I kidding? You could write a list, take a video, show him a million times and it still won’t be up to your standards. And that’s okay. You two will always do things differently. Cut him some slack and tell him thank you for trying.


Say ‘I’m Sorry’
. This one is easy and straight forward. If you messed up, forgot something, made a mistake, say you’re sorry. Also, be easy to forgive (big and small things) and after you forgive, wash your hands of that issue. Don’t rehash past mistakes and throw them back in eachother’s face. Continuing to bring up the past prevents healing and moving forward.


Don’t compare your relationship to someone elses relationship
. This is counter productive. Your relationship is unlike any other relationship, it is unique to just the two of you. So comparing it to what someone else does or doesn’t do has no impact on your relationship. If you’re jealous of what someone else has or does, there’s a problem. Work it out.


What is your husband’s Love Language? What is yours?
If you don’t know what you or your husband’s Love Language is, take this quiz to figure it out! Mine is services: nothing makes me happier than my husband washing the dishes without me asking or sweeping the floor for me. And my husbands is physical touch: he wants to be close to me all the time. It’s crazy accurate and will show you in what way each of you wants and needs love. Then talk about how you both can show each other love. 


Surprise each other
. Who doesn’t love surprises or to be ‘spoiled’ every once in a while? Leave little love notes around the house for your husband to find or pick up his favorite candy or kind of beer on the way home. Cook his favorite meal just because or rub his back after a long day. Never stop doing things to show you’ve been thinking about them all day. The little things are the best things and the ones we remember most Your husband comes first. He is your partner in life. Even before your children, your husband should always be your #1. And he is also an equal. If he is discipling your child(ren), don’t interfere. He may discipline differently but that’s okay. Your child will respect him more if you don’t interrupt and tell him he’s wrong or correct him in anyway. I’m learning to do this myself. P


Intimacy
. Sex is important. Even after having kids, being busy with work and home life and everything else that is thrown at you on a daily basis, you have to make time for intimacy. As humans, we crave feeling and being wanted by the person we love. Don’t put it on the back burner.

Happy Anniversary, Allen! 

– Casey

 

Why I Let Her Cry

My almost 3.5 year old loves milk. She’s obsessed with it and probably drinks way too much throughout the day. She’s Miss Independent and helps herself to the refrigerator and grabs her prefilled sippy cup (if there is one) and is on her way. I guess she could be drinking too much juice or pop like some kids, so milk doesn’t seem all that bad in my opinion. But this morning’s tantrum wasn’t about not getting the milk she wanted, but because it wasn’t in her Little Mermaid cup. It was in the sink, needing washed from the night before. The screams and cries that came out of my precious little girl’s mouth were ones I honestly don’t think I had ever heard before. All of this, over a freaking cup.   I admit I have a really short fuse and get frustrated easier than I’d like. Maybe it’s due to being almost 9 months pregnant or the fact my dad has the worst temper (which leads me to believe my daughter inherited that lovely trait from him, and I), but I can’t take the crying and screaming and before long, I’m yelling (I hate that I yell), and I’m acting just like her. This morning, though, I somehow kept my cool. After all, she was clearly an irrational 3.5 year old, losing her shit over which cup her milk was in. I was busy organizing the junk drawer in the kitchen and she was sprawled out on the floor by my feet thrashing about. I calmy picked her up, walked into her room and sat her on the edge of her bed (where she sits in time out or when’s acting out, so she can calm down) and I walked out. She sat there screaming her face off for about ten more minutes, which might have been a personal record for her, until her cries started to subside. That was my cue to go in and have a talk with her about her bahavior.

I waited until she could breath, let alone talk, so we could have a conversation about why she was so upset about that cup. I kneeled next to her bed so I could look her in the eyes. I always try to get on her level, so she can understand me, and shows she has my full attention and I (mostly) have hers. I made sure I listened to her and told her it’s okay to get upset. We were bestfriends again within minutes and she came out of her room and asked for her milk (that was still not in her Little Mermaid Cup).  Looking back, I see that this is a life lesson for her and for me.
Just because she has tantrums like this (epecially over really small things),it doesn’t mean I should give in. It would have been a lot easier for me to just wash the cup and give it to her. The tears would have stopped and we would not have had to endure 20 minutes of screaming and crying. But what does that show her? If I scream, cry and throw a fit I’ll get what I want? No, that’s not how life works. And I learned that being calm in the situation rather than fueling the fire of a pissed off toddler. So by letting her cry rather than giving in, I’m helping us both learn important lessons. But I also learned that if you turn the radio up a little bit, it helps drown out the screams just enough for you not to lose your mind.

– Casey

I Made a Huge Mistake

I did something really stupid this past December. Something I fully regret and I’m here to warn parents so they don’t make the same mistake I made. It may seem harmless and innocent, maybe even a little cute at first but it quickly turns to hate, frustration and bleeding ears (figuratively of course).  In December, I showed my 3 year old some videos on YouTube of Christmas light displays. She loved seeing the lights around the neighborhood at night so I knew she’d love watching them synched with music on the iPad. I was right, she loved them. While looking through the videos, I remembered hearing about these videos of people opening ‘surprise eggs’ that kids loved for some reason and again thought she would get a kick out of them. I searched for ‘surprise eggs’ and a million and one videos popped up. That is where I made my mistake. I opened the door to YouTube for my daughter. I showed her what kind of whacky people are out there in the world and she now happily contributes to their million dollar paychecks. Yes, a few YouTubers make millions from posting videos on YouTube.    So it started with Christmas light displays then I upped the ante to Surprise Egg videos which then exploded into complete obsession with the YouTube Kids app. Sidenote: YouTube has it’s own kids app that I highly recommend rather than using the regular app. You can customize it with what age range of content you’re okay with your child watching, can set a timer and even remove the option of the search bar for older kids. Now back to her obession. There are several YouTube channels that she is completely nuts over. They all vary with toy-related content, but they accomplish the same thing: they annoy the shit out of the parents.    The premise of the videos are to open, unbox and play with different toys on camera, like Play Doh sets or Kinder Eggs, and show all the fun that can be had if you begged your parents hard enough. Companies send the reviewers toys for free because they’re smart. They know if a channel (who gets millions of views) reviews their toys, kids will eat that shit up and get their parents to purchase it. It’s actually completely genius. They’re so happy and inviting, it’s hard not to watch. Some of them are sort of hypnotizing. They suck you right in and soon you’re on Amazon, ordering every Season of Shopkins they have available. For a few of the reviewers, you only get to see their perfectly manicured hands and nails and hear their almost soothing voice, complete with European accent. They are quite mysterious when you don’t see their faces.    Just don’t fall prey. This is a PSA to keep your child(ren) away from YouTube at all costs. Please don’t make the same mistake I did. I’m still paying for it as I’m forced to listen to my daughter whine and cry over wanting watch her ‘videos’ on the iPad on a daily basis. These videos are sort of like crack for toddlers. Just say no

– Casey

Things that Change when you Become a Parent

  1. You’ll have to eventually learn to enjoy food again. The first three months of your newborn’s life will be spent in survival mode, meaning that you will infrequently get a meal (or a shower.) Once you finally remember to eat again, you’ll eat either quickly, or your food will be cold. You forget what it’s like to just sit and enjoy a warm meal. So at some point, you have to stop eating like a savage and return to normal life… even though this really might not happen until your child(ren) are several years old.
  2. You’ll resort to things like drinking coffee in the shower. Because showers are now quick instead of the relaxing 30 minute shower you used to take… you’ll multi-task as much as possible. If you’re looking for a cup that does great in the shower, check out this Contigo cup. It’s the most bad-ass coffee chalice out there.

    IMG_9156.JPG
    My coffee cup in my shower. I have no shame.
  3. You’ll talk about poop, at least 10 times a day. “Did the baby poop?” “How much?” “Consistency?” “How many times?” And when you finally realize how much you talk about poop, you’ll realize that life has certainly changed…
  4. 7:00 AM is sleeping in. You’re lucky if you get a few hours of consecutive sleep when your baby is little, but even after that point… sleep regressions attack when you least expect them. And when 6AM rolls around, your little exhausting human is ready for another day.
  5. You’ll constantly wonder where people’s hands have been. Most of us thought about this a lot before, but when you have a baby, you’ll constantly be asking people to wash/sanitize their hands. Let’s be honest: we don’t want gross germs getting our babies sick. Babies and toddlers are difficult enough without being sick, and sickness turns life into an almost unbearable mess. You’ll likely have 4-5 dispensers of hand sanitizer littered throughout your house, and a few more in your cars.
  6. You’ll worry about things like war, apocalypses (zombie apocalypses included), tornadoes, floods, 10x more than you ever used to. You might even have an emergency bag ready and have scenarios planned out in your head. MREs can be purchased here, apocalypse preppers.
  7. You’ll have weird numbers programmed in to your phone. Emergency babysitters, hospitals, doctors, poison control. And your phone will have a long search history on Google of things like “carseat safety” “is this amount of spit up normal?” and “how long until my baby’s crossed eyes go away?”
  8. Going somewhere must be a planned activity. Leaving the house as a family now means at least 30 minutes of prep. Diaper change, feeding, packing, making sure you have a stroller… and taking at least 5 minutes to put on those tiny, tight shoes of theirs. Impromptu Chipotle run with friends? #YeahRight
  9. 51Scb4MAcOL
    One of our favorites.

    You’ll probably cry, even if you’re not a crier. I quite literally cannot finish the books “Love you Forever” and “Wish” without getting choked up. You might cry when your child hits milestones, or when certain things are no longer happening anymore (breastfeeding, bottle feeding, crawling, babbling, snuggling, etc.) You’ll be sentimental about toys, clothes, a random piece of paper that your child played with for 5 minutes… Even if you’re a total minimalist, getting rid of baby things is heartbreaking sometimes.

  10. You’ll finally understand what you’re parents have been telling you all those years, that “someday we’ll understand.” We get it now. I’m sorry for rolling my eyes at you, scoffing, and/or stomping away and slamming my door. Your love for your child compares to no other kind of love, and as parents, we just want our little ones to be safe, happy, healthy, and loved.

-Katie