Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Motherhood: "So, What Do You Do?"

What is your response when someone you have just met asks you this question,

"So, what do you do?"

If you are a SAHM, I bet that a thousand things could come rushing into your head that may include (depending on your kids' ages): get the kids up, change diapers (throughout the day), dress the kids, feed the kids, clean up the dishes (or pile them in the sink for later), have a playdate, run errands, play with the kids, go to the library and try to make sure that your 16 month old does not take every book off of the shelves and dump them on the floor (maybe that one is just me!), make the kids lunch, put the dishes in the sink, nap time - or more play time if your kids do not nap, laundry, get dinner ready, feed the family, clean up the dishes for real this time, family time, bath time, brush kids teeth, get kids to bed - read books, sing, pray, etc, and then you have some time to do whatever else needs to be done...and I am sure that my list is not complete! (Whew, I am tired after writing all of that!)

Getting back to the question that you were just asked by someone that you just would you answer that? Would you tell them all of that or make up some cool sounding title? Or, are you unsure of how to answer that question...maybe you say,

"I am JUST a Mom."

Whatever you may give as an answer, do you ever feel that you feel less significant than another person who works out side of the house?

I have to admit, that when I first began to stay home, my answer would be something like, "Well, I taught biology and chemistry for the last 7 years, but now I stay at home with the kids." I don't feel that there is anything wrong with saying that, however, I have also realized that there is nothing wrong with saying,

" 'I am a wife and mother and proud of it!'
(With great pride in our chosen career, we must share with people that we are in the profession of motherhood)." (p. 18*)

As a SAHM, I think that what we need to realize that motherhood is a profession, especially if a profession is something that we feel is "Important enough for our time and our energy, and it also enriches our lives in some shape or form." (p.28). Motherhood definitely fits that definition of profession and what we need to do is shift our way of thinking. What we do has value. We have chosen this career, and we may not get paid monetarily, but it is a career, and we can be proud of what we do.

There is no shame in being a SAHM...and may I add, there is also no shame in being a working mom - you need to be doing what the Lord has called you to do for your family. It does not matter what other people do or really only matters what God thinks of you and what you are doing.

How have you responded to this question in the past? Are you ready to shift your way of thinking...if you haven't already? If you have shifted your thinking, please share your thoughts too!

This post contains ideas and quotes from the book Professionalizing Motherhood, by Jill Savage It is a continuation from my original post about Motherhood that you can read about here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dinner is in the Oven!

Lately, I have been quite tired. I definitely enjoy staying up late, but with kids, it is not wise to do that, especially when they wake you up at 6:30AM...and today Brady woke me up at 6:00AM! Today I was surprised at how early it was, but I he climbed into bed with me and we will snuggled for a little bit until I felt that I needed to get out of bed and shower (then he snuggled with Dawson)! I love snuggle time!

Anyway, back to me being tired...I was really becoming unproductive and impatient. This led to barely getting dinner on the table and getting frustrated easily too. This weekend, I was able to catch up on my sleep - I "allowed" myself to take a nap on Sunday while Dawson and Brady were at a baseball game (and Smiles was taking a nap), and then I made myself get in to bed a little sooner than normal - which is around 11:00PM (I know, that is not really early, but it is earlier than midnight!).

I have felt more refreshed today that I have felt in over a week, and I am thankful for that! I will need to remember to continue to get to bed by 11:00PM - seven hours of sleep is wonderful!

...and dinner is in the oven! (lasagna tonight!)

Oral-B Tips and a Giveaway!

With summer approaching, many families will go on vacation or to an amusement park...and may allow their children to eat a few more sweets than "normal." It is important to remember to teach our children good oral hygiene, which includes correct brushing and flossing techniques, along with using a toothbrush that is designed for their current age.

I have to admit, that I did not completely understand all of the different stages of toothbrushes that are designed for children. Thanks to a representative from the Oral-B company, I have learned about the importance of having a toothbrush designed for the stage that they are currently at and I also learned how to continue to teach my children to brush correctly!

Check out the video below that was taken at a blogger event in New York at a fun, kid-friendly venue and features some great information from Dr. Laura Jana, M.D., author and founder of Practical Parenting Consulting, LLC – she is also mother of three:

I did appreciate the information that was included in this video, and when I brush my 3 year-old's teeth, I have been singing to him - and he liked it! I hope that you found a tip or two helpful to you as well!

Here are a few other tips that Oral-B Stages put together to "Make Brushing Fun"

  • Brush your teeth with your child to set a good example. This also helps your child to learn by watching and imitating you.

  • Choose toothbrushes and toothpaste with popular kids’ characters, like Oral-B Stages, to help establish positive oral care routines with familiar friends like Winnie the Pooh or Disney Princesses.

  • Sing your child’s favorite song, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” for two minutes to encourage brushing for the dentist-recommended time. For older children, play a song from their favorite pop singer for two minutes.

  • Making your child’s brushing routine fun will encourage proper habits early and help prevent oral care issues later in life.

  • For more information please visit,

Now, for the GIVEAWAY:

A representative for the Oral-B company provided me with four toothbrushes (one from each of the 4 stages), a tube of Baby tooth and gum cleanser and a tube of anticavity fluoride toothpaste to give away to one of my readers! How cool is that.

All that you need to do to enter is submit a comment which includes a way for me to contact you (either an email address or through your blog). This is open to bloggers and nonbloggers. Only one comment per person.

Comments will be closed on Monday, June 1st by 5pm. I will then choose a winner and contact that person!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Healthy Living: Our Goals

We have now been exercising for 4 weeks, and it has been great to have 2 friends that are my accountability partners and my encouragers.

We came up with 6 weekly goals when we started "To incorporate healthy eating and exercise in daily life and decision making," and I would like to share those with you.

1. Exercise three times per week. Choices: the 30-day shred (this is a great workout! I have already seen great results) or walking for 25 minutes and 3 minutes of abs. I opt to do the the 30-day shred.

2. No candy or sweets (we have made an exception on the day of a birthday party or a holiday)

3. Loss of 1 1/2 pounds per week - this should happen as we exercise and eat well. We know that we are also building muscle, so our weight may fluctuate a little bit.

4. Increase our water intake - Basically take your weight and divide by two. The number that you get should be the number of ounces of water that you should drink each day...and increase that number a little bit if you would like to lose weight! (yes, I am peeing a lot!)

5. See a loss in measurements. We decided to take our measurements, so that we will not only get encouraged by the number of pounds that we are losing, but also the inches!

6. No snacks after 8 pm.

It has been so good to have accountability partners while I am working on these goals! We all meet once a week and exercise and go over our goals, take measurements, etc, and it is great. That type of accountability has encouraged me to abide by these rules to a greater extent than if I was trying to do this on my own.

Are you trying to live healthier? Have you made any goals? Do you have an accountability partner? I would love to hear what you are doing...or would like to do!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"No Offense"...BUT YOU ARE A STRANGER!!!

Today was a busy day, but it was fun too. We went to the library, to my nephew's preschool picnic, I had my 2 nephews over for a quick dinner, and then brought them and my two boys to church for bell choir and worship practice! (so thankful for the minivan, so that I was able to take my nephews with us!).

The picnic was a lot of fun. There was lots of food, singing during circle time, games, and the kids got to pick up candy off of a hill (and put it in a bag for later). That was the fun part of the day!

What I do not understand, is when a complete stranger (to me - she obviously belonged to someone at the picnic) smiles at my cute 16 month old (and he smiles back of course), and then puts out her hands for him to come to her. UMMM...are you kidding me!!! This lady did not introduce herself to me (or my mom, who was holding Smiles at the time), but yet she was trying to "lure" my child into her arms. The first time that she tried, his smile immediately left his face and he walked towards me. However, later on, when my mom was holding him, she did it again...and Smiles went to her!!! I was NOT happy about this...and I am NOT overreacting!

You see, I am trying to teach my kids the difference between a stranger and someone that is "ok." I can easily talk about this with my 3 year old and he seems to understand it - we have been talking about it a lot lately, since he has become more friendly with people. However, my 16 month old does not completely understand what I am saying...and what this lady did was really inappropriate. I did not actually see what happened until Smiles was being handed back to my mom (and my mom and I talked about this and came up with something that she can say next time so that she does not actually let Smiles go into someone's arms - I think that my mom was so shocked that this lady would do what she did, and did not know what to say).

So, in the future, I told my mom to just tell the stranger that:

"We are trying to teach our children not to be lured by a stranger, so we would rather that you do not hold him. No offense...but you are a stranger!"

Ok, maybe that sounds a little harsh, but whatever I do say will have that tone to it.

What are your thoughts about this? Do you let strangers hold your kids?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


As I walk around my house, things are screaming at me to: put things away, find homes for things that I am not sure where to put them yet, or just get rid of some things (yard sale, give away or just trash it).

My house is definitely not the way that I would like for it to be, but I have come to realize that I just have to work at one thing at a will soon be sorted out. In the meantime, I need to realize that my self worth and who I am as a mom, wife, woman and child of God is not dependent on whether the dishes are caught up, if all my papers are filed or all of the groceries are put away (although I will get to that in a minute) - who I am in Christ is what really matters.

However, I do want to continue to organize my house and to try and incorporate more things into my daily life and schedule (cleaning routines, etc). Motherhood is great, but it is a lot of work too! (so well worth it!)

I have begun reading a book called Professionalizing Motherhood, by Jill Savage, and it has really been ministering to me in many ways. It is a book that has been written to encourage SAHMs, and I am looking forward to sharing bits and pieces of it with you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Get Out and VOTE!

Today, you have the right to VOTE!

No, not for a president, but it is very important!


Because you are voting for people that will run your township (school board, commissioner), the constable, common pleas judge, prothonotary, controller, register of wills, clerk of court, recorder, or deeds, sheriff, coroner, Supreme Court Justice (I recommend Cheryl Lynn Allen), Superior Court Justice, Superior Court Justice (I recommend Judy Olson), Commonwealth Court Justice, and our county District Judge. (note: those in bold are only my recommendations - you need to make your own decision based on your beliefs)

I know that life is busy, but pack your kids in the car and demonstrate to them how important it is to do our part and vote into office those that we would like to see in office.

We all make a difference!

So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and GO VOTE! :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Making Great Decisions

"Why is it easier to make a healthy choice for what my child should eat (for a snack), but when it comes to myself, I often make a poor one...such as chocolate for a snack?"

This is a question that began to run through my mind a few weeks ago, and I decided to address it!

A few months ago, I came to realize that I needed to start exercising. After having two children and not incorporating any real form of exercise into my life, my body was out of shape, and the "baby fat" had not completely gone away...and since my baby is now 16 months old, I decided that it was high time to begin to exercise! My sister volunteered to help me out with childcare while I worked out on her treadmill - and that was a good start...but it has changed, for the better!

My sister was working out with her husband, but some things changed (which you can read more about here), and she was in need of a new, I suggested that could watch the kids and she could also work out...and since then, another friend has joined us!

We then took this a step further. We talked about what we were doing and why we were doing it, and we both agreed that we were not exercising to just lose weight (although that is a great benefit), but this is what is on our hearts:

"To incorporate healthy eating and exercise in daily life and decision making."

That is our focus. By making great decisions in our life - we are choosing a healthy lifestyle, to be healthy person, mommy, and wife.

So, what are our goals? I will tell you more about that another time!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Mommy, I'm Not Done!"

I have a great little story to tell you...

Last week, I did not get Brady (almost 3 1/2 years old) down for a nap until 3pm! I was busy with the yard sale, and well, time slipped away. He woke up crying about 45 minutes later.

"Great," I thought. Smiles and I went up to get Brady, and he was not a happy camper, and was all sweaty. He was not making sense with what he was saying - he was still tired. I decided to take him downstairs, instead of trying to get him back to sleep (which does work for me, with him).

We were downstairs in the family room and Brady was sitting on my lap on our recliner - Smiles was playing with toys. The following conversation really did take place, and I wanted to share it with you (and I am not making it up!)

Brady: Mommy, I'm not done sleeping.

Me: Well, why don't you just snuggle with Mommy for a little bit

Brady: No, I'm not done sleeping! I want you to bring me upstairs to finish my nap!

Me: Are you sure? You know, Mommy will just bring you upstairs, put you in bed and then leave. Are you sure you want to do that? (since it was 4pm, I kind of did not want him to go back to sleep, but he persisted).

Brady: Yes, Mommy, please bring me upstairs so I can finish my nap.

Me: ok, hunny.

So, I carried him upstairs, place him in bed, pulled the covers on to him, kissed him goodnight, and went back downstairs. Part of me was thinking that he was really going to go to sleep and the other part of me was thinking that I might see him back downstairs in about 2 minutes.

Well, the first part of me was correct! He fell back asleep for an hour and a half!!! He did not get up until 5:30pm!!! Normally, I would not let him sleep that long (5 pm is the latest), but since I remembered that Dawson was not going to be home until about 7pm, I decided to let my little guy sleep a little longer than normal!

And you know what? He was in bed by 8:30pm...and fell asleep! He amazed me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Super Power Muffins Recipe

I am always eager and ready to try a new recipe, especially if there is a healthy aspect to it, and it tastes great too (or at least someone initially recommended it - and it sounds good too!). Money Saving Mom recommended this recipe that one of her commenters gave her.

I have to admit that I have not been a fan of substituting white flour for whole wheat flour in my baking - besides bread. I WANT to like the way that it tastes for health purposes, however the texture and taste of the whole wheat flour in the waffles and cookies that I made was not really tasty...kind of a weird taste.

So, when I came across the following recipe, I had a combination of feelings - excited to try it, yet a little hesitant. However, since I enjoy adventure when I bake, I decided to try it tonight.

Super Power Muffins:
1 cup brown sugar (don’t pack it!)
¼ to ½ cup peanut butter (I decided to use 1/3 cup)
1 banana
*optional ½ cup of apple sauce or carrot puree
(I am not sure if this is additional or not, but I did not add this in today's mixture. I am going to try adding it next time - it may make them a little more moist...or, I am sure that you can add another banana too.)
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
*optional ¼ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients well and set aside. Blend everything else and then sift in dry ingredients. Spray muffin tray. Bake for 15-18 min. Makes 12 (double for 24)

What did I think about them? They are quite tasty - and healthy! It had more of a peanut butter taste than banana taste. I would recommend trying them and tweak them to your own taste!

I actually made two versions of the muffins:

1. Version 1 - followed the recipe (using white whole wheat flour, and the 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips)

2. Version 2 - used white flour (I just wanted to compare it with version 1, and I did not add any chocolate chips - wanted to see how they tasted without that sweetness)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

got milk? Giveaway

My sister has some great information about The got milk? Drink Well. Live Well Tour on her blog (which is free to go to!)...she also has a fun giveaway! Head on over here to read more about it and sign up for the giveaway!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thoughts That Will Eventually Be Written

I have been thinking a lot (ok, now and then), about things that I would like to blog about, but just have not had the time nor made the time to do it, yet...and some things have been taking precedence over blogging times - specifically trying to get things done in the house, making meals, you know, those types of things. However, I have been thinking of a few things that I would like to share with my readers, and I will soon make the time to do so.

So, what has been on my mind?

Making great choices for my life - specifically in the health area.

Seeing motherhood in a new way.

I am still processing some of this stuff, but will soon begin to share with you, some of the things that I have learned, and am still learning.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saving a Few Bucks on All Natural Products

Do you enjoy all natural foods, but don't enjoy the price tag that goes along with it? Then head over here and read my post at the Created and Called blog...I wrote about one way that you can save money on Kashi products!