A Mama’s Guide to Cold & Flu Season

rawpixel-1113214-unsplashWhether you’re a thieves or a bleach household, nothing breaks a mama heart quite like a sick baby. And nothing makes you feel more helpless than those all nighters with a coughing, stuffy, bodily fluid excreting little that you cannot trade places with …until a few days later when you inevitably get it too. I am by no means an expert and nothing in this post should replace the advice of your pediatrician, but I can promise all the information is scientifically sourced. I get a few a lot of texts from mamas when their kids are sick due to my background as a pediatric nurse. I would say the panicked curious texts occur in the greatest numbers after pediatricians offices close, on the weekends or over holidays. You know, when kids get sick! So here is my quick guide to cold and flu season highlighting the most common subjects of those text messages.

My child has a fever. What should I do?

A fever is not a sickness in and of itself, but rather a symptom. It can be a scary one, especially when you see your child not feeling well. A fever is a temperature of 100.4 or greater. As great of mom super powers as you have (and I am totally guilty of this) you cannot guess a fever with your hand on your kiddo’s forehead. You actually have to take it. Generally speaking, managing the symptoms of the underlying illness are all you have to do for a fever. Keep your child comfortable, stay calm, and make sure he or she remains well hydrated (fevers make children dehydrate more quickly). Young infants (less than 12 weeks) should be seen by pediatricians immediately for fevers as should any child with changes in behavior or consciousness. Read more at Fever Without Fear.

What is the difference between Tylenol and Motrin?

Piggybacking off our last topic, the most common reason I have given either of these medicines as a mama is either teething associated pain or fever. To understand which one to chose its good to know how they differ.

Tylenol/Acetaminophen is one of the oldest pain medicines we have for kids. It’s also one of the safest! I love safety swoon. Tylenol is best used for pain and for its antipyretic properties which is a fancy way of saying fever reducer. The main caution with Tylenol is liver toxicity (ie don’t use for a wine hangover if you’re post thirty- if you’re younger than this you’ll understand someday) so pay close attention to either the box dose or your pediatrician’s recommendations for dosage. Cliff notes: Give for pain or fever. Give the right amount every 4-6 hours.

Motrin/Ibuprofen is part of a drug class called NSAIDs which are anti-inflammatory medications or medications that reduce swelling/inflammation. I really like Motrin for teething associated discomfort for this reason because of the gum swelling that occurs. Motrin also is a great fever reducer. Motrin cannot be given to children under six months of age. Cliff notes: Give for pain or fever in children over six months every 6-8 hours.

When you need to use both medications, say for a stubborn fever or to maximize pain control you may alternate. This is probably the number one question I get: These are two different medications, you will have the best coverage if the doses are spaced out, but there is no set time frame for how close or how far apart they have to be when you alternate Motrin and Tylenol. You’re thinking too hard, mama.

Do we need antibiotics?

Maybe, but probably not. I say this with a major caveat. No one can answer that question via text message. A question like that requires an exam. We, as loving mamas of our littles, want to fix them when they are sick. We want to kiss the booboo and make it all better. The thing that sucks, and that’s the right word for it sucks is that most illnesses this time of year are viruses. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. The Flu (influenza), RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus/Bronchiolitis), Croup and so many others cannot be fixed with antibiotics. If you take an antibiotic with a virus and get better, that’s coincidence. Only your pediatrician can tell you if you need antibiotics. They are well educated and follow the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for prescribing those medications. And please, please don’t go in there demanding them. They have risks so if they aren’t what your child needs, then you don’t want them.

Here are a few other points I would like to add in for good measure:

-Don’t send your child to school/a birthday party/etc sick. Generally schools have a handbook that dictates criteria for returning healthy. In most cases its 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.

-If your child gets sick after a play date and you let the other mama know, that’s kind of you. If someone let’s you know, respond with grace. These things happen. Unless its a pattern, make like Taytay and Shake It Off.

-For real, you don’t need a ZPack every time you sneeze (or albuterol, but that’s a whole other rant.)

-Get a flu shot (and all your shots) and you know you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. If you do not know this, I would love to give you some peer reviewed resources on why this is so.

-The NoseFrida is your friend. Know her. Love her. Use her to treat all the snotty baby illnesses.

-Text a friend anytime. No one can do motherhood alone.

I would say those are the big three: fever, medications, and antibiotics. I hope this has been a helpful roundup of information. Most importantly you are the mama. You know your baby like no one else. If something doesn’t feel right, you know in your gut. I don’t know a pediatrician I respect that would ever be upset with a peace of mind phone call.

Special thanks to my medical friends who assisted with this post!

Find more helpful health information for your kids at https://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx

 

True Mama Confession: I Kind of Hate Halloween

rawpixel-1048261-unsplashTrue confession: I love fall, but I kind of hate Halloween. Sure the precious babes all decked out in their darling costumes make my heart smile, but beyond that…ehhh. I hate scary movies and anything occult. Maybe it all goes back to not being invite to the cool kids drinking party in middle school, but choosing instead to hold on (a little too long) to trick or treating. I will tell you, even though my oldest is but a toddler the thought of middle schoolers consuming alcohol is way scarier than any horror film I can fathom. Are you like me? Are you a Halloween hater or are ghosts and ghouls your jam? If the skeletal season isn’t for you, here are some tips I have found that have made my least favorite cold weather holiday more fun.

Make it about the kids.

This one is easy. From my first “mom” Halloween pregnant with my oldest, we made Halloween about handing out candy to little darlings and it was all the more fun. We dressed as a quarterback and a pregnant cheerleader, I thought I looked huge, quiet laugh for the sixteen week pregnant belly of a first time mom. Also of note, my lack of understand of how this costume could be offensive showcased how motherhood is a long lesson in sensitivity training. Long gone are the days of dressing up as a sexy fill-in-the-blank at a party filled with Jell-O shots. I am not sure I really enjoyed it when it was age appropriate. I’d much rather wear black yoga pants and a black t-shirt and cat ears or a witch hat. My son, Ben, told me this year he wanted to be an astronaut. Which shocked me, mostly because of the number of syllables in that word and the fact that I had no idea he knew what an astronaut was. See future posts entitled, “Why I Love Mother’s Day Out.” And “What Screen Time Teaches My Children While I Mindlessly Facebook.” Avery is going to be an alien because after 45 min on Pinterest it was available via Amazon Prime.

Candy.

I saw a meme the other day that according to the US government we are really doing our kids a disservice if we don’t take 40% of their candy as “taxes”. I support this. Who am I to keep my kids from learning a valuable lesson? Can I help if primarily Reese’s and Twix are the taxed candy? Nope. I’ll claim it’s random. (spoiler: it’s not.)

Use it as a Holiday Season Bench Mark.

After Halloween it’s completely acceptable to start watching Love Actually on the daily and eating pot pie weekly. I am already looking up recipes for Thanksgiving and have even bought a few Christmas presents. Don’t worry though, the epic (EPIC I tell you) procrastinator that I am will still leave most of the prep until the very last minute. I do love to use my pie dish regularly. Since my body hasn’t worn jeans, at least jeans without lycra in them, consistently in about four years I owe it to my yoga pants to test the seams with some holiday baking. Maybe I’ll get crazy and try a little yoga in them as well. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Anything can happen.

I’m off to Target to replenish the bag of Halloween candy that clearly had a hole in it for our pending trick or treaters. I will be answering the door cauldron in hand with a smile on my face and two costumed little darlings. Until bedtime, that is,  when the porch lights go off and the candy wine pairing experiment begins. Ring the doorbell after that at your own risk.

What do you think of Halloween? Love it or Leave it?

 

A Shout Out to Situational Friends

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Friends Forever. Surely we all had charm bracelets or anklets if you were an eighties babe like me. But most of our friendships probably have an expiration date. It took me a really long time to come around to this concept. In fact, I don’t know that every day I am totally there, but some people are just meant to be situational friends. And that is 100% Okay! God puts people into our lives to teach us a lesson or help us grow in a particular phase. Then when our life, or their’s twists and turns, as lives always do, the friendships fade away. I spent a lot of time mourning the loss of these relationships, instead of doing what I should be doing. Honoring them for the gift that they were and moving the hell on with my life. Here’s some things that have helped me on this imperfect journey:

Situational friends are completely necessary.

Thinking about moving into my college dorm room, riddled with anxiety I needed the friends I made in those years to talk me through bad college relationships (thank thankfully also did not last), bad grades on tests I tried to wing, and all the pressures that came when my non-fully developed frontal lobe thought that college was the “real world.” I don’t keep up with most of my college friends. I think that’s a product of moving back to the middle of the country after going to college in Philadelphia and having most of my friends remain there or in Manhattan after school. Nothing happened really to most of those relationships, just time and distance. I will, never be able to thank those friends enough for being there for me the first time I was on my own.

It is (usually) not my fault.

Things just happen. People move away. People get into serious relationships and shift priorities, interests, or just change themselves entirely. I used to think that any time a relationship dissipated, it was my fault. Was there something wrong with me that I couldn’t manage to keep all of my friends forever? Sure,I have some friends that I have managed to keep around a long time, but why did it seem that more friendships ended than celebrated friendiversaries? The more I talked to other women the more I realized this is a very natural progression in life. I was not unique. Now I’ll be honest, I have my flaws and I’m sure some friendships did end, in fact I know some did, because of things I did. The most important thing in those friendships was to look for the lesson.

And there is always a lesson.

Have you ever been used by a friend? Or someone you thought was a friend? I’m sure we all have. Learning these lessons made me truly value the kind generous people in my life. Unfortunately, the best teacher of this is when I treated someone badly. I joke with my toddler that I’d rather have him get hit at a play date than hit a kid. I know, I know that sounds terrible, hear me out! I handle being gracious, much better than feeling guilty. The lesson is much bigger when we have to face our shortcomings head on and learn from them. Ugh! Personal growth. Its actually the worst. Haha.

The ones that last are gold.

I have a group of friends that have known me since I was fourteen. Acne covered, braces, and awkward fourteen. They saw my first boyfriend dump me and watched me get married. These ladies know me in a way that predates my knowledge of myself. This is amazing and also terrifying. They can call me on things in a way many other friends cannot. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. I say this to make you, dear reader, treasure your long term friendships, but not to deter you from making new ones. Because while these ladies know me historically super well, I see them maybe once a year. Distance, jobs, children, you know life gets in the way. My friends that I am doing motherhood with on a daily basis can tell you what my toddler will eat and where I hide candy from my kids. Are all of these friends lifers or are some of them situational as well? Only time will tell. I think Girl Scouts said it best,

“Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”

I hope you have a life filled with both silver and gold!

Can You Share Opinions With Out Being A Sanctimommy?

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Is it possible to be opinionated on parenting via social media and not come across like a total sanctimommy? In all honesty, I’m not really sure. I have several topics on which I am extremely passionate. Passionate probably to a fault, especially in how I express my opinion. From research I have read, one is unlikely to change the opinion of an opposing view point by berating or at least typing in all caps on Facebook. Ok, I am kind of paraphrasing but you get the gist. Hence why everyone hates all the judge moms roaring all over social media. In church today, our pastor finished up a sermon series called Jesus Didn’t Say That. This final week focused on “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” A phrase I’ve heard more since moving below the Mason-Dixon Line, but essentially it’s the Christian equivalent to internet mom shaming. Even if your intention is good, no one is going to listen to the point of your message if shame is the overarching tone.

I will be the first to say this is not something that is within my list of strengths. I am good and judging. I can spot a scrunchy from like a mile off. Maybe that’s because I am praying if I am talking about that poor soul’s scrunchy you won’t notice my third day of dry-shampooed hair and VPL (visible panty line) through my yoga pants because let’s be real, some days a thong just ain’t happening. It’s a part of our culture, that whole worrying about the sins of others while blatantly ignoring our own.

The sheer number of times I have gotten caught up in comment wars is embarrassing and I am so glad I don’t have hard data on things like this. I am fiery and highly emotional. There are benefits to this, I do have off the charts empathy, but I cannot watch even a commercial with a hint of injustice without waterworks. I want other parents to know what I know from experience. Especially from my nursing experience. I want people to understand the difference between a good, scientific source for information and an opinion (like this ironically). But I do fear that often that passion is misconstrued or mishandled by me and comes across as too much.

I scour the internet constantly for parenting tips de jour. Because doesn’t it seem like as soon as you master one phase, a new one comes at you like a freight train or at least like Thomas the Tank Engine? Maybe that’s why we are all so keen on noticing the flaws in each other’s styles. None of us has any idea what we are doing. Quite frankly the moms who scare me the most are the ones who are unafraid. If you are completely convinced that you have this parenting thing down you might just be a Martian in my book.

If you’re worried about being a good mom that means you already are one. –Jodi Picoult

I am not going to attempt to squelch my passions because that’s not honoring who I am meant to be, but I will pause and take a breath. Maybe 32 (coming up fast in November) will finally be the year I know my thoughts before I hear them coming out of my mouth. Or at least recognizing the power of the backspace button. Probably not, but it’s a great goal. The whole purpose of my blog is A) to build a community however small of women who recognize this time in motherhood is messy beautiful and B) to grow as a woman and writer. So if you need me, I’ll be ordering a scrunchy off Prime, I’d make one off Pinterest but we should really embrace our strengths and mine is clicking rather than stitching. I will be attempting kindness over judgment as I wing my way through each parenting phase. And by wing I mean cry/google/laugh my way through. I hope you’ll join me with comments and your own experience.

Go On That Mom-Cation: Tips For A Successful Cup-Filling Trip

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Go on that Mom-cation. Having just come back from a long weekend with two girl friends, I can personally attest: Stop making excuses, make a plan, and GO! The concept has been all over the media recently with viral articles such as Psychologists Suggest Mothers Take Breaks By Going on Mom-cation. For both a brighter and darker view of humanity I suggest you read the comments. Going on a girls only mom trip does not mean A) you don’t love your children B) you are a selfish jerk or C) Dad shouldn’t get his time too. What it does mean is that having a 24/7 unpaid often thankless job of motherhood, regardless of whether or not you also have a job outside the home, entitles you to a little R&R every once and a while. Here are a few pointers to help you plan your own such getaway.

A Resort or Even a Destination is Not Required.

So you and ten of your closest girls want to spend the week on an over the water bungalow in Tahiti? Well, I have neither the derriere nor the Kardashian cash to make that happen. For my trip we borrowed a family members beach condo (FREE), but it could be as simple as shipping one lady’s hubby and kiddos to grandma’s and loading up on popcorn and Netflix at her place for the weekend. The point isn’t the scenery, it’s the rest and the late night (9pm) chats without having to wake up 5 times through the night.

Your Spouse and Kids will Appreciate You in Your Absence.

Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. I think it is so good for my children to witness what a great parent their father is without mommy around. Although this isn’t easy to admit, often as the primary caregiver (because I stay home) I find myself saying or doing things that undercut his wonderful parenting just because it’s not exactly how I may have done something. So what? Our kids benefit from the balance between different parents as long as they present a united front on big issues. It’s also so sweet to miss the little monsters who have my whole heart, but also drive me a little bananas most days. I didn’t check the monitor on my phone every night while I was gone from my phone just to watch them sleeping or anything…

Expect Changes to Your Plans.

At the conceptualization of this trip, we had eight of us interested in going. Three went. Babies and kids and schedules are just this phase of life. Who better to be flexible than a bunch of moms? Would eight girls have been fantastic? Of course. But it would have been a completely different kind of trip. With three, we had deeper conversations and less to work around logistically. My daughter vomited two days before we left because that’s just what kids do.

You’ll Return Refreshed.

Much of this phase of parenting young children feels a little like the movie Groundhog Day. It’s fun to have treats that fill your soul and connect you back with friends on a level that sometimes gets put on the back burner while raising small children. I want my children to see me making time for my friendships. I want them to see their father doing the same. Of course we can’t do this all the time. Our priorities are as they should be our marriage and children. I encourage you though to not let so much time pass without giving yourself a break with friends. Even if it’s just an afternoon away or a night at a friend’s house. It will be well with your soul. And that will reflect on to all those we hold most dear.

Why I Think the Breastfeeding Badges Can Send the Wrong Message

dave-clubb-427588-unsplashBreastfeeding is amazing. The amount of bonding and immune support a fragile infant can gain from his or her nursing mother is astounding. I think all motherhood victories should be celebrated because, as I have learned, many are hard fought with blood, sweat and tears. But here’s the thing, not everyone can breastfeed. Publicly displaying a trophy of your body’s ability may make other women in the throes of post-partum mood swings and new motherhood feel shamed and inadequate.

Now before I get too many members of La Leche League sending me hate mail, I will acknowledge that this is just my opinion and I fully support breastfeeding. I breastfed both of my babies through too many bouts of mastitis and a lot of post-partum anxiety. And then I switched to formula at eight months with both kids. I still often feel the need to defend this choice amongst breastfeeding advocates, which maybe says more about me than it does about them. However, the key word for me is choice. Many women, dear friends even, have not had the choice to breastfeed. Whether it be from medications needed for their mental or physical health, supply issues, or lack of support.

The Shame Game

Post-partum depression and anxiety awareness is thankfully increasing in our society, which is fantastic since it’s the numbers show how wide spread such conditions really are. One of the hallmarks of these disorders is shame. Far more often than is acceptable, mothers are told they are inadequate based on their choices, ability to “bounce back” to their pre-pregnant shapes (and personalities), etc. So this post is not a war on the celebration of breastfeeding achievement. I will be the first one to hug you when you’ve successfully breastfed your baby, but I will also bring you a can of formula and a glass of wine when you wean.

Babies need to eat.

I was a part of an online breastfeeding group that was advocating for some downright dangerous practices to avoid formula supplementation. In one instance, a woman’s pediatrician was pleading with her to supplement even so far as having to get DHS involved because she simply could not come to terms with the fact that her baby was malnourished to the point of needing hospitalization. Of course this is an extreme situation. I know there are many support group that do wonders for breastfeeding women. But the fact that this group had over 1,000 members, some of them healthcare workers, and not one member said anything along the lines of do what you need to do to help your baby. Social media has undoubtedly added to the guts of sanctimommies everywhere. People are telling complete strangers what terrible mothers they are in ways they never would in person.

Women are simply incredible.

We should not feel any less so if our bodies or our minds make a choice to feed our babies in whatever way works for us. Motherhood is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. The days are so long and the gratifications is often delayed. I completely understand the desire for social media credit for the tireless work breastfeeding requires. I just think it can hurt others struggling. If you breastfed for 18 months, I am so proud of you. If you breastfed for 18 hours and decided it was not for you, I am proud of you. Don’t let anyone’s need to feel validated for their parenting make you feel inadequate. Breast milk may be liquid gold, but your support about a woman’s choice is worth its weight in said gold.

Tips for Air Travel with Kids: A Weekend Getaway with the Minis

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This past weekend we celebrated my Grandaddy’s 80th birthday on the beach in Huntington Beach, CA. What a gorgeous spot! It is, however, not very close to Oklahoma. We were only able to go for two nights, although I’m sure the Southwest gate agent thought we were moving. After four flights, two nights and some serious traffic on the 405, I have some tips and lessons learned from our first flying trip as a family of four.

The Stroller was mostly a hassle.

Have you ever tried to push a stroller on sand? Of course you haven’t because I’m sure you have a better understanding of physics than I. I brought our double stroller thinking two kids, lots of stuff, containment is key. The stroller got used one time in California and only as a single (I popped the second seat off). The snack tray got damaged. Which is slightly annoying but I should have removed it before anyway (ie my fault). I ended up wearing my infant daughter most of the time or just carrying her on my hip. It was nice for storing all of our carry-on crap while in the airport, but other than that I’ll take the umbrella stroller or nothing next time.

We rented one car seat and brought another.

We have a cheap Cosco car seat from Prime Day last year that we use for travel. It’s a touch wide on the airplane, but its super light. My husband wore it on his back in a backpack style bag that we also loaded down with one of my carry-ons for boarding. My two year old son sat in it on the planes. He was able to be contained, comfortable and sleep for 2 of the 4 flights. While getting it on and off was a bit of a challenge (thanks for family boarding, Southwest) as it has to be lifted up over the tops of the seats to clear the aisle space, I think a strapped down toddler is worth it.  For my daughter, we rented a car seat from the rental car company. It was no frills, but one less thing to bring. We will probably repeat this pattern until my son can sit independently in a seat. Other things to keep in mind:

-The car seat has to be in the window seat on the plane as to not obscure the path to the exits in case of an emergency. Also, the seat has to be buckled into the airplane seat. Something to consider for tight connections.

-They are free to gate check if you change your mind, either to your next connection or final destination.

-Airlines are responsible for loss, but not damage to car seats that are checked. Our infant seat’s canopy got cracked a while back which is why I don’t travel with that anymore.

Zip-top Totes are a Must.

Not sure what I was thinking when I initially packed our carry-on bags. I put the majority of items in a large leather tote bag I have, thinking it would double as a beach bag. This bag contained the diaper bag basics, some extra clothes, toys, electronics, etc. While I organized everything into Ziploc baggies, after one flight of items spilling into the aisle, I wish I would have brought a cheap backpack instead. For the return flights, I took everything we didn’t use out of the carry-ons and placed it in checked luggage. I had everything we needed, but I could have done with a lot less. The MVP’s were for my two year old: Amazon Fire Tablet with “Super Simple Songs” downloaded, a Melissa and Doug Water Wow, and DumDums. (Screen time and bribery rules get suspended for us during flights). For my 7 month old daughter: her sleep sack, extra formula (she seemed to eat more to help her ears), and the safety instruction card, haha.

Staying Relaxed is Hard, yet Vital.

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My kids could 150% tell when I was getting tense, and their behavior reflected it. Of course no one in the world wants to be the parent of the screaming child on a plane, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. Travel means missed naps, late bedtimes, and too much sugar (see above). We have rules for behavior like any family, but sometimes you have to give in a little when you are asking tiny people to comply with plans they did not make. I tend to get super uptight during these situations where I have little control, so on the first flight I had a glass of wine. Yes, it was way over priced and not very good and also quite possibly a judgement worthy moment on my part. But you know what? We were all calmer when mom was calmer. Travel is supposed to be fun.

Now we’re home with more laundry than should be possible given our short trip, but I could not be more pleased to have spent that special time with my family in such a beautiful setting. Aside from a toppled coffee cup at breakfast and some limited, yet impressive whining the trip was a great success. Can’t wait to see where we go next!8FD77F77-BF14-431B-91A9-3417D1A5B529.jpeg

What are your tried and true travel tips with kids?

The Nostalgia of Summer

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“We only get eighteen summers with our children.”

I have seen that quote ubiquitously splashed across social media as of late. Quotes like this tend to have the ability to make my heart bleed that I will not have tiny babies forever while simultaneously making my mom guilt shift into over drive. Sweet bedtime snuggles and fireworks reflected in awestruck eyes will fade into clipped college phone calls home for conversations about the “real world”. In my limited time as a mother “the days are long, but the years are short” is holding more true than anything else.

Often I find that well-meaning individuals, with the benefit of both an uninterrupted night sleep and roughly twenty years of hind sight will tell me to enjoy this time because it is so fleeting. The intent is sweeter than the mixed emotions that inevitably bubble up inside in response. There is nothing worse than someone telling you to enjoy something that is a challenge. A sweet struggle for certain, but a challenge nonetheless.  Of course everything worth anything is at one point or another a struggle. Motherhood is no exception.

With the Forth in our very recent rearview mirrors, I am transported back to my own childhood frequently. Lazy days of 600 minute summer reading challenges, filling up on sugary popsicles (before social media would declare you an unfit parent for that level of sucrose ingestion. Simpler times.) Days spent babysitting and evenings spent catching fireflies. What I do not remember is my mother being frustrated by hauling wet towels, making dinner that no one ate, or missed naps due to schedule disruptions. In talking with her now, undoubtedly these moments occurred. One of my greatest hopes is that my children see their childhood summers through the same albeit likely rose colored glasses of my own.

With this goal in mind, I want to make some summer resolutions. I have pretty much given up on all of my New Year’s goals: Get in shape (I’m playing the two babies in two years card), be a kinder person (this is a lifetime goal, there’s no timeline. Also, my sass streak runs deep), and spend less (one word: Target). New summer resolutions are as follows:

Get my hair wet.

Yesterday, Ben asked me to run in the sprinkler. And I did it. My full sized booty even went down the Little Tikes slide despite the clearly marked weight restriction flying off the end in a fit of giggles.

Be flexible.

We are a pretty strict bedtime house because that is literally one of the main reasons I stay sane doing bedtime alone so often. This summer, I will strive to let some of this slide for some specials occasions, but not every day. Mama’s gotta stay sane after all.

Say yes.

I counted the other morning how many times I said no before lunch. I lost count by breakfast. This summer I want to say yes to silly games, pickles with breakfast, and all the playing. I also want to say yes for me to relaxation, really good dessert without a guilt hangover, or a solo run.

I challenge you to come up with your own list of summer goals. After all we only get eighteen summers. And maybe, if we are really lucky we’ll get some beautiful summers experiencing parenting from the other side of early child hood. I bet that is pretty sweet too!