Mark Your Calendars Ladies! Mother’s Day #2 Starts Today!

pmb23Here’s to the super heroes that walk our Earth everyday. From the late night bottles to well-deserved cuddles. Diaper blows outs and sticky kisses, the sleepless days and endless nights of mommy-hood. We mommies have been kicking but since the dawn of time. Moms have been doing it so well that the Committee of Moms has dedicated a 2nd Mother’s Day starting today April 1st 2016.

As much as I wish this was true… April Fools Ladies! This is only slightly a joke, while there is no extra Mother’s Day, you can always treat yourself like it is because you deserve it. Moms have rocked out for a long time and deserve some recognition and love for what we do. While our babies and hubbies may not voice their appreciation all the time, their smiles and happiness prove enough. Take some time to show yourself some love, we get so caught up in being moms that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Here are 3 ways to pamper you like it is Mother’s Day.

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  1. Shop- While it is a weakness for a lot of us, there is something amazing about buying something for ourselves.  Pick that 1 thing you’ve always wanted and get it.  Moms are always shopping for everyone else but what about you?  It’s not often that we buy the things we really want, and when you can it can totally change your day.  Here are 3 local malls I love to shop at.

2. Get your hair done- When was the last time you had your hair done?  I don’t know about you but between juggling kids, work, and school my hair doesn’t get done that often.  I am a hairstylist and it just isn’t the same when you do it yourself.  An awesome shampoo and new style can really get the good vibes flowing.  Here’s some salons to visit if you’re looking for a new do’

  • HeadHunters– Located in Beaver Valley Mall, this salon has some of the best colorists and stylist I’ve seen. I love working there.
  • MaxManni– Located right by Robinson Mall, this salon/spa is very relaxing and also has massage and skincare. Facials anyone?                                                               Facial

 

3. Make time for you- Do you have a hobby or goal you haven’t started? Self-development is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.  If it’s your passion and it makes you happy, make it a priority on your list.  You can generate so much happiness in your family by making your own happiness within you.  Don’t be afraid to make mama happy, we make the world go ’round.  Sign up for that class or start that new book you’ve been eyeing.  If you are open to painting, I loved Painting with a Twist located in Robinson. There are many locations so another one may be closer to you.  It’s a step by step art class that is beginner friendly.  The fun part you ask? It is BYOB, which means wine (or whatever you like)! Score! 🙂

While there is no extra Mothers Day, we can still celebrate and appreciate ourselves any day.  Don’t forget to take care of you while you take care of everyone else.  Share what you do special just for you in the comments below.  Like and share this post if you think it can help a fellow mommy!

Happy April Fools Day! Share some laughs with your family here.

Thanks for reading!

Ode To The Single Mom

Single mothers don’t just rock… they rock AND they roll!

Single mothers bear a special load. They play dual rolls, they learn to be magicians, acrobats, jugglers, lion tamers and tight rope walkers all within this 3-ring circus we call life!

Single mothers have a special place in my heart as I was a single mother once and my mom is also a single mother. Different circumstances may lead someone to the single mother status, most are not planned. The drive and determination and love for the child or children is what keeps them going. Knowing or the feeling that this little person is depending you.

Single moms struggle with many of the same things married moms struggle with they just do it alone. Someone May wonder will it ever get easier? Yes and no! As with parenthood in general, it goes in stages, some things become easier and others more difficult but that is just life in general. Many moms did not choose to be a single mom, it is a life that has chosen them for one reason or another and though it’s rough sometimes and sadness, doubt and frustration tries to creep in, single mom’s, keep doing the BEST you can and the greatest reward will be the wonderful child you raised all by yourself. You can look at their life and see a reflection of yours.

Here’s to you single mom, I know you’re tired but you’ve got to be strong… don’t give up now! Keep holding on.

I know sometimes you feel like you’re stuck… but don’t give up Your child loves you too much.

For the price you pay today you’ll see results tomorrow… so these sacrifices now are somewhat borrowed.

You may not get all the credit you’re due… but to your child you are a super hero and they believe in you!

So keep working hard and doing your best… once your child grows up great, then you know you’ve passed the test!

“Your greatest accomplishment may not be what you do but who you raise.” – unknown

Stay strong single moms. I salute you, Much Love!

Be in the Moment

Be in the moment

It’s safe to say we all, conciously or subconsiously, have thought about or are continually forward-looking to the “next thing”. We want the pieces to fit nicely together. It gives a sense of accomplishment and yet gives us a sense of security. “Once the house is clean,” or “Once I get to this point,” or “If only this would happen, then,” or “Everything will settle down or improve once x, y, and z happen.” What is our motivation? A to-do list and organization can be a life saver, but are we forward-looking to the point that we are missing the moment?

This is always a great topic for me to consider – sometimes in great depth. These grounding subjects are often those pivotal topics that help generate good, constructive change in our lives. Perhaps that may be turning from a behavior, habit or tendency that is not healthy or positive for you and your family. Whatever it is, I hope this piece of perspective that helps to ground me will do the same for you in some way!

Missing the moment. I can tell you right now I’ve missed (too) many moments. Often focusing on a grass is greener posture or outlook. And, so far in my life, I have been able to conclude that the grass is never greener it’s just different. When you have x, y and z down-pat, that is precisely the point in time that a, b, and c become more complicated. I think it is safe to say that this grass-is-greener approach can be applied to almost every single area of life.

How do we combat this? How do we move forward without crossing the boundary line between planning ahead in a responsible manner and totally missing the moment by longing for the “next thing”? Personally (and this is going to be different in size, quantity and presentation for everyone), a thankful heart is the best way to fight against the temptation to totally overlook the beauty in the present moment. When we are thankful and flooding our hearts and minds with those things, there truly is no room for negative. In the moment when life feels like it might be pulling you in a thousand different directions, try to cultivate a thankful heart by either listing (in your mind or on paper) 3 things over which you can genuinely smile over. That could be the little note your little one wrote, the funny thing your significant other said to you yesterday, or just that the sun is shining in Pittsburgh (but, for real that is a blessing!).

Let’s make it a practice to tackle this life moment by moment, giving ourselves grace when we fail and extending grace to those around us. More often than not, it’s the people closest to us that we need to do this with most. The glass is half full, ya’ll!

Dress For Success : How to Ease Transition Resistant Kids Into Weather Appropriate Clothing

We either have a child like this or have seen one in public… here’s the scene… it’s an unusually chilly Spring day in Pittsburgh and you are shivering in your hoodie at the park with your kids when you see a three-year-old child run by in shorts and a sleeveless top.  You are shocked for a minute and then you see a frazzled Mom running after the child holding a jacket and pleading that he/she puts it on. What is it with kids and wanting to wear the least practical, most ridiculous outfit for any given situation?? I used to think it was just my kid. My first daughter was very adamant about what she was going to wear from a young age. She would cry and scream and throw huge fits if we told her she couldn’t wear the same stained dress for the fifth day in a row. It’s a little better now that she’s five but I can see the trend starting with my 19 month old already!

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After a few years of the wardrobe wars I started to notice that it got worse with the transitioning of the seasons. Going from short sleeves to long sleeves was a HUGE deal. Wearing coats was out of the question for the first month of winter and forget the hats and gloves!! I sometimes (ok lots of times) wonder if it is worth the battle. Am I wrestling a coat onto my tearful child because she really needs it or because I will feel like an ass of a mom in front of everyone else when she shows up at preschool sans coat? Either way sometimes kids have to wear something practical and here are my tips for dealing with the wardrobe wars…

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1. Dress the kids in layers. Let them be the judge if they are hot or cold once they get outside. They can take off the sweatshirt if they are hot, or add an overcoat if they are cold. Yes, this means more baggage for you. You will have to carry the discarded items in your giant Mary Poppins Mom bag. Also, this only works once the child starts to understand a little bit of reason. When they are too young there is no avoiding the tearful war before you leave the house.

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2. Stock the drawers and closet. This takes some planning and thinking ahead of your child. If you know the weather is going to be really hot for example put all the shorts and tee-shirts on top of the other clothes in the drawers. Also remove anything really warm from the drawers and closet so they don’t see something that they shouldn’t wear.

3. Make a thermometer chart. Draw a thermometer on a large poster board and mark different temperatures on it. Then draw shorts next to 80 degrees for example and a winter coat next to 30 degrees. If your kid is into numbers they will get a kick out of matching the temperature from your weather app with the thermometer chart.
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4. Be prepared with fun weather appropriate clothing. If winter is coming and your child loves Paw Patrol, have Paw Patrol mittens and hats ready. If Spring is here and your daughter loves purple, have a water proof purple jacket and rain boots handy. Even if you buy them early make sure you hide these items until it’s time to wear them! It just might make or break your morning to combine a fun surprise with the bad news that your child has to wear a different coat today.

If these tips don’t work and you still end up feeling like an ass with your child in a wool sweater at the pool party, take it easy on yourself. In fact, take a picture! You may not believe it now but someday you will laugh at it. The fact that you are worried about what your kid is wearing makes you a good parent!!

Give Spring an Awesome Start: 3 Ways to Start Spring in a Positive Way

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Spring is here! Yay!  The snow is thawed and the birds are chirping.  This is a great time to jump start the season with positive vibes that hopefully last throughout the year.  Here are 3 things I love to do when this time of the year comes around.

Down Size & Organize– It is really easy to let things go between kids, work, school, and everything else life throws at us.  Piles of laundry and papers can put a damper on motivation to get things done.  Use your spring cleaning as a chance to get rid of stuff you don’t need in order to make room for new things.  Donating items is a great way to give back to the community and help in organizing your home. There are a lot of local places to donate to, like Goodwill and Salvation Army. If you can’t find one, there are also drop boxes for donations in various parking lots. This can be done anytime but I love spring cleaning because it means warm weather is here.

Make a Dream Board– This is a really awesome way to get your goals and dreams in a visual format for you to see everyday.  We’ve all had goals or tasks we’d like to accomplish that we’ve put on hold for what’s going on right now. That’s totally okay because life happens. Even if you’re not able to complete the goal right away, seeing it will eventually lead you to it. Your dream board is all about you and your creativity.  Super easy instructions on creating your own dream board are at the bottom of this post

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Make Amazing Memories– From visits to the zoo, to picnics in the park, there are many options in creating great memories.  Get outside and enjoy some of the sun we’ve all been dearly missing.  Going outside can increase happiness and is beneficial for everyone.  Fresh air is an instant pick me up on a bad day.  Another benefit is, bedtime is always easier when we’ve had a fun time outside earlier in the day.  Here are 3 of our favorite local places to go.

  • War Memorial Park located in Sewickley, Pa.  It’s a beautiful park with plenty of fun for kids all ages.
  • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium located in Pittsburgh, Pa.  This will always be a long time fav, they always have fun kids events.
  • Right in our backyard.  Sometimes leaving isn’t always an option and there is no reason why you can’t have fun at home.

Tools and Directions for Dream Board

Tools

  • Durable base like poster board or cardboard
  • Magazines you like
  • Tape or glue
  • Scissors (kid friendly if tiny fingers are involved)

Directions- Cut out pictures and words of the magazines that you feel represent you, your goals, and the things you love.  Then glue or tape pictures and words on board in the way you please.   Boom! You now have an awesome dream board adding light to your day! Here is mine. Don’t be afraid to add personal pictures of you and your loved ones. You can’t see mine, but my family picture is above my dream board.

DIY Dream Board
DIY Dream Board

*Pro tip: Hang up if there are tiny hands around that like to rip things apart.  This is my second dream board. 🙂  It can also be a fun craft time idea for the little ones.*

Spring represents a lot of new beginnings, which is a great time to make a positive start for a new season.  I’m all about letting the good vibes in and the bad vibes out.  Give some of these tips a try and let us know how it goes.  Make a dream board and share it on our page; you never know who you’ll inspire.

Thanks for reading!

What the Stuff Under Your Couch Says About Your Family

Have you read the book, Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling? If not, it describes how a person’s possessions and how they arrange them can tell us more about that person’s character than intimate conversations. After cleaning under my couch the other day, I realized that I should write a book called Snoop: What the Stuff Under Your Couch Says About Your Family. It would be a bestseller, for sure.

I swear my husband cleaned under the couch a month ago. Maybe two months. But it feels like yesterday. And yet look at all the junk!

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How is this possible? Also, ew. So gross. And just so you don’t think we’re total slobs, I will tell you that I vacuum this room every single night. Sometimes two or three times a day. (Yeah, I’m kind of a clean freak.)

This is what this room looks like every night before bed. Well, most nights.

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So how does the underbelly of the couch get so disgusting? That’s easy. It’s called I have five kids.

Let’s take a closer look. Here. I’ve divided everything into categories.

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Please note Exhibit A: the pile of food. Lots of goldfish. Lucky Charms. Surprise, surprise, there isn’t a single Lucky Charm marshmallow. Such delicacies would never be wasted or lost. Obviously.

On to Exhibit B: the pile of game pieces. Do you know how frustrating it is to try to play a game with half the pieces missing?

Moving on to the miscellaneous section:

We have a nice assortment of toys, some money, and some black and gold origami (Go Steelers!)

Socks and a dryer sheet.

A book.

And the final exhibit? A pile of garbage.

So what does all this stuff say about us? You might think it says that we like to eat, play games, read books, and do laundry. What it really says, is this:

A) We have a lot of kids.
B) The kids don’t follow the rules about not eating in the family room.
C) These kids translate “clean up” to mean “shove everything under the couch.”
D) Under the couch = specialized garbage can.
E) We have a lot of kids. Did I mention that already?

What does the junk under your couch say about you?

On Breastfeeding a Toddler

I’m one of those weird crunchy gals who still breastfeeds her two year-old. I’m just a mom doing what she thinks is best for her family.

In a time of Mommy Wars and Formula v. Boobs, I’m actually optimistic that we’re beginning to cut through the crap and lift each other up more than ever.

Is breast best? No. And by that I mean it’s not for everyone. On the same hand, women aren’t getting they support they need when it comes to the first weeks of breastfeeding, many switching to formula or pumping because they don’t think their bodies are capable when for most women, they are.

But I think most of us can agree we’re all just trying to do what’s best for our children. Unless you expose any part of your breast during feeding or nourish your child past the first year.

My little turned two and a half this month and he still finds nourishment and comfort at the breast. I’ve encountered some resistance and judgement, most of it coming from family members. I nurse exclusively uncovered, even in public, and I’m willing to bet the only people who realize what’s going on are breastfeeding moms. While no one has yet said anything to my face, I have heard some nasty talk, mostly from other moms.

I was once playing with my little guy when a woman I had never met started a conversation with me, asking if he had been breastfed (none of her business) and criticizing those “weirdo hippies” who breastfeed past a year.
breastfeeding a toddler
We’ve all heard the jokes, but why are we poking fun at people’s choices?  I’m not going to advocate for what we do and rattle off statistics because that’s not what is important. The important thing is that we stop and think, “Huh, that’s not the way I did it. It seems to work for them though. Carry on.”

It’s why every time I see a mom breastfeeding in public I thank her for feeding her child without shame. It’s the same reason I’d speak up if I heard someone criticize someone for feeding their child formula.

Yes, I definitely consider myself a lactavist for reasons stated above. I feel this part of the journey is just as important to share because I have found so many moms who breastfeed toddlers for the same reasons I do: it’s comforting, it’s nourishing, and it’s a fail safe for any toddler tantrum. Heck, sometimes it’s the only time I get to sit down in a day!

So the next time you see a mama with a child vocalizing her/his desire for comfort and nourishment, please pause and think. Don’t judge. This mama isn’t causing any harm, and whether or not you would do the same doesn’t matter to her and shouldn’t to you. Smile, and even thank her for being a great mom. We’re all in this together.

“Here We Go” Pittsburgh Moms Blog “Here We Go!”

Welcome to Pittsburgh Moms Blog!

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The Pittsburgh Moms Blog site is now Live and ready to connect moms in the Pittsburgh area. What will you find here?

You’ll find resources for around town, events…guides for preschools, summer camps, birthday parties, kids eat free, dentists, pediatricians, and all things fun in Pittsburgh!

This journey will be brought to you by 17 amazing Pittsburgh ladies who will write about all things mom and all things Pittsburgh. They will be sharing about their lives and children, and we hope you do the same!

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We will also be hosting some fabulous events – Mom’s Night Outs, playgroups, and family events!

Be sure you are following us along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events and happy reading!

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