posted by on activities, Mommy Blogger, teens

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We have all seen them, coming to the door (usually not in costume) with pillow cases or paper bags. If you are anything like me, you are little annoyed. You say under your breath, they are too old and begrudgingly give them candy anyway.

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What you should know, is that he’s only 15 (even though he’s 6’2 with a size 15 shoe). You should know, that I probably bribed him to take his younger siblings. You should know, that he and his friends are good kids.  You should know, that they do know they’re too old.  Most importantly, you should know, that for 1 night, he decided to be a kid again.

Let Him.

Soon enough the teens will face all the stuff that comes with being an adult and we all know there is no reason in the world to rush to that. Give them a big candy bar, smile and tell them to have fun!

posted by on Mommy Blogger

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I am so excited, I mean, seriously, I feel like I’m having another baby! I have my hands full with the 3 I have, so thank the heavens you are having one. I can’t wait to smell him and kiss his neck and all that yummy stuff you get to do with new babies.

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Me, niece Andrea and niece Jenene

Here is my random unsolicited advice:
1. You are awesome and all the qualities that make you that way, will make you an awesome Mom. There will be plenty of days you question why on earth you thought you could be a parent, we all do. You can do it and you will be great.

2. Don’t worry about “body after baby”. Do not read which celeb got their prebaby body back in 2 weeks. Its bull shit and doesn’t matter. Yes, eat well and go for walks when you are able. Your body completely changes (even if you lose all the weight) and it is fine. The miracle your body performs is an act of God and you may have some stretch marks to remind you of that.

3. Feed your kid however you see fit. Yep, thousands of reasons to breast feed, but if you can’t it is not the end of the world. Don’t let anyone judge you for your choice (coming from a Mom who breastfeed her daughter until until she was 3 and was judged anyway, so do what you want)!

4. Some days will be better than others, the bad days will pass.

5. You are going to be tired. There should really be another word because tired does not do the sleep deprivation justice. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it never ends. Yes eventually they will sleep through the night,but you will have nights you are up because they are sick or they are teens and you are waiting for them to get home. Tired is forever, learn to function on tired.

6. You are the Mama! No one can tell you what is best or working for you and your baby. Not the husband, not the pediatrician, not the grand ma or the know it all Aunt! Listen to your gut. You will never be wrong going with what is best for your baby.

7. Make an email address for baby A. Anytime you want to remember something or he reaches a milestone, send him an email. Much easier than a baby book.

8. Don’t forget about your husband, hard to do. There will be times the baby will have to come first, but try to keep him in the loop!

Now, go to sleep and sleep as much as you can until your water breaks! I love your face.
Aunt Miki

Yes, I am.

Sep
2014
24

posted by on Uncategorized

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Some of you know, some of you have wondered and the answer is yes. Yes, I am getting divorced. It is hands down the most awful thing I’ve ever gone through.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

To say that it is devastating would be an understatement, but that’s the only word I can think to use.  It has devastated everything. Me, my children, my finances, the list goes on and on.  There is not one part of my life divorce hasn’t touched and completely destroyed.

There are a number of reasons my marriage didn’t work are too many to list, too personal to share, too embarrassing to say out loud.  Did not WORK is the exact word to use.  Marriage is work and for so many reasons, we could not fix it. This blog in no way is to place blame or to throw my dirty laundry in the streets, but I do own everything I did, that could not be worked through and ultimately ended our marriage.

I am grateful for the husband he was for 11 years.  I am grateful for the lessons learned.  I am grateful for the growth I’ve experienced through this process.  I am grateful for the things I learned about myself.  I am most grateful for our beautiful children.

broken heart

Because it’s a blog, I probably need to wrap it up in a bow.  This is not to say things are perfect and wonderful.  There are awful, difficult days that end in tears.  The best I can do is get out of bed and try again.  That’s what I am doing.  Getting out of bed every morning and trying.

Thank you to all of you who have been supportive of myself and my children, your kind words and offers to bring me wine and chocolate have been much appreciated!

Run? Maybe?

Sep
2014
10

posted by on fitness, Uncategorized, weightloss

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Most of you who follow my blog, know that I’ve been on this fitness journey and for the past year or so, I’ve managed to lose 60 lbs and discover a serious love for boxing and veggies. All the while, I’ve been trying to find my inner runner (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t exist) – but I  keep looking for her.

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I envy those runners I see at 6am, hitting the pavement to get their day started. I envy those ladies in the matching running gear and reflectors that I see as I head home for the night. I envy all of my Facebook friends who post numerous pictures of their running bibs and racing medals. It seems so great and they look so fit.  From the outside looking in it seems as if running is the perfect exercise/sport.
With all of my envy of the way it looks, I hate it. No, really – I complain to my boxing trainer about the running we have to do to warm up (which is less than a 1/2 mile)! I don’t understand why people run for miles on purpose, with no one chasing them.

In my quest to find my inner runner and understand a little more about the sport, I’ve found some people who love it! People who run all the time (for enjoyment) and I asked them questions.
My first interview was with, well, for now, we will call him Marathon Man. I asked him a ton of questions, I may have called him a crazy person, when I found out that he was running the Chicago Marathon and the Kansas City Marathon just days apart; but he answered every question.  I recently watched him complete the Broadway Bridge half marathon and the run envy started all over again.

Interview:

Me: Why race in a different city?     I put my name is the lottery for Chicago and it got picked.   I signed up for the KC one as well, so it was a happy accident.  The fact that they are a week a part will be a challenge or maybe insane.   Me: My vote is for insane

Me: Is not seeing the course ahead of time scary?   No, the distance is familiar and the course is flatter than K.C.  I’m also famously cocky, so….

Me: Which mile sucks the most?   On race day, for me, it’s all the same.  My 1st marathon, I came unglued at mile 22.

Me: What number marathon is this for you?     2

Me: Are you doing anything different this time around?    I’m training alone, so I’m taking it more seriously.  Me: Is alone better?   Yes, I’m becoming a more complete runner because of it.

Me: What do you eat before a race?     Peanuts & Banana 

Me: What do you eat the night before?     Pasta & Steak

Me: Do you think everyone should run a marathon?      Not a marathon, a half would be a reachable goal.    Me: Um, Ok…If you say so!

Me: Do you ever run 26 miles when training?       No, 20 is the most.

Me: What do you fear this 2nd time around?     Being under trained.   Me: Can you fix being under trained before your race?        I will be ready.

Me: Are you superstitious?        If strict adherence to race day routine, counts, then yes.  My routine: Bed by 9, same food the night before.  Up at 4am.

Me: What is a must on your playlist?      Rocky sound track on the way to the race. No music during.  Me: Really?? Why not?   It distracts me, I can’t hear my breathing.

Me: What do you want to do right after a race? Eat? Sleep? Cry?    Eat, shower and sleep.  It’s the best nap I’ll take all year!

Me: What’s your time goal? Or does it not matter? Just finishing?     Anything under 4

Me: Sex before a race?    Probably not the day of… Me: Just being nosy, you didn’t really have to answer that.

Me: Do you hear/see people on the course?      Yes, I like the signs too.  What do the signs say? “25 miles to go” “toenails are for wimps”

Me: Is there an end goal?     I’m interested in places. I want New York, maybe overseas.

Me: Is it painful to run that far without stopping?       Uncomfortable is more accurate.

Me: Why a full instead of a half or 3?  I have a personal record in mind for a marathon, so I’ll keep going.

Me: Why do you run?       I like to run, I’ll never stop. 

 

It’s fascinating, right?! I don’t understand, but the passion is something to strive for in my personal fitness goals. Thank you Marathon Man for being so nice and answering all my questions.

Do you run? I’m looking for more people to interview and find out why you run and maybe you will inspire me to run! Maybe!!

DIY Spirit Wear!

Sep
2014
02

posted by on activities, Crafts

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Who knew making your own spirit wear could be so easy!

Here’s what you need:

1. Plain T-shirt in any color

2. Stencil or you can use cardboard to cut out the design of your choice (which is what I did)

3. Spray bottle with 70% bleach 30% water

4. Piece of cardboard (I used a folder) to place in the shirt to prevent bleed through

That’s it!!! After you cut out your design, place it on your shirt (press down so the edges are really flat).  Spray (lightly) around the design.  Let it dry and then peel off.  You are done!! You have your own custom spirit wear and you won’t have to worry about looking like anyone else at the ballpark.

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Some ideas for designs: college logo letters, any type of sports ball, simple words (cheer, go, fight, win), cause ribbons…the list goes on and on! Let me know if you do it, I’d love to see your t-shirts.

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posted by on activities, event, Fox 4, Give a Way, Mommy Blogger, review, teens

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College football season is here and with the KU Campus so close to Kansas City, you can catch a great football game and spend some time with the family in Downtown Lawrence.  With tons of one of a kind restaurants and shopping, downtown is just the place to spend a fun day and eat some great food, before you head to the KU football game!

Football vs. Northern Colorado

There is a family atmosphere at all games, where you can tailgate and for the little Jayhawk fans, there’s more than just football! KU Football offers a Junior Jayhawk Kids Club (13 and under) for their smallest fans, with lots of Jayhawk heart!  The membership comes with lots of benefits:

  • T-shirt or Baby Bib
  • Membership Card and Adidas Lanyard (used for access to free tickets)
  • Birthday Card from Big and Baby Jay
  • Jayhawk Coin Pouch
  • FREE Admission to 2 Football games (9/6 vs. SE Missouri St., 9/20 vs. Central Michigan).
  • FREE Admission to 1 Men’s Basketball game. Game will be decided in late Oct./early Nov. *
  • FREE Admission to: All home Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Baseball, and Softball games.
  • E-mails about special ticket promotions and events exclusively for club members and their parents/guardians only

Football vs. Iowa State

To register your Junior Jayhawk Fan click here: Membership

Having children that are not close in age, makes it difficult to find family activities that we all want to do.  The 4-year-old will have plenty of fun at the pre-game kids club activities, Spring Football Gamethe 9-year-old girl can’t wait to see the cheerleaders and the 15-year-old boy is ready for some football! We can’t wait to catch a game and spend the day in Lawrence.

To see the Jayhawk Football schedule and buy tickets: KU Football

Football vs. Northern Colorado

 

Want to join me at a game??? I’m giving away:

o   A single game family 4-pack of tickets

o   One $50 gift card to Downtown Lawrence

o   One Junior Jayhawk Kids Club membership

For your chance to win, visit my Facebook Page: Give Away

 

 

posted by on Give a Way, Mommy Blogger, review

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It’s August and other than the back to school pics, your timelines might be full of breast-feeding Moms who are promoting the health benefits of breastfeeding. Every expert will tell you that breastfeeding is best for your child, but no one tells you that sometimes it’s hard.  It’s hard because it’s painful at first, because you don’t know if you are producing enough milk, since you can’t see the ounces they are drinking and you think your child may be starving!

Sometimes it’s easier to pump, so you can see the ounces, so you can share the feeding experience or you can go back to work.  I nursed 3 children and tried almost every type of pump from the hand pump to the giant machine at the hospital.  I decided to go with the Evenflo brand and they now have the  Evenflo® Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump.  It offers so many benefits including:

  • PerfectPosition™ offers slouch-free pumping comfort
  • AdvancedFit™ Flange System gives mom three sizes for perfect fit
  • AdvancedControl™ with 32 settings allows mom to find perfect speed and suction
  • PerfectlyPure™ closed-system design prevents milk backup and keeps milk as pure as nature intended
  • Includes educational programming, a $60 value, access to a priceless resource for success
  • Deluxe version includes: premium shoulder bag, ice packs, 4 milk storage bottles, thermal cooler, extra membranes
  • Deluxe Plus version includes the shoulder bag, ice packs, 6 milk storage bottles, thermal cooler, plus a Manual Pump adapter.  

evenflopic

As an added bonus, moms who purchase the new Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump will also receive free access to International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Shari Criso’s full length, online educational programs ($60 value) – “Simply Breastfeeding”™ and “Breast Pumps and Briefcases™.”  Rich with information and guidance from Criso’s 20+ years working one-on-one with breastfeeding moms, both programs address topics most relevant to nursing moms, and those planning to pump. Additional tools, such as video instructions for pump use can also be found on the newly launched Evenflo Feeding website:www.evenflofeeding.com

Never Home Stay at Home Mom via Mikita Burton is giving away a pump! For your chance to win, visit: Facebook Page: Never Home Stay at Home Mom

posted by on review

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Oh how I wish this phone case would have come 2 weeks earlier! If you are a regular reader of mine, you know how busy my life with 3 kids is.

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My phone goes everywhere with me and captures all of our moments. I recently heard about the Catalyst phone case and it is perfect for my life. It is a hard, slim shell, water proof, works with my touch screen and even covers the camera part. I’ve been using the case for 3 weeks and have dropped it (more times than I like to admit) and my phone is in good shape! Even when my kids had a water balloon fight, I was able to snap pictures and not worry about the phone getting wet.  Mine is a pretty blue, but they have black, pink and other styles for iphone as well as water proof tablet cases, perfect for the beach or pool.

You can see all the products, colors and buy a case for yourself at Catalyst Lifestyle

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posted by on Back to School, Fox 4, Mommy Blogger, Organization

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The school year is quickly approaching and I seen tons of blogs about saving money, supplies and lunches.  Let me give you some real Mom back to school tips that you can use and the teachers will thank you for!

1. Practice opening milk cartons. No one tells you that the milk and juice still come in those paper cartons and that your child will need to open it by themselves and it’s hard to do! Get some from the store and start practicing how to open them.

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2. My children don’t wear uniforms, but there is a dress code in place.  Go through summer clothes and put away the ones they can’t wear to school.  Most dress codes don’t allow for spaghetti strap tanks, short shorts or flip-flops! I’ve gotten a phone call or 2 because my daughter had flip-flops on for P.E. day.

3. Practice zipping jackets.  It’s something most Moms don’t even think about, because you have a couple of children and when it’s time for a jacket, you just zip it and keep moving.  Teachers have 25 or more kids and if none of them can zip their jackets, they will spend an entire recess trying to get ready to go outside.  Add tying tennis shoes to that list as well.  If your children aren’t even close to learning, no-tie shoes are best for school and work on the tying while not at school.  Your child’s teacher will thank you!

jacket

4. Pre-sharpened pencils. They are worth every penny! Trust me, you will scream if you have to sharpen 20 pencils by hand before school starts. pencils

 

5. Buy Personalized Labels: You know that school supply sheet that comes home, says “label all supplies”! Who has time or wants to write their child’s name 100 times all those supplies?! Save yourself the trouble and purchase Mabel’s Labels Ultimate Back to School Pack.  I saved myself a ton of time and my daughter helped and just labeled everything, the pack even comes with a backpack tag!

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6. Pictures: I am admittedly a “Moma-ratzi” I take pictures all the time, of all the kids, of everything they do! Instead of doing a ton of pictures the first day of school, when nerves are on edge, do them on a practice run.  Back to school night, supply drop off or registration.  You can even get a shot of the teacher then too, when they aren’t trying to calm nervous kids and get the day started.  Need some fun pic ideas? You can find a bunch here:Back to School Pinterest Board

Just a few tips to help get the school year off to a good start. Do you have more tips? I’d love to hear them!

Happy Back to School!

 

posted by on avon, beauty

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Do you believe everything you’ve heard about skin care over the years? Let’s do a little separating fact from fiction with the top 10 things you need to know about caring for your skin.

1. Hot water opens pores? Skin’s openings neither change in size nor operate like train doors, in reality, hot water loosens hardened dirt, oil and makeup within pores, allowing for better cleansing. You should still watch the temperature, washing your face with too-hot water can strip the skin of natural oils and possibly lead to irritation and dryness.

2. Facials are a key part of a good skin care regimen.  Luckily for your budget, this particular treatment isn’t necessary. Facials are relaxing, but they won’t change skin’s structure and function in the short-term or long-term.   While the intense moisturizer may make skin shinier for a day or two afterward, the post-facial glow may be fleeting.

3. Greasy foods and chocolate cause breakouts.  Pizza and candy bars aren’t good for your health—or your waistline—but are they the acne-causing culprits they’re rumored to be? Studies have proven that neither type of food is responsible for breakouts. The false association may exist because stress hormones lead to zits—and they’re the same things that may lead you to the nearest cookie jar. That’s not to say acne and diet are unrelated, your skin grows from the inside out.

4. Your skin will age just like your Mother’s. Your mother’s wrinkle-free, so that means your skin will be just like hers.  Even though genetics play a big part in the aging process, external factors, like sun exposure, facial expressions, smoking, pollution and diet, all affect how skin looks over time. Good genes aren’t a free pass to flawless skin.

5. SPF 30 provides double the sun protection of SPF 15?  SPF stands for sun protection factor, and the SPF number relates to the amount of time it would take the skin to burn. In other words, SPF 15 means sunbathers can bask 15 times longer without getting sunburn than they would without sunscreen. Higher SPF numbers prevent a greater percentage of rays from reaching skin, but the differences between 15, 30 and 45 are smaller than you’d think. For instance, SPF 15 blocks about 93% of the sun’s rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%. So doubling the number doesn’t double your skin’s protection, especially since the average person doesn’t apply as much as she should—1 tsp for your face and 1 oz for the uncovered areas of your body, re-applied every two hours. Always use sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, which blocks UVB and UVA rays, as sun is the biggest factor in how your skin ages.

6. Makeup with built-in SPF is as effective as sunscreen?  As convenient as sunscreen-infused products are, relying on them for sun protection is a big no-no.  Due to makeup’s thickness and how it binds to the skin, it would take almost 14 times the normal amount of powder used and seven times the normal amount of foundation used to get the desired amount of SPF.

7. Use separate day and night creams?  Although evening is prime time for your skin’s repairing process, what’s best for your skin type is more important than whether a cream is marketed for use at a certain time of day. Have dry skin or eczema? Try a cream containing pep-tides or Vitamin C antioxidants and use it day and night. If you use anti-aging products, apply those at night, since retinol—their key ingredient—is sensitive to sunlight. Have oily skin? Too much moisturizer can clog pores and result in acne.

8. Buy skin care products labeled as containing only natural ingredients?  Thanks to clever marketing, anything “natural” is assumed to be better for you. But there’s no evidence that natural products are more effective or safer. In addition to there being no regulation on what’s labeled natural, while naturally occurring ingredients aren’t synthetically produced, they still can cause allergic reactions and be harmful.  Find the right product for your specific skin issues with the help of your dermatologist or cosmetologist —whether or not the ingredients are all natural.

9. Scrub your face frequently to nix zits?  Sorry, but harsh scrubbing doesn’t keep pimples at bay. Oil overproduction, dead skin cells and bacterial growth cause acne. Excessive scrubbing dries out skin, which prompts extra oil production and more breakouts. Once-a-week exfoliation is more than enough. If skipping exfoliation altogether, since it may spread bacteria to the rest of your face. For sudden breakouts, topical medications and gentle cleansing are your best bets.

10. Some Tanning Booths are Safe?  There are myths still out there regarding tanning booths. While most people are aware at this point that tanning booths aren’t completely and entirely safe, some people still believe that booths are safe as long as they don’t have UVB rays. Some tanning booth locations tell people they filter the ‘bad’ rays or sunburn rays, which are the UVB rays. No matter what kind of tanning bed you are in though, will expose skin to UVA rays, which go even further into your skin and can cause severe damage. This can cause skin cancer and premature aging as well, so all tanning booths are dangerous, no matter what they claim. Just because these rays are not the ones that typically cause a surface skin sunburn does not mean that they are not damaging.

If you want to know what you should use specific for your skin, see a dermatologist or a licensed cosmologist and talk about a specific skin care regiment for your skin needs.  I am starting a new skin care regiment from Avon and I will be back to show you before and eventually the after – hopefully with fewer lines & wrinkles.