Faith

Been a while since I’ve written, and I do have to say that it’s honestly a form of therapy for me. Life is happening, good and bad. I find we are in a tough situation financially and health wise lately. Nothing so serious as some may battle so I definitely try not to complain as much.

It’s hard watching your children be sick. I think we’ve been battling a stomach bug more this year than ever before. So Pedialyte, Pedialyte popsicles, water, crackers, baked potatoes, caldos (Mexican soup), and manzanilla (chamomile) teas are life for us at the moment. So, if you’re reading this please send up a prayer of healing for our family.

We all go through struggles in life and it always seems hard to stay steadfast in our faith. It may even be harder when you’re feeling attacked through all aspects of your life such as; financials, health, love, family, anything really. You can try and try so hard to dig yourself up out of the sand but it just keeps piling back on. Don’t stop though. Keep going. So cliché right?

Do it anyhow. I have been getting down lately because it just seems never ending that something is always happening. My husband lost his job, we ran out of our savings, but we have 2 months of not having to worry about rent at the moment. Always and upside, right?  So, I want to try something my sister sent me earlier this year. May God bless her always.

I’m going to be praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to bring our problems to Jesus so that He may grant us the grace to continue on. There are many miracles associated with praying for help to God and praying for the intercession through the blessed Mother Mary and the saints.

So continue on. Fight the battle everyday and try not to dwell too much on the negatives that are going on. The devil loves when your attention is on him and not on God. Focus on Him so that the grace of God may be upon you.

Kid food time

Do y’all mix up your lunches for your littles or just give them the same thing every day? Now I’m not one that will do shapes and cute bento box like lunches. But I do love to mix it up for them. No one likes to eat the same thing over and over every day and that includes children.

I do not know about other families, but my children eat like twenty times a day. Ok, exaggerating but they will eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, snack, dinner and finally dessert. In that order so I prefer to switch it up for them each week.

I plan out breakfast, snacks, lunches, and dinners every Sunday. I do not think of it as a job because I actually enjoy making new menus for each week and only plan a week at a time. I prefer using a list with categories and designed one for myself that I prefer using. I recently put it on my Etsy account and will link it if you are interested in buying or even creating your own.

Breakfast is normally the same through the week and on weekends we switch it up. My husband and I will normally cook or order breakfast burritos in the am from our local burrito shops. When we cook on the weekends it’s; chorizo and egg burritos, chorizo and papa (potatoes), fried eggs with beans- hash brown and tortillas, migas (fried corn tortillas cut into triangles fried in some oil till crispy then eggs thrown in to scramble), sausage-gravy over biscuits, pancakes or waffles. Weekdays the kids prefer different cereals, oatmeal, eggs, or sausage egg and cheese biscuits.

One week we will have sandwiches with a side of chips. It can be PB&J, but I do often switch the jams up for them. We do ham or turkey sandwiches/roll ups for the younger ones. Some other sandwiches they enjoy are; avocado sammys, grilled cheese (throw some ham in it), and fried egg sands (childhood favorite).

What about frozen foods? I am not against frozen for mine. It may not be the most nutritious food but I  always try to make up for it with dinner or their snacks. They love the Totino’s pizza rolls, sometimes hot pockets, chicken poppers, taquitos, and the singles deep dish pizzas.

Ok ramen anyone? We love the ones in the cup or bag with some fresh lime in it. I also like to make them some pasta with parmesan cheese, olive oil, and parsley. Their personal favorite is sopita which is fideo browned in oil then cooked like Mexican rice. It is so good and we prefer the conchas (shells), stars, or letter ones. Kind of like a Mexican SpaghettiOs.

Let’s get to the snacks. This week we are having strawberry, grapes, and pineapples mixed together, and then they can choose yogurt and applesauce for later. When I shop for fruits such as those, I will wash all the fruit and put the pineapples in their own glass container, and then cut the strawberries and grapes and put them together in another glass container. So I’ll normally scoop that on a plate for them as a snack.

Other snacks we like to switch up with are cheese sticks, different types of yogurts, variety of fruits, cubed cheese with crackers and fruits, cookies, fruit chews, fruit roll ups, crackers and spray can cheese, cottage cheese with crackers, Debbie snack cakes, puddings, rolled flour tortillas with butter, a small quesadilla, popsicles, ice creams, apples and caramel/peanut butter, celery with peanut butter, and pretzels. There’s more kind of give you and idea of what mine like.

Dinners are different. I try not to do the same things more than twice a month because we all know it can get old quick. I’m trying something new right now with veggies. Learning to roast them to give us a different flavor and not the same old steamed veggies all the time.

Have some fun throwing stuff together for your family. I know I prefer variety and so I try doing the same for my own babies. So do your thang ladies and have y’all an awesome summer this year serving some not so bland lunches.

Stay smiling beauties.

Co Sleeping

Co sleeping is a either a big no or a non-issue to some.  For us it wasn’t a big deal.  All our children have slept with us until they were like 3 or 4. Then transferred to a toddler bed that was always next to our bed before they started sleeping in their own rooms. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you can and can not do. This is more about what worked for us.

So, we all know the first month with a newborn you aren’t getting nearly enough sleep on top of trying to get your routine down. So co sleeping with a newborn can be done, but please keep in mind the dangers if not done safely. I was always told to not let my husband sleep by my babies because fathers do not have motherly instincts. Honestly, that’s crap because even mothers can end up rolling over on to their babies as well.

At first I always tried using a Pack ‘n Play with a folding bassinet. It worked for a couple of days until it was hard for me to keep my eyes open while nursing. So it ended up being used for naps instead. I would also like to quickly say that we always had a crib for our first 3 but they very rarely got used. It was our bed then straight to a toddler bed.

We ended up just sticking with a Snuggle Nest. Can be a little irritating because you still have to pick baby up to nurse or feed then put them back in. But it was cheap and that’s what we ended up sticking with.

Now if I were to ever get pregnant again I will for sure be buying the Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper Bedside Crib. The reviews are 4.8 out of 5 stars. To me that’s pretty darn good when there are over 5,000 reviews. If any of you mommies use/used it let me know. It hooks up to your bed and the wall can be lowered so you can reach baby easily. Which would be perfect for nursing or feeding time.

I do have to say that for me personally I preferred co sleeping. Mainly because our babies grow so fast. I wanted to be always near them and still prefer it that way. I know that one day they won’t be in our house and will have their own families so sharing a bed with my babies was never about being too lazy to put them back into their cribs. It was always about the bond. So do what you feel is best. Co sleep safely or don’t at all. Totally up to you.

-share your smile with the world

 

 

Outdoor fun

I’m so tired of these overcast skies. I can handle a couple of rainy gray days, but every day. I cannot. I live for the sun. I love the brightness of everything outside. It’s like medicine for the soul. Since January I think we get like a week of beautiful sunshine then BAM here come the ugly gray skies.

I’m one of those people who needs the sun and prefers the sunshine over being inside loving the rain. Sometimes it’s nice but not alllllllllll the time. Come on God give us the sun please!!! If we aren’t outside then that just means extra messy in our house. Anyhow, excuse my ranting I wanted to tell y’all about this cool thing I got back in February.

 I bought an inflatable from Sam’s club. Best thing ever if it were not such a pain to set up but I’ll take that over dealing with a messy home all day everyday. It’s called My First Waterslide Splash and Slide. If you’re going to purchase anything for you or your kids that involve swimming or getting wet, get it early. Always try to go for them when it’s out of season for best savings. Hence me buying back in February.

The kiddos were out on it a day ago. Now I wouldn’t personally be outside getting wet when its 82, windy, and cloudy. Call me crazy but I at least need some sun to keep me somewhat warm. Anyhow, they were out there for a good couple of hours playing on it. Had my 8, 5, 4, and 2 yr. old, as well as my husband playing in it with plenty of space for them to run around in.

Ladies marry yourself a man who has no problem getting down and dirty with kids. One who will go outside and have mud fights, snowball fights, get wet in a child’s inflatable not meant for adults, or willing to still play hide and seek. One who has no problem still playing cars or dolls when their babies ask them to. The most attractive thing about my husband after children is when he’s in daddy mode.

I digress, now if you want a couple of hours of sunbathing with a book and a good drink. Get yourself one. Well get your kids one. Even a little pool or slip and slide to get wet with. Most children love playing in water with toys.

We ended up putting a tarp underneath to keep the dirt and grass buildup minimal. Now it’s a heavy son of a gun so if you have help then use it. The instructions were easy to read and made assembling a breeze, its just getting it unfolded and folded back up that is the pain.

Today I didn’t end up setting it up, had them get wet on the trampoline instead. Don’t want them to get bored doing the same thing every day. So, it will be good for the summer to keep switching back and forth. Speaking of summer, wooooooo hoooo were finally done with school. Been looking forward to this since the second half of school. Cheers to you parents out there finally on summer break. Try not to go to crazy.

Live life and smile my friends.

Breathe

love through it all

 

As a mom you kinda forget what a clean house looks like.

What does a quiet home sound like?

Does your mind ever just slow down from all that you haven’t done and still need to get done?

Having a moment of weakness when you haven’t had a moment of solitude to get your bearings?

Makes you wanna scream your heart out to release the frustrations from the day, week, maybe months?

Who knows maybe I will.

I just need to get rid of the clutter.

In my mind, my life, my house.

All 3?

 

I will miss the mess.

I will miss the loudness.

I will miss it all.

 

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Love through it all.

Best Toy Ever

 

Momma’s get your kids a trampoline. I mean if you want something that’s going to bounce the energy right on out of your child. Invest in one. Life saver for sure, or maybe I should say sanity saving haha. Honestly though, you can do so much on a trampoline.

Their favorite thing has to be this water sprinkler I found on a fluke scrolling through amazon. I had already so many variations of sprinklers, but the net wouldn’t let as much water get through like the one I found.  It’s a water sprinkler that you attach to the top of the net and just tie it around the top. It’s pretty awesome and I sure wish we had one like it when I was younger.

Chalk chalk chalk!! My kids love using chalk on the trampoline. I recently discovered sidewalk chalk paints that came with two packets in each canister, so you get 2 uses out of each one. Now that was in March at a Dollar General store and I haven’t been able to find anymore since then They probably played for an hour with them before wanting to jump. Although I do think that they may have just wanted to roll around in it haha.

Do yall remember playing dodgeball back in elementary?? Ok, so I’m not sure if it’s a good idea yet but I’m gonna do it anyhow. Amazon carries the soft foam dodgeballs and I’m going to get the kids some and see how they take to them. I mean they shouldn’t be able to hit too hard, right?

A camp night on the trampoline would be nice as well for when summer finally gets here. Something different, hopefully before mosquitos start taking over. If you have any tried and true mosquito repellents let me know because my husband and kids get huge welts from mosquito bites.

Get a trampoline. It’s the best outdoors toy I could have ever purchased. Beats a swing set by a mile for my littles.

 

 

Give a smile today.

Middle Child

Any of you a middle child? My husband is so his perspective on how to raise my middle is always so helpful. I don’t know about ya’ll but I always have some kind of guilt trip with any of my kids. I’m either not showing or giving enough love, I’m not playing enough with them, I’m not teaching well enough while home schooling my daughter. It’s always something. Right now, I’m more talking about my Baby J. He’s 4 now, but we’ve always called him by that nickname.

Baby J is probably one of my most entertaining, charismatic, and very independent child.  He came a week early before my scheduled operation. He was so quiet and such a calm baby, now he’s loud and crazy hyperactive.

Micah is my 5-year-old, so they are a year and half apart. He’s my neediest, so he was always needing attention and wanted to be right on top of me. Even after I gave birth to Baby J. He also co-slept with us until he was 4 while Baby J was already in his toddler bed by the time he hit 2. He has never just been able to entertain himself which is why Baby J ended up not getting as much attention for a while because I just knew I could count on him to entertain his own self unlike Micah.

Micah has now grown to be more self-sufficient but still prefers to have someone to play with. He’s my hardest worker and would rather be doing some kind of job with his dad or grandparents. As for Jace (Baby J), he would rather be bouncing on my couches, his bed, or the trampoline. He needs anything that will run his energy out because boy does he carry a lot.

For a while Jace would be playing in his room all day. He loves loves looooooves any toy action figures. He and Nic (my youngest) just adore their action heroes. Anyhow, Jace would play all day and you wouldn’t see him unless he was needing the restroom or was hungry. Whereas Micah and the new baby were the ones I had on me all day – every day.

So one day I asked him if he was ok and he just said “I’m otay momma”, so I just left it at that. Then he started to yell when he was angry, or would have such a bad attitude, and would resort to hitting instantly if someone made him mad. So my husband and I talked about it because I didn’t understand what was going on. He basically asked how much love does Jace get. I cried so much because I was guilty of not giving him any. My older ones would come to me when they needed love and I expected the same from Jace. Not even realizing he’s only a toddler so why would I expect him to be able to tell me what he needs. Heck, us adults have a hard time talking about what we may be struggling with. Disciplining a child for hitting unless defending oneself is a must if you ask me. It’s one thing to be bullied upon and have to fight back and its another when someone has a toy you want so you go hit them so you can take it. I do know that disciplining all the time isn’t going to work, not when they are clearly acting out. For Jace though, I knew why , so it was a no brainer on what we needed to do.

I took Jace one day and just held him. I let him explain to me all about his little toys and who they were or what they do. Who’s the who of the crew. I then told him that it was important that when he’s feeling left out or doesn’t feel like mommy is giving him enough love, that he needed to come tell me “I need love” and I would instantly know it means he needs attention. I always try to give plenty of hugs everyday to my kids. I know sometimes for us moms it’s a struggle because we are being touched all day and sometimes it becomes sensory overload. But we must sacrifice a little and give those hugs and then when our spouse is back home taking some time for yourself is a must. It’s important to do so for your sanity.  Cuz a girl can get wild without some self-care, know what I mean?

I find when a child is acting out there is always a reason why. Figure out the why before its too late and you end up with an out-of-control teenager. Discipline is important in our household, but we always talk to them and ask what is going on, making sure they know they are loved and feel safe enough to talk to us. Not in a way that I’m being a friend, but I’m your parent and it’s my job to help you with whatever may be going on. Parenting is hard and yet sometimes it’s an easy fix.

 

Stay blessed amigos!

Patience

Patience, God bless you if you have an abundance of it. Share some.

So I’ve learned to listen to my children. They are each so different and have their own way of listening, understanding, voicing, and loving. You really have to pace yourself and listen to their needs. Realizing that has helped me to parent each of my kiddos in a much more healthier way. Now I’m not saying you can’t yell because sometimes you gott full coach on them to make them “hear” you. 

My husband and I have decided to take the approach of listening first then react accordingly. I think it’s important that we acknowledge that our children are small and don’t necessarily know how to process their feelings and then understand that that’s ok. Heck we are grown ourselves and sometimes struggle with our own emotions.

Do you ever notice when your child is mid freak out and nothing you try seems to work? Especially when you yourself are full of frustration and irritation from already dealing with the days work you’ve had to do whether it be from house chores, kids or both and/or working outside of the home. So, there you are all frustrated and ready to blow. Don’t. Just stop and breathe. I have some 

Some things that work for us; either hugging them while speaking softly to them, removing them from the situation whether you’re out in public or in your home. If in public try going to your car or finding a more secluded area. I find holding them and letting them that know when they are ready to calm down then we can go back to whatever it is we were doing usually works. If at home take them outside to run off steam, to their room, or yours and let them cool off on their own or lay them down for nap.

Not all children are the same and I understand that especially when some have disabilities and that can make parenting a little more different. These are just some minor tips I myself have learned over the years with my little ones. 

Draft Day

By the time anyone reads this it will be old news but alas I shall persevere. Any who tonight is the football draft, yes ladies I know haha. I have actually started to enjoy the sport so I don’t mind too much.

My husband is going on and on about whose who and I’m not mad about it. Especially since my Patriots have gotten themselves another QB. Crossing fingers he’s another Brady, but we shall see.  It’s interesting though to see these players going through the draft and seeing how their eyes light up with such relief and joy knowing they finally made it.

It’s important to smile even if it’s for someone else’s happiness. So, may God guide them on their new journeys. Hopefully they go on to do good with their blessings and become great role models for young boys and girls alike.

 

Moms

So I’m a momma to 5. Crazy? No, I love being a mom. My youngest is actually 2 and I think I’ve become way more laxed compared to my first 2. Also I should put out there that there are 4 boys and 1 girl. I know, God bless her little soul.

Moms definitely don’t get enough credit. Like we literally hold it all down. We gotta cook, clean, do the dadgum laundry, some of you are also juggling a fulltime job outside of momming, be everything in one. Shoot when companies ask for skills or what your prior employment was, putting “mom” down should be all the confirmation they need to hire you.

Although, I can’t necessarily leave dads hanging when some of them actually come home and help their spouses out. Or when they have no problem being an awesome dad while their wives have some “me time” as I like to call it. You know getting them nails did or whatever you do to pamper yourselves. I could not be the mother I have become without the help of my husband.