Thursday, March 31, 2016


I watch my neighbor leave for work every day at 8:30 a.m. I wave good bye to her when I'm outdoors sitting on my patio eating breakfast, occasionally yelling at my kids. Yes I stay home with my kids. At the same time, I have already been at work for the past hour or more. I am in a unique percentage of women who don't get enough credit. I am a Work At Home Mom (also referred to WAHM for the rest of this article).

I have gone years being a WAHM and still not quite sure who I identify with. I have to get up every day and "go to work" even though work is in my own home. I work 40+ hours per week and know what it's like to have little time in the evenings to do the whole 'dinner, bath, and bed' routine. I know what it's like to finish my day working and then have to worry about getting dinner ready quickly. I know what it's like to have to "quickly" run to the store but have no time to go. All my full time working mommas out there; I get you. I feel you. I'm exhausted right along with you.

But then....

I can't put myself in a category with you. You tell me how you hurt that you aren't with your children all day, you miss them. You have to wake up and get ready for work. You wear business suites and lipstick. Some days I'm a little envious of your perfect lipstick that I have no reason to wear in the middle of the week. You have meetings, co-workers, and quick lunch runs to that great sandwich shop that I used to visit on my lunch hour long ago. You spend days with adults and enjoying adult conversations. There are some days I wish I was you and other days where I realize I am you, just in a completely different way.

I spend my day chasing my kids (and possibly even yours). I've wiped them, kissed them, been tough when I've needed to, cuddled them, fed them, rocked them, and talked to them. I haven't showered because I didn't get the time. I was so tired that I slept in, threw on yesterday's yoga pants, and got to work. I saw my lipstick today when my daughter got a hold of it and drew quite the picture with it. All the while I've made time to fill out schedules, return emails, phone calls, and texts. I've filled out my spread sheets. I drank a cup of coffee at 2:00 p.m. with my favorite music playing because it's one of the simple luxuries I enjoy during the day.

I've tried to take care of my house: laundry, dishes, dusting, general picking up, but somehow time escaped me. I still worry about dinner even though I've been home and in the kitchen all day. I realize when my husband walks in the door that I didn't brush my teeth yet. It's 6:00 p.m. I promptly hand over the kids, lock myself in the bathroom, and proceed to take (what feels like) the best shower of my life. By the end of the week, I'm stir crazy from being at this house all day every day, keeping up with the same routine day after day because that's what the kids need. All my stay at home mommas out there; I get you. I feel you. I'm exhausted right along with you.

But then...

I can't fit into your category either. Some days I want to be you, other days I realize I am you too.

Being a WAHM is not for the weak. It means two jobs, two times the work load. It means business calls in the middle of the day while you wipe a three year old who hasn't gotten the hang of wiping herself; it means making sure your phone doesn't fall in the toilet as you wipe said child, and it means hoping (praying) no one hears the flush on the other end of the phone call. It means making sure your WiFi is top notch so you can be sure to work on the computer while the kids run around the backyard.

It has taken me five years, but I've gotten the hang of it. I found jobs that included my children: daycare provider, blogger/website owner, children's author (with them being co-authors of course). I'll never fit into the WM or SAHM categories because I happen to be both of those. I get the best of both worlds. I am busting out the WAHM status and proud of it. I'll complain about the early mornings and short evenings with my working sisters. I'll laugh about my ripped-in-the-crotch yoga pants and locking myself in the bathroom for a moment of peace with my SAHM status. Because that's what Work At Home Moms do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Weekend

We had a fantastic Easter weekend! 

Friday night we ordered Chicago style pizza from Felix and Oscar's (one of our fave pizza places in DM) and watched Marched Madness to end our week and begin our weekend. I've never been much of a 'going out on Friday night' type girl, making this my dream Friday night.

Saturday we went to two Easter events around the city. In the morning we attended Living History Farms Family Easter. I had every intention of being at the event by 9 a.m. but I couldn't seem to pull myself out of bed until 8:30. The minis and I did make it out of the house (miraculously) by 10 a.m. This accidental lateness actually turned out perfectly because we avoided the crowds of early people. We experienced no waiting at any of the games or activities. The event was fantastic and definitely makes the cut for next year too. The only thing that would have made it more enjoyable would have been warmer weather.

I loved how they did the Egg Hunts at LHF. You've probably heard about or witnessed the crazy and over the top public egg hunts (the ones made for kids, but idiotic parents ruin them). LHF had the age groups separated to make things easier AND they told parents that they were not allowed to participate or help their child(ren). Parents had to stay behind the ropes at all times. Brilliant and well organized!

They had a special area for kids 4 and younger. They had teens dressed up as bunnies helping kids collect eggs (they could get up to five or six eggs and they were filled with stickers, not candy. A big plus for this momma). In this Bunnyland (as they called it) they also had coloring books and crayons and cookies and lemonade for a treat.

The baby lambs were adorable! 

Another Easter Bunny visit (they're just as obsessed with the E.B. as they are with Santa) and a ride on a wagon pulled by their horses (same horses that pulled us when we were there for Apple Fest).

They couldn't stop shoveling popcorn in their mouths long enough to take a decent picture. Hey, I'll take what I can get.

A view of the town from the top of the hill.

Inside of the town barn were bunnies that the kids could pet.

In the next couple of years, we'll definitely invest in a season pass to Living History Farms. Not only can we take advantage of discounts to these special events they host, but it is also extremely educational for kids to see "how life used to be." 

After a quick lunch, we headed to the Blank Park Zoo's Eggstravaganza. Our late start meant we missed the crowds at this event too. For the record, it's not that I hate crowds of people (although it's not my favorite thing to deal with), it's that crowds of people and young kids do not mix well. So it's always a plus when it's avoided! 

The zoo's egg hunt was fairly simple and easy. The kids got to go into an area, fill up their carton with eggs (that were empty), then turn the carton in for a baggie of goodies. Then we went to see all of the animals. Unfortunately it started raining while we were there (and I failed to bring my rain jacket), but all of the animals were extremely active, making for some very happy kids!

Another picture with another E.B.

The red pandas kept the kids entertained as they tried to catch the rain from the very top of their structure.

Screaming at the otter is always a favorite.

The tiger tried to eat her colored ice egg while the minis cheered her on.

The rest of the rainy afternoon and evening was spent dying eggs and eating the hard boiled eggs. I got a bit of a mom break when I ran errands by myself while Hubs put the kids to bed. I got home well after they were asleep and my Easter Bunny frenzy began.

Our E.B. took the easy way out this year. She bought mini Herhsey chocolate eggs and hid them around the house (no dealing with opening the plastic eggs!). Our E.B. never brings candy in baskets. This year she opted for Nerf guns for the whole family!, DVD's to watch on our upcoming road trips, rain coats, a game to play with friends this summer, and beloved Lego's to keep them entertained. She did a good job this year and didn't spend a ton of money like she did last year (she's patting herself on the back).

The minis were so excited to see what the E.B. had brought them that they awoke at 5 a.m. Yikes! It was a bit too early for mom and dad. After watching them open their baskets, find all of the chocolate eggs, and referee their first (of many) Nerf fights, mom and dad popped the Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD in and went back to sleep on the couches. We woke up at the end of the movie to find that the kids had opened all of their Lego's and ate all but 11 pieces of the chocolate eggs. Ooops!

A note from the E.B.!

"This is yummy chocolate!"

A (somewhat) healthy breakfast to counter all of that chocolate eaten at 6 a.m.

Hubs and I got tired of supervising Nerf fights, so we set up a shooting range for them to practice.

We required the kids to attempt to nap Easter afternoon before dinner. While they "napped" I had time for a beverage and book. Absolutely perfect as far as Sunday afternoons go.

Annual Easter pictures by the front tree.

I asked the minis to take a picture with me and only one kid wanted to. I was not ready for that one.

It's not officially a holiday until one kid breaks down and the others make fun of her/him. Fun times....and all because I wouldn't let her buckle herself in her car seat. I'm a terrible mom for caring about safety.

We had Easter dinner at my parents with my grandparents and my sister. The kids got Easter baskets and had a massive egg hunt (I even got in on the action a bit).

A dinner selfie minus the rents who were still busy preparing the delicious meal. Elizabeth and my grandma "had a party" during dinner which resulted in Elizabeth eating most of her dinner (which never happens with that girl).

Harrison did excellent at imitating/half making fun of me and my selfie taking ways.

We ended the night with a game of hide n' seek. Max hid under the pillows on the bed. Elizabeth wanted to hide with him, but didn't want to be under pillows. Her thinking? "If I lay really flat, no one will find me!"

Big H peeking from the closet.

I could really get used to these laid back holidays we're creating for our kids (much like our Christmas this past year). Next weekend won't be quite as kid centered as we're doing a few "grown up activities" of our own. Stay tuned to the blog and our Facebook page for updates on our fun!

Monday, March 28, 2016

An Easter Party For Kids

Daycare had our yearly Easter Party last week. Since there's more younger kids (than older kids) this year, we kept our party day simple but full of activities and fun for all age groups!

Remember a few weeks ago when I had the kids paint paper eggs (found at Michael's for $1.99)? We used those eggs in our morning game of Find The Eggs. I hid them five times because the kids were having so much fun finding them! I chose not to plastic eggs with candy and money in them as I've done in years past since a lot of the kids couldn't eat the candy or have the money. Using the paper eggs actually made things easier for everyone.

Our other game of the morning wasn't a hit at all. I thought for sure the 3 and older crowd would love to play Pin The Tail on the Bunny, but turns out no one enjoyed being blindfolded or holding a cotton ball in their hand. The only one who thought it was fun was the (almost) 8 year old, who played it several times (by himself).

Otherwise, this game was simple to make: two white paper plates, bunny ear cut outs (I drew them and had the kids cut them out, hence the different sizes and shapes of the two ears!), and cotton balls with tape on one side so the kids can try to stick the bunny's tail on. I did not get any pictures of this game being played because the kids needed too much help trying to play the game. As much fun as I thought this game might have been, we will not be doing this game next year to avoid any meltdowns over the tape on the cotton ball.

A Jelly Beans candle to set the mood for the day.

The painting projects for the day: cookie cutter bunny and carrot painting and paper eggs painting. We used Crayola Neon paints and round dabbers. The kids thoroughly enjoyed slamming the dabbers into their eggs.

We also hatched a (fake) baby chick.

The sensory activity for the day: flour sand with pastel spoons for scooping, plastic glittery eggs for burying, and a furry bunny to complete the bin.

The annual creepy bunny cake. I have used my bunny cake pan a lot over the last four years!

The kid's favorite part of the party: the treat bags. I didn't want to do candy since half of the kids are too little to eat it and they're too little for the little nick knacks typically found in goody bags. Instead I filled them with crunchies, Puffs, and two kinds of yogurt melts. I waited to give them out until the end of the day (at pick up time) and the kids went crazy when their parents handed them over.

Tips to myself for next year: baby treat bags are a hit with even the oldest kids and Put the Tail on the Bunny is a no go.