Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Play Dates… for Adults too

We set up play dates for our kids, or in my case, a friend suggests it because I’m a homebody and fail to reach out. However, as much as our little ones need the time with other littles, did you realize how much YOU need it too?

I didn’t until the other day. One of my long-time close friends who I consider family, texted me asking if our son’s could get together. I immediately said yes because my son has been having some very busy days and outcries showing he’s over mom and dad.

These two boys are totally best friends when they’re together. To the point they melt our hearts when they hug one another with emphasis and her son tells him, “I love you!” Cue the emotional tears welling up in your eyes when you get to witness that. *GAHHH I love our kids*

Anyways, back to what I was getting at.

They came over in the afternoon and our sons jumped into all of the toys and proceeded to enjoy their time together. Well, his mom and I got to chatting. We’re Italian so all we do is talk.

But she mentioned that she was home and thought to herself how she was bored and figured she needed out as much as him. We were together for several hours in our home watching the kids play and doing nothing but being friends.

Nothing more simple than that.

We even had a cup of tea and pizza for dinner. How old do we sound?! HA! I literally asked her if she takes sugar in her tea. Sorry mom and Bridge, but I sounded like a REAL MOM for a second. 😉

There was something so nice about that time though. Sure, we witnessed our sons escalate their energy to about 200 miles an hour then come back down and begin the cranky tiredness of bed time. In that time of them ramping up and then winding down, we got to be who we are again, friends.

That time with a friend was much needed as a decompress of life. I didn’t think about the crazy world around us. We were mindlessly enjoying one another’s company and that was it.

We got to be the friends we always have been. Of course we talked mom life, but we also laughed over other things and chatted girl talk. That’s part of being friends through all of the stages of life.

After she and the kids left, that’s when I realized everything I mentioned above and how simple it was. How needed the time with her was for me and I hope her as well!

Make sure that you’re setting up time for your kiddos to have fun but also for yourself. Sure, you may do things with them or go places with others around, but are you enjoying it as much as them? Maybe reevaluate the play date to accommodate yourself a little bit too.

It might be something you didn’t know you needed like I did. I’m very thankful for friends like her that I know will always be around and keep me grounded but make sure we stay true to who we were before we were moms.

Us, before we were moms, but I love us through every stage, because we’re still friends!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Snow Day!

Mother nature dropped about 8 inches of snow in an awesome snow storm yesterday for us and I have absolutely loved it!

I know I’m one of those weirdos that love snow. I was raised to love it. My parents took me sledding and skiing growing up and I have always enjoyed the cold weather while we played in it.

The neighborhood kids and I would always be sled riding down the hill that ran us right into jagger bushes (Pittsburghese showing in my slang here) so you would have to bail just before the bottom.

I was the kid with the glasses growing up who walked into the house and had them fog up like a total dork when we were going to get some hot chocolate and soup. But we did all the snow things every chance we got, over, and over again!

Here’s one of my favorite things right now. My mom, who pitches lots of things, actually saved my sled from 30+ years ago so we can now use it for my son. Below are photos of me on a snow day with my parents and my sled.

I personally love the fact that I had to mimic my dad and kneel like he did next to the snowman. HA!


Now that I have a son to enjoy this with, I get to be a kid again with him. Yesterday was our first chance at it and he is now starting to realize he can love it since last year he was only a baby potato.

He is only in daycare but they had reached out yesterday to close early and I deemed it a snow day for him.

We took the time to dress him like a marshmallow and threw his boots on and he toddled outside, slowly, to watch the snow fall on him. We drug him around the snow-covered street, and he may have tipped over a couple of times, but we enjoyed that the snow plow drivers didn’t come down our street right away.

We did a few rides down our tiny hill in the front yard, when he finally showed a smile with his squished chubby cheeks. And he even took his sled down the street to find his dad helping a neighbor and met our neighbors’ dog who loved the snow as much as him.

The day was a true snow day for him.

In our state, we even saw a few schools on the news state they were cancelling the school day so children could have a true snow day to go play. They didn’t have to do that because almost all schools have figured out how to teach remotely, but the principals realized this year has been so abnormal that some normalcy was due to the kids to let loose. Maybe even the teachers and parents were in mind when that decision was made.

I say that because though my son enjoyed yesterday as a child, I know I enjoyed it as much, if not more than he did, while I sweat in my coat and hat running down our street. It made us laugh. We saw neighbors out who we got to chat with who we haven’t seen in a while. They smiled seeing him enjoy the snow. And then we came inside and made hot chocolate and had cookies.

The point of this blog is to not only let your kids have a snow day, you should too! Don’t be so uptight to only bundle them up and ship them outside.

Get yourself ready and join them as well. Wave to the plow truck drivers as they come by. Say “Hi” to your neighbors while shoveling, since we haven’t been able to. Make hot chocolate. Bake cookies. HAVE FUN! We hope wherever you are, you can enjoy the season, even if you don’t love the snow as much as I do!

30+ year difference in these photos. I can’t quit smiling looking at it.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Slow down, Mama

As I write this, it is 9:22 pm. My son’s typical bed time is around 8 pm. I just put him down to sleep 10 minutes ago.

Our play room looks like this.

I didn’t get to the workout I had planned to do when I put him to bed. I didn’t pack our stuff for this weekend. I didn’t do the dishes. I didn’t do the 10 other things running through my mind.

What I did do is sat with my son and watched Despicable Me the whole way through and put my phone down to enjoy the slow down and relaxed with him.

The intention was to put it on before his bedtime to wind down a little but we both got sucked in.

I had to and am still reminding myself it is okay to slow down.

I’m not good at it. My anxiety is high and mind are racing knowing I put things off BUT I slowed down and truly relaxed with my little man.

We sat and forgot all those worries for a little. I even watched this nugget hop off my lap and show me his best dance moves with the last scenes. THAT made my night and the entire time slowing down truly worth it.

Forgive me for the super dark video. If you can make ot hus silhouette, it’s worth watching!

Remember, it is okay to slow down, mama. It will all be there tomorrow.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Watchful Eyes

I sit my son on the counter when I cook.  His head is just short enough yet to open the cabinets for spices.

He is very interested in what I am doing and being right at mom’s side. We are in the phase of “mommy is where he needs to be.” It is much easier to have him on the counter watching me than at my legs pulling on my pants crying. Plus, this is a learning opportunity where he sees mom cooking.

I need to invest in the toddler stepladder so he can be a part of things and since he is getting taller every day!

Little eyes do what we do. He is 13 months old but these little eyes are constantly watching and replicating what we do.

The other day when he was “helping” me he had the glass salt grinder in his little hands and it fell. It hit the floor and shattered. Yes, I trust him more than some would. It’s how I roll and how I know he will learn as well.

As this happened, my husband was actually taking this photo a moment before. (I LOVE that he snaps a photo now and again so I can be in a few)


I remember distinctly how I reacted. Calmly reminding him it was okay. He also stayed calm. Guess who else did? My husband. All three of us reacted the same. It was quite nice to be honest.

My husband and I both carried the same vibe and quickly cleaned up the mess together while our son looked on from the counter top. Accidents do happen and this was mom’s fault allowing him to have it in the first place so I could only be mad at myself. But in the end, that set maybe cost us $15 so we can replace it which I already did with a quick trip to Marshall’s for $4.99. 😊

My mom taught me that. How to react when something breaks. I have to credit her for most of my calmness with my son, for most moments, because I am much more like my dad in other aspects and he is not the calm one, at all. Love him of course! But a glass of spilled milk to my dad is a complete disaster.

When we would break something at home growing up my mom would calmly say, “There goes another! Now we have to break another to make the set even.” This was said all while she laughed. It has become more of a joke to her and I now because we understand that things can and will break. If you don’t want it broke, don’t use it. It’s as simple as that.

Now, what I did not like that my son saw me do and then replicated. Our dog loves to be right by his side when he eats because of obvious reasons that he either feeds her or drops things that she can then get. The one day she was too close to him I gave her a little tap on the head to get her attention and said, “GO” to get her to leave his personal space and ideally the room. Well, my son saw this as a hit on her and he pulled his little hand high and swung at her.

We have been working diligently with him since he was able to recognize our pets to pet them nicely and not grab their fur so this was an embarrassing moment for me and I was mad at myself for it too. I had to quickly correct him and truly realize EVERY SINGLE ACTION I do, he sees.

As noted, he “drops” his food and both pets join his side

I knew this, but when they replicate you in the moment, it hits you hard. He is 13 months old too. That is young to realize that these small brains are sponges and quite literally soak in every single thing they see and hear.

I like to believe that my husband and I display a pretty solid example for him, minus our sailor mouths. That’s just the truth on that. Sorry not sorry there.

We will obviously be more mindful of any moment like the one with our dog, but having him sit with me while I cook or my husband is cutting grass or handy man work are all items he can be involved with as well. When he watches us he will replicate as well.

I love watching his little mind learn and grow and hope !

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Adjust to Normalcy

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We’ve been in quarantine for 9 weeks now. My little guy has been home with one of us since the end of December. That is a LONG time for anyone to be stuck with their parents! 😉

My husband is laid off in the winter so we had taken our son out of daycare. However, we had planned for him to go back obviously, when my husband started work. Throw that corona wrench in the plans of everyone’s life.

Anyone else wondering how your kids are going to adjust when we are back to what is “normal” life in the coming weeks?

I’ll admit the sleeping in with no commute and not having to rush to get me and him ready for the day and out the door is so, so nice. He is also cutting teeth so that is huge for us to have the extra time at home since he is sleeping more and not such a crab. If he were at daycare, I know he would skip naps because he is a neb-nose and cannot miss anything. It has been a huge plus to being home while he is going through the stages and growing so rapidly and we don’t miss a moment.

My concern is how he will act though when he goes back to daycare with his social skills. I do believe he needs other little humans in his life and he is missing that so much. Watching him with our niece last weekend, who is 8 years older than he is, just proved that to us. He adored her and enjoyed playing with someone closer to his size.

Cousins playing together

I am anxious and excited for him to go back to have the social interaction with others again, but the fear of spreading anything is in the back of my mind as well.

The fear of tiny humans spreading sickness was always a fear, even before the pandemic. The week we took him out of daycare a round of hand-foot-mouth came into daycare and I remember looking at his tiny 6 ½ month old self saying, “Don’t touch anything for the next 2 days!” As if that made any sense to him but we escaped the bout that spread there.

It is part of life that the little ones are snotty, germ spreading specimens. It is how they build their immune systems so young, I know and accept that measure of daycare. I also know our daycare is so careful and is taking all precautions as they open up to a new “normal” again.

Enjoying the sunshine for the 1 day this week!

We are fortunate enough that I’m still working from home and have a hand when needed from my mom. When normalcy resumes, whenever that may really be, I will trust that my little guy will adjust quickly, as he does with everything. He has been such a great trooper with every change we have had through all of this, but maybe that is the key, if we are always sporadic, he assumes that is how life should be! 😉