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

It’s Time for School!

Every ad is for back to school. Every insta-story is a kiddo visiting classrooms, trying on new clothes for the school year, or first day photos. School starts this week or next week for lots of kids and teachers. 😄

I’m here hugging and snuggling my 2-year-old as tight as I can for our weekly movie night hoping to freeze time and not have the next few years fly by me when I am the one sending him to school.

I’m so very thankful I’m not yet in the shoes of parents sending them off to school in our world right now. I believe every generation has moments of “this world is scary.” Our current world is certainly not the first pandemic, but it is what we’re living in here in 2021.

It’s a matter of what each generation had to deal with at the time they’re currently in.


I love watching my son grow and see his personality develop. I am wondering where the last 2 years went though. We transitioned him to a “big boy bed” this week and my mama heart is really struggling with him growing too fast! 😥

I commend so many of you with the worry and stress on your shoulders as we near this school year so fast with so much uncertainty.

The last 17 months has been a whirlwind of a life for any of us let alone parents of school aged students and the teachers they have.

Kids absolutely adapt quickly and tend to go with the flow in most cases. It’s us as their parents who struggle with the new things and changes and uncertainty of our world.

We only want the very best for our kids and what they have to see and deal with each day. Of course, we worry! If you didn’t, I’d question that.

I hope you’re all understanding, calm, rational, and kind to everyone around you during this coming year. Not a single person can say this past year has been easy or knows what is ahead. But we can all work towards making sure our kids are safe, healthy and we are all kind, not only our kids.


While I hold onto my toddler hoping to pause time, I commend you moms and dads out there preparing to send your children onto the bus and into a new school year soon. I also want to hug and give major high fives to the teachers prepping for another year ahead while you help teach and mold our children!

Whatever is coming for the plans of this awfully weird world we are in, keep your head up, stay flexible, remember to have fun, and take all the pictures. You made it through 2020 and most of 2021.

You got this and will handle this school year even better!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and memorable school year ahead!

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

Find Your Calm

Recently we have been able to stop by a few friend’s homes for unplanned visits.

The only preceding plan was a text message asking if they were home so we could stop by.

My personality doesn’t let much in life be unplanned. Having a kid has taught me how to be more flexible and go with the flow more often. It’s something I needed. I make list after list of what to buy, what to do, what is planned every week.

It is exhausting.

These recent stops at our friend’s homes have been visits my soul and mind needed and for my husband and son too.

We sat, we chatted, we laughed, we did nothing, we watched my son or our kids all play together.

The picture at the top of this post relates to one of our most simple conversations, seeing a rain storm coming. This image reminded me of that conversation and truly how simple the time was with them.

It was calm.



The unplanned and simple moment(s) it was at each place is what I would love more of in my life and think everyone should have it.

Sure, my life and personality wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t plan and make my lists.

But the calmness is necessary to ground ourselves again and recharge our own batteries.

It’s what I hope we can instill in and teach our son that it is so important to slow down and enjoy what is and who is around you.

Rushing and planning seems to be the most common way of life in this crazy world. I hope he can see that the calm moments with friends is also what we need in life more.

One of the moments I want to remember forever as I talk about this calm we experienced is that my son went running, yes, running, into an open field after tiny white butterflies.

He went after them for 30 minutes and our friend’s dog chased him too. There were 5 of us watching him and laughing while he took the simplest thing around him and without a care went after each one he saw. The simple and most calm thing to watch, a child enjoying life in the moment.


All the news and talk of Simone Biles prioritizing her mental health this week is a great example of how stepping back and taking care of yourself is so important.

I don’t need to reiterate what most of us read over and over, but man is she someone I cannot wait to teach my son about. Not only the best Olympian in her sport but a woman who has proven that she can exceed everywhere, even in her own mind to ensure she is #1 to herself and not to everyone saying what she should or shouldn’t do.

What an example of putting yourself first. She needed that calm for herself.

The point of adding her to this is that she made it clear to the world that everyone needs some calm around them. The fact that she was on the largest stage in the world and had the most pressure ever, in the Olympics, riding on her shoulders and could recognize how important it was to find the calm in her life before she injured herself is a great example to anyone.


I am thankful we have had recent visits that I am able to reflect on this way and want to work on bringing more of that to my son’s life.

The hustle and bustle we all pressure ourselves into make time move too fast anyways.

Go find your calm.

Take a day or evening of no plans, stop by a friend’s home, take a hike, sit with your kids, have a picnic outside and enjoy that time. Just be there.

If you can look back at that moment and realize you truly enjoyed it without any stress, thoughts, and a breath of fresh air, you found your calm.

I hope we can find more and prioritize it in our lives and teach my son how impactful it can be.

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

Reading Together Every Night

Our son has recently started to want to read a few books with us every night before bed as part of his bedtime routine. This is new to us because he never really enjoyed it much before now.

Of course, you’re told to read to your children from day one, so they are introduced to many new words and many other reasons that will help with future learning. We would try here and there but it wasn’t in the plans for him at first. He is a man with a plan and on his own schedule. Things have since changed!

Each night in the past few weeks when we go to bed, he walks to his room saying, “mama, book!” and I pick him up to choose a few books from his giant selection we have. It makes my mama heart happy knowing he developed this love for books.

I really love how many books we have to pick from and the variations of the books that we have! This was a wonderful idea we used for his baby shower. We had everyone bring a book instead of a card. It’s money well spent in the long run, rather than wasting it on a card that most people do not save!

In case you haven’t seen that before, books instead of cards, it’s a great tip to pass along to anyone you may know who is having a baby shower coming up! There are all kinds of cute templates to include with a poem in the invitation. 😊 It’s so sweet to see who got him each one too when we read them as a little reminder of how much he is loved.


Now these nights give us an extra snuggle with our sweet two-year-old while he sits on our lap to read and browse through his books. He likes the task of being our page turner for me while we read each book. Sometimes he wants to go a little faster than my mouth can read those words!

I see him becoming more interested each evening in the types of books he picks. They have to be his choice though, not ours. Typical toddler.

I really enjoy when he interacts with some of them as they may ask where something is and he points to it, or if a flap is involved in some of them to find something or touch & feel/tracing books. They have him interact and learning as I get to see that little brain work and learn.


Another fun tip to add more books to your child’s collection that I wanted to share is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. We signed up when he was born and it is for all children from birth to the age of 5 years old no matter the family’s income. We have received and enjoyed a book with him each month since signing up!

All it takes is a quick search on the site to see who is participating in your area to send out the books. They send you age-appropriate books to your home for your child each month. We enjoy each one we have been gifted and learn together. Some you will have heard of and others are new to us. Each one is special and something we all look forward to receiving!

Take a moment to see if there is availability in your area for your children or children you know! Click here to go to the site.


For someone who isn’t much of a reader herself, I am really enjoying this new routine with my son every evening. I hope it continues as he grows, reading together every night. We both interact with the books whether it’s different voices I make with the characters or him making animal noises and honking his horn while we read any of the “Little Blue Truck” series, it is so much fun each evening.

It opens both of our minds to our imaginations and more importantly gives us time together after our crazy days.

That is what I find to be the best part of it all, time together.
I encourage you as a parent, grandparent, friend, aunt, uncle, or anyone who loves a little one to spend your time with them reading together every night.

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

We Ask A Lot

Do you realize as parents that we ask a lot of our little ones?

Specifically, when we go places such as social events. We expect them to be on their best behavior, say “HI” to everyone or “Bye,” and then give either hugs or kisses to them. Don’t react or show feelings because if you do, you’re being bad.

We are asking tiny humans who haven’t experienced this scary world the way we all have for years, to jump into big situations with lots of people around them and to be “normal.” Whatever that actually means.

We expect them to be okay with the overwhelming feeling of everyone looking at them when we can’t handle that ourselves.

My husband and I typically will grab a beer or beverage of sorts to ease our own nerves of a situation we’re uncomfortable in. No, that’s not always the best example to give but it’s what we do. Why are we asking our son to be okay with it if we aren’t? Sure, we’re outgoing when we’re comfortable, but at first, we are the quiet ones too. Children should be given the same expectation we give ourselves in social settings.

I must remind myself this, as well as my husband, when our son seems cranky or acts out it is because he is uncomfortable. It is not because he is tired, hungry, or simply bad. Those are big emotions that he doesn’t know how to handle as much as we don’t either in settings, we aren’t familiar with.

Social events with people he has never met are extremely overwhelming for all of us as a family. Everyone wants to see him and how much he has grown or how much he looks like his dad. *Cue the eye roll from mom*

Think about that from his two-year-old perspective. It sucks.

Strangers, to him, walking up and getting into his face. Other family members reaching out for him to come to them immediately when we get somewhere. Everyone waving to him with giant smiles. I too would be scared and upset if I were him. My own mother will tell you what I say often, “I hate people.”

It’s a strong statement, I know. People are overwhelming and A LOT to handle at times.

My son always warms up, just as we do, once we’re at an event for a bit and he gets a bearing on his surroundings. However, I need to be his voice and sounding board.


If someone begins reaching for him, first of all, he’s two and he doesn’t necessarily want to be held any longer. I’m not certain why that’s hard for some to realize but it is. I speak up as he puts his head into my shoulder and say, “please give him a moment. We just got here, and he needs time.”

Other times, someone asks him to “come here and see me!” or “go play with the kids!” I watch for his reaction to them and see how he assesses the situation with his mannerisms. I, as his mom, know him as any parent knows their child’s reactions to things and how they’re feeling better than anyone else. Then I’ll reassure him if he either wants to do the task or not do it and back him up on it by telling him so. “It’s alright, you can sit here with me until you’re comfortable.”

We need to stop forcing our kids into things. I’m voicing this because I’m guilty of it, as well as my husband.

We ask him to dive into situations and be great and be the good kid. Well, guess what, we need to stop it. If we don’t want to do something, we don’t do it. So why should he? (This is specifically to social events, not in every aspect of parenting)

When we’re leaving and he doesn’t want to give hugs or blow kisses, that’s OKAY! We can say bye for him and see them next time. I don’t even like to give hugs to everyone when I leave somewhere.

Some people understand this and do not mind. Others expect the kids to always love on them because they exist. That’s not happening for my son any longer. They can get over it and I’ll stand up for my child to know when he’s had enough.

He is a small child who is learning this world with mine and my husband’s help. We will protect him and stop asking so much of him in social gatherings. He is perfect the way he is and if you don’t like it, tough shit. 😊

It’s a matter of stating what I know we all feel but most won’t say. I won’t ever apologize for putting my son and family first in all aspects of life. I’m not perfect and I’m learning as I go.

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

Public Eyes

I’m not refereeing to your children in this post. I’m talking about the people around you everywhere you go with your kids.

As a new parent, most of us are really nervous about taking your children out and worrying what others think of you or think of the baby that may cry or coo or have a tantrum.

I remember being so nervous about it and sweating like crazy. I wouldn’t go places by myself in such worry of what may happen. I let that get to me too much.


I remember the one evening we went to dinner and he was fussy so I quickly grabbed him and walked outside to rock him until he would calm. I try to be considerate to the best I can be. I’m not there to make anyone uncomfortable or listen to my baby cry like crazy while we all want to enjoy a nice evening out.

Another time we were in Target and our son did have a meltdown. We made a plan since I only had a few items to get. I quickly went for all the items while my husband took our son to the car and drove around while he calmed down. He still tells people how embarrassed he felt, though there is nothing you can do when they have tantrums, especially as an infant. I could hear my son all the way across the store he was so loud. WOOF!

Now that he’s a toddler, my nerves have calmed a bit and I have more of a “deal with it” attitude. He doesn’t cry like a newborn anymore, but he is a toddler and a busy guy at that. I don’t have the mentality of worrying what others think because well, most of them are parents themselves and understand that we’re doing the best we can in the situation. Also, toddlers can be jerks.


A few scenarios that have happened to us that I want to share because I’m certain you all have experienced it too.

First one, we went out a few months back when restrictions were starting to lift and had dinner with our neighbors. We went to a new restaurant together to try out and it’s a touch more upscale than other restaurants in the area but not a reason for me to think my child wouldn’t be welcomed there. Our neighbors raised two boys, so they know what it’s like going out with kids and I felt very comfortable going with them.

However, my son likes to be busy, so we brought crayons and coloring items as we usually do to occupy him. That doesn’t always work though. He was chatty with his noises and crawling around the booth a bit between us. I kept seeing this woman at a table near us give me those looks of judgement. She was there with her husband and when I say she was giving me looks, I was getting heated inside and wanted to make a comment.

I refrained because it’s always not worth it. My son wasn’t screaming, he wasn’t throwing a tantrum and he was staying within our booth. It’s up to her to stare and not enjoy herself because she’s too worried about how my kid is acting. This occurs more than you’d like it too, but I really try to not pay attention to them. I also have my husband hitting my arm saying, “knock it off.”


There’s another scenario we run into often and that is with the judgement of the younger people who do not have kids or are not around them. When I say younger, I mean 20 an under. I don’t think I’m old by any means. 😜

We went to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium on Father’s Day. It was HOT! I’m so glad we went early because it only got hotter too and we were all sweaty by the time we left.

My son has enjoyed the zoo more every time we have gone! This time he was so excited to walk on his own most of the time and would become overwhelmed and excited with the animals he saw so he would squeal in excitement.

It was hilarious to us that he thought the animals were that cool and most parents thought it was funny too. The part where this turns is when we go into the monkey building. That cute squeal echoes inside there. We kept telling him to say “wow” or we would do the “shhh” finger move. I had one mom laugh and tell us, “Oh, he is just excited!!” Then we had a teenager and her mom eyeballing us.

To be totally fair here, we were passing people and not around most of the same people for long because he was too excited to stand still long enough to oodle at any of the monkeys. He quickly moved on to the next one! But this teenager and her mom somehow stayed close to us and I noticed the looks. I happened to fall back, and my son and husband got ahead of me. As I passed them, I hear the teenager say, “why would you let your kid keep squealing like that?” and I kept moving along.

I didn’t stick around for the mother’s response because as irritated as I was to hear that, we again were attempting to correct him since it was loud and we recognized that. She is also a teenager and I know I had once made those comments too not knowing much. There is some grace to be given in those situations.

I would really like to do a PSA for everyone around us when our kids are loud or acting out that the parents are TRYING and we don’t want to ruin your time either. Also, if you think they’re annoying, we probably already rolled our eyes and realized it ourselves. So nothing you do or say is making the situation better for anyone, especially the parents.


The last scenario is the best one and not often do not happen to us because I believe people are more afraid to say the nice things than they are to be mean to people.

We go out to dinner here and there. It’s not always easy to keep a toddler occupied and happy. We have a little pack of crayons, matchbox cars, and learning cards on hand in his diaper bag to pull out and play with at the table.

For Father’s Day we went out to Texas Roadhouse and it’s always loud in there so I’m never worried about how loud he would be. But this night, of course, had a giant backup in their kitchen for the food and it was coming out late. We were waiting much longer than usual.

My husband and I stayed on edge a little knowing we only have X amount of time until he loses all interest in sitting in that booth. We both kept playing with him whether it was passing the cars across the table, coloring, picking at the blooming onion or he pretended to tickle us. He is NOT always that pleasant and we were very thankful that he was being so good with us being there for so long.

The entire situation was solidified when a lady, who I noticed was a mom too with her husband and 2 daughters that were maybe in their early 20s. She stopped at our table before they left to tell us how good our son was being and how cute he was.

A big sigh of relief came over me and my husband as we said thank you to them. That small comment to us really means a lot when they see we were doing what we could to keep him busy during that long wait for dinner.


Again, every time we go out as a family, we are looking to enjoy ourselves as much as the next table. The public eye is always on you as a parent to make sure you’re “doing it right.”

The hardest part is to not let that pressure take over enjoying your time out together. Keep your heads up, bring some things to enjoy with the kids at the table, and understand not everyone is accepting of our choice of bringing kids to dinner but that is on them. They can be miserable if they choose to be. 😉