Posted in family, momlife, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Which Mom are You?

When we’re young we all think of the mom were going to be. When you picture yourself having kids, what do you see? For me I always imagined walking down the sidewalk with my daughter, picking flowers, matching outfits. We’d play toys together, make cute Pinterest crafts, read books, make health snacks. My kids would spend most of their time playing outside than on screens and I would still have time to be the same me. (spoiler- a lot of those didn’t happen.)

I’m sure at some point all of us have said or thought the phrase “I would never be like that when I’m a parent.” Let’s all laugh together. The thing is, you never know what kind of parent you will be until you are actually a parent. There are a lot of factors that contribute to who you are as a parent.

The era/generation you live in impacts what type of parent you will be for sure. I became a parent when technology really boomed, so it’s no surprise that I find a lot of parenting tools in iPad apps (ABC mouse) and Netflix shows (Word Party). There is also a lot of hype in anti-vac and gluten free lifestyles now-a-days that weren’t really thought about 20-30 years ago.

Who you had as parents shapes who you will be as well. A lot of times you tend to morph into your parents. Have you ever said that you would NEVER do something that your parents did when you have your own children, then 15 years down the road you catch yourself saying the EXACT same thing they once said to you. Circle of life my friends. This one can work the exact opposite as well. Having a very strict upbringing could cause someone to be very lax and open with their own children.

What type of children you have can also shape your parenting style. What do I mean by that? For ME PERSONALLY- having two children on the spectrum changed the way I raised my children dramatically. My children have trouble listening/comprehending and difficulty processing emotions. I’ve had a very difficult time sitting down and reading books with them, being able to enforce rules, even sitting down to play with my children-something so natural- is usually a no-go.

Who you are as a person is probably the biggest thing, and the most predictable. If you are a generally health person, hands down your kids will reflect that. Someone who eats extremely healthy will try and instill that on their own children. If you had anger issues before children, seeing a whole poop diaper smeared into the carpet probably won’t make your anger issues better. If you’re a type A person, odds are you will be a type A parent. Of course, this isn’t true for everyone either. As I said before, you never know the type of parent you will be UNTIL you are a parent.

For fun, I thought of some “Mom types” and decided to turn myself into some and write their bios.

Sandra, 42
Been there, done that Mom. She is the veteran mom, the wise owl, the unshockable. She’s lived through everything. She’s cleaned poop out of places you would think is impossible, her children have had a total of 6 broken bones, she can handle the chickenpox with her eyes closed. Sandra is the friend you go to when you have the most random parenting question, which she will answer without hesitation and never judges. Her house is always filled with the best snacks….and wine

Kaylynn, 28
Crunchy mom. Organic, gluten free, dairy free type mom. Her favorite past time is going to Whole Foods. She’s an antivaxxer and loves to let you know by posting 4 antivaxx links a day on her facebook. Her three children all sleep with her in bed, forcing her husband to sleep in the guest room. Her bake sale specialty is flourless muffins. She always gives advice when not asked and openly judges all of your “toxic” lifestyle choices. 

Cathy, 35
Sideline mom. She has four boys and can be found screaming on the sidelines of her children’s sporting events no matter the season. Cathy is not afraid to speak her mind. Her go-to saying is “Get your eyes checked ref!!!” Everything in her house is sticky. She’s lost the will to clean up after disgusting boys all day. Despite her usually serious attitude, she’s actually a pretty good time. Her usual drink of choice is a Miller Lite but loves her cosmos on girl’s night. 

Bethanny, 31

Type A mom.
You can set your watch by her family’s routine. Bethanny runs the house and everyone knows it. There is never a shoe out of place, but lord help us if there is. The calendar on the fridge is color coded and filled to the max. Her husband, James, doesn’t really care for schedules but it’s not worth the fight. He does love the morning smoothies she makes him every day though. She’s a stay at home mom but is almost always dressed in business casual. Her children fear her, her neighbors respect her, and the school faculty hate her. She doesn’t have many friends and isn’t sure why. Also, don’t call her Beth. She f***ing hates it. 

Katie, 27
The relaxed mom. Katie doesn’t mind messes, she’s not dirty, but her house generally looks like children DO live there. I mean, DUH. She makes plans and schedules, but doesn’t really blink when they get messed up. She’s usually pretty relaxed and easy going, but don’t test her because she WILL lose her shit on you. She disciplines her kids but also can get too persuaded by their emotions. Sometimes it’s just easier to give them the cookie, right? After homework is done she really doesn’t care what her kids do. There are no ipad or TV limits in her house. She makes the best friend because she is very laid back, doesn’t judge, and makes a killer taco dip.

Meadow, 25
Hippie mom. She shares a lot of characteristics with the crunchy mom. She is a vegan and there’s not a thing in her fridge that is not organic. Meadow is a child of the Earth. Her children spend most of their times outside and barefoot. She is a firm believer that you learn so much more from experiences than you do in school. She homeschools her children and the backyard is their classroom. She considers herself a “Free-range” parent. She lets her children make their own decisions so they can learn from the power of their free will. Whatever that means. She has a lot of friends, probably because she makes good weed brownies. 

Brittany, 31
Pinterest Mom. The title says it all. Her Pinterest account has over 50,000 pins in all categories. Recipes, school lunch ideas, DIY projects, party themes, outfits, nursery decor. Think of a category, and she’s pinned something for it. Unlike the rest of the world, she pins things and ACTUALLY DOES THEM. The audacity. She wets herself when she gets invited to a potluck or when her children’s school is having a bake sale so she can use her newest pin. When most of us try projects we got off Pinterest they turn out disastrous, not Brittany. She was born crafty, and hits her DIY out of the park every time. She is one of the most popular friends and loves when they ask her to make something for them!

Katrina, 19
The Newbie. Matching mother-child outfits, hair and makeup done every morning, really shooting for the “perfect mom persona.” She’s a first time mom and it is completely obvious. The girl that’s always in the Facebook mom group asking “What do you think this rash is?” or “My son fell and hit his head, should I take him to the ER?” She is just so unsure of herself, and that’s NOT A BAD THING! She just wants to be a good mom, and doesn’t want to make any mistake. The thing she needs to learn is that making mistakes is what makes us a mom. She has a TON of friends, but she’s the only one with a kid so far. She tries to make friends with veteran moms at the playground, but doesn’t know how to connect with them yet.

Tammy, 36
The Everywhere Mom. Classroom mom? That’s her. PTA? She’s on it. Soccer team needs snacks? She’s got it. She’s a stay at home mom and her kids are everything to her. If there is anything to do, she’s got it. Same can be said for her friendships. People don’t understand how she has the time or the energy to do the things she does. She makes it seems so effortless. Though she’d never show it, Her energy tank is on zero. She averages about 4-5 hours a sleep a night, usually because she’s up baking cookies for something. If you’re looking for a dependable friend, Tammy’s got your back!

Melissa, 31
The princess mom. Her husband is a CEO and makes more than enough money, so Melissa can stay home to focus on the children. The problem is, she’s not exactly the maternal type. Needless to say, the kids are wild and spoiled. Melissa spends most of her days getting her nails done and shopping with friends. She is never seen less than perfect. She knows all the town gossip. She has very high standards for all things in life, including friendships. Probably why she doesn’t have many girl friends.  Her children have straight A’s in school and are fluent in Spanish; thanks to the nanny, Maria.

Posted in family, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Round 2

When Eli was Diagnosed with autism around 4 years ago the doctor told me there would be about a 20% chance of my next child also having autism. (Yes people, genetics, not the measles vaccine. So vaccinate your kids!) So, when Camille came around, I watched, listened, and observed everything she did. A rule of thumb of parenting is never compare your children to other kids (yeah, right.) It is a very important rule to follow though. Every child develops at their own pace. Just because little Timmy is walking at 9 months does NOT mean your child is behind because she is not doing it yet. If your nephew is speaking three word sentences at 12 months it does NOT mean your own son is behind because he can only say 5 words total. Our children hit their milestones at their own pace. They will deal with peer pressure in grade school so let’s not instill self-esteem issues yet!

All that being said, when DO you start to worry about where your child is developmentally? I don’t believe there is a real answer for that. I think, as a mother, you just know. 

Today’s world makes it so easy for parents to get their children evaluated for FREE through the state. Each state has their own fully funded programs. In Michigan, we have the EarlyOn program. When we arrived to Michigan I didn’t waste any time getting Camille evaluated.

So what was it about Camille that made me get her evaluated?

-Her gross motor milestones were always met, but a little behind
-Babbling was very delayed. She didn’t start actively babbling until around 18mo.
-She doesn’t play with toys as expected- she prefers to just hold items and walk around with them. She chooses to play with household items (shoes, dusters, etc.) vs baby toys. For a while between 12-18mo, she would only open and close doors and cabinets for entertainment.
-She walks very cautiously. She does not walk on uneven ground (grass, sand), she is uncertain when stepping across different floor types or over lips/lines.
-Does not climb on/off furniture. She does not attempt to climb stairs. She cannot get down from very low furniture (example- her 12′ toddler bed.) She will drop an object to the floor to judge how high up she is.
since becoming diagnosed she has attempted the stairs and crawling on . some furniture.
-She does not like a lot of touches- face wipes, washing hair, diaper changes, etc.
-She does not respond to her name or react when spoken to.
-She does not recognize or interact with other children/adults. She will allow other to be in her general proximity but other than that she does not pay them any attention.
-Little eye contact
-No mimicking. She does not copy other’s actions, repeat sounds. She will not point to objects.
-She likes thin items on her lips and around her mouth. Hair, hair ties, shoe laces, strings, etc. I would like to clarify that she doesn’t eat or even chew these things. She just likes the feeling of them on her lips.


To someone who has no experience with any of this, the evaluation process can be very, very overwhelming. There are so many people involved, multiple evaluations, and lots of paperwork. With my first born, Eli, I remember feeling overwhelmed, scared, sad, so many emotions. I felt unorganized. With Camille when the people involved started over-explaining the process to help me understand I politely said “Listen, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’m good. Do ya thang girl.” Honestly the best advice I can give to someone going through this the first time- relax and take the backseat. The professionals with these programs know what they’re doing. They help you every step of the way. The best thing a parent can do is get out of your own way. Let them help you with everything. 

After Camille’s evaluation process, she was placed in the moderate-severe autism range. Because she was evaluated through the School system/ EarlyOn program, this is what’s called an educational diagnosis. In another blog I will get into the difference between an educational diasgnosis of autism vs a medical diagnosis. The important thing to know for now is an educational diagnosis determines if a child meets the qualifications needed to receive special education services through the school system and is not a “firm diagnosis”. A medical diagnosis is a true diagnosis and opens the door for insurance supported therapy services.

So now what? We start by making a list of goals to work towards. For example, one goal is to get her to make independent choices for meals by using picture cards (PECS). Another is to get Camille to play more with age appropriate toys vs household items. We focus on the areas that are most important to improve. Keep your expectations low! Sometimes they take a while, AND THAT’S FINE!

Additionally, Camille is receiving in-home speech therapy. We will also soon begin occupational therapy, and perhaps Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. 

Getting an autism diagnosis for your child is a very overwhelming, scary thing. This, however, is one that I was waiting for. I knew the odds and I was prepared. If anyone can embrace this challenge for a second time, it’s me. I am ready for this next chapter in my parenting world. I look forward to sharing this journey with others and hope that by telling our story, we can help other parents out there who may be going through something similar!

Posted in family, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Struggles of a stay at home mom

Being a stay at home mom is not a glamorous lifestyle, despite what you may see on Instagram. It’s not all mommy playgroups, matching mommy/child outfits, or blissful round the clock playtime.

I start my day with two cups of coffee. My hair is in a messy bun, and my robe is tied tight. By the time I drop my son off at school I have clothes on (granted, its usually stretch pants and a sweatshirt), my hair is usually not brushed, contacts not in yet, and no makeup. If you think it gets better by school pick-up, you’d probably be wrong. It’s not that I DONT have time to get ready for the day, but whats the point? The majority of my day is wiping butts, making food, cleaning, working on my computer, playing with baby toys, etc. My life is 99% inside the house. The lazy girl inside me is like “yes! I love being home and in pajamas”; but the overall human being in me gets stir crazy. My life is 24/7 kids. I yearn for adult interaction. This lifestyle is very isolating. 

Kids are loud, dirty, talkative, annoying, messy, emotional, rude. This job gets few thank-yous, little to no recognition, there is no pay, no sick days, and ridiculous hours. All that being said, it is the best job I’ve ever had. Wait, what? Honestly, yes. Despite how difficult and draining this life is, being able to watch your kids discover new things, hit new milestones, grow, and find new interests, is something not everyone gets to witness everyday. It is not taken for granted by me. I get moments that working parents don’t always get. Stay at home mothers don’t have an easy life, but neither do working parents. The grass is always greener, isn’t it?

Working parents get to have a life outside of their children and their house, they make their own hard-earned money, they get independence, they live a life for themselves. I am missing out on all of those things. I have no life; and not in the sense like I’m a loser with no friends who wants to go out and party. I mean- I have no life. My children are my life. Every choice I make, every move made, every purchase, every agenda on our daily schedule, EVERYTHING is about them. What about me? My dreams, my needs, my time? Being a stay at home parent day in-day out is making me lose myself. The flip side to this is working parents wanting more time with their families, playing with their children, enjoying their house, having time to relax. I think there are times we can be jealous of each other and our parental situations- and we shouldn’t. Again, the grass is always greener. No parenting style is above the other. No mother is above another. There are going to be pros and cons with any type of parenting.

We need to be grateful for the lives that we have. I would love having my own career, having some independence, but I am so grateful for being able to be there 100% for my kids. I love being around them all the time (despite how much they annoy me most of the time).

This upcoming Mother’s Day, take the time to appreciate BEING a mother, no matter what kind of mother you are. Whether you’re working to live out your dream, to provide financially for your children, to make the world a better place, or whether you’re staying home to raise your beautiful children— Be happy just being a mother. Being a mother, of ANY kind, is a hard f***ing job. Now go brush your teeth and get yourself and iced coffee, because damn it, we deserve it. 

Posted in family, parenting

Believing Our Kids

One thing I have learned about raising young children is they are brutally honest. 

“Look! Mommy got her hair done, do you like it?” 
“No. You look like a poodle.”

“Tommy wants to know if you want to have a playdate.”
“No. I don’t like him. He smells like farts.”

As our kids get older, however, the lies start to slide in. They start small.

“Did you clean up your toys?” yes.
“Did you wash your hands?” yes.
“Did you remember to wipe? yes.

The correct answer to all these is usually no.

As our children grow up, they perfect their fibbing skills. It is up to us as parents to see through their crap. Easier said than done, right? No one knows your kids better than you; the parents should be the first ones to know when our kids our lying. Well, you’d think at least. I feel like, especially in this day and age, parents are blindly believing their children more than they should be. We all want to believe that our children are perfect angels. Maybe because we want to believe that we are great parents, raising great kids. Reality check- NO ONE IS PERFECT. Parents get frustrated, they yell, they lose their temper, they mess up. Kids are the same way; you can do everything you can to raise your kids right and they still turn into little shits. Kids are…kids. They’re too goofy, they can be mean, they’re sneaky. Sometimes kids go through phases, they act out because of home situations, they try to act cool in front of their friends. This is exactly why we need to check our kids once in a while. Don’t always believe them; challenge them, question them. I am always challenging Eli; not because he’s a bad kid or I always suspect him of lying (although, I do a lot) but because I want to remind him that he is the kid and I am the adult. I want him to know that when I ask him to do something, he does it. If I don’t check him every once in a while and he gets away with things more and more it sets a precedent that as long as he gets away with it, he can do whatever he wants. 

Recently I saw a situation involving a friend of mine that really bothered me. A child got in trouble at school and his mother went on a public rant online about the teacher (my friend). She was bashing this teacher from head to toe based solely off what her child had told her. She did not discuss the situation with the teacher or anyone at the school before posting this rant. I am in no way calling this child a liar; based off my own parental experience, I know that children have different viewpoints of situations. Young children are still learning cause-and-effect, social cues, and social interaction skills. The way a child sees or remembers a situation may be different than the way an adult sees the situation. There is never a sure-fire way to know when to believe your child. Again, this is why I believe parents should check their children. I want my children to know they can come to me with anything and that I will always listen and believe them- HOWEVER- I am still going to look into it. Innocent until proven guilty type thing.

If I was the parent in this situation I would listen to my child and believe them until I learn otherwise, but it should NOT have been put on social media before first discussing the situation with all parties directly involved. If that did happen the mother would have learned that before the altercation, her son was being disrespectful to classmates and staff. Now, before getting all the facts, the reputation of my friend has been trampled on. Thankfully she’s a confident bad-ass and won’t let this keep her from doing what she loves. 

Knowing when to believe an adult and when to believe your child is completely situational. There is no set way to go about it. If we always believe our children we are setting the precedent that they are always right and they can do no wrong. If we always believe the adult we are letting our children know that we have no faith in them and that can be dangerous in some situations. Parents need to do their due diligence and find out all the information. 

Parenting is a balancing act. You have to be the enforcer, the confidant, the protector, the supporter, and the caretaker all at the same time. It is an impossible job and there is no perfect way to parent. We all take different paths, we all make different choices. As long as our children are clothed, fed, and happy we are doing just fine as parents. 

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Christmas Gift Check in

I feel like all parents can relate to me when I say- despite my better judgment, I love spoiling our kids. Now I am a firm believer of living within your means, although around birthdays and holidays we definitely push the limit. I’m not sure what it is about buying gifts for our children, but we can’t help ourselves. Are we buying their love? Are we just getting a bunch of stuff to keep them busy and out of our faces? Regardless of the reason, we all love getting our children a gift that they love and watching their delighted little faces light up when they unwrap it. But sometimes (maybe a lot of times) we pick out some gifts that are complete duds.

Now that Christmas is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to reflect on our pointless purchases. Those gifts you bought that you probably shouldn’t have, but you just knew your child would love. How’d that work out for us? Many of our children’s gifts this year have gone unused, forgotten about, or broken. For science, I’m taking inventory of some of the gifts our children got this year and figuring how many have gone left unused and why. The ‘why’ part to this plays a big factor, are they not using it because it’s too advanced for them or because we just picked out a crappy gift? Let’s see.

Eli’s Gift rundown- 

Rock and Roll Rainbow Piano– Thought it was cool, but not so interested in learning piano. but the babies LOVE IT so I count it as a medium. They love to walk across it and hear the music.

Build your own plane- Loved and used a lot; but it is now sadly in the broken toy graveyard.

Tinker toys– dud. My grandma has these toys at her house and he loves to use them and build things, like his “machine 2000” so she got him his own set, only to find out apparently that they’re only fun to use at GG’s house

DC super hero busy book– used twice. I thought for sure he’d love this because he loves super hero figurines. Nerp.

 magic set– complete dud. Never used. Pieces lost. Mom and Dad fail.

 The best gifts were the whoopee cushion ($2) and the liquid hourglass ($2). He uses both almost daily. Just goes to show, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for your kids to be happy.

Camille’s gift rundown-

Fisher price laugh and learn smart stages chair– overall a good gift. She does use it often but she (as of now) only using the built in book feature. She LOVES turning pages so that part specifically is a hit

Fisher-Price Brilliant stack & Roll cups– Does it count as successful if she just smashes the cups all over the place and then holds them and walks around? We’ll say medium

Puzzles– age appropriate but she has no interest in them yet except for holding the pieces

Play house shape sorter– Camille is experiencing developmental delays and has no interest at all in stuff like this (which was why I bought it in the first place) but as of now she has no desire for this toy. dud. It is also missing some pieces, despite never being used.

Dollar Store dolly– Camille liked hers and she would walk around with them. Then cousin Olivia came over and ripped them limb from limb. So they went to dolly heaven after just one week.

So you may be wondering, if Camille isn’t using most of her toys, then what is she playing with?

Posted in family, parenting

Fighting the Flu Frenzy

Having one child with the flu is terrible. Having two children with the flu is painful. Having two children with the flu AND having it yourself is hell. 

The flu entered our house last weekend and that b**ch didn’t leave for 6 days. Impossibly high fevers, chills, body aches, coughing, mucus, sneezing, you name it. I did thank my lucky stars that no one threw up. 

So how do you survive taking care of two sick kids and yourself? Well…. You don’t. I do have three tips that may help, though!

Tip #1 –Play their favorite movies and shows on a loop. 

They’re going to want to stay in their bed as much as possible. There is no such thing as too much tv when your kid is sick! I’m pretty sure Eli watched 12 hours of paw patrol and 20 hours of Garfield the past week. Camille averaged about 4 viewings of Trolls a day. Now is not the time to be the “my kids only get 30 min of screen time a day” parent.

Tip #2- Keep the drinks flowing and be prepared to waste food.

Fight off dehydration with fluids- whatever they will drink. Another side tip here- on one of my many trips to the pharmacy this week I discovered colorless flavorless pedialyte. Add it to anything so even the pickiest of kids won’t detect it in their drinks! Your kids probably won’t want to eat much, but every once in a while they may pop their head out of their tv caves with a meek “Mom can I have a snack?” Yes, baby. absolutely! What do you want?? They may answer with cereal, hot dogs, mac n cheese; HOWEVER- the true answer to that question is  “only two bites of something, you can throw the rest away because I will refuse to finish it and will refuse any leftovers.”

Tip #3- Do the bare minimum

Don’t be a hero, do what you gotta do and spend all your free time playing games on your phone, you deserve it. When you’re the mom there isn’t anyone there to take care of you. So remember to self care by taking medicine, drinking plently of water, and beating that level on homescapes you’ve been trying to beat for days now. 

So if the flu hits your household, bunker down and remember my three tips and hopefully you can survive. 

Posted in family, parenting

Bed Time reality

Bedtime is always portrayed in movies, shows, and books as this wonderful bonding moment between child and parent. Rocking your sleepy baby, reading a cute bedtime story, putting your kid to bed at 8pm and not seeing them again until 7am. Gag Me. That is not reality.

What I thought bedtime would look like:

Bedtime Reality:

After 5 years of trying to sleep train Eli I have finally gotten there! I will say after all those nights of checking on him in the night and finding him on the floor or under his bed are finally gone and he is the best sleeper. Give him 15 minutes on kids youtube and he turns his bedtime music on and sleeps 10hrs. What a blessing it is.

Camille on the other hand, sucks. She has never been a good sleeper; except maybe those blissful first couple weeks of infancy where ALL babies do is eat poop and sleep. From months 1-4 she had very bad reflux and we averaged about 3hrs of sleep a night. I had to walk around the house holding her for hours until the reflux burn went away. When it did, she would only sleep on my chest so I would have to sleep sitting up in the middle of my bed surrounded by pillows to keep us propped up. After that she was doing good for a while until we hit the “Up all night, sleep all day” phase. THAT WAS FUN. She would stay up every night until about 4am. Boy we watched a LOT of Netflix. We’d get up to bring Eli to school at 8 then she’d sleep until it was time to pick him up. Fun times.

Am I the only one that is impatiently waiting for the teenage years when all my kids will want do is sleep in???