Out of no where, we jumped right into summer! I know a lot of areas are in a premature summer heatwave, and Ohio is no exception. The kids have been living their best lives the last few days in the sprinkler and playing with water hoses…counting down the days until our pool opens.

I am so excited/anxious to see how they are at the swimming pool this summer. This is the first year, they know how to swim… it’s 100% thanks to Goldfish Swim School and their weekly lessons.

I think it’s going to be a FUN summer and I can’t wait for it to begin!

Meanwhile, May is water safety month, but really, I believe all spring and summer months should directly bring attention to water safety. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental-injury death among children ages 1 to 4.  Last May there were 7 drowning deaths in Ohio. 7!

Here are some important tips to keep in mind this summer:

  • Water toys including floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning.
  • Most children who drown are not supervised.
  • Be aware that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t overestimate their skills and that they understand the importance of never swimming alone!
Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Living his best life!

Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Best life.

Best life still.

Best life still.

Sunshine, sprinklers and swim safety.

Sister did not want to get hit with the water gun anymore.

This week, I’ve felt like a complete failure. I feel as though a lot of moms use that term as a “fishing for compliments” device. “No! You’re a great mom!” is the typical response one is looking for when saying they feel like a failure. But this week has perhaps been my most challenging parenting days ever, as I attempt to wean my 18 month old son.

I’ve never talked about breastfeeding publicly, so this is completely out of my comfort zone. With my oldest son, Luke, I breastfed him for about 2 weeks. I say 2 weeks liberally, as it was really challenging. Like many first time moms, I didn’t know what I was doing…it was awkward, uncomfortable and gave me anxiety, so I quit. Today, Luke is a perfectly healthy 5-year-old.

My daughter was born 16 months later, and I decided to try again. She was much easier to feed and we lasted 6 weeks. I would have gone longer, but I had to return to a very demanding job in news. Could you imagine being out reporting on a homicide or house fire and saying, “stop everything…I need to go pump my boobs.” In retrospect, I should have demanded better accommodations as a nursing mother, but I didn’t … so I quit.

When Adam was born, I decided to try yet again. When Adam was 6 weeks old, he contracted RSV and we almost lost him. We spent several days in the hospital and I didn’t leave his side. All I did was hold him, pray and pump. It was during that hospital stay that I promised myself and him that I would breastfeed for a full year.

18 months later, here we are.

It’s time to move on. I know that my reasonings may be a little selfish, but I’m ready to have a night out alone with my husband without rushing back to a babysitter before bedtime.

So let me paint you a picture of how this week is going. Here I am typing away…cringing from the pain (ladies you know what I’m talking about)…drinking my 5th cup of coffee…listening to Adam cry for the 6th hour straight…and trying not to snap at my other two children more than I already have.

My husband is super supportive at night and takes Adam, but he’s gone throughout the entire day and it really takes a village. It would be amazing if all breastfeeding moms who are trying to wean could have a built-in support system for the week until it passes, but alas that’s not reality for many of us, myself included.

It is hard. 

I am sleep deprived. 

I am in pain. 

I feel like I’m failing my other kids.

I feel like crawling up in a ball and watching binging on Netflix.

Instead, I will get off the couch.

I will check on the screaming baby.

I will play with my other children.

I will fold another load of laundry.

I will clean the kitchen.

I will get dressed.

I will start preparing dinner.

Because that’s what moms do.

No matter the circumstances… we get shit done.

My breastfeeding Journey

18 months strong…but now it’s time for this kid to get lost. I kid.

Hi everyone!

Lots of new faces here — I’m happy you found me and started to follow along on the blog.

I always enjoy the Instagram posts from people with 5 random facts about them, so for those of you who are new and are thinking — why the h-e-double hockey sticks did I start following this person??? Allow me to introduce myself with 5 random facts:

1. My name is Shanisty— that is my real name. It’s not a family name and my parents weren’t hippies. It’s actually derived from a Dylan Thomas poem.

2. I spent 10 years as a television news anchor/reporter. My favorite story I ever told was in the aftermath of the April 27th, 2011 tornadoes in Alabama. I met a family who moved into their dream home the day the storms hit, they lived but their entire home was swept away. They survived by grabbing onto the toilet and praying to God to be saved. You can actually view the story here.

3. My dream is to write a best-seller one day. I remember an author visiting my elementary school, I can’t remember who she was but I remember her advice. She told my class if you want to be a writer, you must write. Simple enough! So, I started writing in a journal at 8-years-old and for 30 some years I wrote in a journal every single night. I have a hope chest full of them. A treasure chest of memories I hope to one day pass down to my children.

4. Some random things I love are Bob Dylan, the beach, music documentaries, and Target — in no particular order.

5. My favorite quote of all time is by Erma Bombeck. It’s my phone background and serves as my daily reminder to never stop living life to the fullest— which is why I want to share it with you:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

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Dear Husband,

It’s that time of year again. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I’m sure you’re scrambling, last-minute to come up with something really special for the woman in your life. You know, the one who takes care of you, your children, your household, without thinking of herself. Yes, that amazing lady in your life will be celebrated tomorrow and you’re probably thinking….. crap! I procrastinated, again.

Fear not, dear husbands. Because I have the most epic solution for you. In fact, you will be a hero … dare I say legendary … if you follow my free advice.

Are you ready for it?

Just leave your wife the hell alone.

That goes for your children too. Tell them to get lost.

Brutal? Perhaps. Stunning? Maybe. Confused? Probably.

Allow me to spell it out for you. I’m not trying to talk down to you the way I speak with my 1-year-old, I just want to make sure I paint this picture clearly.

Here are 15 reasons why Moms want to be left the hell alone on Mother’s Day.

  1. Moms want to use the bathroom in peace.
  2. Moms want to not have to make 5 different breakfasts, only to clean up and make way for lunch.
  3. Moms don’t want to change diapers. News flash, I know.
  4. Moms want to watch a 1 hour Netflix show in less than 6 hours. That means no interruptions.
  5. Moms want to walk through the house without silently whispering to herself: WTF HAPPENED IN HERE!?
  6. Moms want to take a bubble bath without an audience.
  7. Moms might want to have a mimosa at 10 AM or a coke or whatever her potion.
  8. Moms don’t want to have to referee the screaming, hitting, fighting and whining.
  9. Moms want to go to Target without an entourage of hood rats running down the aisles, hiding in clothes racks, screaming at the top of their lungs about bodily functions. Moms want to go to Target A L O N E.
  10. Moms want a clean house. Sure, they may clean up the house the night before Mother’s Day but since you and the children are leaving her the hell alone she won’t have to pick up another Lego, Barbie shoe or your dirty smelly socks for the rest of the day.
  11. Moms want to lounge in their yoga pants without judgement. Or maybe a mom wants to get dressed up without the glaring eyes of a child followed by: “whoa! mom! you got dressed nice, where are we going?!”
  12. Moms want to binge on candy without hiding in the closet.
  13. Moms want to sleep. Not sleep like a baby, because moms know babies don’t sleep. Moms want to sleep like their husbands.
  14. Moms don’t want to have to spend 2.5 hours trying to get the kids to bed. Moms don’t like it when the “I love you too” sounds angry and frustrated.
  15. Moms don’t want to feel the guilt. That means if you’re going to give the lucky lady in your life this day of luxury, don’t make her feel as though she owes you until the kids are 18.

So there you have it, dear husband. The simplest, greatest gift you could give the amazing mom in your life. And think of it this way, you and the children can enjoy a wonderful day together. I’m sure the children will obey and not make crazy demands and not fight and not scream and be the perfect little angels that they are.

After all, mom knows best.

mother's day

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

I grew up here. I know every single house on the main stretches of the road. Many of the homes have been torn down to make way for new developments, but I can still recall who lived where. I can drive my exact school bus route from elementary school. I still frequent the neighborhood pizza joint. And twice a week, I drive to the same preschool I attended as a child to drop off my kids. So much has changed, yet so much is the same in my new, old home.

When I was 18, I left my hometown of New Albany, Ohio and never looked back. I moved South to attend college at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. From there I took my first job in West Virginia, only to move to Birmingham two years later. I stayed in Alabama for several years before moving back to Lexington. We then made our way to Savannah.

After 15 years of job shifts, career changes, and multiple moves…our family packed up one final time to come back to my hometown. We moved to be closer to my family and to raise our children in the Heartland.

Coming back to Ohio didn’t happen without a fight. To be completely honest, I didn’t want to move home. I had been gone for 15 years, so the fear of “failing” was long gone. But in those 15 years away, I fell in love with the South, the culture and lifestyle, especially in Savannah. Slow-paced, heat and humidity, palm trees, the beach. Just a completely different landscape than the one I knew.

Three years later, we are still here in New Albany, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s funny how it takes a couple of years to settle and to fully embrace your new home, even if it is your old home, as well.

I follow so many of you on social media. Many of you live in beautiful places like San Diego, Utah, Arizona, Naples, Charleston, Australia…and I’m envious of the beauty in the places you call home.

But, there is so much beauty and charm in the Midwest. SO MUCH BEAUTY. My husband isn’t from here, so he’s able to see it when I don’t. The truth is, sometimes we miss the beauty when it is right in front of us.

In Ohio, you will find barns. Lots, and lots and lots of barns. You will find dairy farms, white fences and old worn out silos encased in ivy. There are many corn fields and some of the most stunning sunsets a person could ever hope to see. There are big cities, and little hidden country gems nestled in rolling hills and the plains.

Midwesterners are wonderful people. They are wholesome and friendly and hardworking. They are America. It’s no wonder that so many companies use Ohio as a test market for new products, especially in the food and beverage industry.

The most beautiful part is I finally have peace. I can finally find peace within my new, old home. I’m thankful for the time I spent away from Ohio, but I’m even more thankful to be back here raising my children in the same corn fields I originally called home.

 “If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” – Wilbur Wright (Wright Brothers)

Home is where the Heart (land) is.

Farms, vintage finds, country living.

Home is where the Heart (land) is.

Lemonade stands and simple living.

Home is where the Heart (land) is.

Old Blue is part of our family, and has been for years.

Home is where the Heart (land) is.

A little Joan Baez (not from Ohio).

Home is where the Heart (land) is.

Ohio is the Heartland.