I always wanted a big family with lots of kids. Only children either want what they grew up with or what they didn’t get to experience as a child. 50/50, right? Well, as an only child, I was always in the camp of wanting a loud house with builtin playmates.

Did we imagine we’d have 4? I’m not really sure there is a magic number when it comes to growing a family, everyone is different. But Lord willing, this will be our grand finale. I’m too old for this, ha!

The reality of having another child still hasn’t really set in yet with me. I’m finally well into my second trimester, but the weeks have seemed to drag on. My first trimester was a beast. I can actually say I was not sick with Luke, Eden or Adam…but baby #4 wants to make his / her mark early! I was throwing up every day after every meal for weeks. Misery. Taco Bell has been my lifeline, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’d see it’s pretty much this child’s entire diet. (I kid, but not really.)

I’m due late September around the first day of fall, which is kind of exciting. Fall is such a beautiful time in Ohio. Like the rest of our children we will not find out the gender and wait for his or her birthday.

Some things I’ve noticed with baby #4:

  • Names are particularly hard to chose. Especially if we have another boy. We have a few on a short list, but my mind changes with the wind.
  • People are actually very surprised to learn we’re having another child. I think people have this idea in their head that 4 is a little excessive. I didn’t really think it would come as a surprise to anyone, but it really has.
  • I’m nervous. I think I’m more nervous about this pregnancy than any others. I’m older and have a business to run and a household. My children are a little older and starting to get really busy with school and activities. The thought of going back to the newborn days actually frightens me, but I know we will do just fine!

That being said, I would love to hear from the 4 children camp…. I’ve heard #4 is easy and just blends right in with the rest. If that’s the case, I think we’ll be just fine.

Message me below or send me an email and let me know your experience!!

A new baby is such an exciting time for the entire family. My older two children were 3 and 2 years old when Adam was born, so while they may not have fully understood the entire pregnancy journey… they were thrilled to have a new sibling coming home from the hospital!

Adam was born full-term and weighed a whopping 9 lbs. 8 oz. at birth. We thought everything with him was perfectly normal, until he was diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at 6 weeks old.

It was a terrifying time for our entire family as Adam was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for several days. He was hooked up to breathing machines and oxygen as he fought for his little life.

During that time, Luke and Eden didn’t visit him at the hospital. We made that decision because we knew Adam would be coming home soon and seeing him in the hospital would be such a difficult thing to explain to them. I fully understand that is not reality for all families, as the older children will spend a lot of time in the ICU or NICU.

Many of the questions we were faced with: Why is our baby brother in the hospital again? What’s wrong with him? When will he come home? When can we hold him again? Am I as important as the baby?

I wish there was a simple way to explain what was happening to Adam, but my husband and I had to rely on simple conversation to try to answer their questions to our best ability.

I recently attended a summit with the National Coalition for Infant Health in Washington, DC where parents, physicians, researchers and other advocates gathered to discuss all aspects of infant health. A lot of the conversations spotlighted preemies and what life is like in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

It’s at this summit that I learned about a wonderful organization that is working hard on providing resources for families, teachers and parenting professions. Platypus Media‘s goals are relatively simple. They are educating adults and children about the world around them. They publish books that foster warmth, closeness, literacy, curiosity, and an openness to other cultures. Specifically, they have two products to support siblings of children in the NICU–both are coloring books, a format that keeps young kids involved while they learn. One of the coloring books my children love: Come Home Soon Baby Brother/Sister!

The coloring book does a fantastic job explaining to older siblings why their baby brother or sister is in the NICU. The short story follows an older sibling’s journey at the hospital as he explains to the reader what is happening to his baby brother/sister. The child then encourages the reader to draw a picture of him/her for the baby at the NICU. It challenges the reader to think outside of the box and focus on the health and safety of their baby sibling. It’s also important for the older children to know they are just as important and just as loved as the sick baby, even though mom and dad are spending a lot of time at the hospital.

I really wish I had these coloring books when Adam was in the ICU at Children’s Hospital. Even though the books focus on the NICU, I think they are extremely valuable resources for any family with a small child in the hospital.

You can purchase any of Platypus’s Books on their website, here! They are also available in Spanish.

*The post is sponsored by Platypus Media. All opinions are my own.*

Come Home Soon, Baby Brother! (Platypus Media)

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 was recently watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood without my children. They had lost interest and after a full 20 minute show, I realized I was the only person still in the room completely zoned, yet entranced by Daniel’s mother. How is this tigress able to communicate with her children so eloquently? How is she able to keep her cool with Daniel’s frustrations. He’s always frustrated about something. She’s really no different than any other parent on a children’s program. The parents never show emotion besides compassion and understanding for their children’s feelings. Are children’s shows painting an unrealistic portrait of the modern-day, real-life parent?

I think so.

It got me thinking about my own parenting style. The more realistic, unanimated version. While there are many ways to parent I wish I was better at, the reality is I’m not. And that’s okay!

Here are 10 examples:

  • I cook wholesome, healthy meals for my children each and every day… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I keep my cool and have an abundance of patience for my children in every  situation possible… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I read stories to my children every night before bedtime… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I take time for myself, drink lots of water, exercise, get 8 hours of peaceful sleep… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I wake up rested before my children, get dressed, and am able to get some work finished before they wake up… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I clean my house (including toilets) regularly and without complaining… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I am able to constructively criticize my children when they are doing something wrong and teach them a lesson along the way… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I am compassionate and coddling to the children when they are hurt, angry, frustrated, mad, temperamental, irrational, or sad… but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I step away from my work, cleaning, and cooking when they ask for help with something…but sometimes, I don’t.
  • I feel beautiful and completely confident in my parenting… but sometimes, I don’t.

So raise your glass, from water to wine, and let’s have a toast to all the real-life parents out there.

Keep in mind, for the times you feel as though “sometimes you don’t”, it only means: most of the time, you actually… DO!

Are you a "sometimes, I don't" parent?

Are you a “sometimes, I don’t” parent?