I’m embarrassed to admit, but it’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve made my way into a dental office. With so many moves, it’s something I know I needed to do, but it kept falling down the priority list. And then I’d forget. And then I’d blink and it’s been a couple of years, YOW!

Last week, that all changed as the kids and I made our way to Dental Reflections Dublin for exams and cleanings. The office is conveniently set in an office park in Dublin. It’s pretty close to the zoo, which is a win for us!

When you walk in, the waiting room is very clean and has a feeling of freshness with the pale blues and white theme. There are a ton of Legos for the kids to play with…honestly, any place with Legos is a fan favorite at our house!

Inside the office, there is an adult area and a place for the kids to be examined. Luke and Eden and I were separated since we all had appointments at the same time. I was a little nervous, as this was their first time but they did excellent!! The amazing hygienist took several photos for me, and I could hear Luke (no surprise there) asking lots of questions. The staff was so patient with my kids. Not to mention, the kids had no cavities and a clean bill of health! YAY!

Dr. Rudi As-Sanie was so kind and understanding as I sheepishly admitted how long it has been since I’ve seen a dentist. I really appreciated how non-judgmental the entire staff was. Let’s be honest, how many of us REALLY floss everyday, anyway?!

After x-rays, a full exam and deep cleaning I met with Dr. Rudi who chatted about Luke and Eden’s appointment and then mine. She was so helpful and pulled up pictures of my mouth to explain some potential issues I may face down the road.

The entire experience was amazing. The office space was clean and modern, while the staff was friendly and accommodating. I cannot rave enough about this practice, and I am happy to say we finally have a local dentist who we all love and trust!

*This post was sponsored by Dental Reflections Dublin. All opinion are my own.*

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Legos for the W I N!

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Such a beautiful and clean dentist office.

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They had such a fun morning at the dental office!

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X-rays can be scary, but the team was there to ease the kids’ fears.

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Luke was a rockstar!

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Eden was so brave for her first dental exam.

No Cavities!

No Cavities for me!!

 

My kids are obsessed with cookie dough. I think that just comes with the territory of being a kid. While I love making chocolate chip cookies with them, I’ve found something healthier and much easier to help curb their sweet tooth.

Introducing a simple 5 ingredient cookie dough bite recipe! Super simple, and super delicious!

  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet morsels
  • 3/4 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Mix all ingredients together. Roll them into bite sized balls. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Kid tested, mom approved!

Simple 5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

Simple 5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

Simple 5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

Fun for the whole family.

Simple 5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

Easy for the kids to make too.

Simple 5 Ingredient Cookie Dough Bites

Kid tested, mom approved.

A couple of weeks ago I did something drastic. I cleaned out our fridge and pantry and threw out every single processed find. I’m talking about the goldfish and the sugary cereals. Granted, we didn’t have too much of it in our pantry so it wasn’t being super wasteful. But still! As a mother of three small children, this was a pretty drastic move!

At the risk of being quite possibly the most annoying person you encounter today, let me preface this by saying this is something I am *not* perfect at. I’m trying to promote healthier eating habits, but am far from perfect. We are still going to splurge on occasion, and that’s okay.

Here are 7 healthy eating tips I’ve found useful, and I hope you do as well.

  1. Don’t Cater to Them: I don’t make them a separate dinners. No, the children don’t always love what’s on their plate. Sure, they throw a fit sometimes… but that’s what I made for dinner. By doing this, I’m hoping to teach them they can’t always get chicken nuggets and mac and cheese when we are trying to eat a balanced meal. That being said…
  2. Always Make One Item They Will Eat: I’m not a terribly mean mom, so I always do make sure to add at least one thing to their plate that I know they all 3 will eat. Whether it is homemade, baked french fries, grapes, or just a few pieces of cheese…I still make sure there is one item they will eat.
  3. No Baby Food: I really am not really sure if this has made any difference in my children’s eating habits, but it was something that was important to me when my first child was born. When Luke started eating solid foods, I opted to purchase a BEABA Babycook and started making his food straight from the table. I did this partially because I wanted to start developing his taste buds, and partially because organic baby food is expensive!
  4. Involve The Children in the Process: All three of my children, even my 1-year-old, are like little vultures in the kitchen when I’m cooking. So, I put them to work! I’ve found a great way to have them help is by handing the older two pizza slicers and letting them cut up soft veggies or tortilla shells. I let them crack eggs and even allow my 1 year old to stir mixtures. By letting the children help with the process of cooking, they are guaranteed to enjoy the meal. There is less complaining. I also make sure to praise them on the delicious meals they cook.
  5. Don’t give up! Some children need to be exposed to a food 10 – 20 times before they’ll even decide if they want to eat it and another 20 – 40 times before they decide if they like to or not. So keep trying and keep leading by example!
  6. Don’t forbid indulgences: I think it’s perfectly fine to offer your child a treats. One of our favorite deserts is this amazing 5 ingredient Protein Bite recipe. We also have a lot of angel food cake with strawberries on top during the spring and summer.
  7. Lead by example: This is an important one. If you’re committed to leading a healthier lifestyle, remember it starts with you and your partner! I know it’s hard. Especially at the end of the day, it can be so challenging for us to put the effort in for ourselves let alone creating healthy eating habits for kids. Meal planning has helped tremendously at our house.

I know it’s challenging, but you got this!

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Dear Adam,

Congrats! You made it a full year with this insanely crazy family of five. In typical third child fashion, I am writing this letter to you two weeks after your first birthday.

You didn’t have a big birthday party. We spent November 4th in Disney World… I mean, what better way to celebrate?! You smashed a small cupcake. You listened to us sing to you. You watched you brother and sister blow out your candle. You got a new Donald Duck stuffed animal. You observed, the way you always do.

Adam, at one year old you are simply irresistible. You have a calm temperament. There isn’t much that upsets you. You are careful and delicate. You are stoic and are very selective with your smiles, and we love you for it.

You are crawling everywhere. You can stand, but lack the confidence to take your first steps. You love sitting at the table with your brother and sister. You adore them. They adore you. There has never been one ounce of jealousy since we brought you home a year ago, and that makes us both so happy.

You love graham crackers. You love chicken. You love bananas. You love carbs. Your hair is crazy blonde, and you have a golden tan to your soft skin. You are tall. You have chubby cheeks. You love to help unload the dishwasher. You enjoy putting things in boxes. You adore stuffed animals and cars.

Adam, I have to be completely honest with you. There was a time around your six-week mark when we genuinely did not know if you would make it to your first birthday. You fell very ill with RSV and had to be hospitalized for four days. You couldn’t open your eyes. Your lungs were filled with the virus. We were scared.

After day 2 at the hospital, you opened your bright brown eyes at us and our prayers for healing were answered. During those 4 days at the hospital, I grew closer to you than I ever could have imagined. It’s hard for me to remember how I felt for your older brother and sister when they were your age. But you are so special. You have expanded my heart to a capacity I did not know existed.

Adam, your sister loves to make you laugh. She growls at you and shakes her finger at you saying, “You’re a bad, bad baby.” She says it with a laugh, and you bust out laughing hysterically. You like to annoy her. You’re going to have a fun relationship.

Adam, your brother is your protector. He gets nervous when you cry or try to crawl down the stairs on your own. He won’t let you bathe alone because he’s afraid you could fall. He hugs you and wrestles with you, but never too hard. He’s excited for you to throw a ball with him, but that doesn’t stop him from playing with you now. He is going to be your best friend.

Adam, your mommy and daddy are obsessed with you. You laugh and smile and give us kisses. You rough house with your dad and you crawl to me for safety.

We spend a lot of time at home, the 5 of us. We cook almost every meal at home, we watch movies together, we play games, we listen to music, we go on walks. You are right there with us. Every second of every day.

Adam, thank you for showing us we still had more love to give. Thank you for expanding our hearts. Thank you for joining this loud family. Thank you for going with the flow. Thank you for teaching us how precious life is. Thank you for being you.

Love,

Mom

adam william

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Calm down, stop dialing social services because of the title of this article. Listen, I love my children very much. It’s really hard to quantify my love for them because my heart literally bursts at the seams for each and every one of them. They are loved and cared for and live in a very safe home.

But, here comes the boom. I love my husband more. Let’s begin with the reasons why:

  1. He doesn’t ask me to wipe his butt.
  2. He understands what an “inside voice” is and exercises it when deemed appropriate.
  3. He respects the word “no” (trust me, sometimes he doesn’t want to hear it either).
  4. He picks up after himself (most of the time).
  5. He doesn’t throw himself on the ground in the Target parking lot when I tell him he cannot have another Rapunzel doll.
  6. He can go on a walk and not ask me to hold him every 30 feet.
  7. He can have an intelligent conversation with me beyond golf, Disney princesses, and what he ate for dinner.
  8. He likes the same kind of movies, and doesn’t ask to watch the same scene in one movie 4,837 times.
  9. He is a great date.
  10. I chose him.

Obviously this is very tongue and cheek, but number 10 is so important and really the focus of this article. I CHOSE HIM. God chose us to be the parents we are today, but wchose each other. Now, let’s ask a question.

Do you ever sit on the couch (probably watching Netflix, probably not “chilling”) and wonder who the hell the person is on the other side of the leather lounger?

You step back and suddenly realize you are so caught up in life (diapers, potty training, soccer games, ballet, preschool, carpool, doctor appointments, making meals) that you literally forget about your significant other. The one partner in crime who actually helped you get where you are today…love it, or hate it.

Dudes, life is hard. Raising humans is hard. Jobs are hard. Paying bills is hard. It’s easy to put your significant other on the back burner. I mean, they are the other adult in the household…surely they will understand.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Now, making more time for my husband doesn’t mean I stopped caring for my children because my husband needs his underwear washed. I also do not lay out the newspaper, kick off his shoes and rub his feet. Sick. Rub your own damn feet. It just means I work really hard at making time for us a priority.

It’s taken some undercover (not those covers) digging to figure out how this can be done with a job and three little monsters fighting over my attention. For us, it’s mainly quality time. We spend a lot of time when they kids go to bed sitting outside by the fire. Sometimes we drink, sometimes we don’t. We talk. We plan. We write down ideas. We discuss the future. We focus on us. Sometimes we kick the kids to their grandparent’s curb and get a date night. Whether it’s a 5 star restaurant or pizza at home, the focus never changes.

Two reasons why:

  1. These tiny humans we are raising are going to grow into school aged humans. And then off to college and the work field aged humans. And then it’s just us. Back to square one. One of my biggest fears is we’ll become strangers. I want to be more than a friendly “hello” in the morning and a polite “how was your day” in the evening. This is the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with.
  2. A healthy marriage translates into a happy household. It’s very important to me our three kids watch our relationship and learn. How we talk to each other, how we respect each other, how we interact with each other. Sure it’s not perfect. We argue just like the next couple, but it’s how we handle it that matters. I want our children to grow up and find spouses that are like-minded. I want them to have healthy marriages and happy households. I want them to take what they learned from us and implement it 30 years from now.

So, it starts now. I realize not all marriages are the same, but I do making your spouse a priority is important.

Want more, be more, do more. Our 60, 70, and 80 year old selves will appreciate the hard work we put in today. Not to mention, those tiny people are watching you.

Be the role models they deserve. Be the parents they aspire to be. Be the spouses they will one day become.

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