The Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by The Good, the bad, and the Saggy.  It is such an honor to be nominated especially by such a creative, funny, and respected blogger. Thank you!!  And thank you to all of you for taking a moment out of your day to visit this Mom on the go, it means a lot to me.

Now, onto the rules for accepting this award, which are as follows:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along to 15 or 20.(or as many as I can think of…)

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Here are 7 random things about me….

I am the head organizer for our local playgroup and we currently have over 100 fabulous mommy members.

I firmly believe that people are good and every one should be given a second chance (especially in-laws).

I love any excuse to throw a party…It’s a Tuesday…Our toddler graduated to a booster seat…New haircut…literally any excuse!! Getting together with family and friends is so much fun!!

I do not drink pop/soda, I do not have a microwave (personal choice), and I do most of my reading in the car.

I am a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional (AP) in Interior Design & Construction (ID + C). I also choose to live a green and sustainable lifestyle and not talk about it 24/7.  That is not to say that you should not talk about it, I enjoy hearing/reading the passion that others have, I am just sick of hearing myself. Lol!

Given the opportunity I would love to have more children.

The biggest stressor in my life right now is the fact that since our house is on the market a realtor could call at any moment requesting a showing.  Keeping a home filled with 2 busy adults, 1 toddler, 1 preschooler, 1 elementary aged child, 1 cat, and 1 dog clean is exhausting.  I can handle tidying, that is no big deal, but it is the fact that the closets, cupboards, pantry, and basement need to be presentable at all times that is exhausting.

All right, enough about me, here are the nominations.

I really enjoy reading about other moms’ conundrums, trails and errors when it comes to motherhood.  It is so nice to know I am not alone. I also enjoy reading the recipes that moms’ posts as well as cleaver craft ideas, there are some really creative and funny mamas out there. So, without further ado, the list…..

Table for More

Mom in Heels

Bananaoats

Raising Caines

Francesscott

The Goon Room

There’s Just One Mommy

Reporter Turned Mommy

colorfulmama

High Heels for Muddy Boots

Moms who Wine

I hope you enjoy reading what these moms have to say as much as I do.  If you know of a great blog I didn’t mention please share, I am always on the lookout for funny, versatile, mommy bloggers.

OWN: Oprah’s Next Chapter…Transcendental Meditation?

Okay, so I have already admitted it once but here goes again, I think I am a Oprah fan. My mother used to watch Oprah when I was a child and I never really got into the show.  I take that back, I did watch Oprha’s favorite things, those were entertaining. Anyway, here I am 30 something and I, like my mother, am watching Oprah, the Oprah Winfery Network.

As I expressed in a previous post I am really hooked on the OWN’s Supper Soul Sunday segments, they are inspiring and enlightening. I highly recommend this segment to moms; it helps add a little bit more renewal/rejuvenation to the week.  I DVR the segment and then enjoy watching 20 minutes here and there during the course of a week. I have to be honest; besides Super Soul Sundays I have not seen much of the programs offered on OWN. I wish she had an inspiring program to watch around 1 or 2pm, when the kiddos nap, that would be nice (Oprah, if you are reading, yeah right!? Please consider adding a mommy friendly program in the afternoon).

I did happen to catch Oprah’s Next Chapter late last night thanks to our toddler (she is at the end of a cold and her coughing wakes her up from a deep sleep and then it takes a few minutes to calm her back to sleep).  So, I started flipping through the channels hoping to find something appropriate for her little eyes in case she glanced up.  And I came across OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter where she was visiting Fairfield, Iowa which is classified as one of the safest, greenest and most unusual communities in America.   I had hoped to fall asleep to the program but instead I found myself captivated.  In Fairfield there are two large golden domes that have the capacity to hold thousands of residents, one for women, and the other for men. The residents’ of Fairfield meditate twice a day in those large domes.  It was fascinating to watch the women flock to the dome at 5pm for meditation.  They dropped everything, calls, appointments, etc. and focused entirely on mediation. Some meditated for 20 minutes other for as long as 2 hours.  It was amazing, people from various background, religious backgrounds, ethnicities, etc. congregating in one large dome to meditate.

They were practicing transcendental meditation (T M).  The following is from the website, www.TM.org

Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.  It’s not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. It’s the most widely practiced, most researched, and most effective method of self-development.

 

What happens when you meditate?

 The Transcendental Meditation technique allows your mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought — pure awareness, also known as transcendental consciousness, or the unified field. This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness — your innermost Self. In this state of restful alertness, your brain functions with significantly greater coherence and your body gains deep rest.

 

How many people practice the TM technique?

More than five million people worldwide have learned this simple, natural technique — people of all ages, cultures, and religions — making it one of the most popular of all meditation techniques.

Read more.

There are also amazing health benefits. See what Dr. Oz has to say regarding the latest studies related to TM.

The idea is very appealing to me. I practiced HypnoBirthing with my last child. I would basically meditate for 45 minutes a day for the last 4 months of my pregnancy. Well, actually it was more of a self-hypnosis exercise but it involved me laying down and listening to a CD each day.  I would listen to the CD and overtime I formed a place in my mind, a safe, tranquil, heavenly place in my mind, and it worked!  I was so relaxed during those last few months of pregnancy and the day of delivery the self-hypnosis worked.  I stopped after the birth of our third, there wasn’t a reason to continue, and it served its purpose. However I do miss it, I miss the calm it helped me achieve in the afternoon.  I miss how clear-headed it helped me become, I miss shutting down all screens and all worries and just being.

I am thinking about giving this meditation a try, maybe not necessarily TM but some form of meditation.  It would simply be a time set aside for my mind to shut down, sometimes I feel like I am in overdrive, it would be nice to reboot and achieve a more refreshed me.  

Have you ever heard of TM? Do you meditate or have you thought about starting? What are your thoughts on Mediation?

Spring has Sprung Clothing Swap was a Success!

Our Playgroup had a spring clothing swap this week and it was a success thanks to the awesome moms in our group.  And a special thanks to our mom who allowed us to occupy her house for the evening, thank you for hosting Jill!

Here’s the invite that went out to our playgroup mommies….

 

Moms,

Does it seem like your kiddos are growing like weeds while the required clothing budget for them is depleting? No sooner do you stock up on their current size, and they’re ready for the next one. The perfect solution has arrived; you are cordially invited to a Clothing (and more) Swap party.

Instructions:

The next time your little one takes a nap or goes down for the night set aside a few minutes to go through their wardrobe. Separate the clothing that they have outgrown, carefully review the articles of clothing, wash them, and fold (please do not bring stained or messy clothes to swap).

 As you enter the party you will receive one raffle ticket for each item that you bring. You will then use those raffle tickets to purchase clothing at the party.

 

This is a moms’ only event. We are asking that you bring a snacking food and/or beverage to share with the other moms (and yes, this can include wine for all us moms over 21 years of age).

Items to be swapped include:

  •  Maternity clothes
  • Baby blankets
  • Boys and girls clothing (newborn-and up)
  • Halloween costumes
  • Toys, books, puzzles, and games
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Magazines
  • Shoes/Boots
  • Jackets/coats

All unclaimed clothing can go home with you or, if you wish, you can donate it for a future garage sale where all proceeds will go to www.apraxia-kids.org. (We have a child in our group who suffers from apraxia).

So, join other moms for an evening of Swapping, your wallet and planet earth will thank you.

________________________________________________________________________________________

The evening of the swap…

The moms showed up promptly and quickly claimed their area of the room.  We had 8 moms attend the swap and an additional mommy dropped off clothing earlier in the day (she has a new little bundle of joy, only two weeks old and so freakin adorable!! You know the type; those cute little infants that make you go home and beg your hubby to have his vasectomy reversed).

Tables filled with clothes
A lot of clothes
Once all the tables were full....
...moms claimed space on the floors.
And yes, those floors were very clean.

All the moms but one had clothing items to swap with other moms.  We had one mom who had all infant up to size 18 month for little girls and unfortunately we did not have any moms with infant girls or baby girls in those sizes. Those little outfits were so darn cute; it seriously did have me contemplating a future discussion with my hubby. (I figured I would go with the odd number scenario. We are a family of five and since amusement park rides require 2 per seat there will always be one person who has to ride alone or sit out, right? I mean we have to have an even number if we are going to have future amusement park excursions. That was as far as I got in the thought process but I think I make a valid point).

I know, I know, me and the pictures!

Of course what kind of clothing swap would it be without food?  I mean a girl gets parched looking through adorable clothes and sometimes she needs to be consoled by chocolate and red wine when she comes to the realization that her family will be that odd-numbered family at the amusement park (and you know who always sits out taking one for the team right? That’s right, mom.).

So we gathered in the kitchen and enjoyed slutty brownies (so delicious, make them today and you’ll know why they were given that name), a scrumptious cheese ball, salsa and spinach dip with chips, and of course you must have the good old veggies to cancel out the slutty brownies and sugar cookies (not familiar with the equation? It goes a little something like this, 3 carrots, celery, and 2 cauliflower and broccoli spears will cancel out 1 slutty brownie, its basic veggie replacement therapy).

click link in post for recipe

As usual, whenever you get a bunch of gals together shopping, eating, and drinking time flies. Before we knew it 3 hours had passed. I hated to see the night end, it was so much fun catching up with the other moms and I having the opportunity to meet two new awesome moms. 

This swap was such a success, moms left with clothes for their kiddos and we still had a decent amount of clothes for the garage sale to raise money for apraxia. We plan on doing a Fall Swap too! I am packing away the footsy pajamas as we speak/type whatever.

Have you ever participated in a clothing swap? If not, have you ever considered having a clothing swap?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scary Mommy Moment: You can’t find your child!!

It is one of every mother’s worst fears, a child being separated from her in a crowded public place. 

Imagine taking your children out to enjoy a pleasant afternoon together and what had the potential of becoming a memorable afternoon turns into a horrible nightmare.   You and your children are together and then suddenly you aren’t.  Your heart begins to race; you can hear it beating in your head. The sweat begins to pour down your face. It is as if everything is going in slow motion and yet it feels like it is taking a lifetime to scan the room in hopes of an inkling of familiarity.  But your brain gets its wires crossed and you struggle to remember what your child was wearing.  Was it a red shirt or did he wear the blue?  Did he grab his new shoes or was he wearing his old ones?  You think so hard it hurts. Then the guilt hits you like a freight train. You are the mother, you are supposed to watch over and protect your children, and here you are searching for your child, how did you let this happen? You try so hard to hold it together, to maintain composure for the outside world while inside you are crumbling fast.

Unfortunately I am able to express these feelings and emotions so candidly because it happened to me.  I hate to admit it. I wish I didn’t have to but something in me tells me that I need to be honest and share my story no matter how embarrassing.  And yes, I do realize this will leave me vulnerable to ridicule and judgment by others but perhaps this story will resonate in another mother’s mind and she will learn from my experience.

My toddler, preschooler, and I met up with two other moms and their toddlers at the Toledo Zoo yesterday.  It has been gorgeous here, definitely unseasonal weather temperatures, the past few days have been in the high 70s – low 80s. So we figured what a wonderful day for a visit to the zoo. We met at the Polar Bear exhibit.  My toddler unlike their sweet baby girls was out of her stroller, running around, and simply curious about the world and everything the zoo had to offer.

We slowly made our way to Natures Neighborhood, the area dedicated to the children.  It is a really cool space for children to explore and play. There is an area where they can do face painting, there are large honey combs’ to climb in and bee costumes they can play with, a climbable spider web located next to real live spiders, a forest with hidden wonders, and so much more inside. Outside, in a fenced in area there is a playground, small wading stream, small animal petting area, and much more.

He is at that age where he will only look at the camera on his terms.

My children always look forward to going to Nature’s Neighborhood. My sons favorite part of Nature’s Neighborhood are the hidden passageway between the face painting area and the large room and the smaller kiddo sized doors to the outside (similar to a doggy door but for children).

We arrive in Natures Neighborhood and it is pretty empty but within minutes a school group enters followed by a mommy brigade. It is getting too crowded inside so we decide to head outside for more fun in Natures Neighborhood but first I need to bypass the mommy brigades to get to my stroller.  I have my toddler and preschooler stay in the corner together while I get the stroller.  I arrived back in the corner with the stroller and my curious little Toddler took off outside while my preschooler went running over to the secret passageway. I had assumed her was going through the passage in order to go through the fun kiddos door on the other side. I figured we would just meet him outside. Once outside my toddler, being the brave little kiddo that she is took off up the stair that led to a hidden slide.  This space is a danger zone for toddlers due to a drop offs. So I was watching her like a hawk, actually more like her shadow, I was right behind her waiting to grab her before she got to close to the edge.  After a couple of minutes I realized I had not seen my preschooler on the playground equipment and began searching for him while standing on top of a manmade cliff, at least it was the perfect lookout.

After scanning the ground below a few times I grabbed my toddler who began kicking and screaming and headed down the ramp, off the cliff, to locate my preschooler. At this point my heart started pounding; it was like it was in my head.  The sweat began rolling down my face, time stood still yet it seemed like an eternity. 

I have always explained to my children what to do if we get separated.

  • First, and foremost, do not panic; when you panic you cannot think clearly.
  • Second, do not leave the area or the space that we were in to go find me, stay where we were at, I will come back to that space to find you.
  • Third, find a mommy or someone who works wherever we are at and tell them that we have been separated.
  •  Lastly, never, I repeat, NEVER leave with another person! I don’t care what they tell you, they may say they saw me outside somewhere and to follow them, they could say they will give you a ride home, or that they may have candy, whatever they say don’t go with them, NEVER leave with another person!! Then I explain that there are some sick people out there that want to hurt children, sometimes so badly that they will never see their mommies and daddies again. I realize it might be a little scary but if it keeps my child from going with a stranger or even an acquaintance, no matter what that individual says to them then I have done my job. As our children get older we will address issues of sexual predators, human trafficking, etc. in more detail but at the age of my kiddos not seeing mommy or daddy ever again is scary enough.

As I walked through the kitchen area of Natures Neighborhood I could see a little boy in the distance sitting on a bench with one of the young zoo volunteers just looking around. There he was, my precious boy. He came running over to me giving me a huge hug and began crying. I held onto him so tight, gave him a kiss, and exhaled. As I stood there holding him I could not recall a prouder moment, he listen to me.  All those times I explained what to do in a situation like this one he actually listened. I had thought for sure it was going in one ear and out the other but  he was actually listening.  Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to relish our reunited moment because our little toddler was off and running again.

We take our play seriously, mud and all!

We managed to stay together for the remainder of our zoo visit but yesterday will go down as one of the most terrifying and satisfying day of my life.  For it was the day I lost my son, the day I found him, and realized all my labors, words, and lessons proved valid in a true life experience.

Have you ever been separated from your child in a public space? Or maybe when you were a child you were separated from your mom? What happened? How did you feel? How did the experience change you?

 

 

Do you believe in Angels?

From the time I was, goodness, I guess since I can remember, I have believed in Angels.

I remember being a very young child, probably around the age of 3, and watching It’s a Wonderful Life.  It was at the end of the movie, after the visions Clarence shared with George, illustrating the difference he has made in his family’s’ lives, friends’ lives, and the overall community in hopes of getting his wings.  Followed by the amazing final scene where everyone floods his home helping pay the money he owes and he finds the book, Adventures of Tom Sawyer and in it is written “Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence.” Followed by the reason I ran around ringing every single bell I could get my hands on for the next two years.

 

I learned so much from It’s a Wonderful Life.

There are also numerous songs that address angels. One of my favorite is Angels among Us.

There are additional movies that address angels. Like Michael and City of Angels.

 

And then there is television.

I started watching the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) Super Soul Sundays about six weeks ago and I am hooked. I look forward to coming home from church, having lunch, and then putting the kiddos down for a nap, a.k.a. quiet time, so I can watch the Super Soul Sunday on the DVR (no commercials).   This week’s Super Soul Sunday Oprah interviewed Jonas Elrod about his new ability to see spiritual visions and energies. After the interview OWN showed the exclusive made for television premier of his film, Wake Up. (The OWN has also shown exclusive premier viewings of the film I AM and Love Hate Love, both of which are amazing and rent worthy). 

And finally there are real life experiences like Jonas’.

On my grandmother’s death bed, surrounded in her home by family, all 15+ of us at the time, she passed. It was early in the morning and most of us were sleeping but an eye-witness that was next to her told her these final words, “I see angel”.

As I stated, I am a believer in angels and I think we each have a guardian angel who watches over us. In fact I think there is some awesome connection between ourselves, our angels, and God.

Do you believe in angels? What type of angels? Do you think you have a guardian angel? Have you ever had an experience with an angel?

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Grant me a sense of humor, Lord,

The saving grace to see a joke,

To win some happiness from life,

And pass it on to other folk.

As luck of the Irish would have it we enjoyed hanging out with friends today, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, so we had an Irish themed play date!

We served Annie’s Mac and Cheese from a “Pot of Gold” for our play date today.
The kiddos each had a personal “pot of gold” to eat their Mac and Cheese out of.
Finally, I made jello jigglers and it worked!! This was the first time it actually worked. Funny, I can decorate an intricate cookie; I have the patience for fancy cupcakes, and can even make a mean lasagna, but Jello, that’s what I have issues with??
We served grapes, green pepper slices, and cucumber water along with the “Pot of Gold”.
And yes, in case you were wondering, the foam ball did topple over once; it can be tricky placing each cookie just so.
Our little leprechaun, patiently holding an umbrella waiting for the rain so that there will be a rainbow and a pot of gold at the end of it…so endearing.
Our little lady is rocking the Shamrocks!!
I had a difficult time capturing this little leprechaun. She was having a blast with her choo choo. She kept going…..
and going…
and going.

Fun craft to do with the kiddos…http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/try-on-leprechaun-985020/
Mommy really lucked out and had a chance to hang out with a longtime friend this evening over some yummy cupcakes. What better way to chat than over cupcakes? (No, we did not eat them all, we will be sharing with family and friends tomorrow, gosh, what kind of person do you think I am?)
Chocolate and almond cupcakes, yum!!

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”