I don't proofread my posts before I publish them... cause I keep my thoughts au naturale.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I'm snapping an #UltraHug selfie for Arthur Elementary to win them a $2k grant from Huggies!

I'm nominating Arthur Elementary for the $2k grant from Huggies Snug N Dry!  Our city has many elementaries spread throughout the town, which means that most of them have a smaller student population from towns with only one or two elementary schools.  They tend to be more blessed when it comes to extra money for playground equipment and renovations.  My children go to Arthur and I love taking my younger two to the playground to play.  Unfortunately I have to be constantly on guard when they are playing on the equipment because all of the equipment has wood chips
underneath.  And after it rains, the few wood chips there are, are mixed in with lots of mud- this means I can't take the kids at all.

There are parks located throughout the town, but it is nice for families to be able to take their children to the nearby elementary to play.  It's within walking distance and your kids don't have to fight for a turn on the slide.  It's a free and healthy way to get kids outside playing and unplugging from technology for awhile.

What I would like to use this grant for is to purchase shredded rubber playground mulch to put under the equipment.  This will help alleviate scraped knees, splinters, being impaled by wood chips and the icky muddy mess.  It would set my mind, and other parents' minds at ease as we watch our children play.  I've been to schools that have this mulch and it is fantastic!  I would love to see this on the playground at Arthur Elementary!!

Do you have a place in your local community that you would like to see get a $2k grant from Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra?  If so, here are the details:

From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug
• In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I wore my bathing suit in public... and no one pointed and laughed!

How many of us are 100% happy with our bodies?  Don't all raise your hands at once... anyone... anyone... Bueller... Bueller...?

Last year I don't think I got in a swimming pool one time.  I can't remember, but I don't think I did.  The summer before, I went to the public pool in our small town a couple times, but grudgingly.  I only went so that my kids could go and enjoy it.  Oh how I wished I could be one of those parents who swam with their kids, jumped off the diving boards, went down slides... when I was younger I LOVED that kind of stuff and I was willing to wear a two-piece-- with no cover-up!  I just feel so much body shame that I only feel comfortable in a swimsuit around my kids- and that's only because they think I'm pretty no matter what (they're young.)

Anyway, two summers ago when I was at our small town public pool, a woman in her late 20s was there with at least one child.  She was having fun, jumping in the water, enjoying the beautiful day.  This is what I saw: she was wearing a two piece, she had that mommy apron that we all hate, stretch marks on her stomach and was very pale.  She was not very heavy-looking, it was just the stomach region that surprised me that she would be comfortable wearing a two-piece in public.  My first thought was, "I can't believe someone would wear a two-piece when their stomach looks like that!"  Then immediately my thought turned to how I wish I could be more like that woman!  She clearly did not worry about what she was wearing or what other people might think- she was there to have fun and enjoy herself, time with her kids, get a good tan... so why should she feel bad about that?  Why should she care that there are judgmental people (like I was initially being) who know nothing about her, but will think poorly of her because she chooses to accept her body for the way it is?  We should be using her as a role model!

So yesterday was a huge step for me.  My daughter earned a trip to the pool for having a great report card, and I couldn't back out on her.  So to avoid a hassle with the younger two (and some nasty sunburns,) my husband decided he would stay home with the younger two and I would take the older two.  So I reluctantly put on my swimsuit that I don't believe had been worn yet.  It was a tankini, but the bottoms were a skirt.  The top was made in a way that the midsection didn't cling an there was plenty of coverage up to my armpits.  I tossed a dress over the top and out the door we went.

The whole drive to the pool I argued with myself in my head.  We now live in the second biggest city in our state, and it is one of the better pools in the city, so I knew it would be packed.  This made me feel really nervous that so many people would be seeing me in a swimsuit, but I wanted to lay out and work on a tan while the kids played in the pool.  The place WAS packed.  As we walked out of the changing rooms into the pool area, I began seeing people of all sizes, ethnicities, heights, weights, builds, complexions, you name it!  Sure there were skinny women in bikinis, but there were heavier women in bikinis too.  And most of them weren't wearing skirted bottoms that attempted to hide cellulite like I was.

My kids begged me to go with them down the slide the first time because they were shy and a bit nervous.  I decided to suck it up, took the dress off and walked up the steps to the slide area, where I took my turn and went down a big, twisting blue slide- and it was FUN.  I tried not to think about what the young lifeguards thought as I approached in my bathing suit.  I instead tried to think about how excited my kids were that I went down the slide.

After getting out of the pool, I found a chair to lay out on, put my towel on it, put my headphones in, laid back, made sure my swimsuit was all in place, then just enjoyed the peace.  Was I feeling self-conscious?  Of course.  Was I letting it ruin my time there?  Not at all!  My psychiatrist once told me that if I'm afraid to be out in public for fear that people are judging me, that I should realize that 99% of those people "don't give a shit" about me.  I can tell you that at the pool yesterday, I did not know ONE person besides my kids.  So why should I care if one of them thinks that I'm chubby, that I have cellulite, that I've got a floppy mommy apron for a tummy... whatevs.  There were so many people that were heavier and didn't seem to care AT ALL.  They were enjoying themselves.

These lovely ladies have no body shame- color me jealous!


I feel like it was a huge obstacle to overcome and I'm nowhere near as confident as the woman in my old town in the bikini, but I just hope one day to get to the point where I can have fun enough in my full coverage swimsuit and not be worrying about what other people are thinking.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Pee in Post Partum (TMI Alert!) #parenting

I debated writing this post because it's a bit TMI, but I figured it's something other moms can empathize with and it's just a nice heads up for the moms-to-be out there.

I don't recall having this problem after my first two children are born.  Sure, when you're pregnant you have to worry about peeing your pants because you've got an 8lb baby pushing on your bladder.  But what about when that baby has been born and is about to get its driver's license??

Well, none of my kids are quite there yet, but I'm sure I'll have the same issue by the time they do get to be that age. 

Since my last two children were born only 18 months apart, I couldn't say for sure which one pushed my bladder over the edge.  But I've developed an all-too familiar problem that some moms have the pleasure of dealing with once their children have exited the womb and their bodies have started returning to somewhat normal.  Sometimes when I sneeze, I pee a little.  Yep, there's your TMI.  My most recent bout was a hellacious cold I just recovered from.  I would occasionally go through a coughing fit or let out a big sneeze and if I didn't cross my legs fast enough... I snuck upstairs in hopes no one would notice.

If you have this problem and haven't figured it out yet- cross your legs when you sneeze or cough!  Like I said, I never had this problem until after babies #3 and #4, so I know not all moms go through with this.  And I know there's a scientific explanation, that some day I will google, but that day is not today, therefore you will remain uninformed until you google it yourself.

There you have it!  So to those who may see me out and about and watch me cough or sneeze, pay no attention to me crossing my legs as I do so and especially don't think twice about it if I get a panicked look on my face and run for the bathroom.

Moms, can I get an Amen??

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Like onions? Here's a helpful hack for those who cook with them!

Now after you read this, you're going to either thing I'm dumb for thinking everyone who likes onions doesn't already do this, or you're going to question why you had never thought about it!

I generally only use white onions, but I'm sure it works for all onions.
I've never really been a fan of raw onions on things, but I like the flavoring it adds cooked into things.  What recipe doesn't taste a bit better when you add chopped onions?  I spent years just buying the dried onions that you buy in the spices section at the grocery store.  I'd just buy them minced and chopped.  I question how much flavor they actually added, but it made me feel a little more mature in my cooking, haha.

Anyway, a few months ago I bought myself an actual onion.  I can't remember what recipe I was making, but it called for chopped onion and I didn't think the dried stuff would cut it.  But after slicing off the little bit I needed, I felt like I totally wasted an onion!

Enter my glass Pyrex containers.  If you use plastic tupperware/gladware/etc., then you aren't really living.  Glass is the way to go!  I received a set for Christmas a year or two ago and I can't believe I had gone my whole adult life without them!  You can use them for storage or cooking, cold food, hot food, non-food storage, you name it!

So I put my leftover onion in one of the small Pyrex containers.  It lasted for a good month while I slowly chipped away at it when I was cooking different dishes.  By the time I used the last of it, it looked and felt as fresh as when I put it in the container!  So there's my hack, lol.  Instead of running to the store every time I needed one onion or having to waste onion, I put it in a small, air tight container and I can have fresh onion to use for weeks!

Okay, so am I dumb for going this long with figuring it out or are you surprised you hadn't thought of it before?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Kidz Bop 28 CD #Giveaway

I have a confession to make... *whispers* I listen to the Kidz Bop CDs when my kids aren't even in the car.  If you tell anyone, I'll deny it!

Here's what's great about Kidz Bop- they magically churn these things out while the majority of the songs are still in high rotation on the radio!  So my kids recognize the song and can sing along.  They are quite heavily edited, which does make me chuckle with how they change the wording, but that's okay because my kids don't need to be asking me what this or that means all the time.  Also, it's nice for me because they are mostly songs that I really like.  Somehow you can have 6 radio stations on your pre-set and they all have commercials or cruddy songs, so sometimes I turn it back to Kidz Bop.  Aaaand, it makes road trips more tolerable for the kids.

Long story short, Kidz Bop 28 is in stores now!  Although I've been enjoying it for weeks gratis (eat your heart out), you can now enjoy it for years to come!


The track list is:
  • 01 Uptown Funk
  • 02 Blank Space
  • 03 Lips Are Movin
  • 04 Jealous
  • 05 Blame
  • 06 Love Me Harder
  • 07 Steal My Girl
  • 08 The Heart Wants What It Wants
  • 09 Heroes (We Could Be)
  • 10 I’m Not The Only One
  • 11 Ghost
  • 12 Waves
  • 13 I Lived
  • 14Thinking Out Loud 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  One lucky winner will receive a copy of Kidz Bop 28!  Ends 4/25/15 at midnight.  Good luck!!