Big Girl Birthday Bash

I cannot believe that my oldest just turned 7! SEVEN! How crazy is that?!

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I’ve noticed that people don’t really tend to RSVP anymore, and even when they do that doesn’t mean so much. I have actually avoided the whole birthday scene since her disastrous 5th birthday party where only ONE person showed up.

Having a summer birthday means that its harder to get people together, I understand, it’s just hard to understand when you’re little and just want to hang out with your friends. Since my party’s don’t tend to work out I’ve leaned more towards family days and those have been great.

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I tried to insist on a family day this year but after two years with the same friends in school all K wanted was a birthday with her friends. I thought if I did the birthday a month ahead of time it might work out and people might show up but our budget got in the way of that and we were once again doing her birthday a solid month after school was out for the summer.

I rented an amazing water slide from Flagler Bounce and I was sure that people would come because seriously, who doesn’t want to play on a water slide?!

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For a week we prepped everything. I cleaned my house spotless (or as spotless as I can get it with three kids actively destroying it behind me) and we prepped everything.

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My sister baked and decorated an amazing cake and we were set.

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There were still few, if any RSVP’s but I was told that family would come and so I wasn’t worried too much about people being there.

The day before the party M stuck her head into the fridge and took a bite out of the top layer of the cake that my sister and her husband spent hours making… not a good start to the festivities…

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The morning of the party the waterslide was dropped off early and my girls were so excited. Any prep I had left to do now needed to be juggled with watching my girls play in the water.

Yes, I’m that over protective mom who won’t let her kids play without supervision. Since they’re 7, 3 and 1 I don’t feel bad about my protectiveness.

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Finally the time of the party came and it was only my family there. K and the others didn’t care because they were playing on the slide. In the end one old friend of K’s came and 2 friends from school.

It wasn’t the huge blowout parties you see all over the place, apparently I don’t throw that kind, but my kids had an absolute blast! The neighbor’s came over and stayed until the waterslide got shut down.

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My parties may not have huge turn outs and maybe I’m not the best planner in the world but as long as my kids have a great time and love their birthday that’s really all that matters!

Adventures In Potty Training

As most of you have read in my previous post I LOVE cloth diapering! I love pretty much everything about cloth diapering and because of that I was in no rush to potty train L. Since I’m not currently pregnant, I didn’t want to pack away my pretty fluff.

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Just being real for a second, potty training is work. Now, it’s not always hard, sometimes it’s actually pretty easy but when you’re in the middle of a quick trip to the store and your kid has to go NOW it becomes a bit tiresome. I love the idea of being done with diapers until God blesses me with another little miracle but when you’re talking to a friend and have to stop mid-sentence to rush to the bathroom its a bit exhausting.

When I’m out I have a fold up potty seat so its not a problem as much as trying to make sure I can get her to the bathroom on time. Also she likes to go multiple times in a row so I have to be able to run back and forth.

With K potty training was easy. I introduced her to the toilet early and she caught on fairly quick. I didn’t use any specific method, I just went with what I felt was right at the time. For her it was right.

With M I did the same thing. It was not right for her. It did not work!

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M was such a struggle, the idea of potty training L was a daunting one. I didn’t want to deal with accidents and the grossness that I had to deal with before. M was terrible, it is actually very recently that she has stopped having accidents.

L has been ready for a long time. She has been pooping on the potty since she was a little more than a year old and from there we’d just put her on every now and then. The absolute biggest thing about potty training, in my opinion, is not having the kids afraid of the toilet!

As the school year came to an end and summer was starting I knew it was time to bite the bullet and get L all the way potty trained. It wasn’t that I had a certain age that I needed it done by, I just knew that she was ready and I was stalling for my own sake not hers.

This time I was prepared. I got a little kid potty seat, a seat for the toilet (which I recommend above the separate potty seat) and the book, Potty Training in 3 Days! I was ready!

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I read the book like 3 times before I decided that it was the right day to begin. I followed the book to a T and just like that I found myself with a potty trained little girl. She doesn’t wet the bed at night and she doesn’t have accidents during the day.

My 21 month old little girl is 100% potty trained!

I don’t know if that method works for all kids. I do know that it worked for mine! I am so excited to head into summer without the diaper bag and tons of things I need to pack just for a quick trip to the beach!

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If your kid is ready to start potty training I would suggest taking a look at the book above because while I absolutely can’t wait until I have another baby I am super stoked that for this time in my life our house is diaper free!

It’s My Birthday!

Remember when you were a kid and you got so excited for like a month leading up to your birthday? You would drop not so subtle hints about the various things you wanted everyone to get you and straight up begged for the best birthday party ever.

It’s weird how that changes as you get older, and not necessarily getting older as much as having kids. I can remember one of my very best birthday’s was going out with my capoeira group and just partying all night. I don’t really do that anymore…

Now birthdays are fun for different reasons. My kids get so excited for my birthday. They don’t care so much about it actually being my birthday as do about eating cake and getting to bake things.

There are no balloons and extravagant gifts but there are lots of kisses and snuggles.

We won’t have a piƱata (although my girls wish we would) and nobody is going to count high enough to have an accurate candle count lol but we’re going to have such a fun day anyway.

Our morning will be spent enjoying the beautiful weather at the pool, then we’ll probably eat ice cream for lunch (because it is my birthday!) and then just enjoying the hammocks in the back yard.

So yes, birthdays change as you get older, and we can pretend to dread getting older, but I cherish every single day that I get to be the mom to my beautiful girls. So my birthdays aren’t just about me and what I get, but they’re about me and the love that I can give to my little miracles!

Hope everyone enjoys my birthday!

My Mom’s Group

I have been blessed with an amazing group of women in my life. Many I have never met in person and many I will probably never meet. They are all part of a “mom’s group” from my birth month with my middle child. Lately, I have seen a ton of posts about why mom’s won’t be a part of groups like that and basically tearing them apart for various reasons.

Honestly that makes me sad.

I get that they’re virtually strangers, but they aren’t really. They have become like sisters that I can turn to when I need to talk to someone but don’t want to be around people. I can vent to them when I’m having a bad day and they empathize with me, because a lot of them are exactly where I am.

They were there for me when I went through my miscarriage. I was able to talk to them about the all consuming pain in a way that was more real than talking to my friends around me. I didn’t feel like I was putting too much on anyone because they could be there to whatever degree they were comfortable with. If it became too much for them they didn’t have to comment or read, but because our group is so large I never felt alone.

As I mourned the death of a baby I would never meet other women, my virtual sisters, reached out and shared their stories with me. See, my family might not have the same experiences as me but in a group of more than 200 women some could reach out to me and speak words they only knew because they too had stood where I was standing.

A big complaint about these groups is drama. I see all the time that there is “mommy-shaming” about parenting choices. There is judging about how we put our kids in their carseats or what we choose to feed them, but that doesn’t happen in my group.

If I think back to the very beginning I’m sure it did. I mean we’re all human and we didn’t just magically create a perfect group. We have some amazing admins who make a good point of keeping the peace. In the past we have had to get some people out of the group but what is left, I love!

Nothing is perfect in life. That’s just a fact. What you need to decide is if it’s worth having and then working on it.

For me this group is adults that are ALWAYS on when I need to talk. They’re always there when I have a problem or when I’m super excited about something. Last year I was in a situation where I felt incredibly uncomfortable. I didn’t want to fall asleep because I felt like my kids and I weren’t in a safe place but I couldn’t leave because my mom had driven with me and wasn’t there. So I went to my group and these amazing ladies from all over the world talked to me.

They texted me links to movies or suggested things to read and look up. All night different ladies hopped on when they could to check and see how I was and how the situation was. Had I been able to leave immediately I would have but since I had to stay I was so grateful that these ladies kept me awake and I am 100% sure that if I had fallen asleep this blog would be about much different issues.

Sure, I get it. Not all mom groups are the same and I’m lucky for the one I have, I know that! But if I had just got annoyed with petty stuff in the beginning and didn’t work with everyone I could be one of those ladies who hates those kind of groups too.

There is something special about my group. I don’t doubt for a second that it’s one of the very best mom groups out there and I’m blessed to have those ladies in my life. But even if you aren’t a member of my group you need to have your “tribe”. Everyone needs a base where they’re safe. Where nothing is off limits and you can go and just relax in your imperfections.

So this is a little piece to defend mom groups. They aren’t evil, they’re just filled with other imperfect humans just like yourself. They’re a place where at 2 am if your kid has a weird rash you can go and get reassurance their arm isn’t going to fall off. When you haven’t slept in a week and can’t think straight you can vent to them about how your husbands snoring might cause you to throat punch him. Maybe they’ll talk you out of it or maybe they’ll encourage you. It’s hard to say, because like you, they’re human.

So if you aren’t in a group, and you’ve read all the smack talk about how horrible they are because not everyone will agree with you all of the time, maybe you should know they aren’t all that bad. There is nothing better than knowing that I have a group of sisters all over the world who are there for me if I really need them, and even if I don’t.