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!

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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.

Do Good Dollars

A while back I wrote about how I took away all my kids toys and it has been awesome. I’m taking the time without all the chaos to teach my kids how to take care of what they have and to be nice to each other.

About a year ago a friend from church told me about the book Parenting with Love and Logic and I found the one for early childhood. This book is amazing! It completely changed the way I parent and it took my crazy not listening middle child and changed her into my best listener today!

The main premise of the book is teaching kids to make good choices. I give my girls lots of easy choices during the day, like would you like to play in the pool in the back yard or draw with chalk on the front porch? They are given a little control over their day and I’m okay with either thing they do. When they don’t listen there are consequences and they learn from their mistakes. The idea is to let them make mistakes when the consequences are small rather when they get older and the consequences are exponentially bigger.

The point of this post was not a book review, I swear! But seriously that is the best book I’ve ever read for parenting and it has changed the entire atmosphere of my house!

The point of the post was to tell you guys about this awesome idea I have to reward the kids and give them a chance to earn back some of their toys that are hidden in my bedroom.

I made some DO GOOD DOLLARS. They aren’t anything fancy, they’re index cards we colored on and then I laminated. The girls can earn them by doing more than what is expected of them normally. They aren’t getting any for keeping their room clean because that is something they need to do and they shouldn’t expect to be rewarded. However, K does the kitty litter and she gets 2 do good dollars when she does!

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The girls can then take their dollars and buy stuff. One dollar will get them a sticker, which to me is a rip off but M loves her stickers! Two dollars and they can get one article of clothing for their baby doll (K earned them back at the end of the school year with NO BAD DAYS all year!!). Then for 5 they can pick a small toy and from there it goes up depending on what they want to get back.

I started this as a bit of a joke. I mean, its an index card, but these girls go crazy for them. K got 5 the other day for cleaning up the yard before her daddy went to mow it. M got them for cleaning the bathroom (which I had to redo later but she seriously gave it her best shot).

They also work as a consequence. If they aren’t listening at night or they’re fighting I simply ask for a dollar and they turn things around real quick!

When I saw how much they loved the idea I was a bit uncertain how long it would work because they would earn back their toys and then stop caring but they really like the idea of no toys. When they earn their do good dollars they opt to buy the stickers or ice pops or baby clothes. M did have her doll taken last night for not taking care of it but she doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get her back.

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I feel like I finally found a method that my girls ALL love and its just in time for an amazingly fun summer!

Taking a Break

 

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Everyone who knows me knows that I want more kids. If I hadn’t lost my baby in October then we would be welcoming home our precious baby any day now. It hurts to see all my friends announce their pregnancies or show their beautiful little baby’s but I am so happy for them at the same time. It’s weird.

It’s hard to explain the joy I can feel for someone else while my heart is breaking at the same time.

Some people don’t have a hard time getting pregnant. Some people can decide that they want a baby and *poof* they’re pregnant. Or even more aggravating some people can decide they don’t want a baby and *poof* they’re pregnant.

That isn’t me. Each and every baby is prayed for extensively. I know that God’s timing is perfect and I’m resting in the knowledge that He loves me and wants what is best for me. Still, I pray every day for my next baby.

I know a lot of people who are in the same boat as me. They are praying for their little miracle, be it their first of fifth it hurts just the same to wait.

So as we head into summer and every one is making their adorable announcements I’m going to slow down on the social media front. I will be focusing on the beautiful blessings I have in my life. I will be playing in the sprinklers and laying in the hammock.

For those who are also waiting for their blessing just know that God loves you so much and He wants what is best for you. Hopefully I’ll be hopping back on sooner rather than later with my own special announcement.

I know I’m not the only one who is crazy and tests all the time, praying for that second pink line to tell me my baby is on it’s way. For those of you who love to test all the time too you should check out amazon because the tests are so much cheaper there!

Hopefully there will be lots of babies for mommies who have saturated them in prayer already. I have faith that God wants to bless all of us with our babies! Until then I hope you all enjoy your beautiful summer!

***Also if you just made an announcement: I love you, and you know I will always be here for you but for the time being I just need to take an emotional break so my heart can heal a little!**

Yes, They’re All Mine…

IMG_7193.JPGSo I don’t know about you guys who have more than one kid, but my kids don’t all look identical. Sure, they have lots of similarities and they will make the same stink face at me when they’re being boogies but they all have their own characteristics too.

For those who know me personally K & L could be twins if it weren’t for the five year age gap. M on the other hand is our blond beauty. She was our tiniest baby and continues to be our little peanut. She also just so happens to be our spitfire! She doesn’t stop going until bedtime and will often get “ouchies” multiple times a day.

I have three girls but they are not all the same. I’m sure any mom with multiple kids can attest to this.

That brings me to my annoyed rant. Why does it happen that every time I go shopping with all three of my kids do I get asked if they’re all mine?!

Who is shopping with other people’s cranky kids?!?

I get the M is blond and me and the other girls are brunette but I should not have to qualify my kids with our genetic background to strangers. Do I really need to tell them that she looks like my husband? Do I need to explain to anyone that my husband was a blond when he was a kid and my hair was much lighter then too?

But let’s just let that sit for a minute and think about a hypothetical, what about the mom who has adopted her little miracles? Why should they be asked to explain their family to anyone? Just because our kids may not carry the same genetics as us doesn’t make them any less ours!

In my case they are all mine. TRUST ME! If I was shopping with a cranky booty who was making a fuss you wouldn’t have to ask, I would be sure to let you know it wasn’t mine! Nope, I have a hard enough time shopping with my kids so I try not to bring other random kids with me to stores.

I don’t know if you’ve ever met a kid if you’re asking me if they’re all mine. Kids ask for everything. And they aren’t picky. They’ll ask a stranger for a toy if they think they’ll get it. So shopping with kids is a special kind of torture that parents are forced to endure. The constant asking for toys and snacks and anything shiny they may see.

I have fixed a lot of this with my girls because they know we’re not buying any toys until we’re being responsible for everything we have. But kids don’t have a filter so shopping with them is like walking across a field of landmines. You never know when they’re going to see something that will cause them to blurt out potentially rude and embarrassing comments.

So yes, when I go shopping they’re all mine. All three gorgeous girls who look and act so different all came from the same mommy. Trust me no one else is taking them shopping and I’m not borrowing kids to go get my groceries either!

Its not like I had a huge number either, three is kind of a normal number for kids. When I have my next kids asking might be more justifiable but still NOT OKAY.

If you see someone in a store shopping with kids smile, say something nice but let it go at that. Don’t question another mother about her family, at best it comes across as intrusive and at worst its rude!

Summer Fun

As the school year slowly comes to an end (or more accurately rushes at me like a steamroller) I am getting excited for my summer ahead. This year I won’t only have my three awesome girls but I will have my friends three amazing boys hanging out with me so we’re going to have a full house!

My back yard is all set up and the pools are ready to be filled (once my husband mows the lawn lol). The sandbox has been filled with toys that probably should never have been brought outside and the freezer is loaded with ice pops. I live a very short distance from a park that is about to reopen and I am ready for the fun to begin!

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Since the inside of my house has been staying clean since I got rid of all the toys (yes I’m mean) the majority of our time will be spent outside or on our porch. We have everything we need now it just needs to be summer already!

K has only 2 more shirts hanging in her closet for school. TWO MORE DAYS! I think I might be more excited than her! The rest of her uniforms have been washed and put up so they don’t accidentally get destroyed during the summer (my kids are like ninjas when it comes to destroying things) and her bathing suits are all washed and ready to go!

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One of my girls favorite things to do outside is pretend to garden. We just got them an awesome set to use since their old ones got brittle in the hot Florida sun. They use their shovels and rakes to help daddy do his work and to just play in the sandbox. I like them having outside toys because it makes them want to be OUTSIDE.

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I grew up and spend 98% of my time outside, in Florida, so I know that it’s not a mean thing to do. I LOVED my childhood. We built forts out of fallen branches in the yard and looked for different bugs. I think just simply being left to explore on my own was the greatest thing in the world and most outdoor toys that I get tend to foster creativity.

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I know this summer we’ll undoubtedly have days where the weather just isn’t conducive with being outside and I have movies and games for those days but what kid would rather be inside in front of a tv than playing? Not mine.

We plan on taking day trips to the springs when my husband isn’t working and hunting for shark teeth on the beach (I’m a clear winner at this game!). We’ll spend lazy evenings in the pool and let the girls camp in the back yard.

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I am so excited to watch my kids grown and learn this summer! Now if only I could get K to want to homeschool as much as I do…

 

My Summer Checklist

I know everyone wants to be prepared for all the excitement ahead of us with summer break so I’ve put together a quick, most likely not complete, list of what I like to have on hand for our summer festivities.

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you use the links provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to products and brands I really love.

Bathing Suits – We live in Florida so one bathing suit just won’t cut it. Sometimes my kids wear 2-3 bathing suits a day just playing in the yard. So we need to make sure we have extras for the spontaneous trip to the pool or the springs.

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Water bottles – Again we live in Florida so we NEED to stay hydrated! That is why I LOVE this new Tervis tumbler my sister got me!

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Towels – Meh this is optional. It gets so hot here you practically come out of the water dried off. That might be an exaggeration but my kids rarely use towels I pretty much bring them to keep the car seats dry, which again isn’t necessary since it tends to be so hot they dry pretty quick.

Sandals  – This ground will burn the bottom of your feet right off! Even the sand on the beach can get so hot its abusive to let the kids walk across it without sandals.

Ice pops – Yep got a few boxes in the deep freezer! Cheaper than ice cream and less messy in the heat! The perfect snack any time of day in the summer!

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Bathing Suits – seems repetitive but I swear this is a legitimate entry on the list. This is solely for the purpose of being left in the van. These are rarely worn, they are left in the back of the van for days that we have no intention of doing anything near water but end up at the splash park or beach anyway. I’ve started letting the kids wear bathing suits under their clothes pretty much all the time but its always nice to know that they’re there just in case we need them!

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Sunglasses – These are important for EVERYONE in the family. Straining your eyes all day in the bright sun makes me tired. So unless I want to be in bed before the girls I need to wear mine when I’m outside. K and M steal mine all the time and L has kid ones that fit her.

Small pool for the yard – this is a MAJOR need. We don’t have a pool in our yard all the time because it is a drowning risk. But as the weather warms up we  like to get a kiddie pool out back. This year we splurged and got one with a slide. This is perfect for lazy days where I don’t want to go anywhere but the kids don’t want to be inside. I swear my kids would live in their pool!

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Sprinklers – Just like the pool this is super important. **Just make sure you run the water for a bit before the kids play in it since it comes out scorching when you first turn it on!** I can hook up my sprinkler and the kids will be entertained for HOURS. They run around laughing in the water and its a cheap way to fill the long summer days.

Indoor Games/Crafts – my kids are now at the age where they love board games. I like to put them up high so they are only taken down when I can play with them so they always seem special. I also like to have a few crafts planned and ready to go for when the weather isn’t too nice. **I do not entertain my kids all day. They have to use their imaginations and play by themselves more often than not, I just like to keep a few things on hand for when I want to do some crafting and they want to join me.**

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Quick Food – Don’t confuse this with fast food. Quick food is usually something I prepare on Sunday and portion out to use during the week. I have a bin of snacks that they can’t get to without me and I make quick lunches and dinners. During the summer I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making food for them so unless they want to cook and bake with me we grab some quick food and have a picnic out back.

Movies – I let them stay up later during the summer. They don’t get to watch a lot of tv in general so I save up movies they want to see and we’ll do late movie nights with them. We pile blankets and pillows on the floor and have a sleepover in the living room. Usually I will make some popcorn and we’ll all snuggle together and enjoy the show. I love that they don’t watch a lot all the time because it makes these times even more special.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that can be added to this list but for my family this is our basic summer survival list.

 

Mean Mommie

IMG_7056I’d like to start off by saying, I LOVE MY FAMILY. I love my girls and everything about being their mom but sometimes I am a mean mom. I am not always my girls friend because I have to be the parent and sometimes that isn’t always fun.

A while ago I read the book THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman and it was great. It really showed me a lot about myself and helped me to understand my husband better, but that’s a topic for another day. I am a giver. I show my love multiple ways but I find that the primary way I show love is by giving gifts and acts of service. That said I have shown my girls love by buying them things.

Almost every time we’ve gone to the store I get them something, a cheap toy or candy, something because I want them to know how loved they are by me. The problem is I’ve spent all my time giving them things and trying to have a good time that they have never learned to take care of those things.

It has been a constant battle to get them to not only clean their room but to keep it clean and at the end of the day, that’s my fault. They have been so overwhelmed with toys and books and clothes that every time they do anything it is like an avalanche of stuff. No matter how many times I’ve gone in and helped them clean and organize they have, or I should say had, too much stuff to keep in order.

Last night I was done. I was done fighting over clothes that found the floor before ever getting worn. I was done with their beds piled so high with toys they wouldn’t go to sleep at night and I was done with not being able to walk in their room since the floor was covered in toys.

I swept everything out of their room, EVERYTHING.

I took all the clothes out of the closet that they don’t need for the summer, their coats and sweaters. I left 3 dresses for each girl, 5 tee shirts and 3 tank tops. In their dresser they got 7 pairs of underwear, 3 pajamas and 7 bottoms (shorts and skirts).

I took ALL the toys. Every single toy that was in their bedroom was gone. I made them empty their beds, they got a blanket and a pillow and that was it.

In the past I’ve given them away or donated or thrown them out, but that wasn’t fair to anyone. I can’t afford to rebuy toys all the time so I bagged them all up and put them in the garage at my mom’s. As the girls learn to take care of their things they will have a chance to earn back their toys.

Now I would agree that it was extreme if this was not a recurring problem. At the time there were plenty of tears as I cleaned their room. When I had everything out of the room I assured them both that I loved them and they got their hugs and kisses and went to bed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect today. My girls don’t watch a lot of television because I find when they watch it more they tend to have bad attitudes so their screen time is super limited to the point where most days they don’t watch any.

What were they going to do all day?

L had toys in her room and there were 2 baskets in the living room with some more of L’s toys. I told M she could play with them but there weren’t any toys allowed in her bedroom.

You know what didn’t happen? There wasn’t fighting like usual.

Normally my girls fight over the same toy and now there were less toys, significantly less, and there weren’t the same fights. Normally by noon my house looks like a toy store blew up in my living room, and yet my house still looked like a house! M and L played nicely with the dolls that were in the living room, they ran and played outside like usual and they were happy.

When I picked up K from school I was sure there would be an attitude about how she wanted her toys back. Empty promises that she would clean up her room and take care of them.

Nope.

She walked into her room, turned to me with the biggest smile on her face and said, “my room is still clean!” She ran and gave me a hug then went to play outside with her sisters.

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Bedtime tonight was easy. They all happily cleaned up the few toys in the living room. I let them each take one of their stuffed animals back to keep in their beds and that was it. No fighting and yelling. They didn’t stay up for two hours after I put them to sleep playing in their beds.

K and M hugged their toys and obediently went to sleep.

I have felt for so long that we had too much stuff. It was overwhelming to me so I can just imagine how they were feeling. I didn’t want to take it away because I was so sure it would be too hard for them.

Ends up, they don’t care. They don’t care about the hangers full of clothes that they never wore and all those clothes in their drawers ended up on the floor because they were digging for the only thing they ever wore anyway.

My girls are happy just being kids. They played in the sprinkler in the back yard and then came inside to a clean house and an unstressed mommy.

Before I would be urging them to clean and reprimanding them for not taking care of stuff. I would yell about toys they didn’t put away and clothes that I washed five times that they never wore.

Tonight we all played outside together. We read night time stories and ate snacks. As K got into bed she said to me, “thank you mommy.”

I had to ask why.

She told me that it was so nice having a clean room and just having fun with me. I asked her if she was sad that I took all the stuff away yesterday and she told me that she didn’t miss it at all. She said she didn’t need all the toys because today she had fun.

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Parents today are so overwhelmed with EVERYONE telling them that if they love their kids they’ll get them all the latest toys, and I bought into that for a long time. We all want to give our kids the world. We don’t want them to not have all the things everyone else has.

So yes, I was mean, I took away their toys but I gave them back me. I gave them back a childhood filled with imagination and creativity. I gave them their time back to enjoy just being a kid. I am sure they’ll get some toys back but we aren’t going to ever have so many that they can’t take care of them again!

 

 

A Letter To All The “Rockers” Out There

IMG_7177A few months back I heard about this awesome idea, rocking! Basically, for those who haven’t heard of the craze yet, you paint rocks and leave them for others to find. The idea would be for you to make some one else smile. You leave a little piece of happiness to brighten another persons day.

I LOVE THIS IDEA!

I was so excited the first time I went out with my kids and we found some. I explained that they couldn’t keep all of them since we didn’t have any to leave. So they could each keep one and the rest we hid again during the walk.

The girls had a blast.

I had a blast.

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I went and bought rocks to paint. We spend hours upon hours painting our rocks. Maybe they weren’t the prettiest. Maybe they weren’t anything to brag about but I knew that this made my kids happy and when someone else happened to come upon a painted rock randomly it would make them happy too. It didn’t matter if my daughter’s heart looked more like a blob, or if M’s were just singular colors that I later added sparkles to. My kids loved them and to them they were perfect.

We went on many walks just hiding our rocks all over the county. We didn’t post where or when we hid them. We didn’t put pictures on the Facebook page every time we painted rocks, or every time we found them for that matter. The idea was spreading happiness and that was happening.

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Then came the day that my rocks were found. Kids were excited no matter how badly chipped the paint had become, my first few attempts weren’t great. Still they were there and someone claimed them and that was cool.

I didn’t do it to see my rocks on Facebook. I did it with the intention of never seeing my rocks again, because they were happiness that I was spreading and to me that was the whole point.

The first few rocks that were found people grumbled because I didn’t label the back with the name of the Facebook group.

How dare I leave a rock with no name on it for credit?!

How could anyone possibly just enjoy a rock without jumping on social media to pat someone else on the back?!

I explained then that I will not label my rocks. I was not “rocking” to grow a Facebook group, I was not painting my rocks so that I could even be part of the group. If someone found a rock of mine and wanted to label it themselves they could, because you know what? The minute I placed a rock to be found by someone else I stopped owning it! I didn’t do it for anything other than to spread a little joy in the world.

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I stopped following the page because more and more people would go and complain that their kids didn’t find any on a particular day. Or worse they labeled anyone who didn’t follow their “rules” a TROLL.

If you were to go on the page and ask they would nicely tell you, there are no rules. They ask that you label them to help other people understand the movement and I get that but other than that there aren’t any rules to follow.

There is no standard for how these rocks need to be painted. Just because one isn’t up to some imagined standard another has doesn’t devalue it. You don’t like the random blob my kid painted on a rock, just leave it there for someone else. Don’t go on Facebook with a to-do list for others telling them when their kids rocks aren’t “pretty” enough they should add something to it so it will be nicer for someone else.

If my kid paints a rock and they finish and think its beautiful there is no way I would change a thing on it! I will proudly place my rocks and if people don’t like them they don’t have to take them, or they can take them and repaint them to their standards, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that a person can look at the work of another and decide its not good enough to make another person happy. I’m not an artist but I am a person who loves others and I know that what I do and what my kids do will always be good enough! I think everyone needs to realize that about themselves too!

Just because you find a rock it doesn’t obligate you to leave one, or put that one back, or even mention it on social media. You can walk and collect every single rock you find and not leave one and you know what? That doesn’t make you a troll! That doesn’t make you a bad person because your kid is stoked to find rocks and wants to hang on to them all. Maybe you don’t proclaim your every breath on social media and that’s okay!

You can’t get mad when you leave something for someone else to find and you don’t hear what happens to it. You can’t control everything. When you place a rock with the expectation of hearing about it on Facebook. With the idea in your head that you want someone to post it so you can shout to the whole world what a great person you are then you have lost the whole meaning of this movement.

From the beginning it was about spreading joy and happiness with nothing in return.

So I am leaving the group. I am done with the games and judgement and the idea that someone can call a kid who might have nothing more to find joy in than a rock hunt, a troll. I will not be a part of the rock shaming or the condescending over ROCKS. Do you understand what I’m saying?! THEY’RE ROCKS! A grown adult can get their panties in a wad over a rock my 3 year old didn’t paint pretty enough?!

Now there are some good people in the group. Not everyone is complaining and judging but there has been enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth.

I will keep painting rocks, my kids love it. And you want to find a troll look no further. I will let my kids pick up each and every rock they see if they want to and there is nothing you can do about it, except stop. Either stop leaving them if it bothers you that much, or stop caring. Sure we rehome 99% of the rocks that we find, goodness knows I don’t need rocks in my house, but how do you know the ones that you’ve called trolls before aren’t doing the exact same thing?

Yes, I will paint my rocks, I will hide them, I will let my kids look until they’re contentment but I will not be a part of any group that can turn a beautiful thing into a control issue.

Leave a rock with no expectation except to make another person smile. In the end, that’s all that matters anyway!fullsizeoutput_577f

My 4th Baby

No this isn’t a pregnancy announcement.

You see, I was pregnant but now I’m not. As my due date inches ever closer my empty stomach aches and consumes me. I should be huge right now with a baby kicking and rolling inside of me.

I should be picking out cute pajamas and packing my hospital bag but I don’t get to do that. I sit alone, watching pregnancy announcements and newborn pictures as I’m screaming on the inside.

My baby was wanted and prayed for and so loved. But I will never hold my baby. I will never look in his or her face and I will never know why.

As a culture we don’t talk about miscarriage. It seems shameful and embarrassing. Like it was a failure on my part. If I mention it I get a flippant remark like, oh you’re young you can try again. And I will, I will try again but that doesn’t make my little angel any less wanted or loved.

We don’t talk about the death of a tiny life because it might make other people uncomfortable. While I die silently on the inside I don’t want to say anything for fear that you might not want to hear it. And when I do say something I fear what your response may be.

I would love to tell you what the “right” response is but as far as I can tell there doesn’t seem to be one.

Everyone wants to talk about infertility, they want to talk about not being able to get pregnant, and to a degree I’ve dealt with that too, but miscarriages are shameful. We can say to the world loudly that we can’t get pregnant but God forbid we mourn the life that we loved with our whole heart that we will never meet.

We fear telling people when we get pregnant in case we lose the baby because it somehow embarrasses us. And because of this stigma of shame we mourn alone. We suffer through some of our darkest days ashamed to reach out for help.

Countless mothers have angel babies. I didn’t know until I became one of them. When you mention it to another mom all of a sudden she can release the grief she felt obligated to carry alone.

Many reading this are close friends of mine, and yet few knew that I lost my baby in October. Few knew that I should be welcoming another little miracle in just 3 weeks.

As the date inches closer I mention my baby more. I long to talk about the life that was so dearly wanted. I want to let others know they aren’t alone, its okay to talk about it.

Only when I was going through the loss of my precious baby did people closest to me confide their own losses to me. I am not ashamed of my baby who is now in heaven. I don’t know why it is this way, but I know that I will always love my little angel.

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