10 Things I Said I Would Never Do as a Mom

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017

10 things

Before I became a mom I had a list of things that resided in my head that I swore I would never do when I had my own children. Little did I know…

After having three children (the oldest being 10) I have learned a few things. Or maybe just realized a few things. So here is my list of top ten things I said I would never do as a mom; before I actually became a mom and realized just how messy it can be.

1. Allow my children to watch TV before 2 years old: I just knew that if I let my kids watch TV before they were 2 they would be mindless idiots. Fast forward to actually having kids. I could not survive being sick, being crazy busy, or keeping my sanity without Sesame Street, Disney Channel, and YouTube Kids. They continually save me and they also have actually helped my children learn numbers, letters, and colors.

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2. Allow my kids to sleep in my bed. I remember silently judging those who talked about co-sleeping. That would never by MY family. Then I brought my first child home. After countless sleepless nights I was exhausted and pulled him into bed with me one night. It was the best night’s sleep I’d had in weeks. Thus, co-sleeping began. Best parenting decision I ever made. (And, yes, that’s a picture of my daughter sleeping ON my face.)

3. Leave the house without makeup. Ha ha ha! Do I even need to explain this one? I do not, I repeat DO NOT need to look put together at all times. Because, let’s face it, I am far from put together most times. A swipe of mascara and a touch of concealer are perfect for me most days. But if I’m not feeling it? Who cares!?

4. Touch any kind of bodily fluid with my hands: Oh man. This has happened more times than I can possibly count. I have cupped my hands for vomit (better me than the couch), picked noses, cleaned ears with my fingers and so much more. I have no idea how it’s possible to be a parent and NOT do some of these things.

5. Allow my kids to eat junk food. I vowed that my kids would eat homemade baby food, lots of fruits and veggies, and only have candy for holidays. Yeah, right. I now very strongly believe in the motto of all things in moderation. We eat lots of fruits and veggies, but my kids also eat candy and junk.


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6. Let my kids behave that way in public. Of course, I swore my kids would be perfectly behaved at all times when we were in public. And then, my bubble burst. A melt down happened. I don’t even remember what the first one was about. Probably candy. Or sugar cereal. But now I just walk away from said child and pretend they aren’t mine. Ha! Not really, but I want to sometimes. I have some serious tantrum stories I could tell. One of the worst includes my middle child freaking out extremely loudly in the men’s bathroom because he was covered in poo. But that’s a post for another day.

7. Allow my house to look like THAT. There was no way I would ever let my house be overtaken by toys, laundry, and little shoes thrown everywhere. Now I realize that life happens and a clean house is not always the priority. Happy kids and family? Yeah, that’s a priority.

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8. Use my Mom’s words on my own kids.  I hated the phrases my mom used to say to me. Now, some days I open my mouth and my mom comes out. Maybe more than some days. I now embrace my mom phrases. They are my favorite!

9. Bribe my kids with a treat or toy. I always knew my kids would listen to me the first time I asked them to do something. Every time. I have since discovered that negotiation skills are a must in parenting. And bribery? Yeah, also a must. A pack of smarties is a small price to pay for a clean room and a happy face.

10. Talk about my kids as much as I do. When I was child-less I swore I wouldn’t talk non stop about my kids… but once I saw them I was in love… and couldn’t stop talking about them! In almost 11 years that hasn’t changed much. They are my world and complete me in a way I didn’t know was possible. So, yeah, I’m going to talk about them. A lot. Deal with it.

Bottom line: There is no parenting guide book. We are all different. We believe and feel differently. There is no once size fits all in parenting. So do what feels right to YOU. Put your children and your sanity first and, believe me, it will turn out okay.

What do you do as a mom that you said you wouldn’t?



Happiness is Like Peanut Butter, You Can’t Spread it Around Without Getting a Little on Yourself

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016

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In my life, there is not much better for lunch than a well-made Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. I am definitely a bread person, homemade jam for me is the ultimate and I am partial to the creamy pb, but am certainly not picky. Something about it just calls me back to my childhood and makes me visit a time where I was pretty much endlessly happy. Much like my sandwich making, I was not exactly careful, but carefree as anyone. Spreading that peanut buttery goodness on my bread and getting it everywhere was half the fun. Being able to “clean” it up with one swipe of your tongue. Ahhh. That was the other half!

Those were the good ol’ days. With rarely a care in my young world, I was able to be content in just about any situation and somehow know that everything would work out- which attitude was usually contagious amongst my siblings. Have you ever noticed your kids when they are happy? (Whether eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or not?) The happiness is contagious. One sibling cannot help but smile with another sibling is giggling and soon after, all your kids are laughing, carefree and loving life. It made absolute sense to me then, when I was sent this quote.

Happiness is like peanut butter, you can’t spread it around without getting a little on yourself.

It got me to thinking of how many people I come into contact with on a daily basis and how many of them I am spreading happiness to. Why should I not want to make someone else happy- especially if I am happy myself? Truth be told, it’s hard not to. When you are having a good day, it’s our human nature to let others know about it. Even when we need to make a conscious effort to spread some Peanut Butter the outcome is worth it. You get some of it on yourself, true…But you also get some on others. And just like the happiness was spread when you were a kid- it tends to be contagious. I decided to test my theory over a few weeks period and this is what happened.

I work in a very busy Hospital. My morning routine consists of getting ice water from the break room which is a small walk from my particular department. When I opened the door from my office, I almost ran into someone who was pushing a rather full cart of operating equipment down the hall. As she said excuse me, and asked if I wanted to go ahead of her, I smiled and mentioned that we were more than likely headed to the same place. As I looked at her FULL load, it led to me saying- “That looks heavy. You push, I’ll pull” We walked down the remainder of the hallway chatting about our positions and what our day looked like. When we parted ways, she was smiling and thanked me again; wishing me a great day. I could not help but BET that the patients she came into contact with will be getting a bit more positivity from her, following our encounter rather than if I would have simply walked on as she pushed the heavy cart behind me. It’s all about the Peanut Butter.

I called someone on the phone at work and we ended up talking for almost 40 minutes. Some, of course, was work related, but she was new to the state and she shared with me her personal observations about living in the particular state that we do (Utah). More specifically, how different it was from what she is used to- her case in point? The drivers. She is from the South and is so used to a much more slowed pace of highway etiquette – meaning letting people in when they need to merge, looking them in the eye and a nice wave as they drive on. She was appalled at the lack of courtesy the drivers in the state she now lived in were showing. She let me know how THRILLED she was when a younger driver had let her in the other day and even gave her a quick wave and a smile. She talked about how it made her DAY. A simple merge made the rest of the day just a little sweeter. Peanut Butter with a little bit of jelly.

Now aside from the fact that I know you are sitting there salivating at the idea of having a pb and j yourself, think about what happiness you might be spreading. Take a week or two and see what it does for you and everyone around you. After all, just like peanut butter on my pb and jelly sandwiches, happiness was meant to be spread.

Charity

Yesterday…

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016

Yesterday I let myself cry. I let myself feel. I let myself grieve. Yesterday I let myself carefully open the box where I have been shoving all the feelings and thoughts “I couldn’t deal with” today so that I could feel them another day. Yesterday was another day.

Yesterday I allowed myself to be flooded with emotions from that box. And I was nearly overwhelmed by it. There was pain. And grief and loss and hurt and so much more. My heart ached at the memories of a little boy I never got to raise; a son I never got to hear giggle or cry. A boy who I felt move inside of me, but was denied the feeling of him moving outside of me. I can imagine what he would look like now. I can see his sweet nine year old face with blue eyes and brown hair. He would be perfect. He IS perfect, but he only exists in my mind.

Quentin

Yesterday he was real. Yesterday I remembered. And while yesterday was hard, it was yesterday.

Today things feel a little better. I can walk a little lighter. I can look at my three beautiful children and know that I am blessed beyond measure. Today am so grateful for yesterday. Sometimes we need to open that box where we have shoved our feelings and let them wash over us so that we can start living in today and only remembering yesterday.



It’s Fun to Be One and All Things Pink Party!

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016

I can’t believe it’s almost time for another party for my little girl! She will be 3 this October and I can’t wait to plan another party for her. Seriously having a girl is SO different than having boys! And I love every single second of having her as part of our family. My daughter is as girly as they come. She loves princesses, pink, music, dancing, and every single thing Frozen related.

In honor of her upcoming birthday I wanted to throw out this refresher of the All Things Pink Party we had a couple of years ago and ask for YOUR ideas for this year’s theme. What would be fun, easy, and not crazy expensive?

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Remember how I told you I wanted my mom to make a cupcake cake for my cute little girl’s first birthday? Well, she did! And it turned out AMAZING! I am so happy with how it turned out. You can check out her cooking blog to see some of her recipes and she will have a cupcake cake tutorial coming soon. And I think it was a fairly easy cake to make since it’s all cupcakes. My mom also made the smash cake (pictured below) for a one year photo shoot. She is one talented woman.

Smash Cake

There were so many fun things at this party that I have to share a few. I found a ton of cute ideas on Pinterest. I have an entire board dedicated to my daughter’s first birthday party. One of the things at the top of my list was a highchair tutu. Buy some tulle, cut it, tie it around ribbon and put it on the highchair. I mean, come on. Anyone can do that, right? Wrong. Not this girl. I am craftily (totally a word) challenged. I bought some super cute pink tulle. And I cut it. But it was awkwardly crooked. Some pieces were just meant for the garbage. I tied the crookedly cut tulle onto the ribbon. And tied. And then tied some more. I felt like I was tying tulle for a LONG time (at least three episodes of Supernatural long). At this point my tutu just looked like a big, puffy, not even remotely straight mess. So how did I solve the problem? The dollar store!

I snagged two tutu’s, a princess skirt, and a chair cover. All I had to do was to untie both tutu’s and cut the skirt down the middle. I secured all of them to the high chair with glue dots and put the chair cover on the back. Done. Best $4 I’ve ever spent.

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A couple of weeks before the party I had some pics taken by the absolutely amazing Maganda Studios. I had to post a couple to go along with this birthday party post. But don’t worry, there will be a whole post dedicated to this awesome shoot and a discount (squee!)

I mean, come on. Could my baby girl be any cuter? Oh, and the adorable Birthday Girl dress? Scored it for $3.20 from BabiesRUs last January when I posted about their awesome clearance sale. Fingers crossed it happens again this year.

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson

View More: http://magandastudios.pass.us/brunson



Hold Your Little Ones a Little Tighter

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016

 

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Sometimes, out of the blue, the loss will hit me. I will remember the little kicks I felt in my belly and pain when I never got to see his smile. So, today, hold your little ones a little tighter. You never know when it will be that last day you get to.

 

Today I held my children just a little tighter;

I squeezed precious little bodies just a little longer.

Today I ignored the bad behavior; the fighting and the whining.

And I focused on the amazingness that my children exude.

Today I remembered those horrible feelings of loss and pain from years ago;

And my heart hurt for others who are experiencing a similar pain anew.

Today I tried hard to ignore all the things that are wrong in my world;

And to focus on all the wonderful things that are right.

Today I watched my children play & sing & dance.

And in doing so, my heart felt just a little lighter.

Today, hold your little ones just a little longer, relish in their scent, their smile, their everything.

Because you never know if tomorrow they will be taken.



Keep Your Skin Super Soft With the Gillette Mach 3 SE Razor

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016

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This post is sponsored by Vocalpoint, P&G and Gillette. All opinions are my own.

There are not many people that a child looks up to more than their Dad. I remember thinking my dad was secretly Superman. No, really. Clark Kent? Yeah, that was my dad. I was CONVINCED that when he had to leave on work trips, he was really just out saving the planet from whatever disaster or evil villain that had landed on Earth trying to destroy humanity. For as many times as he saved the world he would always come back clean shaven and not a hair out of place. How did he do it?!

Now that I have kids of my own, I see that same look I gave my dad, only it’s being given to my husband. I can see it as they watch him getting ready for work, out in the yard, or working on something around the house. You can just SEE in my kids’ eyes, they too think their dad is just SUPER. And every moment they spend together warms my heart. My oldest son, Holden simply cannot WAIT to be an adult. Me? I wouldn’t mind if it took a bit longer.

One of the things Holden loves to watch his dad do (for future reference in his adult life: ha!) is shave his face. He will stand mere inches from the mirror and INSIST that he has five o’clock shadow and needs to “trim it up a bit”. It makes me laugh each and every time. But being the SUPER dad he is, my husband lets him try things out (the shaving cream that is) and is teaching him the ropes for when he finally does grow into adulthood.

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All three of my kids were very unsure about this whole shaving thing, but their superman dad assured them that it’s easier than it seems. My oldest really enjoyed getting step by step instructions on exactly how to apply the shaving cream to his face. Because he’s 9 going on 25 he thinks he will start shaving his face very soon so he took the instructions VERY seriously.

While none of the children were allowed to use the razor they had a lot of fun with the shaving cream. But the hubs did discuss what the razor does, how to keep yourself safe, and what he looks for in a good one.

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The hubs go to razor? The Gillette® Mach3® Signature Edition Razor.

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The Gillette® MACH3 Signature Edition razor is available only at Costco. Package includes a signature razor with 14 blade refills. Featuring 3 blades with an advanced anti-friction coating, MACH3 removes each hair with less irritation. Then soft, protective microfins gently smooth the skin for even, effortless shaving. The Indicator lubrication strip ensures that your MACH3 Signature Edition razor keeps gliding across your skin, shave after shave.

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My super man has gone through a lot of razors in the span of our marriage. But when he stumbled across the Gillette Mach3 SE he knew it was “the one”. He has very sensitive skin and the extra-lubricating gel strips really help keep it from getting bumps and fights irritation. The great thing is, the lubrastrip also tells you when it’s time to switch out your blade. It will slowly fade to white when you need to change. He also loved the feature of 2x more skin guard fins. It keeps his shaving experience extra smooth. I think this might be my man’s super power. This razor. That freshly shaved face of his? Certainly sweeps me off my feet!



A Letter to My Abuser

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016

Rain

In general I’m a pretty open book. Anyone who has known me for more than a few days knows that I had a son in high school who I gave up for adoption. And that I struggled with infertility for years. But not as many know that I was also abused as a young girl. For years. By someone I loved and trusted. I don’t know why this particular thing feels like a dirty little secret, but it has. But today, I’m speaking out. At least a little.

If I had my way I would never talk to you again. I would never think about you or stop to catch my breath every time your name is mentioned. But because of the things you did to me I no longer have control over that. You took so much from me. You ruined relationships and forever tainted others; you changed my entire life. And in doing so, the lives of those around me. The ones I love the most.

I’m not sure that I will ever be able to forgive you. (I’m not sure if I even care.) I definitely don’t believe that you actually deserve my forgiveness. I cannot fathom what you could have possibly been thinking. What ever made you think you had the right to touch a little girl that way? What made you think it was okay to abuse the trust of your son, your family, and especially me, your granddaughter? Because I did trust you; to love me and to take care of me. Not to do awful things to me!

I hope and pray that one day what you did to me will no longer affect my life. Until then, I can at least rest easy knowing you can no longer inflict this kind of pain on anyone else.



Gerber® Lil’ Beanies – A Yummy, Mess Free Treat For Your Littles

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016

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My daughter loves to eat. She has from the very beginning. She was a chubby little thing within a couple of months because she wanted to nurse as often as possible. When she started eating solid foods, I encouraged her to feed herself the snacks I would put on the table in front of her. At first, she would push them around and play with them. Or pour her drink on them and make a nice, big slushy mess. Eventually she realized that those things were delicious if she put them in her mouth.

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She’s now 2 1/2 and absolutely LOVES to eat! So, not much has changed. While we rarely see a plate full of mush, I do have the problem of finding foods that are healthy and still yummy. I like to pick up Gerber®  Lil’ Beanies because they are made with 2 grams of protein (9% Daily Value) and 1 gram of fiber per serving. And, since these snacks are baked and made with naturally flavored ingredients like navy beans, they are a great, mess-free treat for your littles!

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When we head to our local Kroger store, Smith’s we head straight to the baby/toddler aisle so we can grab more of these babies. My little munchkin loves them because they are easy for her to hold and still have the taste she loves. I love them because they don’t make a huge mess. It’s a win win with Gerber® Lil’ Beanies!

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The Gerber® Lil’ Beanies come in two flavors – Original & White Cheddar & Broccoli.

The Original flavor is for children that are just starting out on solids and/0r who prefer a simple snack rather than one that has a bit more flavor. White Cheddar & Broccoli has a little bit of zest to it. Which means it’s definitely the favorite at our house.

You can find them at your local Kroger store today. For more information on each flavor, just click the links above!



Sometimes I Just Can’t

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016

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I know some of you are struggling. Some of you are feeling down and like you just can’t. But I promise, you can. Maybe not today, but tomorrow. Or the next day. Things WILL get better! Trust in that and trust in YOU.

Sometimes I just can’t.
I can’t put on a happy face and keep pretending everything is okay.
I can’t smile and make the pain go away.
I can’t stop the fear, the hurt, the ache. I can’t shake the belief that I’m not (and never will be) good enough.
I can’t fill the pit of emptiness I feel deep inside. I can’t stop my body from shaking and the tears from falling.
The only thing I CAN do is to try to focus on all that is good in the world. Because there is so much.

So while today I just can’t, maybe, just maybe, tomorrow I can.



Intermountain Connect Care – Mom’s New Secret Trick

Posted by on May 17, 2016

Connect Care

I grew up with siblings. And believe me. We definitely gave our parents a run for their money. I have the battle scars to prove it! But then life happened. I became a parent myself and I now realize how STRESSFUL it can be when your little one is hurting and a band aid and kiss from Mom is just NOT doing the trick.

When you are at the point that every parent gets to, and you know a visit to the Doctor’s office is inevitable…DO. NOT. PANIC. I have found a tool to add to the Mama’s bag of tricks that will save you some gas money, some valuable time and definitely some sanity. Intermountain Connect Care!

Here’s the proof that I not only know it works, but am now a “groupie”. When my little Victoria, woke up with something that can only be described as a red, bumpy rash all over her body, I knew it was going to be one of THOSE days. And since she is not yet three, I could not exactly follow up with a list of questions of the probable cause of such rash. BOO! I really didn’t want to pack the car and head to an impromptu visit to the Dr. office without an appt, didn’t want to wait to schedule one and it wasn’t looking bad enough to head to urgent care. And guess what? I DIDN’T HAVE TO! WINNING!! I sat in my pj’s (don’t judge) and with a few clicks, was talking FACE TO FACE with a real Physician. It was amazing. With the facetime option, he was able to not only SEE the rash, but ask questions to both myself and Victoria, which was adorable. He accepted not only mine, but any insurance plan and if you don’t have insurance? NO worries mama! You can play at flat $49. At the end of the call, he was able to call in a prescription. DONE. And DONE.

I love it. Best new trick for any new…or experienced parent to have in their back pocket. Cause this parenthood thing? No one said it would be easy…This sure does help though!

 Let me know your thoughts in the comments! #‎MyConnectCare‬