Favorite Dairy and Soy Free Food Options!

I still remember the day my doctor called and advised me that my newborn had a milk intolerance and that – if I were to continue breastfeeding – I had to remove it from my diet.  It was Christmas Eve…  I’m not going to get into just how devastating that was for a hormonal, always-starving nursing mom.  But let’s just say, a few tears were shed.  For me, the holidays center so strongly around delicious family dishes that it was a huge blow!

I quickly learned that milk wasn’t the only culprit…  Soy also had a negative affect on my baby, causing him to be extremely uncomfortable and fussy.  So that had to go as well (which was actually even harder to give up than dairy had been).  Soy is in everything!

But little by little, I found some food options that were quite delicious!  And so when I had to give up dairy and soy AGAIN while breastfeeding my baby girl, I was basically a pro.  (Now I’m going to be honest here, most of the options aren’t as quite good as dairy).  🙂  But trust me on this one, after a few weeks, your taste buds will adjust and you won’t even notice the difference.  You’ll love the food you’re eating!

So here are some of my favorite choices!  🙂    (P.S.  Just make sure you still read labels as companies are always changing their list of ingredients).


Dairy Options – 

So Delicious makes a delicious creamer, so I was always stocked with this for my coffee.

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For my cereal, I originally tried coconut milk, but I honestly gagged at the thicker texture and the flavor too.  I just wasn’t a fan.  And I have a husband with a severe nut allergy, so I don’t buy almond milk (not to mention the fact that nuts bothered baby girl’s stomach in the beginning).

So for my cereal, I used rice milk.  It is the texture of water, and the flavor takes a bit of getting used to.  😉  But I bought the vanilla flavor, and – after a few weeks – I forgot that it was a bit strange at first.  It’s an option worth trying if you’re stuck!  The plain flavor was also great for mashed potatoes and baking…

Rice Dream Organic Rice Drink Enriched Original, 64.0 FL OZ

I do like chocolate coconut milk though.

So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk Beverage, 32 oz  (Pack of 12)


Mayonnaise –   Just Mayo makes THE best vegan mayonnaise, in my opinion.  It’s so good that even the hubby and toddler would eat it without any complaints.

I also love the garlic and chipotle flavors!  The garlic mayo is awesome for making chicken salad sandwiches.  And the chipotle mayo is absolutely delicious to create a chicken, bacon, and avocado sandwich.

(I believe Amazon sells them even if your grocery store doesn’t).   🙂

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Dressing – Watch out for salad dressings, many which do have cheese (dairy) or soy in them!  Litehouse Thousand Island Dressing uses canola oil instead of soybean like most dressings, so it’s soy free.  AND there’s no dairy!  So it was my go-to dressing, as its delicious.


Enjoy Life – I am a huge fan of Enjoy Life foods, because I have a huge chocolate addiction.  Ha, ha.

Their baking chocolate is a staple at my house, but I also love their candy bars too.  Soooooo good!  AND they’re always dairy, nut, and soy free.



Sweets –   (Because a nursing mom needs her sweets!)

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If you’re allowed to eat soy, Ben and Jerry’s makes a delicious dairy-free icecream now (and Breyers just jumped on the bandwagon too).


Butter –   Earth Balance butter has a delicious soy AND dairy free option.  It’s great for everything from buttering toast, to frying eggs, to baking.  I highly recommend it!

Image result for Earth balance dairy and soy free butter


Bread – Honestly, I use my bread machine ALL the time, and it has saved me so many times.  I use this recipe (and I substitute rice milk for the powdered milk and vegan butter for the butter).  It’s chewy, crusty, and delicious!

I also love Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane bread for a sandwich or toast option.

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Snacks – 

Pretzels with peanut butter



Coconut yogurt takes awhile to get used to; but until your taste buds are accustomed to the new flavor, it does make for delicious smoothies.  I also love it topped with granola!

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These fig and raspberry bars are soooooooo GOOD!

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Boom Chicka Pop - Whole Grain Snack Idea

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Quick Dinner Items – 

Image result for Al Fresco chicken sausage

Image result for amy's cheeseless pizza

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Favorite Recipes and Substitutions – 

  •   You can use crushed wheat thins in place of bread crumbs when making meat loaf or meatballs.  (Most bread crumbs contain dairy and soy).
  • If you’re craving a homemade chicken pot pie, you can use this recipe from Pilsbury.  Just substitute vegan butter and coconut creamer for the milk.  Top it off with homemade biscuits made with crisco and coconut creamer.  It’s SO good that no one will know it’s dairy free!
  • Place chicken drumsticks in the crockpot and smother with BBQ sauce.  Cook on High for 3 hours, and you’ll have easy-peasy BBQ chicken.  This is great for BBQ chicken sandwiches, BBQ chicken salads, or BBQ chicken to be served with potatoes and veggies.
  • Taco’s served in butter lettuce.  Lettuce wraps are soooo delicious… and naturally dairy and soy free, of course.  🙂
  • Top burgers with guacamole.  It’s a great replacement for cheese!   I’ve yet to find a dairy and soy free hamburger bun option though, so I used bread for my burgers and called it a burger melt.


Roasted Veggies and Sausage

Paleo Chop & Drop Roasted Veggies & Sausage Recipe

Baked Pork Chops

Snobby Joes (a vegetarian take on Sloppy Joes.  I served on toasted bread, since I couldn’t do hamburger buns).


Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast: 5 Ways - Vegan + Gluten-Free #healthy #avocado #recipes


Pumpkin Ginger Cookies



Well, these were a few of my faves.  If you have any questions or want any specific suggestions, let me know; and I’d be happy to help if I can!  🙂

If you’re on a dairy and soy free diet, what is your favorite food item that I missed on my list?  


The B-Boy Life (1)

A few of my favorite, quirky comments from my too-smart-for-his-own-good (and oftentimes hilarious) three year old…  🙂


Me: “Wow, this coffee is strong!”
B-Boy: “Silly, Mama. Coffee no have muscles!”


B-Boy: “I want to watch cartoon.”
Me: “Okay, which one?”
B-Boy: “The dirty movie.”
Me: “The what?!?”
B-Boy: “The dirty movie.”
Me: “I’m… Ugh… I don’t know… Which one?”
B-Boy: “The dirty movie, Mama! The boy gets dirty…”
Me: “You mean Charlie Brown?”
B-Boy, looking at me as though I’m crazy because that’s obviously what he’s been saying all along. “Yeah, mama.”
Note to self… Warn my mom about this before she babysits and is asked to put on the dirty movie.


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B-Boy, during a commercial featuring a rocket ship: “I go to space?”
Me: “Sure, one day when you’re older. If you work hard!”
B-Boy, nodding happily: “Okay!”
Me: “So you want to be an astronaut?”
B-Boy: “No, be a alien!”


One of my cats vomited, and B-Boy – of course – was the first to find it.
B-Boy: “Mama, I going to touch it with my foot.”
Me: “Ugh, no, that’s gross! We don’t touch that.”
B-Boy, shaking his head dramatically in agreement: “It’s poisonous!”
Me: “Well, no, but it’s really gross…”
B-Boy: “It’s poison ivy!”
Me: “Noooo… But you’re right, we don’t want to touch that either…” (Thank you, Curious George).
B-Boy: “It’d make my toe fall off!”
Me: “It’s really just gross, B-Boy.”
B-Boy looks at me in confusion as though that’s not a good enough reason to not stick his foot in cat vomit.


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B-Boy was playing with the plastic dinosaurs at the library and was holding one of the vegetarian ones with the long neck. (Still can’t think of its name).
Me: “Ooh, that’s my favorite one! Hmmm, I can’t think of what it’s called though. All I can think of right now is ‘tyrannosaurus’.”
Lady who happened to overhear: “Oh, yeah, that’s a… Hmmm, I can’t think of it either! All I can think of is ‘Triceratops’.”
Me: “B-Boy, what do you think its name is?”
B-Boy: “Fred.”


Cashier: Goes on…and on… and ON about the Poconos (because she’s planning her honeymoon to the Poconos. And can’t wait to go to the Poconos. And it’s so pretty in the Poconos.
B-Boy, loudly (per usual): “Mama, why she pick her nose?”
Poconos… Pick her nose…  Yep, I see the confusion there.


Me: “Would you like gravy on your potatoes?”
B-Boy: “No thanks. Gravy makes me sneeze.”


Nate: “Where`s the Peter Pan DVD?”
Me: “It`s too late to watch it tonight so let`s put something else on.”
B-Boy: “What movie?”
Nate: “Peter Pan.”
Me: “But not tonight.”
B-Boy,whining: “But I want to watch Peed Her Pants!!!”
Peter Pan… Peed Her Pants… I guess I understand the confusion.


B-Boy: “Is that a cloud?”
Me: “Kind of… It`s called fog.”
B-Boy: “It`s like we`re driving through a runny nose!”


While grocery shopping, B-Boy noticed an older woman with a bandage on her face. Like a typical three year old, he thought it appropriate to ask her about it.
B-Boy: “You got a boo boo?”
Elderly woman: “Yes, just a little one. It’ll be better soon.”
B-Boy: “Did you run with scissors?”

When a Piece of Your Heart is in Heaven

In January 2016, I suffered a miscarriage; and in August of that year, I wrote the post below.  I’m reposting it here on this blog site, because I know that this is a hurt that so many women experience.  And I hope that it lets them know that they are not alone.  



I’ve written this blog post many times, only to hit the delete button and erase it all.  I think that I just need to write it.  One time…

Honest…  Real…  Messy.

This time, it’s not about finding the humor or sharing what I’ve learned.  It’s just about being honest and open, letting you see a piece of my heart that was broken earlier this year.  Because time heals, but there are some hurtful moments that shape us forever.  They change the very structure of who we are, because now we’ll see the world through changed eyes.

I don’t want to forget.  I also don’t want to pretend it didn’t happen.  But I am ready to move on and embrace the healing that comes with time.

So here goes…

I had a miscarriage earlier this year.  I had found out  that I was pregnant on Christmas morning, and it was the best Christmas gift that my husband and I could have been given.  We had really wanted this new addition to our family and  to find out – on Christmas Day –  felt like a special present just for us.

Like most Type A people, I had my entire pregnancy mapped out by New Year’s.  I’d signed up for the pregnancy apps again, searched for maternity clothes bargains, and found every excuse possible to wander through the baby section of stores.  (Everything looked so tiny and filled me with excitement over bringing another newborn home).

Nate and I imagined our son playing with his brother or sister.  We talked about how we’d have two little ones the following Christmas.  I mapped out my teaching schedule and began to organize so that the transition to having a toddler and a newborn would be as smooth as we humanly could make it.

When the bleeding started, I tried to brush it off.  I’d spotted a little bit during my first pregnancy, so I told myself that this is all it was.  It was just how my body reacted to pregnancy…  My doctor, on the other hand, took it more seriously and scheduled an ultrasound.  The verdict was that the heartbeat was a bit more faint than they would have liked, but maybe I wasn’t as far along as we all thought.

At that point, all I could do was wait.  Every single day was one day closer to the second trimester and an added level of security.  I kept telling myself that I just needed to get through the first trimester and everything would be fine.  This was just going to be one of those health scares that one laughs about once it turns out to be nothing.

But if I’m to be honest, I knew all along that something was wrong.  I had almost known from the very beginning.  Something inside of me just kept warning me that things weren’t right.  Every day I prayed and prayed and prayed for this little life inside of me that I so badly wanted to meet, but – at the same time – I just prepared myself for what might happen.  Although it was light, the bleeding wasn’t stopping.  And that terrified me.

Hearing this song by Hillary Scott (which was written after her own personal miscarriage) so greatly reflects my feelings during that time.  The way I pleaded and trusted God, knowing that I couldn’t control anything.  Just completely trusting that God would bring me and my husband through what was about to happen.


I woke up one morning, late January, and the bleeding was heavy.  I knew.  I called the doctor’s office and calmly told the nurse that I was miscarrying.  Then I hung up the phone and cried.

I’d naively told myself that because I was so early on in the pregnancy, that a miscarriage wouldn’t hurt.  But I’d had an ultrasound.  I’d heard a heartbeat.  I’d planned, and prayed, and fallen in love.

The physical side of the miscarriage was much harder than I had anticipated, and – to only complicate things –  my doctor was on vacation when it happened.  No one told me what to expect, because no one seemed to know who I was supposed to be talking to.  I fell through the cracks, so to speak, and my chart never seemed to be listed with the appropriate information.  So every time I was asked to go back for an appointment, bloodwork, or an ultrasound, the receptionist or nurse greeting me would happily ask, “So are we here to see how much baby has grown today?” or “are we confirming a pregnancy today?”

It happened five times.  Every single time, I’d look at the woman calmly and say, “I’m here to see if I’ve finished miscarrying.”

The cramping was intensely painful.  I was weak from the heavy loss of blood and freaked out that maybe I was losing too much.  Should I go to the emergency room?  Was this normal?  Again, no one was telling me what to expect, and – in the moment – I felt too dazed to ask for answers.  In the end, the process took about two weeks, and it wore on me both physically and emotionally.

The emotional side of the miscarriage hit me a million times harder than I could have believed.  It didn’t matter that I was still in the early stages.  My child had been stolen from me.  I truly believe that I have a baby in heaven waiting for me and that one day, I will hold it, and he or she will know just how much their mama misses them.  But I so wish that I could have held them here on earth.  That I could have told them to their sweet face just how much I loved them.  That I could have watched them grow up.

I never understood the pain that comes with miscarriage until I personally faced it.  I’ve had so many friends go through it, and I tried to be empathetic, but I just didn’t know.  But now I do…  And now I know that it rips your heart out and carries a small piece of it to heaven.  And I know that there is no such thing as moving on completely, because you will always remember and always love the baby you lost.

I love the saying about how our babies are the only ones who know what our heartbeat sounds like from the inside.  And even though my baby was very small, one day he or she will find me in heaven and know me by my heartbeat.  And they’ll know that I loved them even though we were never given the chance to meet.

Society almost frowns on talking about miscarriage, and it’s something that so many of us face in private and alone.  So I write this to reach out to any other woman going through a miscarriage right now.  You’re not alone.  I know your pain.  I promise it gets easier and that you’ll be able to move on.  But you’ll never forget.  And sometimes, little things will happen that remind you of the loss that will always be a part of you.  But you will heal.

I see you.  And so many other women do too.  And although we so desperately wanted to meet our babies, we trust that our Father in heaven (the only one who could love them more than us) is holding them close until we can do so ourselves.  That fills me with hope… joy… and peace.

xoxo  -Nicole


The Mom Look (Part 2)

(Click HERE for Part 1 if you missed it…)    🙂


I caught sight of myself in one of the over-sized, Sephora mirrors and thought, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize I looked that bad…”

Frizzy curls gone wild.  Ketchup stain on my left shoulder.  A splatter of blue paint on my right cheek.  Rushed attempt at foundation streaked across my forehead that had since been melted off.  Mascara smeared.  Baggy t-shirt that had seen better days.

30+ Mom Memes That'll Make You Laugh Through Your Endless Exhaustion

I was basically sporting a look that screamed “I just don’t care right now”, “I haven’t slept in three years, ” AND “help me”.

A Sephora employee whose makeup was so perfect it looked porcelain walked up to me but stopped before she got too close, because the ‘mom look’ is apparently contagious.

I smile and say, “Hi!  I’m just hoping to find a lotion that helps me out, because mom life…”

She waits for me to say more.  I’m confused, because I thought that already explained it all.

She says, “What do you want it to do?”

I pause a moment and then reply, “Everything?”

I laugh (a little too hysterically), because I think I’m being clever.  And I’m really tired and over-caffeinated.  She’s looking me up and down a bit in horror, and I realize that I am walking birth control.  I am the epitome of what young women say will never happen to them.

And I feel that slight sting for a moment…  The memory of days-gone-by when I had time to paint my nails.  Straighten my hair.  Dress up in an outfit that was classy and current.  Free moments to giggle with friends over a coffee or run out to a restaurant with my hubby.

Life has changed… drastically.  And I’m going to be honest, that’s really hard some days.  It’s especially hard on the days when the environment almost requires a level of primping that I just don’t have time for. I mean, when I’m out walking through a nearby campground with the kids, I fit right in!  Those camping moms who haven’t showered, or did their hair, or packed makeup?  Those are my peeps!  They’re confidently celebrating rustic and natural, and – gosh – I fit right in!

But when it’s date night with the hubby and I didn’t have a free moment to do my hair and makeup…  Or when we’re attending a wedding, and I have to wear the more practical, I’ll-be-chasing-after-children dress…  Or even when I’m out with a girlfriend, and I have to throw on a hat to cover my crazy hair.  In those moments, I fully realize that I am so engrossed in mom life right now that I have – like it or not – embodied the mom look.

But unlike the rustic, outdoorsy hikers and campers who are respected for their back-to-nature vibes, we moms are often seen as…. sad.  Frumpy.  Without any real accomplishment.  And it’s kind of like kicking a mom when she’s already down.

We aren’t flashy enough, pretty enough, accomplished enough, or whatever-else-it-is-that-we’re-supposed-to-be-doing enough.  Most of us don’t bring home money (or enough money).  We don’t drive fancy cars.  We don’t have board meetings while wearing smart suits and sipping over-priced lattes.

We just aren’t cool enough.

And I get it; nothing that I do is glamorous.  At all.  But what I do DOES matter to the children that I am raising.  And although it’s usually not riveting, exciting work, it is THE most important work.  That lego tower that I just helped my son build?  It might not be designs for a Boston skyscraper that will one day house hundreds of people.  But it did impact one life.  And I truly believe that just as God fearfully and wonderfully created each and every one of us, a moms impact on one life is an impact that can make this world a better place.

It matters.

One life at a time, we’re changing things for the better.  Because although a grain of sand may seem small and insignificant, when multiplied by thousands, it becomes the coastline which stretches as far as the eye can see.  And we moms, we’re responsible for our grains of sand, which will – in turn – become an army of love and compassion.

One day I’ll have time to paint my nails again… To do my hair.  To look myself over in the mirror and make sure that everything fits ‘just so’.  But while those moments of free time will one day come back, I will never get back these busy – yet precious – moments of molding my children’s lives.   My ‘job’ right now is to inspire them. Encourage them.  Let them know that they are beautiful creations of God and that they can do absolutely anything.  Right now, my mornings are filled with chubby feet dancing down hallways and bowls of cheerios scattered across the kitchen floor.  Skinned knees that need kissing, bad dreams that require hugs, temper tantrums that need guidance, and faith that needs building.

Those moments won’t ever come back.  I won’t ever again have this chance to pour into their lives.

This is where I find my purpose and fulfillment.  My determination to keep going, even though I might not look put together and perfect on the outside.  This world may never recognize – as trophies – the lines on a woman’s face, her gray hairs, the stretch marks, the often less-than-glamorous wardrobe she wears for the personal sacrifice that she willingly gives every single day.  But I know that my trophy is in heaven and in the lives of my children.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for moms taking care of themselves, because we need to be filled in order to continuously fill our families.  We do need personal time.  We need pampering.  We need to feel human.  (I totally ended up leaving Sephora with some over-priced night cream that I’m hoping will do at least one of the five things it promises to accomplish).   😉

Do Not Attempt This At Home! ;)☕

And I love shopping just as much as the next woman and am already planning a bit of fall season retail therapy for next month…  😉  BUT I refuse to believe that this phase of life – the phase that oftentimes requires me to look a bit exhausted and thrown together – is less than.

Our children are worth it.  Everything else in this world is just stuff…  It’s glittery, shiny, eye-catching stuff that will only tear, rust, and fade away.  Magazines, movies, and even people will try to claim that money, fame, eye shadow, and the perfect pair of shoes is the key to success and happiness.  It’s how they try to measure someone’s worth.

But I know that my life possesses a beauty that can’t be bottled or sold on shelves.  Because I’m a mom.  And my babies are worth more than anything money could buy.  So on the busy days that it’s required of me, I’m going to hold my head up high and wear my mom look proudly!   🙂

No matter how old they get!

The Mom Look (part 1)

Now let me start with this…  I don’t want to give the impression that I’ve let myself go.  😉  I clean up pretty well on the rare occasion that I need to (or when my husband is home from work, and  I don’t have to choose between shaving my legs or applying eye-liner).  But let’s face it, I’m thicker around the middle than I used to be (two C-sections in your thirties will do that to you, apparently), more practical in my wardrobe (every article of clothing has to pass the, “Can I lift a child and squat regularly in this?” test), and I’m more focused on keeping everyone alive than I am caring about eyebrows being on fleek (or whatever it is that the makeup gurus are obsessing about these days).  

This is just the phase I’m in right now…  Yes, it’s a precious and beautiful time of life; one that I’ll look back on and sigh about how quickly it passed!  But one that is also very fast-paced and focused solely on little ones.  I have an over-active three year old and a one year old who thinks she’s queen.  As much as it’s a blessing, it’s also a bit like having a front row seat on a runaway train.  They roll out of bed, racing to start the day, and look adorable; I’m more closely resembling a crazy person who hasn’t slept in years.

Some days when we go out, I’m fairly certain that it looks as though a homeless woman has kidnapped two baby Gap models.  I usually pop a hat onto my head and lower it over my face, trying to hide as much as possible.  Or I wear a “This is mom life” T-shirt as an explanation for my frazzled look-of-the-day.

Personally,  I think that moms – in all of our exhausted and frazzled glory – should be treated like royalty.

I’m talking like, “Oh, you’re a mom?  Why don’t you go ahead of me in this long line then?  In fact, let me pay for your coffee!”

WE should be the epitome of gorgeous and sexy, not those pristine models who can’t open a can of tuna for fear they might chip a fingernail.

Right??  Am I right here?!?  

I mean, it’s not like I don’t try to stay on top of the self-care bandwagon.  But my children seem pretty determined to harm themselves quite drastically multiple times a day, so – you know – the curling iron can wait.

And when I do decide to invest in nice beauty products, it can be a little traumatic for all involved.  Can we just be honest and admit that walking into Sephora to buy makeup when you’re a mom of little children can be a humbling experience?  It’s usually something that I avoid at all costs (mostly because my budget can’t afford the cost).  But every once in awhile, I get this sudden burst of inspiration and think that maybe a mystical lotion sold there will hide the circles under my eyes, plump the furrow lines between my brows, and make me magically appear 10 pounds lighter.

Because hey, a mom can dream.

The problem is that most times, I run there; because my husband has kindly suggested I take two hours of child-free time after a particularly LONG, hard day.  And by ‘run’, I mean ‘run’.  I don’t stop to pass Go and to collect $200.  I grab my keys and rush out the door before he realizes that he has agreed to be zoo keeper of two little crazy monkeys.  Stopping to change or to look myself over in the mirror is too risky, because that is five minutes of time during which he might change his mind.

As the words, “You’ve had a long day, I think you need some time to yourself-” are leaving his lips, I am gone.  By the time has felt the first tinge of fear due to the chaos surrounding him, I am on the highway and sipping an iced coffee from Dunkies.    (He loves me and supports me so much that I highly doubt he would ever change his mind.  But again, it’s a risk I’m just not willing to take).

So there I am, walking into Sephora looking like a woman who is living out of her car.  I know this, because Sephora (unlike my home) is full of mirrors.  And to be honest, even if these mirrors didn’t exist, I’d get a pretty accurate depiction of my appearance by taking in the reaction of the employees.

😂😂 very true. I was at my gas station in rollers on Friday embarrassing my son. It was fun 😊

One time (okay, it’s been more than once) I was so desperate to leave the house that I actually left for the mall without looking myself over once.  Because I was in survival mode.  And who, in survival mode, really cares about how pretty they look?  If your house is being engulfed by flames, you’re not going to stop to fix your concealer.  And if you’ve had a nonstop, insane child-rearing day followed by an amazing husband who lets you run away for a few hours, well, same difference.  You RUN!    (… to be continued)


You Know You’re a Mom If…

Which ones can you relate to the most???    And what’s YOUR “You know you’re a mom if…” moment?  

1.   Your house exists in three stages – messy, messier, and oh-my-gosh-we-live-in-a-pigsty.

2.   The messy version of your house starts to feel clean, because it’s only messy.  There are two much worse levels…

3.  You have an evacuation plan in place in case an unannounced visitor pulls into your driveway during the oh-my-gosh-we-live-in-a-pigsty stage.

4.  You can lift a 25 lb toddler while carrying 50 pounds of groceries, talking on the phone, and clipping a three-year-old’s toe-nails.

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5.  You know better than to lick your hand if there is a brown smear on it.  Although it may look like chocolate; if you’re a mom, there is a very high probability that it is not an edible confection.  (A movie that shows a mom licking her hands in order to decipher whether or not a brown smear is poop or chocolate was obviously written by a man).

6.  You’re really good at picking things up with your feet, because your hands are never free.

7.  You wear leopard print, not because it makes you look fierce; but because the pattern hides milk stains, chocolate stains, poop stains, spitup stains, and ketchup stains.  Leopard print is the ultimate stain hider.  You therefore like leopard print.

8.  Nothing puts fear in your heart quite like the color ‘white’.

9.  Forget heels, polish, lip gloss, and jewelry.  Your epitome of THE perfect night is now a hot bath, bubbles, flickering candlelight, and a bowl of peanut m&m’s.

10.   If you don’t have time for the hot bath, bubbles, or flickering candlelight, then the peanut m&m’s will do.

11.  If you don’t have peanut m&m’s, you’ll totally take five minutes of being locked in the bathroom – alone – for 300 seconds of refreshing quiet.  (Turning on the fan is a must, so that you can’t hear the children screaming “MOMMY!” despite the fact that they are with their daddy).

12.  Coffee is your best friend. (Anyone who brings you coffee is basically your soulmate).

13.  You forget to buy hamburger buns while grocery shopping, so you use it as an excuse to run to your happy place:  Target.

14.  You are proud of yourself for leaving Target with only one item!   I am woman; hear me roar!  Problem is, you accidentally bought milk instead of the hamburger buns.

15.  You’ve washed the same load of laundry three times, because you keep forgetting to put it into the dryer.

16.  You have a secret stash of taboo foods (hello, chocolate) hidden behind the broccoli and another nestled beneath the frozen veggie burgers.

17.  “We don’t turn on the blender until we’ve put the cover on first!” is something you say now.

18.  You know, first-hand, just how much of a mess can be created when a blender is turned on without the cover.

19.  You run out the door so quickly that sometimes you freeze in the middle of the supermarket and look down, just to make sure you’re wearing pants.


20.  There is so much love in your heart for little humans that you think you might explode.

Treasures (Part 2)

Despite the humor and sweet moments of parenthood, there are definitely patches that are really tough. Sometimes I feel like a bouncy ball in a yo-yo world, and I want to throw my hands up in the air in defeat, wondering “what did I get myself into?” I think the lack of sleep and personal time doesn’t help matters any, because – as much as we like to claim superhero status – we moms are human at the end of the day. We really do need sleep occasionally and a moment – here or there – to collect our thoughts.

(Or so I`m told…).

During those long days, it can be hard to see the big picture. To remember that being a mom is precious and that moments with our little ones are all too fleeting. Because right here and now, hours feel long. Everything hurts, including your feelings. Patience is running low. Anxiety levels are flaring. And exhaustion is taking its toll on your body.

sure i could parent without screen time. I could churn my own butter but let's not get crazy here

The funny thing is that I used to say, “sleep is over-rated” as though rest was an appropriate subject to joke about. These days, I’m fairly certain that it isn’t. I mean, I’m at the point where I’m using an under-eye concealer that’s called “Well-rested”, and I am seriously contemplating the pro’s and cons of ingesting it. (A few sprinkles into coffee shouldn’t hurt anything…).

It’s so easy, during this stage of mommyhood, to wish away these sleepless nights and to dream about the days when we can enjoy a full night’s sleep. It’s so tempting to look forward to the quiet evenings, when we can slide into soft, flannel sheets and close our eyes to hours of uninterrupted rest. To imagine using the bathroom alone, cooking without tripping over little bodies, grocery shopping while not leaving behind a trail of cracker crumbs, and actually being able to sit in the adult portion of church.

Morning Funny Memes 34 Pics

Last night was one of those long nights. By 4am, I decided to just stop fighting it and succumbed to the fact that I was not going to get more than a few hours of sleep. I pulled a fussy, teething Princess K out of her crib and soothed her to sleep by rocking.

A few gentle, quiet snores let me know that she had fallen into a restful sleep after a night that had been long for both of us. I softly kissed her head and let my chin gently graze her fuzzy hair. I breathed in her sweet baby scent that is almost gone forever. And I realized that – even if these days are difficult – they are also the days that I will one day look back on with much nostalgia.

One day, B-Boy and Princess K may decide to travel for college. They’ll get married and move into houses of their own, hopefully not too far away. B-Boy will be taller than me, stronger than me, and capable of making his own decisions. He’ll be a grown man. Princess K may have babies of her own.

And I’ll then wish that – even for a moment – I could go back to one of these sleepless nights or chaotic days, during which they are still small enough to be snuggled in my arms. I’ll wish that I could cradle her in my arms just once more and feel the softness of her skin against mine. I’ll wish that he needed me for everything, for just one more night…

I`ll even miss the crazy,hilarity that my three year old son brings to each day. 🙂

I know that one day I`ll wish I could travel through time,just once,to one of these long,exhausting nights so that I could hold them close.

So even though I’m tired, I will try oh-so-hard to cherish these moments. When she cries during the night and wakens me from sleep, I will greet her with a bright smile… with a gentle song… with arms that are eager to hold her. And when he finds yet another thing to explore, take apart, and examine, I will greet him with patience, love, and a sense of humor.

I won’t be able to every time. But I sure will try to most times!

Even if I am exhausted, I will remind myself that these moments will not last forever. Because while there will be plenty of time to catch up on sleep and sanity one day, these are the moments that are all too quickly just a priceless memory. 🙂