Category: Uncategorized

Learning To Fall with Grace

Learning to Fall With Grace

This week a group of my mom friends trusted me to take them on an adventure. We traveled an hour to take an Aerial Yoga class with my friend Delia. Delia has instructed newbies on the “silks” for about three years now. She is a natural at it and really great at letting people find their own comfort zone.

When I suggested this adventure I really had no idea what I was getting us into. I had zero reservations about the experience. That is until I arrived at the studio, took off my shoes and got into place in front of my silk. Silks are 10 feet of hanging fabric clamped to a chain and attached by a cable to the rafters or some other structure. I had no clue how demanding it would be to stay steady on them.

I followed Delia’s instructions very closely. I tried to mirror her movements as accurately as I could (and this old body would allow). But, half way through the class I was stuck upside down and swinging inches from the floor. I could not figure my way out and she instructed me to simply drag my hand over the floor to slow myself down, and then how to stop myself and lower myself out of the silk.

In that moment my instinct was to panic. I wanted to fight against the momentum and drop to the floor. Instead, I embraced this new feeling of flying and stretched out my arm to emulate the grace of an ice skater. I joked with my group and made silly faces as I slowly, and as gracefully as possible, came to a stop. I stood up with confidence and said, “I like to fall with grace and style.” My friend Delia commented, “Isn’t that what life is about, learning to fall with grace?”

That statement stuck with me. How many times do we find ourselves in new and sudden situations outside of our comfort zone? Parenting for sure will push you into realms of discomfort you didn’t know existed before. Do we brace ourselves against the momentum of life or do we embrace the chaos? Do we slow ourselves down long enough to gain confidence to get back up?

I feel like every new stage has brought about new challenges with my kids. From their behaviors to their food preferences to a first time with a new sickness. Most often I want to bristle and try to control things into perfection and make them more efficient and convenient for me as a parent. That seems to only make things worse. But, when I truly lean into the moment and just go with the flow and leave behind the instinct to panic things seem to get easier for me.

I stumble most days on this parenting journey. I rethink my choices daily. I wake up with zero reservations about my life with kids. That is until I am standing in front of the empty coffee pot with one or both of them screaming at me. When I find myself pushing back and yelling I remember to take a breath, find that amazing mom I want to be and let go of making the outcome perfect. If I fall, I get up and declare my grace through humor. I dust myself off and try again.

I wish I could say the rest of the class was easier after that, but it wasn’t. I got stuck two more times, thankfully not upside down. Delia came to my rescue with a boost both times. That’s what friend’s do.

Who knew taking a yoga class would help me discover that I am stronger than I realize? That when I am faced with a challenge I have a deep inner strength and determination that doesn’t allow me to give up. Who knew I would get a life lesson from a yoga class?

 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again!

Friday Favorites- Hungry Root Review & GIVEAWAY!

Hungryroot

If I said the words: Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Soy Free. All Natural. Vegan. Would you wonder, “is it also flavor free?” Not if it’s a meal from Hungryroot!

Hungryroot offers amazing veggie noodle based meals served with a creative sauce that can easily pair with a protein (purchase with or without grilled chicken). Home cooks can prepare their favorite meals in less than 10 minutes on the stove top or in the microwave. All the meals are locally sourced, non-GMO and are gluten free. Many are dairy free and even vegan. This is the answer to all my food dilemmas!

As a busy mom, with dietary restrictions, I often lack the time to prep healthy meals for myself. I spend so much time making meals I know my picky eaters will like that I am left at the mercy of hunger and I grab anything quick. I have dreamed of finding healthy organic convenience meals for years. Now, I can make a full sized healthy meal for myself before you can say chocolate chip cookie binge (OK more like 7 minutes). Every meal is less than 500 calories, rich in nutrients and already prepped!

Hungryroot package Noodles

I placed my first order as a Christmas gift to me. I was curious to taste for myself how root noodles could compare to the taste of traditional pasta meals. I selected a gift pack of three full meals and one side and one dessert. Did I mention these FRESH healthy quick cook meals were delivered right to my door?

Hungryroot insulated cooler

I wasn’t home when my package arrived. But, the meals were all kept safe inside the insulated box with cooler packs. Incidentally, all the shipping materials are biodegradable and recyclable. Be sure to check with the local recycling guidelines in your area and read the directions on packaging before recycling.

Carrot Noodles Hungryroot

My husband raves over every meal we try! The man who could live on pasta with every meal- RAVES over noodles made from vegetables! I personally love the Rutabaga noodles with Mushroom Pistou Sauce and grilled chicken the best, but those Sweet Potato noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo and Roasted Falafel have me craving more! My picky little eaters and I are now addicted to the Coconut Carrot Cake Bites with coconut frosting (all vegan!). I can’t wait to try the Black Bean Brownie Batter and the Maple Chick Pea Pancake Batter!

Carrot coconut cookie bites Hungryroot

The cook time and the already portioned ingredients sold me on Hungryroot! A price point of $10-$12 per meal to serve 1-2 people may seem pricey for a family budget, but for this gluten/lactose/soy intolerant mama on a time crunch these super convenient meals really fit the bill!

You all know how much I love a company that gives back. Hungryroot is a 1+1 company which means they donate 1% of their profits to charity and volunteer 1% of their time to support nutritional education and healthy eating. At the time of my purchase they were donating fresh meals to City Harvest a NYC based food rescue agency.

Hungryroot meals are available through Hungryroot.com or FreshDirect and AmazonFresh.

So, hungry for more? Well, nothing gets a Friday started like some free food am I right? The amazing folks over at Hungry Root are giving all of you the chance to win a fabulous FREE meal including dessert! Just enter below!

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promotional product provided by Hungryroot. Financial compensation not provided for this review. All opinions provided herein belong solely to The Whatever Mom (and lots of other people who think Hungryroot has yummy food).

*Title photo credit: Hungryroot.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Kids Get Sick – Get Over It

The Whatever Mom (7)

 

I am on day 10 of this crappy sickness with my kids. Is it a cold virus? Is it strep throat? There’s no fever or vomiting. They have tons of energy. But, I keep them home for their comfort. Thankfully, I work from home and can afford to keep my kids home as long as they need. By afford I mean not paying a baby sitter; I didn’t mention the cost to my sanity.

When my kids get sick I am wary about sharing on social media for fear of judgement. There is always a parent out there that has an opinion on what kind of cold medicine you give your kids- is it organic, dye free and homeopathic? “You do know you shouldn’t give kids too many antibiotics.” “There are alternatives to eye drops for treating pink eye.”  Then, there are the teachers who blame the parents for letting their kids get them sick. “Keep your kids home if they are sick.” No one intentionally sets out to spread germs. Germs are everywhere and during every season. If I post what we are sick with and show up to a party 3 days later I’ve just branded us as the source of everyone else’s illness.

So what is a mom to do?

  1. Don’t post every illness to social media. I have been guilty of posting about our second round of pink eye. I administer the drops and release my kids back to school three days later (per doctor’s permission) and suddenly another kid in the class gets pink eye. Now my kids are the target of blame. Really does it matter where the pink eye came from? A kid can get pink eye from a shopping cart, play spaces or a doctor’s office. If your kid gets pink eye identifying the source isn’t going to cure it. Following the doctor’s orders will.
  2. Use the medicine that works best for your child. If you are not one to follow homeopathic methods because you don’t feel they work for your child, then don’t waste the time or money paying into the guilt of “over medicating” your kid. It is completely OK to seek out the advice of a pharmacist or doctor on which over the counter medications you can safely use to comfort your child through illness.
  3. You don’t have to rush your child to the doctor for every sniffle. It is OK to use the wait and see approach. Most often that is the response a doctor will give you anyway. You are not neglecting your child if you wait a few more days to see how they are feeling before taking them to the doc’s office. Not only are you saving co-pays, or an extra bill but you are saving your child exposure of additional germs.
  4. It’s OK to send your kid to school with a runny nose. Every school has a different sick policy. Learn what your school’s policy is and follow it. Typically, it is the rule to be free of a fever and vomit for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have followed the rule and your child is fever and vomit free, but still has a runny nose and a cough with no other symptoms; it’s OK to give them cold medicine and send them to school. If they have the energy to make it through the day and their doc doesn’t see a reason for them to miss any more school. Always have a doctor’s note for their return to school. It won’t save you from judgement, but it will save you from some guilt.
  5. Disclose your kid’s sickness when necessary. It’s OK to cancel plans or disappoint your kids because they are too sick to attend an event. It might be tempting to send them to school or a party at friends while not recovered 100% to see if they can make it through. This runs the risk of exposing other kids to germs and setting them back a bit in their healing. I promise kids will get over the sadness of missing a birthday party, or a fun play date.

Most importantly, don’t judge another parent’s methods for dealing with their kid’s sickness. Unless you can see definitive proof of neglect there is no reason to suspect a parent isn’t doing everything they need to, to ensure their child’s health.

Instead of lashing out on Facebook about the types of meds a parent administers, or judging a parent for not keeping their kid home long enough; why not offer to help? Would you be willing to bring a meal, some cold supplies like tissues and cough drops? Can you send a get well card, or drop a note saying you are thinking of them? Taking care of a sick kid and balancing the rest of our life is stressful enough; we don’t need to hear someone else spouting their own opinions and standards.

I have the fortune of staying home with my kids on sick days. I understand not every parent has that luxury. When I drop my kid off at school and hear another kid coughing, I don’t think “man, couldn’t their mom keep them home longer?” I think, “Poor kiddo he/she must not feel well.”  Then I ask the teacher if she needs any additional supplies for the classroom and I make sure my kids wash their hands. The best way to safeguard my kids during cold season is to worry about what we are doing in our own home to stay healthy. I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in how everyone else is living.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites- Perfectly Posh VALENTINE’S GIVEAWAY!

Honeycomb

No financial compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are tried and true and solely belong to The Whatever Mom.The links contained in this post are not affiliate links. 

Do you know why I love giveaways? It isn’t just because everyone loves free stuff. It’s because I LOVE treating my friends and readers to some really awesome products! I only share with you products I use in my own home! This week I’m in love with Perfectly Posh products! In honor of Valentine’s Day I am giving some for FREE!

What made me fall in love with Posh products is they are cruelty free and never tested on animals, there are vegan options and everything is made with plant based natural ingredients. I love that I can pamper myself and my little girls without worrying about fillers and synthetic chemicals. Now I don’t mind sharing my products with them! You can find a list of product ingredients at Perfectly Posh.

Of course you can also count on me to find a company that contributes to charity and a great cause! Through the You Deserve It charitable program Posh generously shares their products and raises funds for women’s shelters. They also collect needed items like socks and gently used shoes for women and children living in YWCA shelters. I don’t know about you, but for me buying products I can safely use with my children while supporting families in need feels like a really big win!

Here are my personal favorites:

Brazillian Bombshell Body Butter

Perfectly Posh brazillian bombshell

This 10 oz. tub of awesomeness goes a long way! I use it every morning in place of perfume. Essential oils gives this creamy body butter a fragrance that lasts a long time without over powering. My kids and I both have sensitivities to strong fragrance, but this has no effect on our allergies! I use this rich body butter to moisturize before bed too!

Caffeinator Skin Stick

Posh Caffeinator Skin Stick

This skin stick has amazing super powers. I’m not kidding! The lemon powered scent is reviving and the caffeine helps with that over tired look. I have used at the beginning of a migraine and found relief! It really helps! I keep mine in the fridge for a nice cooling effect when I need that afternoon pick me up.

Gender Bender Chunk Big Bath Bar

Perfectly Posh gender bender

This chunky bar is vegan and made with natural charcoal powder to draw toxins from the skin. The shea butter leaves a nice smooth layer of moisture and the scent is light enough for guys or gals. I use in the shower for a five minute spa effect. I’d almost forget I have kids if they weren’t yelling through the door.

All products are Made in the USA and every item costs $25 or less! I know! That means you can afford to pamper yourself and share a little with the kids (although you might not want to share). Speaking of sharing it’s time for our giveaway!

My very generous friend Stacey a.k.a Dr. Posh (yes she really does have a PhD!) is sponsoring today’s Posh giveaway! Two readers will win a posh Valentine’s Day Treat!

Be sure to comment below which item you would like to win! A full size Gender Bender Shower Bar, or a Starbucks travel cup filled with samples and Valentine chocolates!

Don’t miss out on these amazing specials happening right now! If you are already a Posh fan then you won’t want to miss out on these freebies with purchase! You can also join the perks program and earn free products! Find out more here.

posh chunk bar posh hand cream posh lip balm

Contest opens midnight Friday February 12, 2016 and ends February 14, 2016. Winners will be announced on Monday February 15, 2016 on The Whatever Mom Facebook page. If you are not following on Facebook yet, you can do so here.  Why not sign up to follow the blog via email and never miss out on another giveaway again!

 

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The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

We Fill Buckets in This Family

Be a BucketFillingFamily

The last few weeks have been a challenge. My twins are constantly tackling each other, screaming at each other and just entirely not being nice to each other. If I pick them up from school they are rumbling. They are rumbling during the car ride home and they are rumbling after gymnastics practice. Quite honestly their behavior is starting to drive me nuts!

While wracking my brain to figure out an effective way to discipline while creating teachable moments I remember my girls love the book How Full Is Your Bucket for Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. It’s a book they read and discussed in school.

Photo: Amazon.com
Photo: Amazon.com

I bought the book to read at home. After we read it together I understood more clearly how important it is for my kids to learn just what makes a bucket dipper; and more importantly how to fill someone else’s bucket. Allow me to explain.

This book introduces kids to the concept of empathy. A young boy learns that every one of us carries an invisible bucket over our heads. Every time we say or do something not nice the bucket slowly drips and becomes empty. But, if we give compliments, take time to listen and do nice things we not only fill someone else’s bucket, but our own buckets as well. The illustrations really help bring this concept to life and even young readers can understand it.

Photo: Inner Pieces Gallery
Photo: Inner Pieces Gallery

As soon as we finished the book I was inspired to create a family bucket filler chart. (I used items I found at the dollar store. Everything was pre-cut and I attached with double sided tape. That is the extent of my craftiness). I polled the girls for what they think a bucket filler looks like, sounds like and what it feels like when filling up someone else’s bucket. I hand wrote their words on the chart to serve as our guide for good behavior.

Family Bucket Filler Chart

Each one of us gets a bucket of our own with an envelope attached.

Family Bucket Filler Chart

Every night at dinner I ask each person in our family, “what did you do today to fill sissy’s (mommy/daddy) bucket today?” Each answer is written down on a card and placed in their envelop. For every card filled out I add a drop at the top of the bucket. We read all the cards at the end of the week.

I laminated the buckets using clear contact paper so I can draw each drop with a dry erase marker. I can erase and start over again the next week. If we each have five drops by the end of the week we get to participate in a special activity. This week is a Fro Yo sundae at Sweet Frog.

I attached the coupons for our activity above the chart so we can all see what we are working toward.

The first day or two neither kid got any drops in their buckets. But, once they earned their first drop they caught on quickly how this all works.

We are on week two and already I am seeing some positive effects. Both of my girls are quicker to take responsibility for their own behaviors and seek ways to apologize for and remedy hurt feelings.

I feel like participating as a family demonstrates for my kids we are a team, and everyone has to be accountable for their actions. Taking responsibility for their behaviors  is something my girls struggle with (as most five year olds do). I can’t tell you how often I hear, “she made me do it!”  I also like that it’s a more positive way to nurture good behavior and lay the foundation for empathy.

This is just what is working for us this week! For us, adding the chart brings tangibility to the message of this story and is a great tool for me in creating teachable moments.

 

What’s working for you this week? Feel free to share in the comments below!

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites- GoNoodle.com A Website For Kids

Friday Favorites

The Whatever Mom does not receive any financial compensation for this review. All opinions shared are solely that of the Whatever Mom. (It’s just a really cool site).

I hear a lot of parents request suggestions for apps and websites that are appropriate for little kids. Someone suggested GoNoodle Home Edition and despite being a low tech family I thought I’d give this a try. It is such a hit! I use it on my phone or on our computer. The best part is it is FREE!

This website offers different challenges that encourage movement and emotional management tools for young kids. Teachers can use in their classrooms and parents can use at home or on the go! To get started parents sign up and select a password. The site will verify parent information to be sure it is OK for kids to interact with the website.

Then, kids pick a champion, or a character, who will grow bigger and stronger as kids complete videos and games. The more minutes kids spend dancing to videos and moving through the challenges the bigger the champion grows. Once the champion is maxed out kids select a new champion and continue with their favorite games and videos. Sounds pretty easy right? That’s because it is!

Gonoodle.com Champ

Select from video channels which is a grouping of your favorite videos, or a specific category such as calming, stretching or sports, etc.  Creating a favorites list allows you to tailor your kids experience to their needs.

Gonoodle.com

 

Here are some of our favorites:

Gonoodle.com Empower Tools

Empower Tools– offers yoga poses that encourage movements to help kids manage frustration, anxiety and strengthen focus. This has been a great tool for us during those pesky moments when my kids seem emotional but cannot really tell me what is upsetting them. I pull this one out for the after school melt down. My kids are more tired after school and need help focusing on the transition to home.

 

Gonoodle.com awesome sauce

Awesome Sauce– this channel has super silly and fun songs that encourage kids to get up and move. My kids love this any time of day, but we primarily use it for that afternoon slump when a dance party is the only cure.

 

Gonoodle.com think about it

Think About It– these short minute long videos offer affirmations and positive lessons on how to have a great day, practicing patience and forgiveness. I like to use these during those sibling scuffles. It helps all of us to take a short breath and distracts us from the negativity happening. When we are all calm we can talk about solutions for the next time we argue over a toy, or whose turn it is.

 

Gonoodle.com Maximo Monkey

Maximo– this little blue monkey is our absolute favorite. He is entertaining, yet my kids can focus on all the stretching movements under his tutelage. We love to use this any time of day! I especially pull these out on rainy days, or when I’ve noticed we’ve been sitting for too long.

 

Gonoodle.com Recess

Indoor Recess- these adorable and energetic videos are typically 10-15 minutes long and designed to get kids heart rates moving. Coach Terry gets kids up and running in place, performing jumping jacks and more. I have one super energetic kid who wakes up and wants to exercise. I let her complete one or two of these before school to get her morning started. The happy side effect is her sister always joins in too.

You can find all of our favorite videos as well as Zumba Kids, Brain fitness exercises, Kidz Bop videos and more at www.gonoodle.com. Parents have full control over passwords and access to the site. This makes it a really safe experience for kids. You can take it with you when you travel, you can use it before school or even before bedtime. Movement really helps change up my kids’ energy and moods. This has been a great tool for managing the craziness of our day! Be sure to find the GoNoodle 101 in the Explore section. It will help parents and new users learn how to use this awesome site!

What websites do your kids like? Share below and it may be featured in a future Friday Favorites.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

 

 

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Oh The Humanity of Game Night

Recently a group of my mom friends and I gathered for a game night event that can only be described as adventurous. Nothing about it was hazardous. We didn’t even leave the living room. We simply gathered to play just one game: Cards against Humanity.

Let me start by sharing that this game is NOT for anyone who is uptight, or timid about hearing and using colorful language that includes descriptive sex acts, body parts, bodily functions and worse. The list of offenses can go on. But, now that the disclaimer is out there let me share why this game was so much fun!

As moms we spend our entire day being appropriate. We model for our kids the appropriate topics to discuss at the dinner table. We teach them to use manners and respectful language. We even refrain, with intervention from a force deep inside, from dropping the ole F-bomb on a daily basis. I KNOW I’m not the only one who has stepped on a Lego piece and held back a generous amount of curse words.

Cards against Humanity

Our night wasn’t about getting together to use bad words and yuck it up over innuendos. It was about getting to share some laughs. Plus, it was nice to be in a kid free space eating snacks we didn’t have to share, and drinking our own beverages. We didn’t have to worry about whispering or spelling out words our kids can’t spell yet.  We could really relax and know no one will judge us for the non-politically correct things leaving our mouths because we could blame it on the cards. No one panicked about “how am I going to explain this to my kid later.” The freedom to let loose and go uncensored was darned exhilarating.

Moms playing Cards against Humanity

After the game was over and the cards put away a group of us lingered to talk. We were up well passed our routine bed times. The last time I was up until 1:00 a.m. it included a puke bucket and a thermometer. So, it was a thrill to be up that late catching up with moms I only get to toss out a quick hello to in passing.

I highly recommend starting your own game night with friends! You don’t have to play this game, any game will do. Just find a kid free space to let down your mommy-guard for a short time and relax. I know I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my mom duties the next day.

Tips for hosting an Epic Game Night:

Make sure you have a place for the kiddos to go. Whether it is off to grandma’s house, or upstairs with daddy, you will want a distraction free environment. Make it a place you can truly relax.

Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack to share! It can be as simple as chips and dip, or as fancy as a decadent dessert. Can’t go wrong with store bought!

Decide in advance on beverages. If you want an alcohol free space, or if you would like to include a little wine, make sure your guests know what to expect in your home.

Don’t worry about cleaning the house to white glove standards. You’re inviting moms! They get it! Just make sure there are plenty of comfy places to sit and maybe clean up some of the sticky parts.

Have the group decide on a game and let the fun begin! The mission of game night is to just laugh and connect with friends. Keep the game simple and energetic and the crowd will do the rest!

Got a game night suggestion? Leave it in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites- RuMe

Friday Favorites (2)

Have you heard of RuMe products yet? Maybe you see their ads all over Facebook and wonder if they are worth the purchase? Well, I have two of their products and I am in love! RuMe stands for Reuse Me. These gorgeous Eco-friendly products exemplify sustainability with a focus on self expression. RuMe offers a wide selection of colorful patterns and customization.

Here are the products I am using in my mom bag:

The Baggie All

Organize everything in your bag!
Organize everything in your bag!

This little baggie has 3 zippered pockets and replaces TWO of the bags I used to keep my items separated. I can carry my make-up, coupons, medicines and pen and paper all in one bag. This saves me from rummaging through stuff in my giant mom bag. I just pull out the Baggie All and open the one pocket I need to access!

The Medium Tote

Lightweight and versatile.
Lightweight and versatile.

I  carry the medium every day tote with me as a back up bag and reusable shopping bag. It is super easy to carry because it is light weight, it rolls up and is secured by a Velcro strap. It doesn’t take up much room at all! I use it in place of the plastic store bags and it saves me on our trips to the library, or when my kids spill something on their clothes and I need an extra bag to carry those wet things home.

Here are some other items you might like:

The Baby Travel Play

This adorable play mat is machine washable, has a quilted bottom and comes in two adorable prints.! It’s perfect for play dates in any location. It’s light weight and folds to fit in it’s own small tote.

 

Personalized Mini Totes

These are perfect for your little one to carry their own books home from the library, toys for a play date, swim gear, or gymnastics/dance outfits, or carry their own snacks. The square sides make this bag extra roomy and it holds up to 50 lbs. It is machine washable and water resistant too! You can customize the color and personalize with your child’s name.

 

I highly recommend RuMe bags for the quality, durability and ease of use. All RuMe products are machine washable, water resistant, affordable, functional and beautiful! These are the most efficient and easy to care for reusable bags I have! RuMe offers so much more than just totes and baggies! Check out MyRuMe.com for personalized gifts like glass coasters, cutting boards, wine charms, home and office items and more!

The Whatever Mom received no financial compensation for this review. RuMe products were provided for free with cost of shipping. The opinions expressed in this post belong solely to The Whatever Mom.

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

 

The Socks vs. The Souffle

Why I Hate Mornings

I am not a morning person. Even though I am early to rise I do not like people in my space first thing in the morning. I am up an hour before my kids so I can enjoy my hot coffee in the silence of the morning. I’m happy to sacrifice that extra hour of sleep for an extra hour of sanity in my day.

My one daughter bounces out of bed and runs laps through the house with a smile on her face. My other daughter rarely wakes up in a good mood. I enter her room with trepidation because waking her up is like lighting a stick of dynamite. You only have a matter of seconds before the big BOOM! (If I had bothered reading her instruction manual at birth I might have noticed the warning label, “Danger Explosive.”).

After I have my coffee and I tiptoe as long as I can, I wake up my girls and ask them what they want for breakfast. My first daughter replies, “Cereal with milk.” I quickly accommodate her. My second daughter replies, “A soufflé.”

Me: <blink. blink.> “Really? A soufflé?”

Her: “Yes, a soufflé!”

Me: “How do you even know what a soufflé is? I’ve never made a soufflé.”

Her: “I know I will like it and I want it, NOW!”

Me: “Well, since it is 15 minutes before we need to leave and you are still in pajamas you can have Cheerios, or Rice Crispies.”

Her: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I WANT A SOUFFLE! NOW! NOW! NOW! NOW!”

I walk away and leave her crying on the floor over the soufflé she’ll never get. I have no idea what this ridiculous request is about. Is she testing me? Is she pushing a boundary? Is she delusional? I’m not sure what in our history together leads her to believe I am going to make her a soufflé, but it’s just not going to happen. Sorry kid.

Twenty minutes later her screams finally die out. I wipe her nose and explain, “Sometimes we just need to accept from the two options we are given. Making up a third option does not make it an option.” She takes a breath, “OK Mama. I’ll have the Cheerios.”

I felt exhausted, but victorious.

That is until she puts on socks. This is what my child wore to school:

 pink socks

After the go-round about the soufflé I didn’t have anything left in me to argue over pink, glittery, knee-high socks over top of her purple pants. It was simply dashing when coordinated with her pink and gray camo jacket and neon green trimmed sneakers. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and thought to myself, “Oh whatever… it’s just socks and it’s preschool.” Besides we are already 10 minutes late and if I say no to the socks we will have to tango for another 20 minutes.

I have learned to let these little things go. If she feels like she has control over the small things then she feels like she can be a winner. One day she’ll learn that I will always win at the big stuff because the big stuff is important. The big stuff is where she will know my love for her.

I consider it an important lesson in life to teach her that screaming and yelling to get her way is not acceptable. I know we are going to bump heads a lot in life thanks to our very strong wills, but butting heads over socks is not what I want her to remember. I want her to remember I said no when it really matters. In the grand scheme of things her outfits do not personify her character. So, I give up expecting her to wear “normal” outfits. But, I won’t give up expecting she use kind words and a calm voice. 

If you have a strong willed child like mine, hang in there!! And, don’t be afraid to stand your ground on the big things and just let those little things go (like socks). Let your kids have these small victories. I promise you’ll both walk away feeling like a winner. 

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

Friday Favorites-IntelliDent Toothbrush Shield – FLASH Giveaway

IntelliDent Tooth Brush Covers

January is the perfect time to re-organize things around the home. I like to start my “spring cleaning” now so that once Spring arrives I can be outside. One of the first rooms I tackle is our main bathroom. Scrubbing and cleaning the tile is essential, but I also like to clean out our storage closet and medicine cabinet. I toss out old or expired medicines and update my beauty supplies. One thing in my bathroom that I am not crazy about is the plastic covers I use on each of our tooth brushes.

I try to replace the covers each time I change out our tooth brushes (every 2-3 months), but once those caps are used I can’t just toss them into the recycling bin. So they end up in our landfill. I also worry about germs and viruses gathering on our toothbrushes. Keeping them covered and in the medicine cabinet creates a nice dark, damp place for little bugs to breed. If you’re like me, you don’t have time for stomach bugs and viruses!

IntelliDent 10 pack Toothbrush Shields

So, when Lisa Smith, Executive Vice President of IntelliDent Products contacted me for a review I was excited to try these out! Lucky for you Dear Readers, she was generous and sent extras to GIVEAWAY!

Here is what I love about the IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields:

These covers are breathable, dry quickly and perform like a surgical mask for your tooth brush! The plastic covers keep the toothbrushes damp and collect tooth paste teaming with bacteria. Yuck!

Plastic tooth brush covers

Each cover blocks against 99.9% of airborne and surface bacteria. (Did you know your toilet can contaminate your bathroom surfaces within a six foot radius in you bathroom?).

The antimicrobial preventive protection of these covers lasts up to 7 days, then you can toss into the trash. It takes up less room in the can and degrades much faster than plastic.

Tooth brush covers compared

Covers are individually sealed to ensure a fresh product every time.

IntelliDent Covers Are Fresh

The covers are so easy to slide over a tooth brush my five year olds don’t need any help. (However, they are disappointed they can not select their favorite colors and decided to add a sticker to their covers). My family started using these covers over a month ago. Now that I know the benefits and can see the difference, I won’t be using those plastic covers any more!

IntelliDent products are made in the USA by a women owned company. They also make a Mouth Guard Shield. The covers are not available in stores, but are available online at Walmart.com, Drugstore.com, Walgreens.com .

Orrrrr, you can just enter here for your very own 10 pack to try! TWO lucky readers will win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget there is always a chance for bonus entries!

 

The Whatever Mom was provided with free samples of IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this post belong solely to The Whatever Mom. 

 

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy

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