This week, our Facebook and Instagram feeds were flooded with grand gestures of love. Long stem roses, chocolate covered strawberries, sparkly gifts, prix fix dinners out on the town, or homemade dinners for two. Meanwhile, Jaymi and I shared a romantic evening of chicken and chocolate chip cookies in heart shaped containers because the Daddy’s were working late. Once upon a time, we may have grumbled about the apparent lack of affection and romance on our Valentine’s Day, but this is what our life is these days. And the truth is, we don’t mind a bit.
Yes, we still LOVE our husbands, and sometimes we even gush about them, but romance looks very different these days. The key to making it work is embracing all the little ways our partners are romantic, and not taking those for granted. So here’s our thank you, for all these little things our fellas do year round to show us how much they love and appreciate us.
A few weeks ago, we had the honor of attending an absolutely gorgeous wedding. The couple was so in love, the setting was truly beautiful, and the food was on point. The bartender totally hit on me, and they even had hand-churned nitrogen ice cream for dessert. It was a truly beautiful day.
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The Olympics have kicked off and Christine’s family is ALL about it! So here are the six things we’d give our Gold Medals to this week!
We hate saying we have a favorite kid, but sometimes you can prove it based on things like how long they sleep or which one’s being moderately rational that day. And sometimes they do something so incredibly sweet. Like when Cole kept stalling like he didn’t really want to finish reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Which is ridiculous, because when we finish we get to go to Universal Studios!) But the truth is that he was okay with that book being over, but he didn’t want the snuggling in Mommy’s bed for some quality time with a good book to be over. Lucky for you little man, there’s a whole world of books for us to work through! But we’ll start with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for now.
2. We may be The Salty Mamas, but we can admit that we’re equally into sweets. So we give a gold medal to these Chocolate Fruit Cups from the Peachee Pear. You’ll want to check out this adorably easy and beautiful dessert – and probably make it this week. Bonus points: It’s so easy even your kids can help!
3. We’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping for bathing suits for the cruise, and while we found some super cute ones (like this one and this one and this one) Christine can’t help but have this one be her favorite. Because it literally makes her laugh every time. And we take the use of the word “literally” very seriously.
5. There are prescriptions for EVERYTHING, so Christine and Jaymi were thinking there should be a pill to cure chronic grumpiness. We’ll take two, thanks.
6. And finally, in the spirit of the Olympics, this cautionary tale: If your husband is on a ski trip during the Olympics and your son knows that there’s skiing IN the Olympics, he may go around telling everyone that his Dad is skiing in the Olympics. So be warned.
This morning, I got up early, hunted around the house for clean socks and underwear and jeans, and helped pack up my husband for a work trip. I loaded the kids in the car, drove him to the airport, watched tearful goodbyes from the kids and drove home with cries of “I miss Daddy” ringing in my ears. He’ll be back in three days, but for these kids, three days might as well be three weeks. They should be used to this. They should understand the routine. Daddy has to travel at least every other month or so and has since they were born. But still, they take it hard. And so do I. At least…some of the time
But can I be honest with you for a minute? It’s not ALL bad….
The reality is, I’m parenting alone from about 6am to 6pm anyway. The kids go to bed by 8:30 at the absolute latest. So yes, while having help during those couple hours a night is hugely helpful, the net gains aren’t too shabby.Continue reading “Work Trip Martyr”→
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Valentine’s is just around the corner, and we’re gonna be honest…we’re just not as into it as we were pre-kids. Nowadays it’s more about cutesy crafts and heart-shaped snacks, and honestly? We’re mostly fine with that- but everyone once in a while we want to kick up the romance, too. So this week we’ve got a few tips for your sweet, kid-friendly Valentine’s day- but we’ve also got a few ways to take it up a notch (if you’re into that kind of thing).
1. When Jaymi was younger, a local pizza place would sell heart-shaped pizzas as part of their VDay celebrations. She no longer lives close enough to run in and grab one, so now she makes heart-shaped pizzas with her kids every year. Sometimes it’s just shaping pre-made dough into a heart, and sometimes it’s cutting English muffins with cookie cutters and layering on the toppings. Either way, it’s a fun and very simple tradition to start with the kiddos.
2. These DIY Love Coupons are perfect because they are 100% customizable for you and your partner. They can go from practical (Good for One Extra Morning of Sleeping In) to Saucy (fill in your own blanks here mamas 😉 ). Plus the kit comes with enough that you can give some to your kids (Stay Up Late, Choose the Restaurant, etc) or for your main squeeze…but PLEASE don’t mix up the two!
4. Paper Heart Family created these awesome Emoji Keychain Printable Valentine‘s. They are a candy-free, super creative option for Valentine’s that stand out from the rest, and the best part is that they aren’t super expensive or tricky to create.
5. Show of hands- who wants to drag their toddler into a lingerie store to try on some skimpy outfits? Anyone? Yeah? NO. So here’s a little romance hack- you can actually buy adorable lingerie on Amazon. We’re not even kidding. You should check it out- the reviews are actually really good!
6. As you may know, we are very partial to the Daddies, and we love them every day in (almost) every way. Even though they drive us nuts sometimes (like this time. And this one. Or that one time.) But at the end of the day? DANG are we glad they are ours.
In our house, Mommy is home with the kids all day, every day, and Daddy goes off to work every morning. Like a man going off to war, mornings are full of hugs, tears and promises that he will return soon. After the last hug, the last kiss, the kids rush together climbing up the couch – and over each other – to press themselves against the window to get one last glance of Daddy as he heroically drives off to his job. Then they turn and look at me as if to say, “So it’s just you and us again?” Mommy No-Fun is here. I enforce breakfast rules, make everyone change out of pajamas and into clothes and chase them around with shoes and lunch bags and beg them to just please get in the car already. It’s often chaotic, but for the most part we have our routines down.
We repeat this process for the next five days until finally the weekend hits. We fall into our Saturday routine – breakfast, errands together, something fun as a family. But eventually we hit a bump in the road. Maybe the kids spill some crackers, make a mess, and have a total freakout. Maybe Cole and Evie get into an epic swordfight over who gets to pick what show they watch while I’m cooking. Maybe Cole REALLY doesn’t want to ride in the shopping cart and throws an epic fit.
Once upon a time, when it was just the two of us, my husband and I were younger people with lots of energy. We could stay up late, watch TV, talk to each other, enjoy a cocktail and, well….you know what happens next in the RomCom that was our “Once upon a time.”
Then we got married. Had kids. Became chronically exhausted. And some elements of those younger people’s lives slowly fell off the radar. We stopped watching multi-season television series and settled for single season commitments like Survivor or American Horror Story. We were maybe the only people NOT pissed off about Game of Thrones being only seven episodes this season because it was manageable enough that we could finish it. Half the time one of us is asleep by the time the other gets back from putting the kids back in bed after their philosophical inquisition/demands for water/”one last hug.” Conversations are often about said kids, our upcoming schedule, or what needs to get done around the house. I’m too tired to even drink wine, so I’m not going to spell out for you what else I’m too tired for. Continue reading “The Romance is Dead. Sort of.”→
Yes, the internet is full of tips and advice for what NOT to say to a new Mom. Don’t give your advice on decisions she’s already thoughtfully made. Don’t tell her you once knew a girl in high school that was a total B that has the same name as her brand new perfect little baby. And of course say NOTHING about her appearance – except that she looks beautiful.
When my husband asks me what’s wrong, there’s about a 97% chance that I’ll say, “I’m just tired.” And God bless him, 61% of the time he responds with, “I got this – go take a nap.” Then, being the tired complainer I am, I get irritated. Because I don’t want to nap when you decide to give me permission! I want to sleep when I want to!
Which isn’t fair. He’s being nice. And I go and be nasty in return. And then it dawned on me, I’m not just tired. I’m exhausted. And it’s a kind of exhaustion that all the sleep in the world won’t solve. Because I’m not tired of not getting sleep. I’m tired of the Mom jobs that I’m saddled with. They aren’t going away anytime soon, so maybe if I vent them out – hear what makes you exhausted – and hide with my tribe for a few minutes, I can slam a cup of coffee, shake it off, and push through.
Until I cry because they’ve all left me for college.
You’ve walked by it a hundred times. And if you’ve walked by with your kids, no doubt you’ve had to fend off cries of, “Please mama, PLEASE buy me the giant bear we absolutely do not have any room for in our house!” (Or at least that’s what you hear). You see it and think “Holy God, that one stuffed animal is bigger than most of the stuffed animals in our house put together!”
And it is.
And if you’re me? One day, your well-intentioned husband, who feels moderately guilty about the extra long hours he’s been putting in at the office does the unthinkable and says, “Yes kids, we WILL buy you that giant bear.” Before you can pick your chin up off the floor, it’s been hoisted into your cart and you know from the sparkles shining out of your children’s eyes that this cannot be undone.
You live with this bear now.
You walk through Costco trying to be happy about the new member of your family. I mean, sure, its larger than you are, but you don’t have to feed it and it doesn’t poop. So really, it could be worse! Right?? On the other hand, you need to cram it in your car somehow…so that’s gonna be fun. Still in shock, you take pictures of the kids grinning from ear to ear, because when they forget about this bear in 3 hours you’re going to want to remember how happy it made them for 17 minutes. Then, you send the pictures to your Mom/sister/bestie – basically anyone that will feel sorry for you and commiserate.
They all do. Because YOU OWN A GIANT BEAR NOW. And even if your husband doesn’t get it – your people do.
You move the bear into your house and find him a room (because he’s that big). The kids try to show you that he was worth every penny by playing with him for a little bit. You start to warm to the big guy, now affectionately known as Tootles by the way, but remember that he is the enemy. Because you need a scapegoat and it’s better than thinking your husband is the enemy.
One day goes by, and then another. And then a strange thing happens. The kids keep.playing.with.Tootles. They lay on him when they watch TV. They feed him food they made in their kitchen. They ADORABLY ask you to take “family photos” with him. And wouldn’t you know it – those kids play with that bear EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Maybe their dad is paying them in candy to prove me wrong. Maybe they remember that I grumbled through Costco that “they better freaking play with this bear or it’s going in the alley.” Or maybe, they just really do love it. And it makes them happy. And it teaches me that I need to lighten up and say “yes” once in a while. And that maybe that means the bear was the best $30 we’ve ever spent.