In my mind, I’m the kind of assertive woman that speaks her mind. I’m a good role model for my children and will always stand up for myself, especially in front of them. I ain’t afraid of nobody and will tell them what’s up with all the confidence in the world. In reality? I’m just a really tired lady that thinks of witty comebacks about 45 minutes too late. So instead of telling all of these people what I really think of them in the moment – I’ll just leave these open letters here, and dream of the day they become viral and all the people that need to read them get the message.
Driving down to the cruise terminal, I was excited, anxious, and had a list of things that I was – and was NOT – going to do. Then a wind came by and those rules were GONE with it. So, in the grand traditions of buffets, check out our list of rules, take what you like, and if you don’t end up using it – who cares? You can always come back for more later!
Don’t Think About the Kids
Okay, so we didn’t really think we were going to keep this one, but we just didn’t want our whole trip to be us talking nonstop about our kids. Especially since we are doing this to get a break from them. We love our kids, but it would be nice for the chance to also miss our kids. Which is how two days in I ended up sitting there waiting for Harry Potter Trivia to start scrolling through every picture I’ve ever taken of my kids. And damn, those kids are cute. Looking at those cute little faces, you can almost forget the tantrums, the sass, the specific requests they have for which water cup to use….and then I shut it down, turn back to my friends, and get my trivia on.
Enjoy, But Don’t Over Indulge
One of the best things about a cruise is all that food that I didn’t cook – and don’t have to clean up after. As Moms, we rarely get to scarf down a piece of toast while it’s still warm, so a luxurious 6 course meal is the ultimate in luxury. Which means we ate that way every single night. Thinking a hamburger sounds good while you’re sitting in the jacuzzi? It’s only 100 feet away! Go for it! Need a little chocolate? Oh, there’s a chocolate buffet at noon today! Can’t decide between steak and eggs and Fruit Loop crusted French toast? GET BOTH!
No indulgence is too much, and yes, you and your crew may spend the entire day you get home frantically texting people about how much weight you gained in 72 hours but you won’t get to eat that way for another year, so don’t worry about it!
It started like any other day. Wake up, make breakfast, pack lunches, check email and Facebook and blogs, get everyone dressed and start our day. It was the rare sort of day where everything was running smoothly. I drank my coffee hot, the kids played peacefully and I started to feel nervous that it was a calm before a storm. Something was going to shake up this perfect day. I could feel it.
At 9:30 I was going to rendezvous with a new friend. We’d been texting the night before, setting up our meeting, and I have to admit, I was part excited and part nervous. I pulled into the YMCA, as I do several times a week, but this time with a little more trepidation. All of a sudden my workout pants from Costco were embarrassing. I found a stain on my shirt and was horrified. What was I thinking meeting someone like this? Had I become that complacent Mom that doesn’t care at all? So comfortable with my partner that I stopped even trying to impress them? Continue reading “The Day I Cheated”
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As a Mom, getting quality sleep is like the Holy Grail. Elusive, hard to find, and just when you think you’re about to get it – someone pees their bed. Okay, maybe the analogy went a little off the rails there, but you know what I mean. Between our kids’ nightmares, midnight feedings, bed wettings, growing pains and the classic “need to snuggle,” we are fighting an uphill battle. We just end up more tired and more desperate to get better sleep.
Then I realized that I was not helping the cause with my own bad habits. I thought to all the times I begged for advice on how to get my babies to sleep and came to the conclusion that I didn’t follow any of that advice for me. I had no routine. My sleep space wasn’t ideal. I just wasn’t setting myself up for success. All the things I did to help my baby, I should have been doing for myself as well.
So here are our top tips to help you sleep like a baby. Or at least how we dream our babies will sleep. Continue reading “Get Better Sleep in 5 Easy Steps”
I was at the Aquarium, Izzie on my hip, one eye on Cole and the other on Evie. Wait – where’s Evie? Oh, there she is! Yes, one eye on Evie. Check. A woman with a toddler caught my eye and exclaimed, “Wow! I’m not even brave enough to bring both my kids to the Aquarium and you’re here with three!”
I never know how to respond to these confessions from other Moms. As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, if I didn’t brave the outside world and leave the house with three kids, I’d never leave. So hiding inside doesn’t seem like much of an option. And sure, some places we go are much more painful than other places. (Yes, I’m looking at you Costco and Trader Joe’s). But a place specifically made for kids? It’s not always fun and it’s basically never easy, but I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.
Here are some tips to help you get through it. Continue reading “Tips for Leaving the House with Multiple Kids”
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”
‘2017 was a tough year in the KoeFoe house. My husband’s uncle passed away from terminal cancer. My husband’s grandma passed away from complications from surgery. And then my Nana….just…..passed away. Wave after wave hit us, but seemed to miss our children, who weren’t close to these family members. Until Nana.
Every Tuesday night, since before our son was born, we had Taco Tuesday’s at Nana’s. We ate, watched Jeopardy, the kids did somersaults, sang into microphones, performed and were given chocolate and ice cream and cookies, oh my! At 93 years old, Nana even “babysat” Evie (with the help of her home health nurse) every Friday for a couple hours. She was a constant fixture in our lives, until one day, she wasn’t.
We knew we had to talk to the kids, but didn’t know quite how. Izzie, at 8 months was too young to know anything was going on. Evie, at 2 years, knew something was up, but certainly couldn’t comprehend. But Cole? Cole, we found, was a wise – albeit brand new – 4 year old. He had questions, and we didn’t always know the answers.
When the end was eminent, I remember sitting with Nana. Tears in my eyes, she told me that crying was okay, that she was going to be fine, that this was God’s plan. I told her, “I know it is….I just don’t know what I’m supposed to tell Cole and Evie.” My pain was so profoundly compacted by the idea that I would also have to manage their loss, that at times it felt suffocating.
I’m not sure what we did was best, or right, but here are some tips that worked for us. I hope that you don’t need them, but if you do, that they help. Continue reading “5 Tips for Processing Death with Your Preschooler”
As Moms our lives can be so. incredibly. repetitive. It’s a never-ending cycle of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, tantrums, laundry, dishes. When it’s done? Rinse and repeat. Because joke’s on us: It’s NEVER done. And some days you can just get lost in that feeling of the endlessness of it all. And we desperately need to not get lost in that feeling.
A few weeks ago, Jaymi and I booked our #Momsquad Booze Cruise, and I think just booking it changed my life. I added a countdown clock on my phone. I put a post-it on my refrigerator. I ordered a couple super cheap dresses for lounging on the lido deck or for dinner with my girls – and without my kids. I dropped little reminders around my life so that when I’m up to my elbows in dish soap I recall that it’s one sink full of dishes closer to sweet, sweet freedom. Continue reading “Micro Hustle Monday: Something to Look Forward To”
As Moms we have a thousand “WTF just happened???” moments. Whether they happen in a kids play area with strangers or at our own family functions, we’re constantly exposed to other people’s opinions. It happens so often we need to become ducks and let that ish just roll off our back. Or we’d never make it. But some stories stick with us months later. And we just. can’t. let them go.
This is one of those.
This story starts as most annoying ones do….with me, minding my own business, trying to check out of a Target. Cart full of diapers and impulse purchases, Izzie in one arm the other just trying to scan my stuff so I could pay and get on my way.
Enter Nosy Lady of the Day:
Nosy: Cute baby. How old is he? Continue reading “My “Boy” Looking Baby Girl”
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.
And that’s when the Daddy Decrees begin: Continue reading “The Daddy Decree”