The War Against The Toddler & The Tablet

I need to start this off by saying I used to be a huge fan of a little screen time for my children. I loved the fact that I could put on one of my kids favorite shows and I’d be able to get things done. That phase has passed and they’re not so much into watching 30 minute long shows anymore. They’ll watch a few minutes, need a snack, go play with something, and then come bother me for something else. That’s when they started to ask me to watch their tablets. I needed some time to get some things done so I complied. They were unbelievably entertained watching other children play with toys on kids youtube. Why they’d rather watch other kids open up eggs with toys in them than play on their own is beyond me; but I was getting things done.

That’s when the war began. ToddlerTablet copy

My children became addicted to their tablets; more specifically addicted to watching children play with toys and open random eggs with shit in them. They’d ask for them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first thing they wanted to do in the morning was get their iPads. The last thing they wanted to do at night was to go to sleep with the thing. They got to the point that they’d rather watch other people play than go outside and play themselves. We wouldn’t let them have it the entire day but then we started to see tantrums. When they’d ask for the dumb electronic device and we’d say no… It would get ugly.

Enough was enough. Serious limitations have been set and my children are now experiencing full withdrawl symptoms.

My two and a half year old doesn’t get hers at all. She doesn’t understand the time limits on it that I’ve set. She really has no concept of time which is understandable. I tried setting the thing to go off using “free time” and she had a complete meltdown when the screen displayed “times up for today!”  I decided I wasn’t even going to deal with it with her anymore.

My four and a half year old gets his for a total of about 30 minutes a day; 10 being before bed.  He is absolutely livid with me when I take it away but is starting to understand the limitations.

That’s all I think they’re able to handle at this point and even though I’m getting less things done around here that I really need to get done… I’m not going to raise children who are addicted to screens and literally have meltdowns when the batteries die. This is going to be one war that mommy chooses to battle and dammit, I’m going to win.

P.S. Screw the creepy adults who make those child addictive YouTube videos of opening eggs. You’re the equivalent of a drug dealer in my eyes and I’m not going to stand for it.

CP Slippers [+ giveaway]

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an obsession with shoes. I have more pairs than I’d like to admit and I’m always looking for something new. It’s an addiction and one that I’m okay with. My obsession doesn’t just stop at outdoor wear but it also includes slippers. Lets just say I was overly excited to work with CP Slippers to try out their handmade in Spain leather slip ons!

CPSlippers4

They have tons of color options but I decided to go with the turquoise for myself and my daughter. They have kids sizing available too and there was no way that I could say no to matching Aria.

CPSlippers2

CP Slippers are handmade in Spain and have been since 1981. They’re made from high quality leather than makes them as comfortable as they look. The simplistic design is what I really appreciate. They’re perfect to just slip on and go about your day.

CPSlippers1

CPSlippers5

I also really adore the story behind the company. CP Slippers is a family owned business. The owners grandfather went to visit Japan and took notice of the tradition of leaving shoes outside and putting on slippers to avoid dirt in the home. He brought that tradition back to Spain with him and started creating these one piece leather slippers for family and friends. Years later the company was formed.

CPSlippers3

Want to win a pair? You’re in luck! CP Slippers is giving away a pair to one lucky reader! Just enter in the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can’t wait to see if you win? Purchase now and use code “MOMTAILSXCPSLIPPERS” for a 15% discount!

Sedona, Arizona.

ONROCKS

Sedona, Arizona is one of those places that I think everyone needs to see in their lifetimes. The red rocks look completely photoshopped. For example, the picture above doesn’t look real but I assure you that I was hundreds upon hundreds of feet in the air on a cliff.

Last week we took a trip out there to meet up with my husbands side of the family. Instead of going “home” for Christmas we decided to do a little vacation instead. I couldn’t be any more happy with the decision we made. Traveling with two little ones isn’t easy but going to a place like Sedona was worth every second. It isn’t the best vacation spot for toddlers with all of the cliffs, obviously, but we found plenty to do with them.

Sedona

Everett, who is 4,  hiked quite a bit! He did several miles at a time with minimal complaints. Where as Aria, my 2 year old, wasn’t having any of the walking. This made long hikes with everyone difficult but it worked out fine having someone stay back at the resort with her.

SedonaCollage

The coolest hike the husband and I did was up to Devil’s Bridge. It really showed me exactly how out of shape I am. The hike was a total of about 5 miles with a lot of up hill climbing and rock climbing. Totally worth it once you get all the way up. You can’t tell exactly how high it is in this photo and my husband isn’t the greatest at capturing pictures but this is the top of Devil’s Bridge.

sedonadevilsbridge

Overall it was a fantastic trip filled with some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen. Pictures truly don’t do it justice. I’d recommend leaving little ones at home if at all possible so you’re able to do more. If you do bring them you won’t be able to do a lot of the long hikes but it’s still unbelievably breathtaking.

31 Things.

It’s my birthday! Not quite the most exciting of birthdays {Thirty-One} but a birthday none the less. Since I love goal setting and planning I thought it would be a lot of fun to make a 31 year old “bucket list” 31years1. Really buckle down and work on hand lettering. Hand lettering is super relaxing and I want to spend lots of time over the next year getting good at it.

2. Sticking with the theme of 31, I’d like to set my goal for this year to read 31 books. If you have amazing book suggestions drop them in the comments or add me on goodreads!

3. Start eating better. I’m setting a small goal of a fresh fruit or veggie daily. I’m not off to a good start as today I had Taco Bell for lunch and pizza for dinner.

4. See Billy Joel live in concert. This is happening in April. STOKED.

5. Spend more time with friends. Life with toddlers gets so hectic but time needs to be made to make sure it happens more often.

6. Spend time with adult coloring books.

7. Learn to drink without a massive hangover. *wishful thinking*

8. Save some money.

9. Go on a couple weekend trips. Explore the state we live in and the surrounding states more.

10. Pay it forward a few times.

11. Spend more time utilizing my planner.

12. Finish the restoration on my kitchen table.

13. Come up with a reasonable cleaning schedule that keeps my OCD in check but doesn’t take up all of my time.

14. Survive a cross country drive with two toddlers.

15. Make a genuine effort to blog more. I love it, I just don’t make the time to do it.

16. Attend some continuing education vet tech classes.

17. Practice with watercolor paints more.

18. Start on that novel I’m always talking about writing.

19. Learn how to edit the “look” of my blog without deleting the entire thing like I ended up doing this past week.

20. Learn the art of patience with toddlers.

21. Take the kids to the park more.

22. Have more playdates with the kids and friends.

23. Get Aria potty trained.

24. Have more date nights with the husband.

25. Get ourselves adjusted to a good schedule. We have had issues with schedule changes every 3 months and now that we’re going to be a bit more constant I’d like to establish our constant.

26. Learn how to meal plan and actually stick to it. Utilize that crock pot more!

27. Go to the movies. This might sound so trivial but the last time I saw a movie in theaters before “Sing” last week was years.

28. Calm down on the Cherry Coke and drink more water.

29. Learn my camera and photoshop a little better and use both of them more.

30. Raise chickens!

31. Help more wildlife [that I can actually release!]

 

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

nightbeforechristmas

It’s unbelievable to me that another year has passed and here I am writing another Christmas post. It feels as if last Christmas was just a blink ago but I guess that’s what it’s like raising little humans.

I’m beyond excited about tomorrow morning in this house that I’ll probably have trouble sleeping like I did when I was a kid. Having two children that understand the concept of Santa and Christmas morning revives all those amazing childhood feelings. It’s not all about the presents but there is just something so magical about the belief in ole’ Saint Nick and watching their eyes light up as they come down the stairs to a tree stuffed with gifts underneath. I just can’t wait.

So on this Night before Christmas I wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays. May your hearts be full and never happier <3

 

Time Change Blues

timechange

We’re a couple weeks into the time change and the kids and I are having the hardest time adjusting to it!  It’s amazing at what just an hour difference makes in a day but I’m noticing it to the fullest.

First of all, Everett was a late sleeper before this happened. I was constantly having to wake him for school but now he’s up and ready 2 hours before his normal wake up time. The second the sun even thinks about rising, he’s up. It seems like he has more energy than ever before at this time too. He’s not just awake and ready to watch a little TV and relax while mom has coffee. He’s demanding breakfast and energetic play time.

Aria on the other hand is deciding to sleep in way later than before. I have to wake her in the mornings that we have somewhere to be which is disastrous. You don’t want to deal with the wrath of waking up the sleeping bear; which I’m having to do 3 days a week.

Nap time has become non existent for me. I’ll put them down and they’re just bouncing around their rooms and destroying everything site.  Before the time change I could always count on at least a 2 hour nap from both kids. This was crucial for me to get things done around the house and of course work on my blog. I blame this lack of nap time for my most recent internet absence.

Then comes bedtime. I’m ready basically as soon as the sun starts setting. My body is like “HEY, IT’S DARK! GO TO SLEEP!” This isn’t really practical at 5 pm, especially since 3 days a week my shift at work begins at 5. The kids don’t seem to care if it’s dark or if I tell them it’s time to start winding down, they don’t want to go to bed any earlier.

So, I’m sleepy and have less time to get stuff done with this “extra” hour of sleep.

Screw you daylights savings time. Arizona has the right idea. 

Another Hard Toddler Lesson Learned

This past week was our counties big fair. We live in a pretty small town [to my standards] so when events like the fair happen pretty much everyone goes. It’s just how it is. I’m not sure if anyone remembers, but last year was my first year going and my camera was stolen from my stroller. So this year I was extra cautious to make sure nothing got stolen but go figure we still ran into some bad luck.

My son is obsessed with Pokemon. He wakes up talking about them and goes to sleep with them. It’s all I hear about all day long. So after using up all of our ride tickets we decided to let him play some games and try to win a prize. Of course he needed to win a pokemon plush.

picmonkey-image-2

$15 dollars later and who knows how many darts the toy was his. I swear I’ve never seen this kid happier than when Piplup was handed to him.

Fast forward about 20 minutes and we were walking to the car. Everett was slow poking next to me. We had about a 1/2 mile walk and when we were almost to the car he shouts “HEY! Where’s Piplup?”

He managed to drop the toy and not notice on our walk back to the car. I went back looking for it with no luck. I’m sure someone either picked it up or it was kicked under a car.

We used the opportunity to teach him about responsibility and taking care of his things. I know he’s only 4 and the lesson is a hard one to learn. I can’t explain how happy he was when he won that toy only to lose it not even an hour later. I think of the situation like me getting a brand new pair of Tieks and then scuffing and ruining them the first time I wear them. It’s a total bummer but it teaches you to be more careful with your things.

fair1Regardless, the kids still had an amazing time.

… & I’m over here like at least this year we only lost a $15 item instead of my camera.

Squirrel Rehabilitation Update #1

I haven’t taken on any wildlife in quite a while. I rehabilitated one rabbit over the summer and one tortoise last spring but that was it for the past few years. I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had the time to commit to anything; until now.

mother-nature

If you know anything about me, I’m a sucker for squirrels. So last Saturday this little lady was brought into the clinic I work at was desperately in need of medical attention. She had fallen from her nest and was roughed up by what looks to be a cat. Normally if people find squirrels on the ground we tell them to leave them unless they are injured or in some type of immediate danger; this girl was one of the exceptions.

I immediately warmed her up and started the rehydration process. Being cold and dehydrated is a death sentence for these little guys. Also, antibiotics were given right away. Cat bites, assuming it was a feline who left those wounds on her, can be lethal even if they’re tiny. I then brought her home on Saturday night and she wasn’t really eating for me. I couldn’t get her to suckle from the syringe but she was swallowing. I was basically forcing her to eat every 2-3 hours during the day which is appropriate for a squirrel her age. From her appearance, my best guess is that she was around 4 weeks old when I got her on Saturday. Her eyes are still closed but she’s got a great full coat of hair.

As the week has went on (it’s now Wednesday) her improvements are amazing. She had a big wound under her left arm that is almost undetectable now. She wasn’t using that arm well because of pain and swelling but is holding on fantastic in just these short 4 days. She’s now suckling on her own from the syringe and taking larger amounts of puppy replacement milk at each feeding.

squirrel1

She really cranky when I wake her up to eat but becomes extremely excited as soon as she sees the syringe of formula. I’m just waiting on her eyes to open so I can start introducing solid foods into her diet. It’s going to be a long (6-8 more weeks) process but I’m excited to get her strong and release her back to mother nature.

squirrel3

*Note: in this series of squirrel updates I won’t be giving a lot of instructions on how to raise them. I don’t feel like that is my place. If you find a squirrel and need assistance I always advice people find a local wildlife rehabilitater and seek guidance there. Don’t trust the internet. It’s a scary place filled with a lot of whack information.

It’s a Really Hard Time to Be a Parent

There’s no doubt about it, almost every aspect of parenting is hard. I without a doubt believe the popular quote I see floating around that states “Behind every good parent is a parent that’s pretty sure they’re screwing it all up.” We are our harshest critics and don’t need the extra worry and critique that this day and age of social media brings us.

hard-parenting

Parenting has always been difficult but I believe that this current generation has it harder than it’s ever been because of one thing: the internet. 50 years ago parents would talk to their doctors and friends and now, for some reason, we choose to turn to doctor google and social media for answers to our “problems.” The days where we would just trust our instincts seem to be dwindling down. If your child has a rash from a new detergent they’re having a reaction too, the internet will tell you it’s a type of infectious bacterial/fungal/viral rash that can only be treated by essential oils, a special $600 bottle of lotion, IV antibiotics, and of course not using that detergent anymore.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-41-24-am

The screenshot above is one of many things I’ve run across in Facebook groups that literally made me shake my head.  I obviously am not about to call people out on my blog and I don’t think that this person did anything wrong by asking. She is legitimately worried that she cleaned her tub that her son uses with bleach. She is what I think of as a victim of social media and the internet. I’m sure somewhere she saw how “dangerous” bleach is, even if used correctly, and doesn’t want to risk it. How do you think all of our tubs were cleaned when we were kids? Bleach. I was surprisingly relieved when I read the comments because they were 90% reassuring and rational. 90% is way more than I was expecting which is sad.

Another thing, we all love sharing pictures of our kids on social media. Pictures of our kids in school, pictures of our kids at the park, pictures of our kids doing crafts, and pictures of our kids in the car. On TONS of pictures in the car, I see parents posting a little disclaimer with the caption. Like “We were parked that’s why his straps are like this!” or “I fixed the chest clip right after I took this picture!” It’s great that people are so aware of carseat safety but it’s sad to me that people are almost afraid of what others are going to say about it. I saw a picture with a similar caption and literally couldn’t see anything wrong with the way the child was strapped in. Maybe that makes me ignorant, blissfully so.

I could go on and on about this topic; sharing examples of what I’ve seen but the thing is, I’m sure you’ve all seen it too. My advice is trust your gut and take everything you read and hear with an entire margarita with extra salt. Cheers mommas!

Happy 4th Birthday Everett Joel

I don’t know how it happened but this little dude turns 4 today! 4 years ago I was made a mother and my life has been flipped upside down but in the best way possible. This little man is so full of energy and has be constantly laughing until tears roll down my face. He’s incredibly smart, almost too smart for his own good. He uses words like “atrocious” and “putrid”.  I have no idea how he has time to learn so much because he’s always on the go and such a busy body. I love this little man more than words can describe.

Happy Birthday Everett.

We’re traveling today to Michigan to have a little celebration with both sets of his grandparents, go to my cousins wedding, and enjoy some fall in the midwest!