Pregnancy Cravings: What Baby Wants Your ‘Baby’ Gets!

I need your help (and so does The Mister). He’s working on a special book project and asked me if I would survey my readers. Of course, I said yes! Don’t worry – this survey only has one question. If you are pregnant, or ever have been pregnant, we want to know about your cravings. Food that is! We’re keeping this one clean.

What were your basic or strangest food cravings? The stranger the better, really. We all know the cliché about pickles and ice cream, but what were yours? Did you want chalk? Dirt? Ice? I’ve heard about these. Give me any combination of foods you ate together. Remember, the stranger the better. Pickled eggs on rye toast dipped in Nutella? Or was Elvis your inspiration? Peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches? My mom craved tuna fish and cottage cheese with my sister, Ashley. She also couldn’t live without Sweet and Sour pork! Maybe you craved pickles and ice cream, but dipped your pickles in peanut butter instead! 

I want to hear about every craving. Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Snacks? Drinks? What did you make your partner (or yourself) get in the car to go find at 3 a.m. that you simply couldn’t live without? And be specific as possible. It’s fine if you craved tuna fish sandwiches, but what were they like? Did you use a certain bread? A certain mayonnaise? A certain brand or type of tuna? Any spices drive you crazy? Did you add something unusual to your food? Did your cravings change based on the trimester? Think of every meal AND every pregnancy. Each one is different, so I hear. One-and-done here! But you already know that.

Also, just so you don’t feel left out, here is a list of my own pregnancy cravings: Mexican food (hard shell beef tacos), beer (but I didn’t have any), sushi (California rolls), and sweets (strawberry shortcake and hot fudge sundaes).

Thanks for sharing your cravings! Simply comment below. We can’t wait to hear from you.  

Four Things I Learned About Myself While Parenting Alone for a Week

For the past four years, Michael has been working on several different Masters Programs and in doing so, has to report to campus twice a year for residency leaving me to be the lone parent in our little zoo. Oddly enough, Starbucks stock always seems to do very well during these two weeks during the year. Coincidence? I think not. But I digress…

When you’re used to parenting as a duo and then your right hand man is no longer around, things tend to get a little…interesting. Case in point, last year, I had just dropped Michael off at the airport and thirty minutes later, I was sitting in an emergency room with Maddy wondering if she was going to be okay. Who would have thought? Out of the blue while cruising down I-85, Maddy started foaming at the mouth and grabbing at her throat while screaming the most excruciating, ear-piercing scream I’ve ever heard. Fortunately, I knew where the closest hospital was and my parents were close by to help and be with me, and everything turned out fine but it really got me thinking:

“How do single parents do it?”

I always find myself questioning my abilities when I know I’m going to be the lone parent in charge. I think this feeling is natural for all parents but it’s one I’m not comfortable courting and entertaining. While I won’t always have the answers to everything (thanks Google!), I like to feel that in some small way, I’ve found my groove where all this parenting stuff is concerned. Having said that, there are a few things I learned about myself this past week as the lone parent that have given me the confidence to know that I’ve got this.

1.    I can trust myself to handle anything and everything. Emergency room visit? Check. Five middle of the night wake up calls resulting in limited sleep for the night? Check. Master the art of multi-tasking? Done. Dog poops on the floor while the kid poops herself? Check and double check. I have taken care of it all, and then some.

When you’ve got two sets of hands, two sets of eyes and a two against one defense, life is good but take one of those players out of the game and things become a little more challenging. It’s all up to me to make sure the little gets fed, bathed and kept alive and I’ve come to learn that over time and with a little bit of trial and error, I can make it work. Parenting alone means never getting a timeout or a moment to yourself so you’re always “on” and relied upon to have the answers to anything and to do everything. I credit keeping a good routine and schedule coupled with a little TV/movie time (don’t judge). Some days, it’s simply about survival but at the end of the day, I can look back and know I did a good job and did it by myself.

2.   I know I am enough. When you’re parenting alone, it’s easy to doubt your ability to be just as good a parent alone as you are when you’re with your spouse but when it’s all said and done, you are enough to give your child everything he/she needs to thrive. It’s similar to when you lose one of your major senses – the others simply become highlighted. And while Michael is such an integral and important part of our family, I know that when it’s up to me to do it alone, I’ve got this. I am enough.

3.   Real single parents deserve mad props. Very simply, being responsible for a human-being all on your own, all the time is no joke, y’all. To any of you reading this who may be a single parent, please know you have my utmost respect and admiration. 

4.   Being a single parent has forced me to ask for help more. I am not great about asking for help. Truthfully, I’d rather scoop my eyes out with a spoon than admit I need help from anyone for anything BUT I’ve learned that being the lone parent humbles you in many, many ways and that you do what is necessary for the betterment of your child. It literally does “take a village” to raise kids and I’ve learned that it’s okay to know your limitations and to ask for help when it’s needed.

Week in Review

Happy weekend, friends!

If you missed any posts from this week, well you’re in luck! I’ve collected them all right here for your reading pleasure. 


As a blogger, I’m pretty much up for trying anything to keep my little space interesting as long as it fits my niche and style. Catch words to pay attention to here - almost anything. While I consider myself to be open-minded and willing to experiment with new ideas, I’ve come across a few blogging trends, five to be exact, that in my opinion, need to die. Like, yesterday. READ MORE.


Along this line, it takes a little effort to be creative in showing love and appreciation when you’re looking to spend next to nothing on gifts, trinkets, etc. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about genuine love so shouldn’t your emotions and efforts really show it? This Valentine’s Day, or any other day, really, remind your significant other, family member or friend how much you care about them by doing some of these thoughtful gestures. READ MORE


I’ve been parenting alone since last Friday. Michael is getting his third Master’s degree online but twice a year, he has to report to campus for residency, but he will be home on Saturday. Parenting in and of itself is hard. Parenting with your spouse makes the load a little easier to bear but parenting alone? That’s a whole new ballgame. READ MORE.


It’s one of the oldest crafts you’ll see floating around on Pinterest but honestly, it’s one of the easiest, budget-friendly ones I’ve come across and attempted. Seriously. A few dollars and a little time is all it takes and in the end, your loved one has something they can treasure and read for years to come. READ MORE.

If you’re new to Shiraz In My Sippy Cup or even if you’re an old friend, don’t forget to stop by my ‘Best Of’ page to check out my reader favorites for all things parenting, life and the kiddos.

Cheers to the weekend!

Made From Pinterest: 52 Things I Love About You Card Book

On Tuesday, I talked a little bit about five simple ways to show love and appreciation to those in our lives on Valentine’s Day. After all, the day is about more than flowers and chocolates so today, I thought I would share a very simple, inexpensive gift idea for that special someone in your life. The great thing about this craft is that your special someone could actually be anyone; a spouse, a friend or even your child. The flexibility this craft gives leaves lots of room for ideas and creativity.

It’s one of the oldest crafts you’ll see floating around on Pinterest but honestly, it’s one of the easiest, budget-friendly ones I’ve come across and attempted. Seriously. A few dollars and a little time is all it takes and in the end, your loved one has something they can treasure and read for years to come.

Made From Pinterest: 52 Things I Love About You Card Book. #ValentinesDay #Crafts #GiftIdeas

What You Need:
1 deck of playing cards ($1 from the Dollar Store)
2 binder rings ($1.50 at Walmart for a pack of four)
Hand held hole punch (already had on hand)
1 Elmer’s glue stick ($1 from the Dollar Store)
52 squares to write your notes on (free. I created these in under 10 minutes in Word)
Total spent: $3.50.

How You Make It:
1.       Create your 52 squares. As I mentioned above, you can either create a pattern in Word or you can simply cut 52 squares from the paper of your choice. It’s as easy as that. Once you have them created, write out a thoughtful statement for each one and then set them aside. Remember that you will have to punch holes into your cards so make sure to measure out your squares accordingly.
2.       Get your cards and your handheld punch. Take one card to use as a guide and punch two holes in the side of the card, one at the top and one at the bottom. Use this single guide card to place on top of the other cards to know where to punch your holes.
3.       Take your glue stick and place one square on each card.

4.       Allow the cards to dry. Once dry, use the binder rings to put the booklet together.
5.       Done! Wrap and give to your special someone.

This thoughtful gift is something your special someone will enjoy not only for Valentine’s Day but for years to come.

What kinds of Valentine’s Day crafts do you enjoy? 

Three Thoughts on Thursday

I'm not sure what draws us to certain people in this life, especially celebrities. It seems odd and strange to feel a connection to someone you've never met; how you can be drawn in to a person's spirit and life yet never really know them. They inspire you, entertain you and share slivers of themselves to the outside world that in return, feed your own soul. For me, that person was Alan Rickman. If you know anything about me, it's that I've always loved Alan. Admittedly, I've always had a crush on him that even I can't explain and now, I'm left feeling so sad that he's left us too soon. Rest in peace Alan. When I'm 80 and still enjoying your movies, my friends and family will say to me, "After all this time?" And I will say, "Always."

At 3:00 this morning, Maddy came to our bed, woke me up and asked, “Momma, where did I come from?” I mean, WHOA. Well, whoa and WOW. The fact that Maddy was up at this hour pondering such a huge question blows my mind. I wasn’t exactly coherent enough to give her a decent response so I tried putting her back to bed…but she wasn’t having any of that. She desperately and genuinely wanted an answer to her question so I pulled her up in bed close to me and we snuggled for a little bit while I tried to give her an answer to her question. By the time it was all said and done, she was asleep and I was left wide awake to ponder how in the world a four year old can be so insightful. This little girl of mine never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve been parenting alone since last Friday. Michael is getting his third Master’s degree online but twice a year, he has to report to campus for residency, but he will be home on Saturday. Parenting in and of itself is hard. Parenting with your spouse makes the load a little easier to bear but parenting alone? That’s a whole new ballgame. I always get nervous when Michael leaves and without fail, I always begin to second guess myself; what if I can’t do it all? What if I drop the ball? What if, what if, what if. And then it hit me…

So what if I do. So what if I’m not able to be everything, do everything and know everything. So what if we eat out a few nights this week to make life a little easier for everyone? So what? Why am I being so hard on myself for a job that I do perfectly fine any other day of the week? Just because Michael isn’t here doesn’t mean that my ability to keep things rolling along stops. As our week together is coming to a close, I realize how much I’ve enjoyed having this one on one time with my daughter, even during the most aggravating episodes. I’ve also learned a few things about myself which I plan to share in a blog post next week so stay tuned!

How about you? What three things would you share today? 

Five Simple Ways to Show Love & Appreciation

The season of manufactured, retail-induced love is upon us and while I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, I do like to flip the switch on ol St. Valentine by using the “holiday” to tell the people I love most how much I appreciate them and love having them in my life instead of focusing on the material aspect of Valentine’s Day.

Along this line, it takes a little effort to be creative in showing love and appreciation when you’re looking to spend next to nothing on gifts, trinkets, etc. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about genuine love so shouldn’t your emotions and efforts really show it? For me personally, I will never find the value of love in a price tag. Materialistic things do not impress me. Some of the best gifts I’ve ever received have been handmade, free or thoughtful gestures.

This Valentine’s Day, or any other day, really, remind your significant other, family member or friend how much you care about them by doing some of these thoughtful gestures.

Five Simple Ways to Show Love & Appreciation. #ValentinesDay #Parenting #WorkingMom

Make their life easier. Have a friend who is a new mom? Cook dinner for her, help her with the laundry, babysit so she can get a shower or alone time or simply bring her a coffee and keep her company. Have a neighbor who is elderly? Bake cookies for them, shovel their driveway if it’s snowing or take them a meal. Have a spouse who’s stressed? Take on some of their responsibilities at home to lighten their load, cook their favorite meal or give them an evening of pampering.

Make a Valentine’s Day Advent for your spouse. Just as you would do for Christmas, make an advent calendar leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you want to buy a few little trinkets to go along with this then so be it but really, you could use this as an opportunity to write something you love or appreciate about your spouse for each day. Imagine how great you would feel if you had a compliment or sentiment of love to wake up to every morning?

Practice random acts of kindness. Spread the love not only to those you know, but to those you don’t know, too. Buy the person’s coffee behind you in the drive-thru, leave a letter or card of appreciation in your mailbox for the mail man/woman, make a small donation to the charity of your choice or volunteer your time to an organization that needs an extra set of hands. Put your love and appreciation into action!

Put away the electronics. For one day, give the special people in your lives your uninterrupted, undivided attention. The world won’t stop spinning if you fail to post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Ban all phones, laptops and iPads and actually talk to one another. Tell the people in your life who mean the most to you how much you love and appreciate them because one day, they will be gone. Tell them now how much you love them!

Write it out. In this day and age of advanced technology, it’s so easy to dilute our emotions down to a short text or email. Take the time to write your spouse, family member or friend an actual letter, something they can keep with them always to look back on and read when they need a little encouragement or reminder of your love and appreciation. To me, there is nothing sexier than when a man puts pen to paper to tell his sweetheart how he feels. I think us humans long for this personal touch in our lives and technology has done all but remove it from every aspect of our daily lives. Write down how you feel about your loved one. They will treasure it. 

Five Blog Trends That Need to Die in 2016

When you’re a blogger, everything you do, think or feel becomes consideration for a blog post. Make a great dinner? Blog about it. Do a cool craft with your kid? Share it. Have an opinion on the latest hot topic? Write about it. When you’re a blogger, creativity is at an all-time high. You’re constantly thinking of ways to keep your readers engaged, entertained and wanting to come back for more.

As a blogger, I’m pretty much up for trying anything to keep my little space interesting as long as it fits my niche and style. Catch words to pay attention to here - almost anything. While I consider myself to be open-minded and willing to experiment with new ideas, I’ve come across a few blogging trends, five to be exact, that in my opinion, need to die. Like, yesterday.

Five Blog Trends That Need to Die in 2016.

Excessive sponsorship posts. I get it. Part of the reason you’re blogging is to make money and truly, I get it. I too blog to make money and get some really great swag but when every post you publish is sponsored or pimping out a product, it gets old really quick. It also calls into question what you really believe and stand behind because if you’re promoting anything and everything, you really have no brand loyalty which goes against sponsorships all-together and in my opinion, significantly lowers your credibility. 

If you’re going to run sponsors on your blog, keep it real and be selective in who you choose to back and promote because I will tell you this: nothing will turn your readers, and other companies, off more than a blogger who is obviously out for nothing more than a dollar and a little attention.

Facebook follow for follow. I will admit that when I came onto the blogging scene, I joined these follow threads like no one’s business. At the time, I thought it was a no-brainer in growing my blog and my audience.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Yes, I got a bump in numbers and readers for a while but eventually, it all declined. It declined because the people I followed for a follow really weren’t my niche audience. They could have cared less about my parenting woes of the moment or my thoughts and opinions on vaccines so they peaced out. I can’t say that I blame them because I also had zero interest in reading about their latest fashion finds or how to wear this season’s belt and lipstick with the perfect outfit, so I dropped them as well.

I learned that in order for me to genuinely grow and maintain my audience, I have to appeal to the right readers. I would rather my blog grow at a slow and steady organic rate resulting in long-term readers than to hype up and then fizzle out with less of an audience. I want the people reading Shiraz to be here because they want to be, not necessarily because they were forced to be. Slow and steady wins the race.

Coordinated Instagram follows. If you’re a regular user of Instagram, you can expect to see it happen every week – Friday Follows. Before I get into this much more, let me wholly admit that this trend may only turn me off. I’m fully able to admit that I may be the only one whose nose wrinkles up seeing these in my IG feed but I’m willing to bet I’m not.

The idea behind these Friday follows is to promote other IG accounts and to give the impression that, “Oh hey! I randomly picked four other bloggers to promote on my feed because I genuinely love the content they put out!” when in all actuality it reads, “Oh hey! Someone posted in a Facebook follow for follow thread that I’m in that they would love to boost their IG numbers, so who is interested in doing a Friday follow? Ten of us? Twenty of us? Let me know!”


Every time I see one of these Friday follows on my IG feed, I scroll right on past as I’m rolling my eyes. Why? Because it’s anything BUT genuine and real for one of two reasons:

1.       It’s the same bloggers promoting the same people/friends every week and
2.       Most of the Friday follows I see come from people who gathered together in a Facebook follow for follow group and have zero clue who they are promoting. Some of these people have never even read a single world on the person’s blog they are promoting.

How ridiculous is that?

This all goes back to the premise behind the Facebook follow for follow threads. Yes, you may have a temporary increase in numbers but long-term, you will lose more than half of those who followed you because they truly aren’t in to what you’re selling.

Picture perfect Instagram feeds. While I can appreciate a pretty picture, I miss the days when Instagram was just that – Instant. You took a picture and boom! You posted it. There was none of this “Let me get out my light kit, editing software and backdrops” for one single picture nonsense and while yes, your choreographed pictures and snapshots look like perfection, they’re missing a very important element: the real factor.

When I’m scrolling through my IG feed, nine times out of ten I’m going to ‘like’ or comment on a picture that is real {in the moment, not choreographed} long before I notice or give attention to a picture that has clearly been edited, photo shopped and corrected every way from here to Sunday. Many people will argue this point by saying that a beautiful picture grabs the eye and attention first and foremost but I disagree. I will always like the real take on a person's life far faster than the choreographed version. People want to be able to relate to you. They want to know that you have flaws and imperfections and aren't afraid to be real with your readers and audience.

Instagram is meant to be just that – a picture in an instant. In as much as we love to see your perfectly polished snapshots, we want to see the real you. How about showing us sometime?

You’re always promoting the same people and blogs. One word: YAWN. I know in the blogging world, we tend to gravitate towards those we feel the most connected to or to those with whom we’ve built friendships but really – yawn. Show us someone new. Share a post or a blogger that is new to you that you enjoy reading. Go outside of your cliché for a hot second and expand your horizons. Part of the reason to blog is to make connections and meet other bloggers from all walks of life. Really, it’s okay. Go beyond yourself and your core group of friends and look at all the beauty before you. You just might find someone new that you enjoy reading. I know I have.

What trends do you see in the blogging world that you wish would just die? 

Parenting Goals for 2016

Before New Year’s, I talked about my goals for 2016 as an overall thought but didn’t really narrow in on anything specific. Today I’d like to touch on my parenting goals for 2016.

I try my best not to bog myself down with a lot of unrealistic expectations for a new year but where parenting is concerned, I like to stay on top of my game and constantly assess where I am as a parent and how I can best help Maddy develop into the kind of woman and adult I want her to be. It’s also about making sure that I give her the best possible childhood experience because when it’s all said and done, she only gets one.

So let’s roll.

Five Parenting Goals for 2016. #parenting #workingmoms

More Patience. Last year was a bit chaotic for us. We moved, Michel and I both started new jobs and Maddy had a harder than usual time adjusting to her new surroundings. She’s also getting older which means more push back, more back talk and a healthy dose of testing her boundaries and limitations. I wish I could say that I handled all of it beautifully with style and grace but I can’t. Many, many times I lost my patience and in looking back, I know that I could have done a lot better. This year, my goal is not perfection, but for patience. For the ability to recognize better within myself when I need to just take a breath and let things be. I have to remember that my child is only four, not fourteen. She is still learning, and so am I. Patience all around is a gift for her and I both.

Establish an allowance system and start teaching about money. Maddy is a great helper. Actually, one of the things that makes her happiest is when you ask her to do something, ask for her help or when I get her involved in a project or chore that I’m working on. It makes her feel needed and I want to nurture that while taking the opportunity to teach her about responsibility, money and how the two go hand in hand. It’s important to me that Maddy has a strong work ethic and a respect for money (not something I’ve always had) so I think that introducing these things now is key.

Cut back on frivolous purchases and toys. Along the same lines as money, I really want to cut back on the amount of toys and random crap we buy for Maddy ( this includes you, Grandma!) If I’m being honest, we do this way too much. We can be in Target and she’ll find something that strikes her fancy and without thinking, nine times out of ten I’ll buy it for her. This needs to stop. In correlation with allowance, I need to be better about saying, “You have $10 saved in your piggy bank. Is this really what you want to spend your money on?” I think that teaching her how to save and spend appropriately sets her up for financial success in the future. I don’t want my daughter thinking that everything will always be given to her. It’s important to me that she understands having to work hard to earn things so I need to be better about teaching this.

Set up a college fund and savings. When she turns 18, I’d like to be able to send my daughter out into the world with a sense of financial security. If she chooses to go to college, great. If not, she will still have the money available to her to accomplish whatever her dreams or goals may be. I really don’t want her saddled in student loan debt. I have it and it is a nightmare and anxiety I deal with all the time.

Get Maddy involved in extracurricular activities. This is something I haven’t stressed about over the last four years but it’s definitely time that Maddy becomes involved in a few extra activities. She will be starting kindergarten this fall and I really want her to be involved as much as possible. I’m thinking dance classes, swim lessons this summer and maybe a sport if she finds one she’d like to try.

This is what I’m aiming for this year to step up my parenting game. What about you? Do you have any goals or ideas of things that you would like to accomplish this year as a parent? 

Three Thoughts on Thursday

Three Thoughts on Thursday. #parenting #motherhood #kids #SAHM #workingmoms

If we were sitting down for a cup of coffee together this morning, this is what I’d share with you… 

As much as I love the holidays, I’m happy to be back into our normal routine. The holidays are great but they are also exhausting. On one hand, you have the excitement and fun of being with the littles and family during Christmas but then you have disorder; sleep schedules gone awry, routines interrupted and just an overall free for all. Needless to say, my OCD tendencies are a lot happier when there is order and routine in place.

This June I turn 40 {whatttttt} and to be honest, it really kind of snuck up on me. I mean, 40? Really? I distinctly remember turning 30 like it was yesterday. I had Maddy at 35 and now 40? Forty is a pretty defining age, in my opinion. That’s half of 80. EIGHTY. It feels like I’ve run through 40 years in the blink of an eye that I can’t imagine the next forty going by so fast, but it will and while it’s easy to wonder where all the time has gone, I choose to embrace it and keep moving. It’s better than the alternative, right? Yes, I’m one year closer to AARP knocking on my door but honestly, I don’t feel 40. In my mind, I feel young but maybe that’s because I still laugh at fart noises and love riding the kid coasters in amusement parks. Having a four year old also does wonders for keeping you young. Tired, but young. Maddy reminds me every day to kick back, remain silly and look at life like a child so let’s do this forty. I ain’t scared!

Maddy has recently been dealing with a mean girl at school {does this shit really start at the age of four?} and I really have to watch how I handle it and how I talk with her about how to deal with it. My forty year old, too-old-to-put-up-with-that-shit initial reaction is to tell Maddy to give this girl the finger and keep it moving but I know I can’t do that. I have to be the responsible parent and give her the tools she’ll need to deal with this kind of thing for life but it makes me sad that this even has to happen. Ladies, there’s plenty of room for all of us!

So that’s what’s on my mind at the moment. What would you share over a hot cup of joe? 

Dealing With Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Dealing With Unsolicited Parenting Advice. #parenting #motherhood #parentingadvice

I remember the incident as if it were yesterday.

I just had my first baby. Madeline was only about a week old and it was my first attempt to go grocery shopping with baby sans Michael {which by the way, WTF was I thinking?} I had not slept in days. My hair was in dire need of an oil change and I'm pretty certain that I was wearing a pair of yoga pants with a hole in the thigh so big, that it would have rivaled the Grand Canyon.  I was a walking zombie; no make-up, no hair did, nada.

I could have cared less.

The fact that I was even out with a newborn and grocery shopping to boot was impressive in my book. Up to that point, Michael had pretty much been the errand boy and was doing his best to keep up with work and daddy duty. It was time for me to buck up, put on my big girl panties and brave the outings with my child.

So there we were in Kroger, just us girls. Things were going great for about the first thirty minutes and then it happened. I got the cranky baby hungry face. You know that face. That face don't play, but it's all good! Mommy is prepared! Mommy's got this! I reached into the diaper bag only to find that oops! No bottle! Which quickly led to a nuclear meltdown. 

While desperately looking for anything and everything to shove in her mouth, I notice an older lady standing to the left of me just looking at me. I happen to look her way for a hot second and wouldn't you know it, we made eye contact.

Never - EVER - make eye contact.

"Sweetie, you know, things with a baby go a lot more smoothly when you're prepared. You should always have a bottle with you!"

I honestly don't remember what my response was because I was so out of it and sleep deprived but I'm sure it was something along the lines of…

It seems like from the moment we find out that we're pregnant, the laundry list of unsolicited parenting advice begins:

"Don't take a bath! You'll drown the baby!"
 "Is that really the name you're picking? Why not X, Y, or Z?"
"Let me show you the right way to hold your baby."

Yes, I heard all of these and more so how do you deal with it?

Here's the bottom line for me: Unless my child is in imminent or immediate danger, keep your comments to yourself. I know that most people {and I'm probably being generous when I say this} have good intentions when they offer up their "advice" but here's the problem - they usually end up making the situation worse because they know nothing about what the mother or father are dealing with nor do they know the struggles of the child in question.

Rarely if ever is it helpful to give unsolicited advice regarding a situation that you know nothing about. Think about it. How much sense does that really make? Nowhere else in life would reasonable people do this. Would you really speak up out of the blue in a work meeting in front of a room full of people to comment on something you know absolutely nothing about? No, probably not. So why do we do it with complete strangers and about something so private and personal as our children?

For those who give unsolicited parenting advice, please know this: you have no idea that I've been trying for weeks to desperately breastfeed my child with no success and have tried everything possible to get my child to nurse so when you tell me that formula feeding is wrong, how do you think that makes me feel? You have no idea that my child may have a learning disability that makes it difficult for them to understand what I'm saying to them in order for them to be obedient. How do you think it makes me feel to get your "helpful advice" to just "Be a good parent, do your job, and get your kid under control." You don't know that I may be a mother suffering from severe PPD and your comments, albeit helpful in your mind, only comes across as judgmental with a voice of "Why aren't you capable?"  You see - not so helpful. You never know the battles each mom is facing. 

Silence is golden.

I have to admit that when it comes to my family, the rules are a little different and I do tend to cut a little bit of slack because that's just the reality. There's no way in hell I'm going to tell my grandmother to take a flying leap and get lost - obviously. A simple smile or nod goes a long way in cases like that. I've even offered up the generic, "That's something to think about, thanks!" and kept going on about my merry way. At the end of the day, family is family. These are the people in your life who will always be there for you and your family. They are not strangers and do deserve a certain level of respect where this topic is concerned. 

Strangers though? They are getting a world of snark coming their way. My theory? If you're ballsy, rude and presumptuous enough to say something to me, then you've earned what's coming. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to tear you down. I'm not going to be mean. I'm just going to have a little fun at your expense and when it’s all said and done, you will know that you were put in your place.

Have you had a hard time dealing with receiving unsolicited parenting advice? How do you handle it? 

10 Indoor Activities for Kids for Bad Weather Days

Let’s be honest right off the bat: who the hell really knows what to do with a toddler or preschooler all day indoors? Better yet, raise your hand if you’re one of the parents who feels like throwing yourself off a cliff when you wake up in the morning and see that you have ten feet of snow outside or that you’re stuck inside with a sick kiddo? If you guys are anything like us, a normal day at home includes being outside, whether that means we’re at the park, walking the neighborhood, playing in the yard or running errands, but what do you do when those options just aren’t possible whether it’s due to weather, sickness, etc?

Drink. #drinkallthewine

But seriously, is there anyone else out there that would rather have their eyeballs scooped out with a spoon than to be stuck inside all day with a very active child? It can really be challenging and to make our situation a little more difficult, my daughter really isn’t into crafting…like, not at all. She will putz around with crafting supplies for about a hot second and then she’s done so that one trick that most other moms have up their sleeves, my kid wants no part of. She would much rather be doing almost anything outside.

So what’s a momma to do? Well, I wish I had some brilliant answers for you but to be honest, I don’t. The things we do are probably no different or similar to what you do with your kids. I think the thing that helps the most to make a difference is the attitude we go with into our day. Sure, it’s a bummer that we aren’t able to go out but my philosophy has always been, “If we can’t get to the party, we’ll bring the party to us!” With that in mind, and with it being the time of the year where bad weather is imminent, I thought I would share some ideas on fun things to do with the kiddos inside to keep them happy and occupied.

10 Indoor Activities for Kids for Bad Weather Days. #parenting #indooractivities #kids #playtime

Lots of snuggle time. We’re able to slow things down a bit and reconnect. It’s a great feeling to snuggle up to your child and just “be” with them.

Baking and eating. Let me just say this: if we could win an Olympic medal in baking cookies and treats, we would win a gold medal.

Movies, movies, movies. An obvious choice but really, a necessity. I’m a firm believer that there’s nothing wrong with using the TV as a babysitter every now and then. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

Reading and quiet time.
 Maddy loves her book collection and I love that she enjoys reading so much. This goes back to snuggling as well. Get cozy with your kiddos on the sofa and enjoy a few books together. It’s great quality time and does seem to make the clock move faster.

Playing hide & go seek/running & chasing each other. Hide and seek is by far the funniest thing to play with Maddy. She doesn’t quite understand the concept completely so if you say, “Where’s Maddy hiding?” she’ll answer, “I’m right heeeeere!” It’s the funniest thing ever and I die each time she outs herself.

Play board games and do coloring books together. Maddy has just recently gotten into playing board games and it’s the perfect time to get some one on one interaction with her. She also enjoys coloring so we’ll spread out on the floor; she has her coloring book and I have mine and we’ll burn at least a good hour just by coloring and talking. It’s also a very soothing and therapeutic activity for both you and your child if you’re having “one of those days.” I highly recommend it!

Turn your hallway into a bowling alley! A while back, Maddy received a Monsters Inc. bowling set and we’ve used it many times to keep her occupied and happy. Don’t have one? If you recycle, you can take used soda bottles and set them up as pins. Find a ball and you’re good to go!

Building blocks. Chickie LOVES her blocks. I got a large bag of blocks from Target eons ago and I swear, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since that she hasn’t played with them. I love to watch her imagination come to life as she sits and figures out what she wants to build. Blocks can keep her busy till the end of time and I won’t lie, it’s a great break for me too as it allows me to have a little time to myself to either get a few things done around the house or do something I enjoy.

Sensory bowls & bins. When Maddy was a younger toddler, she loved playing in sensory bins with cups, spoons, measuring cups, etc. You don’t even really need to invest in buying a fancy sensory bin either. I always used Rubbermaid containers and bins and would go to the dollar store for boxes of rice, beans, felt and other different types of materials to throw in each bin. I always had those materials on hand so that I was able to make bins on the fly if I had to. Talk about being in heaven! She loved it and it kept her occupied and happy for hours.

Build a fort! Kids love forts. I mean, love them. Pop up a bowl of popcorn, throw some pillows and blankets in there and Boom! Instant awesome.

And for mom and dad, a few little treats along the way never hurt anyone to get through a day inside…

What ideas do you have to share on how you get your kids through the day when you’re stuck inside? I’m always looking for new ideas so please share!

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