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No Place to Pump in Public

Today’s What the What Wednesday rant is a Mom related rant…  A couple of weeks of go the females in my family went on our annual trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show. Since I am a member of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, I am blessed with a bunch of tickets for the show so we brought 2 of my mom’s friends and one of their granddaughter’s along for the fun. This is a trip that I have been doing for years because it is filled with beauty.

In the past, I had gone during the week and then last year we went on a weekend. It was crazy crowded last year that we ended up not fitting on our train to go home and had to wait an extra hour. This year we planned things out for during the week to avoid chaotic crowds. We figured Wednesday would be a good day to go down.

Well… Mother Nature had other plans for us and our trip was already plagued with a snow day. So, we had to delay going from Wednesday to Friday. We missed our train going down by just minutes. This was totally my fault. When I put the train station into my gps, I put the wrong one in and we went to the one across town…. whoops! So we waited an hour for the next one.

We finally get down there and are instantly immersed in the beauty of exotic flowers. I love that feeling when you first walk in and don’t know what to expect but you know it is going to be beautiful. The show did not let us down because WOW!

To make life easier, I decided to wear Baby Evie on me because maneuvering a stroller around would have made me run into people on purpose. People were so down right rude and knocking right into me trying to get to the displays which means they were knocking into the baby! I started to give people the elbow when they got to close to me. The crowd of people was more then we saw on a Sunday last year and they were just rude and nasty.

As a pumping mama, I have my body on a schedule to pump every 4-5 hours. Overnight I can get away with 6-7 hours. If you have ever breastfed a baby, you know that going to long not only results in leakage (thank goodness for breastpads!!) but very sore, painful breasts which can lead to further issues. This is something no woman wants to feel.

By noon, I was on a 6 hour stretch and the pain was setting in but the girls wanted to eat lunch. We figured we could eat and during that time I would find a place to pump (ie: a bathroom stall). There is a food court in the convention center so you don’t need to leave the show at all. It was pricey to eat there…. $42 for 2 BBQ sandwiches, fries and 3 drinks! Freaking crazy to pay for the convenience but we did it.

There were no place to sit and eat. People were reserving 4 and 6 people tables for just 2 people. We finally just sat in the hallway outside of the food court to eat our food. That was frustrating as it was but we made due. The bathroom was nearby so after I ate, I handed Baby Evie off to one of my mom’s friends to hold her.

With only 2 bathroom stalls and a line forming, sitting for a half hour to pump was out of the question. All of the bathrooms only had a few stalls so I couldn’t use a bathroom to pump. How does a place that holds huge conventions and shows only have a few bathrooms with a few stalls??

FML what was I going to do?? I gave up, sat down in the hallway and pulled out my pumping stuff. I covered myself with a nursing cape and started pumping. We had tons and tons and tons of people walk by. Every child and female stopped to talk to Evie and tells us how beautiful she is while I sat there pumping. I was never so embarrassed in my life!

I am truly learning how hard it is for breastfeeding mamas to feed in public. No, I don’t breastfeed Evie because she cannot latch correctly. I pump so that my child still receives the best nutrition I can give her. Why does a society that is supposed to be supporting women and their needs, not give breastfeeding/pumping women any support? I would have thought that a place that is filled with people nearly every week of the year, would have a private area for moms for care for their babies!

What is your rant for the week?

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Tween Rules and Reward System

Tween REward System

After last week’s meltdown and subsequent cancellation of Danyella’s New York City birthday trip, I wanted to find a way to encourage her to behave and do her chores without the attitude and mouth running. Off to Pinterest I went….

I searched and searched, using different search terms and had a hard time finding anything that really worked for us. Some of the links were for teachers to get kids and teens to listen in class. Some of the links were for kids that were younger and didn’t quite fit Danyella.

I was looking to set up Rules and a Reward system for Danyella that would reward her with points to earn special things. At the same time, if she didn’t complete a task then she wouldn’t earn the points and if she misbehaved points could be taken away. After hours of searching, I went to google drive and created my own system.

First were the rules: One would think these were basic rules but to Danyella, I was running her life by asking her to abide by these rules! After nearly a week, she has broken some of these rules and has definitely fought these rules every chance she can.


Next were the Rewards: At first she didn’t care about any rewards. If you look, she started to cross out New York because she was never going to New York ever again if I wasn’t going to take her the day we had originally planned. Eventually she came to terms with her rewards. She even began to calculate how many days it would take for her to earn the trip back if she did all of her chores everyday without attitude points taken away. How I structured her rewards were at levels, so that she had little things to look forward to as she re-earned her New York City trip. One of our favorite things is to go get Italian Ice from Rita’s so that is first on her list to earn.


Last were the check off lists: There are 2 lists for Danyella. Since Danyella is homeschooled, I wanted her to start to take responsibility of her own schoolwork. I made her a checklist of what she needed to accomplish everyday and she earns 10 points for completing them all. The other list is her chores list. This list has different chores for different points like cleaning her rabbits cage is 1 point. I gave her some additional points for helping me label the body products and helping me cook dinner (I should use her cooking show obsession to my advantage lol).


After a week, she is more focused on getting what she needs done though there has been times where she has fought me on completing her tasks (especially schoolwork which is another post to come). It has been nice to see her get excited to help me cook dinner or bake cupcakes. I will keep you all updated on how the system works as the weeks pass.

A question for my readers with older kids: How do you reward your children for good behavior or punish for bad behavior?

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Feeling Like I Am Failing

Today’s post is going to be real, raw, and emotional post about motherhood at its darkest hour. This was your warning so if you can’t handle this type of post, turn back now….

Anyone who is the parent of a tween or teen knows the roller coaster of emotions they go through and subsequently we go through while dealing with their emotional meltdowns. Well, in our house we have been getting these emotional meltdowns, attitudes and refusals to listen more frequently as the days past some being multiple times through the day. Yesterday, I finally hit my emotional breaking point as a mom and a wife.

For nearly 9 years of Danyella’s life it was just her and I. We did everything together and I was Mom and Dad to her. Then I met my now husband, which began to invade into her “Mommy’s time is only for me time”.

In the beginning, Danyella and Doug got along great. They would hang out together and grab something to eat or surprise me with coffee at work. Then, Danyella began to resent him for taking up “her” Mommy time and stepping into a dad role which was uncharted territory for her. This resentment has just escalated and grown everyday for about the past year.

I know in the past year, a lot has changed for Danyella. She gained a new baby sister (which she wasn’t happy about until we came home from the hospital) and a step dad. I completely understand how much of a change this all is especially for a kid that does not cope with change very well at all.

I have become Mom, wife and referee. There is a part of me that feels I need to defend Danyella when she acts out or does something he doesn’t like. I mean this is my little girl. I’ve been all she has had for nearly her entire life so it’s hard for me to see him come down on her about things she does, especially when it’s things I’ve allowed but we differ in some of our parenting styles. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Doug’s parenting style is much more authoritative then mine is because I have learned not to sweat all the small shit. If the kid wants to eat in the living room once in a while what’s the big deal. If she falls asleep better watching tv, I’m not stressing out about it because it’s better then her not sleeping and keeping me up all night (already have a 10 week old that enjoys her night time snuggles). These are just the tip of the iceberg of where he and I differ and then clash because he wants to discipline her and I defend her.

Our marriage is already strained due to problems between him and I and adding the stress of the daily fighting between him and Danyella has just made things worse. He and I fight about her all the time because I don’t always agree with him or I feel like I need to defend my child.

He refuses to back down and look at things from her point of view. She refuses to do what she is told without an attitude or smart ass comment or tween temper tantrum. I am stuck in a position that I can no longer emotionally and mentally handle.

Last night I hit my breaking point with both of them and have felt the lowest I have for a long time. Dinner turned into a fight that I had to referee because Danyella refused to use manners while we sat down for the only family dinner we have every week. With a flair for the dramatics, Danyella was sent to take a shower after pretending to gag because she was told she had to finish the last 3 pieces of pork on her plate but wanted to eat more asparagus.

After her shower she was asked to help clear the table which turned into an attitude fest. This got under Doug’s skin and he said something to her about dropping her attitude. Well, the attitude continued and he took her firestick to her tv away. Let’s just say she flipped out. It ended with her throwing stuff at him. He got into the shower to calm down and she went to bed.

I broke down and cried at my kitchen sink for over an hour and then just walked around the house crying while he was in the shower. No matter how much I’ve said to either of them that this stress of them not getting along is killing me, it’s like neither of them care how I’m being effected. I am not agreeing with him completely because I know he does expect more of her then I have so he comes down on her about (to me stupid shit) shutting her dresser drawers or how she sits at the table. I am not agreeing with her about how she doesn’t need to listen to either of us because she is “to old to listen now”. How in the hell did my life get like this?

I feel like I am failing as a mother and a wife because I can’t make either of them happy. My daughter has come to resent me for having to discipline her for her mouth and attitude that is nearly an all day, everyday occurrence. My husband and I have a long list of problems and this one is the source of our one of the top 2 problems. (The other one is for a future post when I can finally get the words to come out between the tears) I can’t make either of them happy which has made my life miserable and I don’t know how to fix things to make life more bearable for myself.

Mom and wife failure at its finest right now.

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3 Things Being a Crazy Sport Fan Mom Taught My Kids

3 Things being a crazy sports mom taught my kids

I absolutely need to start this post off with FLY EAGLES FLY ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY, E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

Yes, I am one of those crazy, die-hard fans for my Philadelphia sports teams. Since I was a little girl my parents had me rooting for sports games and car races. Being one of these loyal to the end fans has shaped how I have raised my children whether they noticed it or not.

1. Having Passion in Your Life: Having a passion for something in your life whether it’s the love of a sports team, movies, music, art or something else, teaches a person to have an almost out of control love of something in their life. Having that love for something in their life shapes a person to become who they are and stay true to that person.

People that know me, know that I have a passion for my Philadelphia sports teams which has taught my children to have passion for the things they love. Danyella has an huge passion for dance which she lives, eats and breathes dance everyday. This passion, even of her bad days, helps to keep her focused on her goals for what she wants to do in her life which is dance.


2. Being a Loyal Person: Loving a sports team teaches a person to be loyal to something in their life. This loyalty doesn’t just last for a season but for a lifetime. Take my Eagles, year after year everyone bashed the team for never winning a Super Bowl. Well this year, my Eagles proved everyone wrong but I continued to bleed green after every win and loss over the years.

Being loyal to a team or other people is an important trait to teach a child. Danyella has learned to be loyal to her friends through the good and bad times. Yes, as tweens girls will fight and have disagreements but the loyalty to their friendship will persevere because that is what is important to them. With Danyella’s dance team, they stay loyal to each other week after week, competition after competition. They build each other up and stay loyal to their team and their goal of improving their dancing week after week.


3. Believing in the Good in the Universe: Whether you believe in a higher being or not, everyone should believe in the good that the Universe delivers to the world. The sports players that work hard week after week, year after year, waiting for the elusive win continue to believe in the good being delivered to them. This continued belief is what pushes them a little hard and what keeps them working towards their goals.

For Danyella, teaching her to believe in the good of the universe came out recently when she had an audition for the exclusive Showstoppers dance troupe at her studio. In the troupe, there is jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical and tap that the dancers can audition to make. Last year she auditioned and did not make it. This year, she was trying again and was believing in the good of the universe that she would make just one of the teams.  Not only did she make jazz but she made tap as well! She was shocked and looked at the email over and over again. It was her belief in the good of the Universe that gave her the confidence to have a great audition to make both teams!


Now I will say this, Danyella does not have the same passion for professional sports teams that I did have at her age but she does have a passion for music and dance. This passion all stemmed from things that I have taught her from my love of sports. She knows that Sundays is football or racing but she loves the commercials during the Super Bowl. Danyella also know don’t get in Mama’s way when she is cheering on her teams! And yes, I am trying to make Baby Evie into an Eagles fan before her Daddy can make her into a Cowgirls fan!

Though many women don’t love sports and may not agree with my take on this post, having an undying love and passion for professional sports teams has many healthy benefits for our children. Teaching our children to have passion, loyalty and a belief of the good in the world are all positive traits that will shape them into well-rounded adults that have fun in their lives.


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To Tie My Tubes or Not To Tie My Tubes

My decision to tie my Tubes


I just had my post partum checkup which went very well except that I had to fight to get my surgery scheduled to tie my tubes or in doctor terms tubal ligation. The visit started out wonderfully. One of the OBs in the practice came in and we chatted about how I was feeling physically and emotionally. I was cleared from post partum depression though I do suffer from general depression, I am attempting to forgo medication until I am done pumping to feed Evelynne because the medication I need/use is one that isn’t on the approved list for breast milk. Then, I was cleared to exercise (this is what I am most excited about!) and to have sex again (not that with current events I am looking to get into this again). Then came the birth control chat….

The OB started out asking if I had an idea of what I wanted for birth control, which I explained that I was supposed to get my tubes tied in the hospital but they were understaffed (being New Years Day) so they couldn’t do it without me basically starving until they could fit me in. I was starving and needed water while breastfeeding so that was a no and I opted for this to be done at another time. She then proceeded to ask about my husband getting a vastectomy which I said he wanted to get one done as well as my tubes being tied. This where it went down hill….

She couldn’t understand why we would both want sterilization done especially since mine was a surgery. I tried to explain to her that it is my personal preference after having 2 preemies and 2 difficult pregnancies that landed me on bed rest for months. I didn’t want to repeat any risks of getting pregnant again. She went on about other forms of birth control like IUDs or repeating about letting my husband get a vasectomy….

Again, I repeated my wishes that I wanted my tubes tied not to be put on another birth control. So again, the OB asked if that was really what I wanted and AGAIN suggested I just let my husband get the vasectomy. At this point, I was biting my tongue because I really wanted to flip out. Seriously, I should have just starved and died of dehydration in the hospital and had the procedure done…

Instead, I calmly explained that I wanted to tie my tubes for my own form of birth control because you never know what will happen in the future and there is no guarantee that a marriage or relationship will last forever. No I was not going to go into the details of my marriage that is holding on by a thread but that was the gist of the situation. The look on her face was speechless. When she found her words she went on to ask if I wanted to wait to see in the future if I wanted it done. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????

I flat-out told her that the only thing I will consider is getting my tubes tied. She finally gave in and went over my options for the procedure. I picked the single, larger incision that removes both tubes. This procedure is one that reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, which female cancers run in my family, so anything to reduce my risk is a benefit to me. With my extreme anemia, we decided on waiting to perform the surgery until after my next hemotologist appointment in March to find out if I will need iron infusions beforehand. My surgery will be April 17th!

If I was younger or only had 1 child, I could see doubting my decision to go through with tying my tubes BUT I am 36 years old and have had 4 children. I am not looking to put my body through anymore torture of a pregnancy since pregnancy and my body do NOT get along. April 17th feels like a far off date being that it is only January but it will be here before I know it… now I just hope that the baby will be sleeping for more than 2-3 hours overnight so my recovery won’t be as painful.


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The Increase of Hands Off Parents

plan the perfect

After trying numerous different sports and activities, Danyella has found her passion at a young age…. dance. For the past 3 years, I have supported Danyella taking several different dance classes and auditioning then making the Elite competition team. I sat in the lobby for hours while she was in class. Traveled to different competitions. Basically, I made her dance my life as well. It has been a wonderful experience for both of us…. until recently.

For this dance season, Danyella and I agreed that she could double up on some of her classes so that she move up another level in jazz and ballet. With my due date for Evelynne being in the middle of dance season, I set up Danyella’s dance schedule to be 7 classes and elite rehearsals on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This way, if I went into labor or needed anyone to take her to the studio it would be easier to fill 2 days then 5 days, like last year. Timing ended up perfect that I had Evelynne over the holiday break so Danyella only missed classes the one week because she was sick.

Typically, Danyella has looked forward to every single on of her classes because when she dances, that is when she is in her element, her zone. The past few months, Danyella has dreaded her Saturday morning classes because of the actions of some “mean girls” in 2 of her classes. These girls will talk nasty to the other girls, about the other girls to their fellow “mean girls” or to the teacher and his assistant. They will fool around in class and make it difficult for other kids to learn and take their passion seriously. They will sit on their cell phones and make phone calls during class. They will walk in and out of the class which makes the teacher or assistant have to go chase them down.

Some of the other parents and I watch and listen to all of this go on for an hour and half! These girls are 10-12 years old which means they know better than to act like the way they are but no one is there to discipline them. The teacher tries to take control of the class but these girls just laugh at him and do what they want. So where are the parents of these “mean girls”?

As a dance parent, I spend from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm at the dance studio on Saturdays because I want to make sure that Danyella feels safe during her classes. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I have dropped her off and ran to do errands or home to deal with some stuff. Since Danyella has expressed how unhappy she is in the classes, I have parked my butt at the studio because if I need to intervene then I will.

There are a few dedicated moms or dads that stick around for the classes but not many. Even for that hour and half, the parents will drop these girls off and use the studio as a babysitter for their girls that don’t behave and then we wonder why they act the way they do. When a parent isn’t around, kids will push their limit until they find the breaking point. Is there a breaking point when the parents can’t bother to stick around for a simple class observation or to even make sure their child makes it into the class?

When did our society feel that sports and activities have become a babysitter for parents to drop their kids off and never know how their kids act? I know technology has aided in the “hands off parenting” approach but when you can’t even bother to support your child in the sport or activity they are participating in then don’t be surprised when your “angel” starts getting into trouble.

These parents don’t even want to believe that their “angels” could say some of the things they do or act they way they do. Then take the time to sit there like the “hands on” parents do and watch how their children act or be there to stop their behavior.

The actions of these “mean girls” and the hands off approach of the parents have caused other parents to pull their girls from the classes or even the studio. Danyella’s only reason to stick to these classes is because one of her best friend’s would be stuck in the class by herself. Danyella refuses to let her best friend to thrown to the wolves and be hurt by them. This shows me that I have done something right because Danyella has a loyalty to those that she cares about and loves. Maybe these “mean girls” could learn something valuable about life from the kind girls they pick on every Saturday morning.

Photo Jan 22, 8 08 20 AM

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DIY Postpartum Padsicle

blend (2)

Being a DIY mom about to give birth, I knew I had to make myself Padsicles before Evelynne blessed our world. I am sure some of you are wondering…. what is a Padsicle and why do I need them after I give birth?

A Padsicle is a pad with aloe, witch hazel and lavender essential oil on pad and then kept in the freezer. The Padsicle is a must have after a vaginal birth because it helps to soothe the “ring of fire” or the burning sensation from stretching, possibly tearing your vagina after a vaginal birth. As tiny as these babies look after birth, while a mom is trying to push one out…. it hurts and burns for days, sometimes weeks after the birth! The Padsicle is a great way to soothe the pain and sit a little more comfortable after birth.

Step 1: Gather your supplies- Aloe Vera Gel, Witch Hazel, Lavender Essential Oil and Pads (I prefer long ones with wings for after birth)

Step 1

Step 2: Open the pad up but do NOT throw out any part of the wrapper


Step 3: Squirt Aloe Vera on the pad. Does not need to be very much.

Photo Dec 10, 12 56 10 PM

Step 4: Carefully add a few drops of witch hazel on the Pad. A squirt/spray bottle would work better than my attempt at carefully pouring the bottle.


Step 5: Add a couple of drops of Lavender Oil on the pad.


Step 6: Rewrap the pad and place 8 in a large ziploc bag. Place the bag in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Photo Dec 10, 12 56 27 PM

The Padsicles were great for my post partum healing and I hope these will help other women after they give birth so please share this post with a pregnant woman you know.


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Our Rainbow Baby: Evelynne’s Birth Story

Evelynne's Birth Story

Our little rainbow, Evelynne Rue, was born exactly one week ago and her story is one that will always be special. Evelynne was born on New Year’s Day 2018 at 2:03am. She weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21″ long. Evelynne will always have a special bond with her paternal grandfather because they will forever share a birthday!

Evelynne Rue was named after her Great-Grandparents, Evelynne is my husband’s paternal grandmother’s name and Rue is from LaRue, my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I love my grandmother and miss her with all my heart but Evelynne Marjorie just didn’t flow as a name for me so I went with Rue.

Now for the story leading up to Evelynne’s arrival….

The days leading up to New Year’s Eve, I was trying every wives tale that I could find (the safe ones) to try to get my contractions to kick into high gear after months of contractions that did nothing but dialate me just a little bit but keep labor from coming and delivering her prematurely. I was drinking cups upon cups of double drewed Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, eating different foods people said worked for them, bouncing on an excercise ball all day and night, doing squats, walking up and down my stairs, a slew of other things. Even the day I went into labor I made the hubby take me to Walmart so that I could buy Evening Primerose Oil to try.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, the nesting kicked into full gear! Since we are approaching moving day, we didn’t set up her crib but I set up her Pack N Play with bassinet in our room for when she was born. I reorganized all of Evelynne’s clothes, diapers, wipes and other items. I organized everything in our room so that it was easier for when Evelynne was here and we had late night feedings and changings. I even began to organize and pack up my office, which I put off for as long as possible because I just didn’t feel like moving with the big belly.

Next, I decided I HAD TO MAKE BAKED ZITI! It was a must eat that night. My back was killing me but that didn’t stop my determination to make and eat homemade baked ziti. While I was going through the different steps of making the ziti, I turned on my man…. Adam and danced to Maroon 5. While I did all of this, I noticed my contractions were coming stronger and at a steady pace so I decided to time them. They were coming about 5-6 minutes apart at that point but we had been there before so when I kept bugging Doug about coming home from work, it took him over 2 hours to believe the contractions were real.

While I impatiently waited for Doug to come home, I took a bath and the contractions moved to 3-5 minutes apart. By the time Doug said he was on his way home, I called the on-call OB and they said come in to get checked. That was one of the most painful truck rides of my life because with every bump on the highway or every time he switched lanes, I felt it all through my body especially down below. (It didn’t help he had the business trailer still on the truck because the hitch was frozen).

We got into triage around 9pm and I was 4cm dilated which was a lot of progress for this pregnancy since I sat at 2cm for weeks. The contractions were a steady 3-4 minutes apart. The OBs were on the fence of whether to admit me or send me home and see if the labor continues because I wasn’t dilating much. Since we live 30 minutes away from the hospital and this was my 4th baby, I basically said I was too afraid to leave and deliver on the side of the road on New Year’s Eve. So I was admitted!

The OB resident gave me the option of getting the epidural as soon as we decided to admit me, which I said YES! They were keeping an eye on my dilation and effacement to break my water since she wasn’t wanting to descend and break the water on her own. Well, the epidural went horribly wrong! First, the anesthesiologist couldn’t get the epidural to insert correctly in the first location so then he tried another location. I was told it could take a 1/2 hour for it to really kick in. Let’s just say, the epidural never worked because I felt everything and by the time they came back to fix it, I was pushing Evelynne out! Now, I have had epidural in the past and never had problems like this.

My dilation and progression was still going slow so they gave me a small dose of Pitocin to speed things up. This was just before Midnight so we knew she wasn’t going to be our 2017 tax write off baby but our New Year’s Baby. Once that kicked in, they decided to break my water. It was all over after that….

I went from 6cm to 8cm in about a half hour, feeling every painful contraction and the feeling that my hips were breaking. The nurse set a peanut ball between my legs and had me on my side, which helped with the hip pain. Then, I went from 8cm to pushing in less than 15 minutes. That was the worst pain in my life! With Danyella, I woke up to my water breaking and her crowning, without an epidural, and didn’t feel the pain that I was feeling with Evelynne’s step by step labor.

It was time to push…

The nurse was getting everything set up for me to push as I lay on that bed wanting to die from the pain radiating through my lower half of my body. Doug was supposed to help hold my one leg up and I didn’t realize until after it was all done, he started feeling light-headed and ended up sitting on the couch next to the bed to avoid him collapsing while I was delivering Evelynne. I am unsure how long I was pushing for but it took 2 sets of 3 pushes and 4 pushes at the end to get Evelynne’s head out and then her body followed with one more push. The worst pain ever was for the best reason ever because after 9 months of the hardest pregnancy, Evelynne was here!

Evelynne took right to breastfeeding and had been a champ at it until my milk came in and I have been pumping to help with the painful engorgement. Other than her temperature dropping slightly right after she was born, she was doing great. After spending one night in the hospital, I was ready to go home and begged to have the OB release me since the pediatrician released Evelynne to go home. My back was in so much pain from the failed epidural that I just wanted my own bed. I got my wish and about 18 hours after I had Evelynne, we were home and in our own beds!

Evelynne was the first baby born in the hospitals network which was exciting but we missed being the first baby born in the area by an hour and half. We received lots of attention for the New Year’s Baby and even free gift card for professional photographs that are done in the hospital. I will always cherish those photographs because she used the Rainbow blanket I crochet for our Rainbow Baby! Now that Evelynne has blessed our lives for a week, we have gotten into our own little family routine. I can’t wait to share more of our stories with you on my new Mom Mondays!

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Positively Grounding a Tween

Tween Positive GroundingTypically, Thursdays are my days to write about being thankful but after my experience with Danyella yesterday, today is going to be a special subject day…. Grounding a Tween in a Positive Way. I know that at her age, that kids are struggling with still being a child and struggling with wanting to be treated like they are older or an adult. This doesn’t mean that a child can treat others in a disrespectful way which is where we are struggling with Danyella. She feels that she can speak to the adults that care for her in any way she feels fit and continue to do the things that she enjoys. Well she is about to find out that life doesn’t work that way.

In the adult world, if we spoke to each our bosses in this rude manner then we would be fired from our job. If we spoke to a police officer in this rude manner then we would be arrested and spend sometime in jail. If we spoke to our friends in this rude manner then we would be become friends, quickly. If we spoke to our significant other in this rude manner then we would be dumped and living a single life. If we spoke to our loved ones in this rude manner then we would be living a very lonely life. So why do we allow our children to speak and react in rude manners when adults cannot act like that?

Well in my house and family it is not allowed. I will admit that I made many excuses and let things go because I felt Danyella has gone through a lot of change in her 10 years especially with a new baby on the way. The problem with the excuses is that I created a monster that thinks she controls the adults instead of respecting them.

After her meltdown yesterday which was over the fact that she didn’t get her dance leotards into the laundry after I (or so I thought) finished all of the laundry. She flipped out about everything and anything that came to her mind at that point. She refused to go to dance which normally I would make her stay home but instead she was sent without being in her required clothing so that she had to explain why to her teacher. She will be coming home today only to find her room quite empty…. no TV, no toys! Just her clothes, bed and books will be left which she will be earning her items back through a point system.

I had seen someone post this as a meme a while back and the idea sat with me so this morning I decided to make my own point earning system including chores that she fights with me over and positive activities that are required for her to complete in order to earn her items back. I will be posting how this first time goes in Monday’s post so be on the look out.

Print The Grounded Points Chart Congratulations You are grounded

CongratulationsYOu are grounded (1)

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Mom to a Tween Girl

Mom to a Tween Girl

Anyone that is mom to a tween sees their cute, adorable little girl with a touch (or bucket full) of attitude and sass that leaves you wondering… where did this child come from because this isn’t my sweet little girl. For the longest time, I thought it was just mine that acted like this but once the dance moms and I started our weekly chats, I learned that nearly all tween girls are like this and I am not alone!

My daughter will go from a sweet smile to tears to growing devil horns in about 5 seconds flat. You ask her to do something and it is met with an attitude like no other. I mean I thought this is what we dealt with when they became teens??

When you ask them to do their chores or anything at all to help…. wear body armour because dart will come spitting out of their mouth as they tell you “soon”, “in a minute” or “fine”. At the same time, she wants time to cuddle and be with her mom. It’s such a fine line when it comes to this tween age! 

Right now our biggest struggle has been technology or in her eyes “lack of technology”. She wants a phone and has been asking for one for the past 2 years but we are set that she doesn’t get one until she can show us responsibility aka keep her room clean and do her chores without a temper tantrum for more then a day! 

Raising a girl isn’t easy but a tween girl in this day and age just seems to be gettting so hard at least emotionally and mentally for this mom. Those rare “I love you” or “thank you” moments make enduring the attitude, slamming door and tears all worth it. Anyone else raising an emotional tween girl?



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Thankful For Being a Dance Mom #thankfulthursday

Thankful For Being A Dance Mom

Let me start off by saying, I am not one of “those” dance moms where I get all crazy and cut throat so that my child is the focus of the dance studio and rant all about the studio to get my way! Not my style unless I feel the need to step in because there is a problem or something comes up.

Even though the show “Dance Moms” is what inspired Danyella to want to take her first dance lesson at age 8, I vowed to never be one of those crazy sports moms because they just embarrass themselves and more importantly their child. Don’t get me wrong, the drama on that show can be addicting but I started watching it with Danyella years ago because she loved to watch the dances these girls would learn and perform in less than a week.

When Danyella first started out at the studio, she wanted to take Musical Theatre and Jazz. She wanted to take the musical theatre class because she loved watching me work on the costuming for local theatre shows when she was younger. With jazz, Danyella knew that it was fundamental in learning dance. I was shocked when I saw her excel in dance because in everyday life she is quite clutzy (don’t tell her I said that). Part way through the year, we added a ballet class to her dance schedule and Danyella found her passion in her young life… Dance!

All this girl wanted to dance, day and night. It was heart-warming to see her find a passion like this at a young age. That first year, she was much older and taller than the other girls in her classes because I didn’t know how she would like, let alone find a passionate talent in dance.

At the end of the year, her studio announced that they were forming their first ever Mini Elite Competition Team.  Even though Danyella had only been  dancing for a year and wasn’t at the class level required to audition, she was encouraged to audition anyway. Bad mom moment…. my thoughts on her auditioning were that she would learn the lesson that she needs to work hard to achieve things she wants in her life. Aka, she wouldn’t make the team and learn the lesson of losing and being denied something you desire.

2 months after auditioning, I received the email and was mind blown, shocked to read that she had made the team! What?????? She had only been dancing for a year…. A YEAR! Did she really have that innate ability to dance that she would make a competition dance team? How would these other dance moms act? Would we be living the show’s drama now?

Photo Apr 02, 7 29 35 AM
Our First Competition Mom and Me Selfie!

After 2 years of dancing under our belt and one year of competition team, I am so happy to talk to you about MY life as a dance mom! Both Danyella and I have made wonderful friends through her dance passion. When you spend every week, sitting in a room with the same moms you begin to have conversations. Most of those conversations began with a mom asking what I was crocheting or making because I can’t just sit and not have my hands moving. From that first conversation, we began to share stories of our kids and our lives. That is how friendships are formed and kept.


The Elite Moms had an extra special bond because we would live our lives based around dance every weekend from August through March. We would travel together to the competitions and bond over what it was like as a first year competition mom. We were all in this together. Eventually, we started connecting over Facebook and still chat about what is going on with our girls. We have been able to commiserate over our girls and their behaviors. It was great to know we weren’t alone with our tween girl problems.

Photo Mar 11, 9 40 05 AM
The shirt that I made for the Dance Moms for last year’s competition season.

As the girls bonded as a team, so did us moms. We have learned to rely on each other when we need help or have questions and never feel alone in this experience. This year, the team has changed because some people have left the tea

m, so girls moved up and new girls were added. Our girls embraced the new girls just as us moms embraced the new moms. Another new change was the addition of the Petite Elite Team, which consists of some younger girls and a new set of moms. The Minis and Petites bond and help each other just as us “experienced” (not really but we fake it) moms help the new moms navigated the uncharted waters of having a child on the competition team.

Last night, I was reminded of the bond that us dance moms have because as I was sitting for 3 hours of classes on the first week of the new season. Witheach class, brought in a new set of moms and we would all begin to catch up from either having the summer not seeing each other, having a year of our girls having opposite schedules or having a week since the last elite rehearsal. Each conversation just picked up like we never lost anytime.

Photo Feb 18, 1 40 38 AM
The first Elite Team at Competition last season.


It was an eye-opening experience to see all us in a room just talking like we have been friends forever. This is what a dance mom life truly is! It is not about drama, it is not about making sure our child is number one or gets special treatment, it is not aboutthrowing adult temper tantrums. It is about showing our children that they should pursue their passions. It is about showing our children that the friendships they make with their fellow dancers are ones that should be cherished. It is about showing our children that we should support one another no matter what and no matter our age.