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5 Tips to Deal with Maternal Separation Anxiety

You never really know what kind of parent you’re going to be. I worried from the very beginning about the type of mom I would be. Would I be too easy going? Would my kids listen? Am I capable of providing my children with a life that wouldn’t require therapy some 15-20 years down the line? Parenting is a constant merry go round of one worry or the other and no one can quite prep you for just how it feels. But the one thing I didn’t expect to worry about as much as I do? Leaving them.

It’s not like separation anxiety is a new topic in the parenting community. If you google it you can find tons of articles and sites dedicated to how to deal with separation anxiety through all ages of infancy and adolescence. But what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? I know I can’t be the only mom out there whose heart beats a little faster when it’s time for me to leave my kids. My anxiety is not that bad, I’m not talk about a regular day to do basis in which I leave and go to work. However, I have been blessed with many opportunities to travel recently and it never fails, a few days before it’s time to go the voices in my head go crazy and the dread creeps in.

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5 Tips for Stress Free Potty Training for Boys

I’m just going to admit it, whenever people ask me for potty training tips I struggle. More often than not I tell people I didn’t even potty train RJ, he basically did it himself. He was a very easy child on the potty front and it came to him quickly. He hated the feeling of wet underwear and within a course of 2/3 days he had very few accidents before he decided that the wet undie life was not for him. There are hundreds of resources out there that tell you how and when to potty train but mom to mom, my son was potty trained in 3 days, IF that. I felt absolutely no stress during the process and I was SO proud of how quick he got it. I’m just here to share with you guys what worked for me. Continue Reading →

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Netflix is Making Sure Your Little One Isn’t Left Out of the NYE Celebration

2018 is coming to a close (can you believe that?) and Netflix is making sure that even our smallest littles are included in on the New Years Eve celebration! Apparently this is an annual thing, and I’m just now getting on it because my boys spend 95% of their tv time on Netflix now.

Netflix has released a series of short videos featuring characters from some of our favorite shows celebrating the beginning of a new year. If your kids are like mine, they’re always looking for a good reason to turn up, even if they don’t understand the holiday. The great thing about the countdown videos is, you don’t have to wait until midnight (or even close to) to watch them. The New Years Eve countdown is available to stream now and can be found simply by typing “countdown” in on your Netflix search. Continue Reading →

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I’m Sick of ‘Parent Twitter’

And I know I’ll probably be banished to some lonely corner of the Twitterverse where I’ll be slowly rocking back and forth and holding myself alone but, I could care less at this point. I meant it last night when it first came to mind and I mean it now as I’m typing this post. I hate parent twitter. Not to be confused with just parents on twitter. I’m talking about the very specific group of tweeters, you know who they are. 

And there are are so many different corners of the Twitterwebs so I’m sure I’ll find another group to partake in (#BlackTwitter never fails me), but I felt like the mom life corner was supposed to be my thing. Nah, it ain’t. If you search any type of parenting hashtag on twitter you’ll be sure to find all of these witty tweets. Parents tweeting about their numbered children and the snarky or clever thing they’ve said that millisecond, all in the name of RTs and favorites. Can we be honest? You nor your kid are that funny ALL day. Someone else definitely has copied a meme I’ve seen on Facebook and used it as their own tweet, only to get 749201 comments about how funny or clever they are like plagiarism isn’t taught in elementary school anymore. WHY ARE YALL LIKE THIS?!

Last night while I showered and washed my hair my 1 year old stood outside the door screeching at the top of his lungs the entirety of said shower. My emotions teetered between guilt and annoyanc and I thought about reaching out to the parent posse to see who could relate. Instead I changed my mind because, it wasn’t funny, or sarcastic or witty and I felt pretty confident that though I knew someone would be able to relate… my tweet would just sink into the abyss of things forgotten. No one interacts for realness!! Where are the parents that are living REAL life and want to interact?! Those are the people I’m looking for. 

Meanwhile you can miss me with the clever anecdotes about 4 pretending to sip your peppermint mocha this morning. I haven’t even had the chance to brush my teeth yet. But y’all are gonna get ALL this venting. 

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Instant Family is a Heartwarming Reminder That Family Can Come From Anywhere

I attended a screening and press junket for Paramount’s new film Instant Family as media. All opinions expressed are my own.

With November being National Adoption Awareness Month, Paramount’s film Instant Family comes right on time. Instant family was written and directed by Sean Anders and is inspired by his own experience adopting three children with his wife. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne give you a look a hilarious and heartwarming portrayal of what happens when their family goes from a family of two to five overnight.

Going into seeing the movie I had no idea what the fostering/adoption process was even like. Instant Family opens your eyes to the entire process and I love the direction the story takes. Lizzie, Juan and Lita are three amazing children that are taken through the foster system and moved from home to home, until Pete and Ellie happen to find and fall in love with them. The movie takes you through all stages of the fostering and adoption process, including what you may or may not expect when a birth parent is involved. You really get an opportunity to see how the process affects all parties, including extended family (the grandmas in Instant Family are HEAVILY involved LOL).

Margo Martindale in Instant Family from Paramount Pictures.

Interviewing the cast, we really got to see that the cast became a family on and off the screen. Julianna in person is the exact opposite of her character on screen (though the ketchup scene was her favorite to film) and Gustavo won my affection when he told us his favorite day on set was when they catered Mexican food (because food.. is life LOL). The entire case was dedicated to making sure the story of Instant Family was told in a way that was true and relatable not only to Sean’s story, but the story of the thousands of families that go through the foster and adoption process.

When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders, also starring Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale.

“Instant Family” – In theaters Everywhere November 16th, 2018

| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #InstantFamily

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You Haven’t Seen The Grinch Like This Before – #TheGrinch

My family attended an advanced screening of The Grinch. All opinions expressed belong to us! 🙂

This past Tuesday was a busy day for me. Not only did I go check out Mickey: The True Original Exhibition, but we took the boys to an advanced screening of Illumination’s new version of The Grinch. I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard there was going to be ANOTHER Grinch movie I rolled my eyes HARD. How many remakes can they make of the same freakin’ movie? But once the trailer dropped, I easily changed my mind.

4 Reasons This Version of The Grinch is Different Than Any Version You’ve Seen Before

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment

This is Universal and Illumination’s eighth movie together. Once I saw the trailer I immediately knew this version would be different. Illumination and Universal have brought us some of RJ’s favorite movies like Minions, Despicable Me, SING and Secret Life of Pets. ALL of these are movies he can quote. They are also all movies I don’t mind playing on repeat (ok, I get a little tired of Minions LOL).

Tyler the Creator

I can’t even pretend like I know a lot about Tyler the Creator, but I know he’s respected in the music genre (which is a lot nowadays because…. these kids…). You can hear a little bit of his music in the original trailer but a complete lyric trailer was released and well, i’ll let you be the judge of it. You’ve never heard “You’re a mean one Mr. Grinch” like this before.

Cindy Lou Who

Little Cindy Lou is a different kind of girl. I love that in this version of the movie you get a good look into Whoville and the personality of some of the Whos. All Cindy Lou is focused on is making her mother’s (shoutout to the nod to single mom’s!) life a little bit easier this holiday season. She is DETERMINED to speak to Santa and do just that.

The Grinch

The Grinch himself is different than any Grinch we’ve seen before. He’s still his grumpy, green, grinchy self but you can tell there’s a soft spot underlying, even before his heart grows! He also has a HUGE amount of awesome gadgets that he invented to make cave life a little less boring. It was cool seeing what he came up with when it was time to steal Christmas from Whoville.

Will you be checking out this version of The Grinch? What’s your favorite holiday movie?

ILLUMINATION PRESENTS DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – Now In Theaters

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #TheGrinch

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Why It’s Important to Create Holiday Traditions with My Kids

 2017.. see…. irritated LOL

2017.. see…. irritated LOL

My kids are young, they could care less about the holidays right now. RJ JUST turned 4 so I’m excited that he’s starting to have a better understanding of the holidays and why they’re special, but prior to this year he could care less. Even still, I have tried to make it a point to create our own traditions once the fall season starts. We have been to the pumpkin patch every year, we visit Santa every year and we take family holiday photos. These are all things he doesn’t care about now but I hope with time they’ll both appreciate the countless fall/winter activities I drag them to every year.

Children take in and remember so much. Some of my favorite fall memories come from apple picking with my family. I love that we still come together to celebrate Christmas though our family dynamics have changed, and I love that we get to wear holiday pjs ALL day on Christmas Eve. I feel like we have such very few things bringing joy to everyone nowadays and I want my children to be able to look back and think “I loved doing this with you guys, even though we did it EVERY year.” It’s important to me for them to have that. I’m glad they’ll be able to look back and see/feel the love.

Do you have any special traditions with your kids during the holidays? What’s your favorite tradition from childhood?

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I Have to Stop Calling My Oldest a Toddler

My family and I were hosted for the weekend at The Hotel ML & CoCo Key Water Resort in exchange for sharing our experience with you! As always all opinions expressed are my own.

A week and a half ago my big boy turned 4. I cannot believe that I have a four year old. It was emotional when I realized that I don’t have two toddlers anymore. I have a toddler and a preschooler. A whole school aged child. How did that even happen? Wasn’t I just sharing his birth story like yesterday? It’s unbelievable.

Anyway, we’ve started trying to travel more especially for birthdays. Our children are blessed to have big families and of course.. blog life, so they truly don’t need anymore “things”. We took a big trip to Disney and LEGOLAND this summer and I was hoping to be able to take RJ back to LEGOLAND for his birthday this year. Bonus: knowing your children! My kids LOVE water so I was on the search for an indoor waterpark, not too far from the city where they could “swim” to their hearts content, and have access to other amenities as well.

Thank God for Coco Key!

If you live under a rock somewhere, CoCo is an OG when it comes to the indoor waterpark game. Located about 2 hours from our house, it was the perfect distance for us to take a short family road trip. We left in the afternoon and got to the resort early evening. We didn’t get to check out any water park features that evening, but I thought it was great that inside CoCo Key they hosted family movie nights both nights that we were at the hotel. The first night they showed COCO (one of RJs favorites and the second night they played Horton Hears a Who. The boys opted to just watch COCO in the room but I loved that they still had the option of an evening activity.

The next day was the day RJ probably dreamt about all night. We woke up for breakfast downstairs (the hotel has packages that offer buffet breakfast with your stay), went outside for a little while, and then we waited. RJ asked over and over if we could go to the waterpark but we were waiting for his cousin to show up and he had no idea. When they got there it was finally time and we headed around the corner to the water park (thank God for a first floor room!).

So how did they feel?

The boys absolutely loved the waterpark, as expected. I love that Coco Key has something for everyone. They have 2 hot tubs, a lazy river, multiple slides and a kiddie pool plus more. All ages were enjoying the 80+ degree temps as if it were a summer day in NJ. Another cool thing was there were multiple birthday parties going on. I never thought to have a whole party there, but I guess I haven’t gotten that far into mom life and birthday planning yet. They have birthday party packages as low as $228 for up to 10 kids. That is really an amazing price for the fun your kids are gonna have. To check out their rates, you can visit their reservations page here.

Have you stayed at Coco Key? Are you a waterpark fan? Am I the only one sad that my kids are growing up? LOL

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What’s On The Outside Counts: Why We Choose JOHNSON’S® for our Bedtime Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #JohnsonsLovesBaby #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO DISCOVER MORE JOHNSON’S® PRODUCTS AT CVS!

I know I cant be the only one that feels like as mothers in the age of social media our decisions are constantly under a microscope. People are telling us whats best for our baby before they’re even born. You’re having a baby? You definitely need to breastfeed over formula. You had pizza at your one year olds’ birthday party? You’re horrible for not being a Pinterest mom and not serving homemade dinosaur shaped vegan chicken nuggets. Vaccinate? Poison. Don’t vaccinate? Selfish. What’s going into our child’s bodies is constantly critiqued and we often neglect to remember that what we use on the outside is just as important. 

I have super sensitive and dry skin so it wasn’t a surprise to me that in some form or another, both of my boys have the same issue. I was really excited to hear that with 50% fewer products,  JOHNSON’S® is new and improved inside and out. As a brand that we’ve all grown up with, I’m excited to have them as a part of the boys bedtime routine. 

If you know my children then you know ALL DAY LONG its a turn up. We try to make bath time the beginning of wind down time (so no joint baths or that’d be a disaster) & this is where  JOHNSON’S® excels. Both of my kids can win gold medals in the bath time swimming olympics so I love that JOHNSON’S® Baby Shampoo provides a mild, gentle clean that doesn’t irritate their eyes during bath time.

We follow up hair washing with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Moisture Wash which, have you smelled lately?! It smells amazing and is designed to help relax babies before bed. Combining all of these things and finishing off with JOHNSON’s® Bedtime Lotion has made our routine not only smell amazing but worry free because there are no dyes or sulfates in their products. We can have the great smell, AND a clear conscience! 

 This is his new picture face. Boys, right? *eyeroll*

This is his new picture face. Boys, right? *eyeroll*

But seriously, I’m ready to head back to CVS and stock up on ALL the things (especially since they’re running a special Buy 1, Get 1 50% on Johnson’s® Baby + Spend $20, Get $5 ExtraBucks)! It’s a problem when I wander into that baby aisle, AND my local CVS has a good makeup section! Take. my. coins.

Are you thinking about what you put on your baby just as much as what they consume? What products are a part of your bedtime routine? 

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Confession Time: I’m SICK of Having to Put My Kids First

Every morning (or night if you will) my alarm goes off at 230am. I snooze like 5 times, and then I try to detach Zayn without waking him up, sneak out of the room and get dressed in the living room so that I can be at work at 3 effing 30. In the morning. Since James works overnight also, that means I have two kids I then have to (sometimes) dress and move in the middle of the night to their respective locations so that they aren’t left unsupervised. Thank God for family!

Zayn’s first winter was ROUGH. I found myself calling out of work pretty often to stay home because one or both kids were sick and ain’t nobody trying to take care of a sick child that isn’t  theirs in the middle of the night. Love em or not! Returning to work is always led with “Hey what happened?” and then upon explaining my situation (sick kids, 3am, no childcare…) I always get the “empathetic “well, you have to do what’s best for your family”.

And I’m going to be completely honest with y’all and say when it comes to work vs family, I’m tired of choosing my kids. Because…. I feel like it shouldn’t even be a “thing”. I’m honestly annoyed by the guilt I feel of letting someone else down every time I have to stay home to be with them. I just want to parent guilt-free. Back in December Zayn (at 5 months old) was hospitalized for Croup and I actually had someone look at me with confusion and say, “you could’ve left him there and just came to work it’s not like he could go anywhere.” Miss……. what?!?!

I completely get that for some people the money is the motive but no one tries to make you feel guilty when you miss your kids 4th school performance for your lil $15 an hour, so why do I get so much crap for choosing the opposite end? I’m over it. I’m completely tired of the fact that I even HAVE to make choosing my kids a big deal but I’d never choose anything else. I don’t get paid enough for all that.

What’s your work/life balance like? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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How We Stay Connected with Walmart Family Mobile

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

I’m thankful that we live in a time of technology. When I had RJ I was never worried about any of his family missing him growing up. There’s so many ways to stay connected from Facebook to Instagram, I even did a couple of family vlogs so that we’d have actual video of him from when he was a baby. 

Now that he’s getting older and smarter he likes to “talk” on the phone. He holds it up to his head all the time (backwards, upside down… doesn’t matter) and pretends he’s talking and if he hears me or his daddy on the phone he’s ready to take it and have his little conversation. His favorite thing to do now (other than watch his cartoons) is video chat! He knows the sound of an outgoing Skype/Tango/FaceTime call and stops whatever he’s doing to see who we’re calling.

Kids are expensive y’all! So when I heard about Walmart’s new Family Mobile PLUS plan I decided to check it out. I went right to my local Walmart’s electronic section and picked up this cute little LG Leon LTE for only $69.82 (because you KNOW how expensive smartphones can get nowadays). If you’re looking for an amazing post paid plan then this is it. Walmart’s Family Mobile plan has unlimited talk text and data and up to 10gb of that data is 4G LTE which is NECESSARY for YouTube/Disney Junior streaming while we’re on the go! You get all of that PLUS a free movie monthly on VUDU ($7 value) for only $49.88. 

 I was so hype to see the Gabe and Babe ad yall! LOL. As you can see people are ON IT! My Walmart had A LOT of phones sold out!

I was so hype to see the Gabe and Babe ad yall! LOL. As you can see people are ON IT! My Walmart had A LOT of phones sold out!

**Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/28aqc or your local Walmart for current pricing.**

Saving coins always makes my pockets happy! Especially on bills because it leaves more money to shop ;). AND when I brought my phone home I had 4G LTE INSIDE my house! My house is a dead zone y’all no one ever has service in here! It just makes sense! I used our free VUDU movie to watch Straight Outta Compton on my iPad…. even though I’ve already seen it LOL. 

What are some ways you save money monthly? Will you check out Walmart Family Mobile?