My Child: The Great Sharpie Thief

untitled

My daughter is a Sharpie addict.
She is a Sharpie thief and / or hoarder.

Aria is just over two years old and can’t control herself when there is any type of marker around. She colors so nice on paper with crayons but when theres a marker she has to mark every single thing she can find. I have to use Sharpies at work and I use them really often in my paper planning stuff. So, there is nothing I can do about them being in the house. I figured that putting them up on a shelf, on the kitchen counter, or even on my tallest dresser in my room was enough. I was wrong.

ariasharpie

I’d like to say that this was the first time that anything like this happened but that would be a lie. This is about the 7th time. Each time it happens I move the markers to a different spot or hide them but somehow she finds another marker and it happens all over again. I’m convinced she has a stash hidden somewhere that I’m not aware of.

I went to the kitchen to make myself a bagel. It takes about 3 minutes for the bagel to toast and another minute to put the cream cheese on it. In 4 minutes she found a sharpie and colored my planner, her hands, her feet, my desk, my desk chair, my brand new computer, and her face. I can’t even you guys.

sharpie-planner

I’m a weirdo about my planner so as soon as this happened… I knew I was doing absolutely nothing Monday- Wednesday that week.

Now you want to know to get sharpie out of stuff and off your child?

You don’t.

You throw out everything or live with the annoying black marks.

You let your child walk around looking like a damn zebra and live in their stripes.

 

 

Potty Training With Pampers Easy Ups {$50 AMEX giveaway}

easyups

Potty training is one of those times in raising your children that can be quite frustrating and stressful. Sometimes what works for one child isn’t going to work for the next and it can be a complete trial and error type of situation. It can be hard on the child and hard on the parent when things aren’t going exactly how you want them too. Lets face it, nothing in parenting is considered easy but Pampers Easy Ups are here to help things go as smooth as possible!

My oldest son is about to be 4 years old. I tried potty training him when he was just over two because he was giving me tons of signs that he was ready for that adventure. He wasn’t. It was days of accidents, frustration, and stress. I decided to wait a while for him to flat out tell me he was ready and always gave him the option to go on the potty. Finally, one day it just clicked. I rewarded him with stickers and it was pretty smooth sailing. Except for nighttime. Here we are at almost 4 years old with no signs of being ready to get up in the middle of the night for potty breaks. He was getting so upset when I’d put another brand of pull up on him at night because he “wasn’t a baby and didn’t want to wear a diaper.” I’m so thankful that we’ve found Pampers Easy Ups because they really do feel like underwear and there is so much less complaining!

evcollage

Now, Aria, my youngest just turned two in June. She’s a little more ready than he was at her age. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that she’s a girl or because she watches her big brother go but we’re introducing the potty and she’s a lot more interested. She was so excited to wear her “Dora” undies!

ariaeasyups

Like I mentioned above, they really do feel like underwear! They have an extremely soft waistband that doesn’t dig into the skin. Both my kids have no problems pulling them up or down by themselves either which is great for their independence. They also hold up to accidents which is extremely important to me. No more washing sheets every morning or changing outfits when there is a slip up!

closeuppullups

Potty Training Tips from Dr. Tanya Altmann

Dr. Altmann is a pediatrician and a mom to three of her own children. She has some great tips on the potty training process! I’ve tried quite a few of these with great success and plan to implement more into the routine with Aria as we continue on this journey.

  1. Get your child excited about wearing underwear!
  2. Have patience.
  3. Look for signs that your child is ready.
  4. Lead by example. [I know it can be awkward to have your child in the bathroom with you and sometimes we need some peace but they really do learn by example!]
  5. Be positive and make it fun! [stickers worked so well here!]

Why Should You Choose Pampers Easy Ups in the Potty Training Process?

  1. They really do feel like real underwear but still provide excellent protection against the dreaded leak! I really think that if the pull on protection a child is using feels like a diaper than they’re going to treat it like a diaper!
  2. They come in such adorable patterns that children actually want to wear! They feature Thomas the Train Engine™, Dora the Explorer™, and now Hello Kitty™.
  3. They are really easy for little hands to pull up and down! I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw how independent both of my kids were in them!

You can snag a coupon for $2 off a pack of Pampers Easy Ups here!

Now for the giveaway, enter below for your chance to win a pack of Easy Ups, a copy of the book “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting” by Ilana Wile, and a $50 American Express Gift card!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen on September 30th and notified by email. The winner has 24 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. All entries are subject to verification. Mom Tails is not responsible for shipment of the prize. Please note that entrants can only win one of the giveaway prize packs from the participating bloggers in this campaign.

LuLaRoe LOVE {review & giveaway}

LuLaRoe has been popping up on my newsfeed for the longest time. I’ve never joined a group, tried anything on, or purchased anything. I really have no idea why I haven’t.  I’ve seen people talk about the brand and even laugh about their “addiction” to the clothing. Maybe I subconsciously didn’t want to fall in love with yet another thing that was going to steal all my money because my self control when it comes to to shopping isn’t the greatest. Well, I’m screwed because I’m now in love with LuLaRoe.

LuLaRoeBlogPost

Amanda Koss is a girl from my hometown that is also a consultant. I’ve been watching her business from afar and she’s been doing the same with my blog. We decided to just go ahead and partner up. I received all items in this blog post in exchange for promotion but in no way is that going to sway my opinions about said items.

She runs a Facebook group that has a “pop up” sale every Wednesday night at 8pm. I had way too much fun grabbing a large glass of wine and shopping from my couch. She also has such an extensive stock! I’m not sure how all the other consultants do it but Amanda had what seemed like hundreds of things up in every different size at her sale.

LLR PopUp

I am just blown away at how comfortable and versatile every single piece of LuLaRoe clothing I received is! I can style almost everything to go from day to night or from taking the toddler to school to a night out. I know the brand prides themselves on comfort but I can’t even explain how accurate that is in words. I look extremely put together but I feel like I’m wearing pajamas. Win!

MAXI

This is the maxi skirt. I adore the print and it’s incredibly soft. I can match it with almost any color top I have! I adore vests this season so I had to go with that.

Cassieskirt

Say hello to the Cassie skirt! It’s a pencil skirt that I can actually move in. I felt unbelievably sexy in it but could totally dress it down as well. This is definitely one of my new favorite pieces in my wardrobe.

RandyTop

Oh the Randy top. This pattern is so my style and it’s probably the most put together I’ve looked in a teeshirt. I, without a doubt, need to add more of these to my lineup.

NICOLE

The Nicole dress is so much cuter on then you’ll ever see it on a hanger. I went ahead and got the “little black dress” style so that I can style it in so many different ways. This look is definitely a night out with the husband sans kids.

LEGGINGS

Of course I got a pair of the infamous butter soft leggings. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear another brand of leggings again. These fit so much better than anything else I’ve ever tried which is amazing since they’re one size. The top has a thicker band which avoids the material cutting into you thus causing the dreaded “muffin top.” I’m pretty thin but the muffin top struggle was still real in a lot of my old leggings.

IRMA

IRMA! I had to include this picture in the post because this is pretty much my “mom stance” most of the day. The face is basically screaming “Oh no kids, not again!” This tee is very loose fitting so why I normally wear a S-M shirt, I got it in an XS. It still has plenty of room to breathe! It’s perfect for a day spent running after toddlers.

AZURE

Last but certainly not least is the Azure skirt. My little photo prop told me how beautiful I looked and I totally felt it! The skirt can be worn so many different ways but I choose to wear it high waisted. I’ve even seen it worn as a shirt with a belt which is something that I’m going to have to try.

Now, A GIVEAWAY! Just enter in the Rafflecopter below. All entries are subject to verification. Don’t cheat. No one likes a cheater.

Be sure to join her group here and use code MOMTAILS on your checkout form for $5 off!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve Got The Kid Crud

Everett started school (Pre-K) a few weeks back. In fact, this week will only be his third full week. In that short amount of time he’s managed to bring home all of the germs.

kidcrud

I knew when my kids started going to school and being around other children that they would wind up with different illnesses. I expected it. What I didn’t expect was it to happen the first week and I sure as hell didn’t expect for it to take me out.

He came home from school one day with a slight fever. The fever was gone in just a couple of hours and then he had a runny nose for the next two days. That was it. He was back to being full speed ahead and didn’t even have to miss school or soccer practice.  Once he was better Aria got it. She had a fever for a little longer and a runny nose for a few extra days but it wasn’t anything too bad.

Then I got it. It started as a horrific sore throat on Thursday and Friday. Then it decided to move to my nose on Saturday. By Sunday, I could hardly get off the couch. Here we are on Monday and it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. The things I’m coughing up are things of nightmares.

It’s just amazing how these things manifest in children vs. adults. It brings me back to last year when Hand Foot Mouth [click here to read about that disaster] ran through our house. My kids were better in a few short days and I had it for almost 10. I guess it’s better it’s me than it is them but dammit, I have things to do! I know this is only the beginning my kid crud journey; My immune system better step it up a notch or seven.

Daily Parenting High vs. Low Struggle

I always figured with kids you’d have your “good” days and your “bad” days. While that’s often the case in the general sense, I never realized how those highs and lows were going to change minute by minute. ParentingHighsandLows

I have two toddlers. It’s obviously not going to be peaches and ice-cream all the time around my house. In fact, most of the time it’s not. Someone is whining for something, someone can’t find a toy, or someones upset about something they lost 6 months ago. That’s just the way it is. It’s just amazing how amazing things can be going and how quickly they can turn at the drop of a hat.

It was a school day and I woke both kids up. I value sleep as much as they do so waking them up was unheard of until Everett started school. We’re working on getting into the routine but some days are a complete struggle. This particular day, they work up without issues, got dressed, teeth brushed, and ate breakfast without one single complaint. They even kept quiet while their dad slept! [he’s on an overnight shift so this is impossible some days] We got to school on time and the entire way there Everett talked to me about how good he was going to be and how he promised me he was going to listen to his teachers. 4 hours later I go to pick him up and he’s in the time out chair. First offense was poking and the second was putting his shoes in someones face. Seriously? Well, I had to listen to him scream about me taking away the iPad for the next 45 minutes. He wakes up from a short nap after we got home and never mentioned it again.

Then the evening rolled around and I made dinner as usual. I always try to offer my picky kids whatever the adults are eating because 1) I want them to eat well and try new things and 2) it’s a total pain in the ass to make them something separate to eat. I made a breakfast bake with sausage and eggs. They absolutely devoured their entire servings. BOTH of them.

everettdinner copy

I set them down and take off Aria’s diaper for about two seconds while I put their dishes into the sink. I come back and she had run into the playroom, pooped on the floor, and was playing in it. Fighting the instinct to vomit (I don’t want to clean that too) I throw her into the shower. I went from an “awww! I’m so glad you guys ate all your dinners and behaved at the table” to trying to make sure all the pieces of poop go down my shower drain in about 4 minutes flat.

Ariashower copy

Finally, all the poop is cleaned up, the kitchen mess is in order, and the kids are almost ready for bed. Everett requests to watch the Little Mermaid before bed and I allow it. I’m sitting there snuggling an overtired Aria and Everett says to me “Ariel is beautiful just like you mama.” Seriously, melt.

It’s days like today that really show me what an emotional rollercoaster that parenting is. One minute your child does the sweetest thing on the planet or behaves amazingly and the next minute their playing in their own poop or shoving their shoes in another kids face at school. This is what I call the daily high and low struggle with parenting.

My Son Plays With “Girl” Toys

My 2 year old daughter is getting to the age where she’s starting to take a liking to particular types of toys. Completely uninfluenced by me, she’s gravitates towards cute stuffed animals and baby dolls. She loves her a good superhero but she’s way more into what you may call the “girly” types of toys. The older she gets, the more toys that she prefers accumulate in the playroom.

This in turn has led my 3.5 year old son to gain an interest in these particular type of toys. My son plays with “girl” toys.

girltoys copy

I’m almost 99% sure his fondness of these toys is because he knows that they’re his sisters and he can’t handle sharing. He’s awful at sharing anything with her. When I tell him he can’t take something away from her, that’s the first thing that he wants to do. He’s a typical defiant toddler like that.

Sometimes, he’ll pick up a doll and be playing “house” with it when Aria is sleeping. It’s actually adorable the way he just mimics what he sees going on in his world around him. He will put the baby to bed, pretend to feed her, and change her diaper. These are all things he sees me doing with his sister. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and if this type of roll play is teaching him about the importance of parents and family life … then who am I to stop it?

Everettdoll

I just don’t understand what a parent would do that is against their sons playing with “girl” toys or their daughters playing with “boy” toys. Would those parents take away the toy and explain to their child that they are playing with a toy that is not for them because of their gender? That is, bottom line, not what I want to teach my kids. It’s practically impossible for me to separate the toys and stop my kids from playing with whatever is in the playroom. I’m not about to battle all day long over something that isn’t important to our family.

So, I let my son play with “girl” toys. I let my kids walk around the house with babies in strollers and pretend to be parents to those dolls. As long as they’re playing nice, there is no foul play in my mind. He’s usually pretending the stroller is a race car and trying to fill it with gas before he zooms off and tells the baby to “hold on tight because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

The Toddler Snacking Epidemic Must End

I write this post with so much sarcasm I can almost feeling it coming out of my ears. Yet, there is also so much truth behind it. I’m well aware that children need to eat. It would just be nice if mine would eat something that is even halfway decent for them or eat a full meal so they weren’t begging for a snack 10 minutes later. Seriously, the toddler snacking epidemic has to end. It’s an epidemic that is quickly killing off what is left to my parenting sanity.

toddlersnacks copy

A few days ago I decided to keep a log of every time Everett (my 3.5 year old) ate / asked for a snack. I wrote down all his ridiculous excuses for not wanting what I gave him and so on.

These were my results:

8:50 AM: (shortly after waking up) I offer him a waffle. He doesn’t want to eat that waffle because his teeth hurt. I assure you his teeth are fine.

9:07 AM: Asks for a pancake instead. I give him the damn pancake.

9:17 AM: Asks for a sucker.

9:32 AM: Asks for watermelon flavored candy. I don’t think he’s ever even had watermelon flavored candy.

9:58 AM: Asks for a snack. I tell him he must eat the pancake. He refuses. I decide to make them some scrambled eggs in hopes of getting them to get some protein.

10:03 AM: Hand him scrambled eggs with a green fork. He asks for the blue fork.

10:05 AM: “Don’t forget I need some milk with my eggs!”

10:25 AM: He’s still at the table slowly eating the eggs.

10:40 AM: He’s finally finished the eggs with his blue fork.

11:05 AM: Asks for another snack.

11:10 AM: Asks again in a very nice tone so I gave him a Nutragrain Bar.

11:30 AM: Comes walking into the room with the pancake I gave him 2.5 hours ago. He’s eating it.

11:50 AM: False Alarm. I find the pancake crumbled into a million pieces on the carpet.

12:25 PM: Asks 4 times for cookies while I’m making lunch.

12:40 PM: Gave them lunch minus the cookies that I was so annoyed with hearing about.

I swear I'm not starving my children.
I swear I’m not starving my children.

12:50 PM: Doesn’t want to eat his lunch because he “doesn’t like the way the sandwich is cut”

1:30 PM: Finally finishes the entire lunch.

1:30 PM: Asks for another snack.

1:40 PM: “I need a snack because I’m cold.”

2:00 PM: He asked about 6 more times and because I couldn’t handle it anymore, he got an after lunch desert of one cookie.

2:07 PM: “I’m a little hungry.”

2:55 PM: He somehow found another pancake from this morning and was trying to eat it. I took it away since it was as hard as a rock and gave him some applesauce.

3:15 PM: Asks for a snack.

3:23 PM: Asks for a snack.

4:03 PM: He was running around chanting “I need a snack, I need a snack.” I gave him an apple.

6:00 PM: I left for two hours to go grocery shopping. As soon as I returned the hounding of “what food is in the bags?” commences. I put away everything and made dinner.

6:20 PM – 7:00 PM: He’s eating dinner. Complaining he doesn’t like it but eats most of it anyways.

7:20 PM: At this point I just started keeping a tally. From this time till his 8 PM bedtime he asked 12 times.

I swear I’m not starving him. He gets milk through out the entire day and has a cup of water at all times. He’s just constantly wanting a snack regardless of the amount he just ate. I know he’s not hungry because over half the time he won’t even eat snacks if I give them to him. I’m sure I missed somethings during the day but you get the general idea. He just likes to annoy me with constantly asking, or so I’d like to think.

I’m trying for more of a schedule to see if it helps at all. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. We’ll see if it helps to establish more of a “I know it’s time to eat,” type thing. I’m doubtful and feel like we’re too far down the rabbit hole of the toddler snacking epidemic.

First Friday Favorites {July 2016}

June found a way of sucking all my spare time away from me. Between a couple of weekend trips and some TV shows that came back on the air; I have some valid excuses of where my time has gone. That being said, in my “time away”, I did find some awesome things to share with you guys.

JulyFFF

1 // Leuchttrum 1917 Notebooks // Now, I’m a huge Erin Condren fan and everyone who knows me knows this about me. I also am now learning a little bit about bullet journaling and experimenting with it. I’m loving the creations I’m coming up with and I’m putting them all in the Leuchttrum. If you want to give bullet journaling a try, I highly suggest picking up one of these bad boys.

2 // St. Tropez Foaming Tanner // I used to be as pale as a ghost. I am one of those lucky people who goes outside, burns, and then it doesn’t turn into a tan. Well I finally found a self tanning solution that doesn’t leave me orange, streaky, or horrible smelly. It still does have a smell but it’s not nearly as bad as some of the others I’ve tried. Oh, and make sure you use the mitt that you can buy with it. It’s important.

3 // Tombow Brush Pens // These are my favorite brush pens I’ve tried so far for all the lettering I’ve been doing in my bullet journaling adventures. I don’t even come close to saying that I’m good at “lettering” but these pens make my life a little easier when it comes to learning.

4 // Crayola Giant Chalk // A friend got my daughter these for her second birthday and they’re by far my favorite chalk for toddlers. They’re HUGE so they don’t slip out of their hands and they don’t just shatter into a million small pieces when they drop them.

5 // Disneys Tsum Tsum // I’m sure this stupid game has been around for a long time but it’s new to me and it’s been sucking up way too much of my time. If you like matching games and cute little characters, then don’t download it. Trust me.

6 // Orange is The New Black // This is the real reason I haven’t had any free time. Thanks Netflix.

Cool Scrubs, Literally. Introducing: Maevn Uniforms + Giveaway

I’m pretty sure that all of my readers are aware of that fact that i’m a Veterinary Technician. That means that I’m wearing scrubs several days out of the week. I’m a slight “scrub snob” which means that I can’t stand wearing ones that are oversized, uncomfortable, and of course unflattering. I’ve worn several different brands over the years but I’m excited to be adding Maevn to my scrub wardrobe!

maevnscrubs3

The newest line from Maevn is called EON. The products that I’m featuring in this post are all from this line and are quite amazing. So, I live in Georgia where in the summer, the heat is unbearable. I work in air conditioning but when I have to take a pet outside or I’m running around like crazy during an emergency shift, the last thing I want is my thick cotton scrubs sticking to me and making me even warmer than I already was. That’s the first thing I noticed about my Maevn EON scrubs. The fabric is extremely breathable and I felt cool even when I knew I wasn’t.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.40.44 PM

The EON line is also extremely flexible. I’m able to get down on the floor and move patients into position without any issues of the fabric becoming too tight. That’s a huge problem for me with other brands.

maevnscrubs

In this picture I’m wearing the full elastic cargo pants and the sporty mesh panel jacket. Yes, I wear a jacket to work on the 100 degree days. We have to cover our tattoos and a jacket is the only way around that for me. Luckily, the material is super breathable and it doesn’t bother me at all, even in the heat.

To find a store near you that carries the Maevn brand, check out the store locator here!

Now, Maevn has agreed to give away one top and one pair of pants from the EON line in any color of the winners choice! You can view the items available here.  The giveaway is only open to US residents, sorry! To enter, just follow the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck! All entries will be verified. Mom Tails is not responsible for shipment of the prize. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. 

RIP Harambe & Human Compassion

I’m sure you’ve heard about the boy at the Cincinnati zoo who climbed over some protective barriers and fell into the gorilla exhibit. If you haven’t, then you’re living under a rock and I’m slightly jealous of you. Since this is my own space on the internet, I’m going to use it to voice my opinion on the situation.

People are just assholes and have lost so much compassion for other humans.

gorilla

This is the meme that is circulating around that creates a fury inside of me. People are so quick to judge in this situation. 99% of what I’m seeing are comments about the mother, insulting her for not watching her child. Those commenters must have never had a toddler that is on a mission. Kids are quick. Kids sneak away. The second you turn your back to do anything, they can be gone just like that. I’m not sure what the mother was doing in this situation, but I’m sure it wasn’t ignoring her child hoping that he would climb into the gorillas habitat.

The most dangerous thing you can do if you have children is to think “this would never happen to me” or “I’m always watching my kids so it’s impossible for them to do something like this.” Reality check, the mother that this happened too probably thought the same thing. We need to take the situation as a major reality check and be even more cautious. The zoo is a place filled with wild animals. They have safety barriers in place but as you can see, they’re not always going to work.

I love animals. I work with animals for a living. I actually always wanted to work with wild animals when I was younger. I understand how messed up it might seem to have to shoot a gorilla that is “protecting” the child that fell into his habitat. The reality of it is, wild animals are unpredictable. Another minute longer and the gorilla could have easily ended the life of this human. If the zoo keepers had decided to use a tranquilizer on a 400 pound creature, it would have taken 10-15 minutes to take full effect. That’s 10-15 minutes too long in this circumstance. Unfortunately, I felt that they did the right thing to save this little boy.

I like animals more than I like most humans. I just understand that the value of human life is more important in this situation. The entire situation is beyond sad. A gorilla is dead and human compassion is seeming to be long gone.