Two Under 2 – 8 Survival Tips for the First Year


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My first son was about 6 months old, when we started discussing having another. He was starting to sleep through the night regularly. He was learning to sit. And isn’t it the cutest when they just sit on a blanket in the middle of the floor, drooling on a few toys!?? He could smile and laugh with you. All you had to do was jump up and yell BOO to get instant giggles. It was so fun trying to feed him his first solid foods. This was EASY, right? I mean, sure he cries occasionally, but we could take him to the bar in his infant carrier. Life was great! We still had a sense of US. This parenthood thing was not nearly as demanding as I had expected it to be. There were long nights. And moments. Don’t get me wrong. But, nothing to curb the idea in our head that it was time to have another. Wouldn’t it be so great to have another? They’ll be best friends. I’m doing this for my first born, right??! No better gift than a little brother or sister. Damn. We are giving, loving, and nearly perfect parents – much like this:


When he was just 7 months old – I knew before my period was even late. Since I had been through this before, the signs were easy to detect. It was exactly as with my first, and hell, it was like yesterday and the symptoms were so relatable. I was pregnant. YAAAAY. And, oh shit. The baby was up 4 times last night. Why did I friggin sign up for this again? But, YYAAAAAY!!! Look how cute he is over there, just sitting still on his blanket, drooling on some toys. I can do this. This is so easy. There will just be two of them sitting on the floor together. They’ll probably play patty-cake too. OOOOOH. I just love patty-cake! OMG! I’m so excited. TWO babies. EEEK!

Fuck. That.

Someone forgot to tell me that the first one will no longer just be sitting on a blanket, by the time the second one arrives. In fact, he will run. He will run away from you. He will hide. He will laugh at you. He will mock you. He will be…..A TODDLER. So if you are thinking about having two “babies,” think again. When your baby is 6 months old, come borrow my now 20 month old for the day. I promise you, it will give you a far better sense of what to expect with two under two. And likely, it will make you wait just a littttttle bit longer. I remember leaving my second on the living room floor, on his blanket, drooling on some toys. Cute, right? The toddler was in his room, on the far end of the house, reading in his room. Cute, right? Perfect. Let me just use the bathroom. Wrong, lady. You don’t get to pee in privacy. I come out, and my baby is MISSING. He can’t even crawl yet, and he’s gone. Vanished into thin air. OMG. My toddler ate him. He must have – what in the hell. Franticly, I start running around the house. The toddler did not eat him – he’s still in his room reading. Ok, yeah, it’s kinda cute. What in the hell?? Where did the baby go? I frickin’ lost my baby. I was gone about 25 seconds. Turns out he just rolled himself behind the couch, about 4 feet from where I left him. But, my first thought was, the TODDLER DID IT.

Everyone says I’m in the thick of it now (an almost 2 year old and a 3 year old). “It gets better,” they say. “They will be best buds,” they say. I’m waiting. Possibly counting down the days. Yesterday, my oldest grabbed the youngest by his hair and threw him to the ground.  Did I mention they were just watching TV, and the attack was completely unprovoked. Sweet, right?  And one day, I hope to write another post of survival for this time period. But, first, we must survive. In the meantime, here’s a bit of veteran advice from how you may possibly live through the first year of “two under 2.”


1) SYNC NAPS: A good friend offered me this advice, and I was very adamant about getting this down ASAP. My newborn was just 3 weeks old, and my toddler 17 months – and at 1pm every. single. day. they both went down for a nap. It did not matter if my newborn had slept the entire morning. It did not matter if we had a play date scheduled. I revolved my entire day around the 1pm nap. And. IT WORKED. My kids were both sleeping at 1pm every day. Sometimes, I got 20 minutes to myself. And sometimes, I got 3 hours. But, it is a must. Get your kids to take one nap a day – at the same time. This is a non-negotiable priority. And to this day, my kids still nap and I still get some much needed me-time.


2) MEET THE NEEDS OF THE OLDER CHILD FIRST: A veteran mommy of twins, gave me this advice. I was really struggling in my first few weeks home with the baby. It seemed like my toddler was acting out more than ever. A combination of jealousy, major life change, AND mommy always putting him second really just pissed him off. So, a friend told me to start meeting his need first. Get him that glass of water, and let the baby cry for an extra 10 seconds. The toddler has feelings. He can easily be satisfied, if you just answer his need first, before you tend to baby. Obviously, a few things cannot wait – but any bottle, any wet diaper, any cry can wait a few seconds if your toddler is also demanding something of your time. It made a world of difference, when I started meeting the need of the older child first.

3) RAINY DAY BOX: I had a baby “sprinkle” while pregnant with my second. Most of the ladies there had 2 children. I was picking their brains for all the advice I could sponge up. Many of them suggested keeping toys put away in what I call a “rainy day box.” We received quite a few sibling gifts and books for my first born when baby came. I put all those toys away, until the moment when they were needed. If you need a few extra minutes to nurse. If you need some time to put on your makeup. If you want to poop alone. Pull out the rainy day box. It will keep your toddler fascinated so that you can give your undivided attention to something/someone else for a few moments.

4) TAKE THE HELP: If someone says, “let me know if you need anything” – LET THEM KNOW. Ask them for a freezer meal. Ask them to watch your kids for 20 minutes so you can take a hot shower. Let hubby take them on a walk around the block so you can watch a 30 minute DVR show. People offer help because they mean it. But, often, it’s up to you to follow through and take the help offered. Taking help, does not make you less of a mother. In fact, I think the relief given when someone is helping you will make your spirits lift and will positively impact your interactions with your spouse and children that day.

5) CONVENIENCE SHOPPING: If you are one of the 4% of the population that does not yet have Amazon Prime, stop reading this article, and sign up immediately. Did you know that you can have something delivered to your doorstep in an hour. AN HOUR, people! Diapers? Poof. There they are. Case of wine? Bam. You’re welcome. In addition to Amazon – there are many other ways to conveniently shop online. Shopping with two children is hard work. In fact, some countries use it as a form of torture. Avoid it at all costs. Target online – free delivery with $25 purchase. Is it even possible to spend less than $25 at Target. I think not. Grocery delivery. YES – many stores are starting to branch out and offer home delivery. There are also some companies that offer delivery of combined stores like Trader Joes, Costco, Whole Foods, and more. Check out You’re welcome. Again.

6) FEEDING INDEPENDENCE: This is one I discovered on my own.  And, it really allowed my toddler to feel proud of himself, and allowed me an extra hand at meal time. Find ways to let your toddler feed himself…..neatly!!!  Instead of giving him a yogurt tube – freeze it.  Instant popsicle and far less mess.  Or, follow my steps here for yogurt chips which they can eat with their fingers, versus you running back and forth with a spoon for each child’s mouth.   What about food pouches? They are full of veggies and fruits, and kiddos love them.  AND, they love to squeeze them all over the place.  Not anymore – behold the Easy Pouch Independence.  Kids can self feed and not make the big ass mess for you to clean up.  Brilliant!


7) DIVIDE AND CONQUER: My husband named this tactic.  Basically, one parent takes one child.  The other parent, takes the second child.  Can I just say, it is nearly like being on vacation, when I am responsible for just one of them??!  I can seriously run errands in half the time.  I can enjoy some one on one time that we desperately needed. And one weekend day, every week, we are sure to divide and conquer.  Likely, in the beginning, mom will be responsible for the newborn.  But, as they grow, it’s so fun to switch them around.  Actually spend a few minutes focused on just that one child.  Listen to them.  Spoil them.  It’s very rewarding.  I love these days.

8) FIND A SUPPORT SYSTEM:  For me, I’m a pretty social person.  When I spent the first 4 weeks with my newborn at home, I started getting very bluesy.  My girlfriend suggested I join a stroller workout group.  I had never heard of such a thing, but i researched it immediately, and signed up for a class the exact moment I was clear of my postpartum checkup.  And, 3+ years later, and 4 different stroller groups in 4 different cities – it has been life changing.  I’ve met amazing friends.  My children have an instant playdate 3 days a week.  They are learning healthy habits through my example. Self care is so important to your mental and physical well being. Not to mention the endorphin high is very much necessary when I am often so tense. Other support systems that I have found helpful include online bloggers with similar mindsets as my own (sarcastic, dry, rigid).  Mommy play groups which often offer Mom’s Night Out events (going to a wine bar tonight…..HOORAY!).  It takes a village.  You don’t have to mother alone.  In fact, you shouldn’t.  You will find much light in your day, if you have support to look forward to.









Peach Pie Overnight Oats

It’s been a while since you’ve seen anything from “the kitchen” side of this blog. Well, to be honest, I’m in a state of loathing the idea of cooking. 6b7043f47bc621875e8febebb9856b50It’s a combination of being exhausted by the day’s end, from chasing two kids. As well, as having two very ungrateful toddlers who will look me directly in the eye, as they chuck their food across the room, out of revolt. Or, possibly they are crying at the top of their lungs, because you gave them 3 pieces of broccoli, but they wanted 4. And adding another piece of broccoli to the plate now, is completely asinine. It must all go into the garbage, and we must start over with a new plate, with exactly 4 pieces of broccoli on it.


So, mornings are the best time for us all. Waking up a little refreshed. Somewhat hopeful of a fun day ahead. And coffee. MMMMMMMM. Coffee. cc584b8de37cea8c446b90be1bf9b339My two favorite things are going to bed (the kids are asleep) and just lounging there for hours, and in the morning having a hot cup of coffee (before the kids wake up). I’ve recently discovered a delicious, and no-cook breakfast that almost gets me equally as excited. Overnight oats. Have you tried the craze??! It’s seriously YUM. And easy. And anyone can do it. Here’s how:


At night, when you prep your coffee pot for the morning, make this breakfast in under 5 minutes. Put it in the fridge, and both will be there to greet you in the morning with a big fat – I love you – kinda feeling.

Peach Pie Overnight Oats (1 serving)
1/4 Cup old fashioned oats (uncooked)
1/4 Cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1/4 Cup vanilla greek yogurt
1/4 Cup diced peaches or nectarines
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a mason jar. Screw on the lid, shake it, and place it in the fridge. Serve cold. Eat right from the jar. DONE.  Seriously.  Easy.  I. Told. You. So.


IMG_1688(image from almost – you think I have time to take such a beautiful picture??!)

10 minutes in my life.

I had to get to a computer as soon as I could, to put this down, so I would not forget the number of things that just happened to me, in about a 10 minute time frame…let’s see if I can recall them all.


We just arrived home from a great morning out. Both boys got haircuts. We rode some fun rides at the mall. Had lunch, followed by ice cream. Pretty much, as perfect as it gets, with 2 toddlers in tow. We pull into the garage and this is the next 10 minutes of my life.

  1. I turn off the car, and pull my 2 year old, Milo, out of his carseat. He’s old enough to walk up the stairs on his own. (sniff sniff. A stinky diaper. I take a mental note to change it when I get upstairs)
  2. I grab the 7,500 items out of my car that need to go in the house (sippy cups, shoes, snack traps, diaper bag, etc, etc) and place them into the mudroom.
  3. I unbuckle the 1 year old, Oliver.
  4. Walk upstairs.
  5. Chase down Milo, and head to the changing table. He thinks every-fucking-thing we do, is a game of chase.
  6. Clean him up and leave him naked, as we are potty training this week. Let him loose.potty-training
  7. Take the stinky diaper to the garage, downstairs, to dispose of it.
  8. Walk upstairs.
  9. Wash my hands.
  10. Milo is sitting on his potty – cheering for himself “I did it!!!!”
  11. Hurry out to congratulate him.
  12. Let him pick a reward (markers).
  13. Locate his underwear in a toy-ridden battle zone of a living room.
  14. He sits at his table to color.
  15. I myself, use the restroom. (rookie mistake, I know)
  16. Wash my hands.
  17. Find Oliver laughing, while he sits on the potty, with his feet in Milo’s pee. (SONOFA*$@&@&(%!)  maxresdefault
  18. Pick up Oli, head to the bathroom
  19. Wash his feet and hands in the sink.
  20. Clean the potty out.
  21. Wash MY hands.
  22. Find Oli with a roll of paper towels, completely unraveled.  (Seriously child.  I was gone like 8 flipping seconds. Not to mention those are Bounty Select A Size.  You owe me like $4 bucks.)
  23. Look over to see that Milo has drawn all over his paper. His table. His chair. And his hands.
  24. Take him to the bathroom to wash his hands.
  25. Back to the living room. (sniff sniff. Oli has a dirty diaper.)
  26. Take him to the changing table.
  27. Take the stinky diaper to the garage, downstairs, to dispose of it.
  28. Walk upstairs.
  29. Wash hands.
  30. Milo is sitting on his potty AGAIN – cheering for himself “I did it!!!!”
  31. Hurry out to congratulate him.
  32. Let him pick a reward (stickers). He begins sticking them all over his shirt and face.fb_9891bw
  33. Locate his underwear in a toy-ridden war zone of a living room.
  34. Clean the potty.
  35. Clean the marker off the table and chair, using the paper towels Oli has strung about.
  36. Wash my hands.
  37. Put Oliver in bed for a nap easily.
  38. Put Milo in bed for a nap.
  39. Milo is pissed that there are stickers all over his shirt. And insists he cannot nap with them on.
  40. I remove approximately 15 stickers.
  41. Wash hands to remove sticker residue.
  42. Look at the toy-ridden, and paper towel laced, battle zone.
  43. Sigh.
  44. Walk away.  (It’s not there if I can’t see it, right?)lent-messy-toy-room11

Easy Frame for Kid Art


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If you’re like most parents, your kids are always creating masterpiece artwork!  I love each and everyone, but can’t say I love to have my fridge cluttered up.  So, here’s a quick, cheap, and cute solution!  Create this frame which will display the interchanging artwork of your little one(s), in under 30 minutes!

Supplies needed:

  • A wood frame (I found these 11×14 frames clearanced at Michael’s for $2.99!  I grabbed quite a few of them for future projects too)
  • Paint of your choice/paint brush OR spray paint in a can
  • Thin wire
  • Small clothespins (mine were painted from a previous project already)
  • Scissors


  • Paint the frame, and clothes pins in your desired color(s)
  • Allow to dry completely (acrylic paint dries in just minutes)
  • Measure the wire across the inside of your frame, add 2″ to either side. Cut.
  • Secure the wire to the frame (you can staple, or wrap the wire around the open detail of the frame)
  • Secure your child’s artwork to the wire, with 2 clothespins, making sure it’s balanced.


All done!!  So cute.  And you can change it as frequently as your child creates his next Picasso. This week, we checked out a fun artist studio for kids, and brought these two pieces home to display.  These frames are hung right next to their bedroom doors, so they can always look up proudly at their artwork.

Tiger Stripes are Bull….Still

It’s been a year, since I wrote “Tiger Stripes are Bull.” I received a little bit of flack for this post.  I received quite a bit of encouragement, in attempts to boost my confidence.  When this article popped up onto my TimeHop, I decided it needed to be readdressed.  Painted in a different light.

I read an article recently on one of my favorite Blogs, Scary Mommy.  If you don’t know Scary Mommy – it’s raunchy satire and candid honesty about the “joys” of motherhood.  Lola, the author, wrote recently about her views on the postpartum journey. What really peaked my need to re-write my own stance, is the comments I read, following the article.  The boxing match went back and forth with comments such as these:

  • “Quite frankly I think #1 is insulting. I’ve never hated my body and especially after birth. I’m not super model either and I have wibbly wobbly bits. Being a new mother is hard enough without slapping a dose of “don’t look at yourself naked for 6 months” on top of it.” – Keely
  • “There is a world of difference between my body after my first child and my body after my second child. I am six weeks postpartum, and the sight of my stomach this time around almost makes me want to cry. And I was always one to embrace my post baby, stretch marked, c-section scarred belly, but this is something completely different ha ha.” – Caitlin
  • “Your NOT the same after you birthed life from your body. It’s an awesome thing your body can do….” – Misty

So, she’s a bit, uh, frank, in her article.  Some call it exaggeration.  Some call it spot-on.  The thing is – not every person will relate – because guess what, we are different people, with different experiences.  We each need to find our own support group, that we can connect with.  I find Scary Mommy to be a type of therapy.  I love the outspokenness.  The cursing.  The bawdiness.  IT’S HILARIOUS.  Most of all, I love that someone is thinking out loud, as if they pulled the thoughts right from my own mind (swear words and all). I could almost puke, when I read a post about “embracing your body” for how it created life.  I just don’t get it – because my personal perspective couldn’t be farther skewed from this.  And I don’t mean that YOU should loathe your body after pregnancy, but I am saying do not tell ME that I shouldn’t.

Women need to unite on all sides of this body image war.  Find the support system that you can best identify with.  I need to hear others say the same things as I am thinking.  It makes me feel human.  Less alone.  It’s completely therapeutic for me, knowing that I am not the only mother out there with negativity racing throughout their minds. And, if you are team “belly-lover” then find your own damn support system….elsewhere.  It’s not your place to come shaking your finger at me, telling me I’m wrong in MY opinions of MY body.  If you are my friend, then it’s your place to listen quietly (if you disagree), vent with me (if you agree), or drink a glass of wine with me (well, this is for either side).

So, how do I feel about my body now, 14 months postpartum, and no future pregnancies intended?  I still look in the mirror with extreme judgement. I still absolutely hate the sugar-coated, bullshit term of “tiger stripes.” But, I do feel differently.  I believe the memory of my pre-pregnancy body continues to fade over time.  I have found comfort in support groups that I can relate to, knowing that many feel and/or look like I do. I feel best when I am exercising and eating for health, not for a number on the scale (although, this is a constant and continuous battle).  I still dream of winning the lottery and having a massive, surgical overhaul. Someday….(sigh). But for now, I will continue to laugh with my friends who support me as I am, and don’t challenge me on the issue.

I. Hate. Mealtime.

I spend about an hour every week meal planning.  Then I grocery shop with a 1 and 2 year old in tow, for another hour.  I make approximately 4-6 meals in a week which likely takes 4 hours to prepare.  I clean up dishes for probably 3 hours per week.  That is 8 hours of meal-stuff.  And, I’m writing this while my 2 year old is having dinner, and trying to convince me to “let me down. go play.”  We are at 20 minutes now – and not a single bite has entered his mouth.  Sorry.  Correction – one bite was placed in the mouth, gagged upon, then I made him spit it out before he hurled (yep – this happens). I ordered pizza tonight – because it’s about the only thing that everyone in the family will eat.  What is wrong with this kid??  PIZZA.  Little does he know, when he’s older, he’ll force himself to not sit down and eat an entire pie.  But for now, he’s fallen into the picky toddler trap.  WE’VE fallen into the picky toddler trap.  Is it true that it’s parent induced?  If so, why do SO many kids give us hell at dinner?

My sister was blessed with a good eater.  Her daughter’s favorite food has been sushi since like 6 years old.  I’m beyond envious.  I remember making those statements when I was pregnant, or when my first-born just started solid foods.  “I WILL NOT TOLERATE A PICKY EATER.”  And here we are today, rotating about 4 meals that are hit-or-miss, depending on how the stars align that day.


My 1 year old is a good eater.  If it makes it to his mouth.  I think this is pretty typical of babies.  Willing to try anything.  Not hard to please.  But – the tides turn.  When?  Why? I almost snicker when I have friends who speak so highly of their baby who eats everything!  And, I don’t have much hope for my youngest either. I make a meal for my husband, myself, and the youngest.  And the toddler, well, he gets whatever he didn’t have for breakfast or lunch that day.  He too used to be a good baby, and eat what I made him.  Hell, you’ve seen me blog boastfully his pictures eating veggie quiche and turkey meatballs.

Gone. Are. The. Days. 

Every so often, I get a surge of positivity (or possibly guilt).  I buy new things that my friend’s kids “love” or a make new recipe from Pinterest which hides veggies in a chocolate cake or something equally as ridiculous. Then, my toddler, craps on my dreams.  He may have an enthusiastic bite or two (and the rest goes in the garbage), but most days, he won’t even put it in his mouth.  Son, you own me $14 worth of kale in that chocolate cake! I become deflated and bitter about meals again.  We go back to the rotation because it seems to make us all happier.

I’ve read a million articles about what to and not to do – mostly when I have those June Cleaver, positive kind of moments.  I’m pretty sure I’m a mom that would be judged and scolded in that new Similac commercial. Food has always been my #1 worry, with both kids.  Formula vs breast milk?  How much?  How often?  The right balance?  Too many preservatives?  Not enough calories? And so on, and so on.  And still, to this moment, I’m worried that my son has not had enough to eat before bed because he refused to eat his dinner.  But, I can proudly state he will eat any fruit under the sun.  And loves yogurt and almonds.  So, if he likes to mix a chicken nugget in there with it – SO, FRIGGIN, WHAT?!??



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SO! We are at a major and exciting transition in our lives. We’ve just relocated back to the Pacific Northwest, after being gone for 11 years. Although we weren’t always sure we were going to have children, they are the ones that ultimately brought us home. And for many reasons, including this, we have them to thank.

When I say we are in transition – that means we are living in the home of a retired old couple, who heads south for the winter. And, if you’ve ever been to Grandma’s house, you know that it is full of “pretties” AKA – my kids want to touch it and/or smash it on the ground. About 90% of our day sounds like this: “no, don’t touch” and “that’s not ours.” And of course the natural sibling chastisings of “don’t hit your brother” or “your brother is not a horse” fill the other 10% of our day. In addition, besides what we brought on the plane ride over, all of our belongings are in storage. So, if you can only imagine, the 5 toys we thought were so fun and exciting were exhausted about 5 minutes after we unpacked them. And lastly, our daily routine flew out the window the moment we closed the door of our Orlando home. From hotel living, to time zone changes, and new bedrooms for all (did I mention my youngest sleeps in a pack n play in the bathroom?) – our world is upside down.

To say that I am stressed, overwhelmed, and actually BORED – barely scrapes the surface. We have made an offer on a home, and cannot wait to begin our lives there. But, we have 6 more weeks of this phase of life before we can do so. I am constantly nagging the kids, they are constantly bickering with each other, and we are all bored of these 4 walls we are living in. I find that my voice has naturally become shrill-like and about 3 levels louder than it was when we were scheduled and comfortable with life. And recently, my oldest has begun to repeat things that I say like “give me that, NNNOOOWWWWW” (always emphasizing the now with a super scowl). My husband is training in his new role, and is working all sorts of odd hours to ensure face time with all aspects of the business. So, that leaves me with the kids about 3-4 hours longer in the day, without him. God, I miss him.

Last night, I was attempting to make dinner.  My oldest kept interrupting me to help him rebuild a fort that his little brother was demolishing every 20 seconds.  After the 5th or so interruption – I erupted.  “NOOOOOOOOOO. YOU DO IT. I AM TRYING TO MAKE YOUR DINNER. NO. GET OUT OF HERE.” And he ran into the other room, upset.  Not sure if it was my yelling, or if it was the fact that his fort was just gonna lay there on the ground now.  Regardless, the guilt sank in immediately.  Still thinking about it this morning over coffee, I came across this blog about the #5ringstostopyelling.  Wow – what timing.  Facebook is suspiciously creepy in how it always seems to know what’s on your mind (maybe I ought to tape over my computer camera!).  I knew immediately that I needed some accountability for my temper.  If I could just on occasion, pause before erupting, I am sure I could better handle such situations.  Is it going to be easy – HELL NO.  Will I fail? Undoubtedly.  Here’s an excerpt to loop you in:

The Plan is Simple

Start each day with all five rings on your right hand and move one to your left hand each time you have a setback.

What’s a setback? Losing your patience, saying “no” out of habit instead of really considering the request, having unrealistic expectations, etc., etc. I’m sure you have your own list.

Be warned, the beginning could be tough. We’re going to be taking a long hard look at our parenting selves and we might not always like what we see. But hang in there! If your left hand has already filled up with rings before lunchtime, just remember that we’re all a work in progress and we all have to start somewhere.

Run your thumb across those 5 rings and remind yourself that you’re doing your best and you’re doing something real to try to do better.

I don’t know yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the days when fewer and fewer rings switch hands are near. And the payoff is going to be huge.



Stackable gold and silver rings

So today, I have decided to take the challenge, and have ordered my 5 rings!  You can find the rings through Stella and Dot. And for a limited time, I’ve partnered with my friend Karrie (a Stella and Dot rep!) – She is willing to offer you FREE STANDARD SHIPPING on your rings.  All you have to do is email her directly, and she will place your order with no shipping charges:

Once I receive my rings, I will be providing short updates about my successes and failures with this challenge.  I’d love to have a small army of moms to join me in the #5ringstostopyelling challenge.  We can share our stories.  Vent.  Rejoice.  Or whatever else is needed to support one another.


Soft Caramel Popcorn


This recipe is passed down through my Grandma.  But, my Aunt Teri, is definitely the one to have mastered it.  Unfortunately, I don’t get home often enough, but when I do, Teri always treats us with this AH-MAZING treat!  The recipe makes a ton, and usually, it’s gone within 24 hours.  It begins as a snack after lunch.  A few glasses of wine later, it becomes an evening munchie.  And, finally, it is an incredible hangover cure as breakfast, with a strong cup of coffee.  I love the ladies in my family for so many reasons, including this delicious recipe!


  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of light Karo syrup
  • 1 can Eagle brand, sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 5 qts of popped corn
  1. Pop 5 quarts of plain popcorn with an air popper.
  2. Melt butter, brown sugar, and syrup in a medium size sauce pan.
  3. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil, over medium-medium high heat.
  4. Add the can of condensed milk.  Continue to stir.
  5. Stir, and cook until the temperature meets “soft ball” stage of 240-245 degrees.
  6. Once you reach the soft ball temperature, drop a teaspoon of the caramel sauce into a cup of water.  If you can pull the caramel out, and form into a soft ball – it’s perfect!
  7. Stir in the vanilla.
  8. Pour caramel sauce over the popped corn.  Turn slowly, while folding the caramel through all of the popcorn.
  9. Cool to room temperature before eating.
  10. Will store at room temperature for 5 days….if it lasts that long!!
  1. Pop 5 quarts of plain popcorn with an air popper.


2. Melt butter, brown sugar, and syrup in a medium size sauce pan

3. While stirring constantly, bring to a boil, over medium-medium high heat.


4. Add the can of condensed milk.  Continue to stir.


5. Stir, and cook until the temperature meets “soft ball” stage of 240-245 degrees.

6. Once you reach the soft ball temperature, drop a teaspoon of the caramel sauce into a cup of water.  If you can pull the caramel out, and form into a soft ball – it’s perfect!

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7.Stir in the vanilla.

8.Pour caramel sauce over the popped corn.  Turn slowly, while folding the caramel through all of the popcorn

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9.Cool to room temperature before eating.

10. Will store at room temperature for 5 days….if it lasts that long!!


My mom has made a book of all of my Grandma’s recipes, including this one!


Great memories for decades, with this popcorn.

My Husband’s in Vegas While I’m at Home Playing “Craps”

Yesterday I read an empowering article, about being a SAHM, and how that creates a luxury for the working spouse.  What an amazing perspective, and what perfect timing, seeing my husband is “working” in Las Vegas this week.  What a luxury for him to be able to travel for work, and we don’t have to worry about who will watch the kids.  That’s me.  Every. Time.

Lately, my 2 year old is on nap-strike.  He is actually a very good boy at “resting” in his bed for 2 hours while he talks, squawks, screeches, and always stays put.  His newest tactic for stalling the sandman, is pooping.  For 24 months, he’s been a morning pooper.  You could depend on that schedule like white on rice.  But since converting to a toddler bed, he conveniently poops around 1:30pm, every day (naps start at 1pm, mind you).  Because I’ve picked up on this, I generally go in and change him – and place him back in bed for more “rest.” Today, I put the boys down at 1pm after a very busy morning.  I do my best every day to wear the kids out, praying a nap will occur.  I jumped in the shower, and around 1:20, there was silence.  YESSSSSS!!  I won!  HAHAHAHAHA.  I watched a little DVR, started an Etsy shop, cleaned up my craft room, prepared for a baby shower, and did 2 loads of laundry.  WOW!  This nap thing is legit.  Around 4pm, the baby wakes.  Yes, he interrupts my productivity, but I can’t complain.  Haven’t had an afternoon like that in weeks!!!!  4:30 passes.  5:00 passes.

Ok.  I never let my son sleep past 5pm, if I expect a reasonable bedtime.  So, I head to his room, ready to wake the monster.

(sniff, sniff, sniff). “What the hell??!”

Surely, he crapped while I was in the shower, and I’m just now discovering it, since he was so peacefully silent.  Ok, let’s see what we’re working with.


Yep.  He crapped.  And decided to dig it out of his diaper and toss it all over the floor, before settling into a 3 hour nap.  I approach the crib – and pull him out, to see smears all over the crib and sheets. He greets me with “clean up, mama.”  Oh yeah??!  Thanks Milo.  Is this fucking Walmart?  Clean up on aisle 7??!  Yeah, I’ll go ahead and clean that up for you.

I change his diaper, and head to the bathroom for a bird bath in the sink.  I manage to scrub him elbows down and knees down in the sink with antibacterial soap.  I scrape under his nails, with my own nails, to ensure all is gone.  Ok.  Time to clean up the room.  I head to the living room (where baby is so patiently waiting) and put Mickey Mouse ClubHouse on.  I have 24 minutes to get this under control.  Ready. Set. Go.

I grab the vacuum.  The mop.  The bleach.  A handful of rags.  I head into the room, strip the sheets, pick up and flush all the loose turds (lovely).  I quickly smear the bleach around on the floor.  I best better check on the kids watchig Mickey in the living room….

Toddler.  On the couch.  Where I left him.  Glazed eyes from the ever so entertaining Mickey episode.  Perfect.

Baby.  On the floor.  Where I left him.  Splashing in a puddle. Ok.  Wait.  WHATT?!!?  Splashing in WHAT puddle?  Oh, he just spit up his bottle and is giggly playing in it.  FML.

Baby gets a 20 second bird bath in the sink now.  I clean up the puke puddle.  And head back to the poop room. Moral of the story?  Well.  There is none. Hope you are having fun, honey!!!  :)