Coming to Terms With Life As A Stay-At-Home Mom

life as a stay-at-home mom

After 15 years of working my way up corporate ladders, becoming a stay-at-home mom was definitely a bit of a culture shock. I found myself suddenly dreading the question: “What do you do for a living?” For the first 3 months of being a stay-at-home mom, I answered this question with a lie. Not because I was intentionally trying to mislead the interrogator, but simply because I hadn’t come to terms with my new role yet. In my mind, and my instant gut reaction – I always responded, “I do marketing for Hyatt Hotels.” I was proud of that position, I generally liked telling people what I did because it was an interesting role and I worked hard at it. I was successful.

After I finally realized that I was telling these lies, I switched my story to a more truthful tone, “I’m a stay-at-home mom.” The reactions this response prompted were unexpected, to say the least. Depending on who I was speaking with, I either received blank stares, a judgmental eye, or pure and simple jealousy. I could physically feel these acquaintances writing me off as someone who perhaps lacked education, work ethic, determination – maybe some even thought I opted for the easy road and now lived some “cush” life without a grueling 9-5. Others simply felt they probably had nothing in common with such a simple-minded person or simply couldn’t relate. Fellow mothers, who didn’t or couldn’t give up their jobs after having children either seemed to judge me for wasting my education and a spot in corporate America or looked at me envious of my “easy-breezy” lifestyle.

I’ve come to despise these reactions, hence me hating the question itself in the first place. I found myself desperately wanting others to know that I was educated, that I put myself through college and have worked hard for everything I’ve ever had, and that prior to becoming “mom”, I was climbing the corporate ladder with one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. I was not lazy, I was not on some “free ride”. For some reason, I needed people to know that, so I found myself working my past resume into the conversation somehow – proving my self-worth to these outsiders who had probably already made up their mind about me the second “stay-at-home” left my lips.

The only time I ever felt validated for my “stay-at-home mom” title, (besides my husband telling me how grateful he is for me – he’s a gem) - was when my husband’s grandfather looked me straight in the eye and said, “I think it’s so wonderful what you’re doing for your family – staying home and raising your daughter. You should be really proud.” That simply stated compliment was so shockingly different from the other responses I had grown accustomed to hearing, that I fought back tears and could barely spit out a muffled, “Thank you.” 

THANK YOU to this sweet old man for understanding what it meant to stay home with children — he should know, his wife had stayed home with five! And he was right — why wasn’t I proud of my new title? Why was I letting these negative reactions and judgmental tones determine my own self-worth?

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room — I am lucky. My husband is the breadwinner and he works extremely hard to financially support our family. When my daughter was born, I made the decision to leave the corporate world and stay home with her. A decision that I know many of my friends and acquaintances never had the opportunity to make because of financial or family situations. Others did have my same decision, and they chose careers over staying home, and to that I say; to each their own, no judgement here. I could have easily made the decision to go back to work and continue building my career – it was a close call. But in the end, I decided that I loved my job, but I loved the idea of staying home and raising my daughter more. The decision was mine, and my husband’s, and we made it together.

But let’s get one thing straight — staying home and raising a child/children is as far from “cush” as it gets. You punch in for this job and you never punch out — unless you go back to work of course. I’ll tell you what looks really “cush” to me right about now — sitting in my old private (and quiet) office, answering emails and phone calls while having uninterrupted conversations with adults, attending high-level meetings in my perfectly pressed suits and manicured nails, and receiving praises and raises for a job well done — that sort of lifestyle feeds the ego.

Often being a stay-at-home mom is a thankless existence that requires you to pat yourself on the back every now and then — a role that often gets lost under stereotypical labels associated with yoga pants and loads of laundry. (Dont’ get me wrong – I do wear yoga pants and I do A LOT of laundry – but the point is, there’s more to my job than that). Unlike my past corporate life where I kept my eye on big goals and projects, I now live and breathe by the small accomplishments my toddler and I achieve throughout our day; like teaching her how to pick and smell flowers, brush her own teeth, say please and thank you, or eat all of her veggies (well, the veggies are a work in progress).

When you’re consumed by these small, sometimes mundane, accomplishments every day, it’s hard to see the big picture that paints the importance of a stay-at-home mom. It’s hard to truly grasp that these small actions that fill our days are molding my daughter into the woman that she will become someday.

It took some time for me to appreciate my new role and what it really entailed. When I finally stood back and realized that I’m the biggest influence in my daughter’s life right now and my constant presence and guidance is impacting her overall existence, my role as a stay-at-home mom seemed larger than life. I suddenly could care less about outside judgement or not feeling “appreciated” enough in society. Me staying home with my daughter was working for our family, and I couldn’t ask for a better reward.

9 Things Pregnant Women Are Sick of Hearing From Strangers

things pregnant women are sick of hearing from strangers

I want to clarify that this post does not pertain to my beloved family and close friends – people I don’t mind getting personal with and sharing details of my life with. This one is dedicated to the Nosy Nancy’s of the world who I’ve never met before and will never see again after our little “encounters”.

Now well into my second pregnancy, I’ve noticed that strangers LOVE talking to me about my pregnancy. It’s really quite baffling. I sort of noticed it during my first pregnancy, but I was just so enthralled in my new state of maternity that I didn’t mind the questions and sometimes off-putting remarks. Now that this is my second time around and the nostalgia of being pregnant has faded, some words for the wise: No, I don’t want to talk to you about it; yes, you’re being too personal, and for the love of God, DO.NOT. touch my stomach. You’ve been warned…

1. When are you due? 
I know, I know – this is the inevitable question – but must we really share with these complete strangers the presumed birth date of our new baby? I always wonder – what’s in it for them? So they can quickly calculate how far along I am in the 9 month journey and then make a judgement call on if my stomach looks “about 8 months” large?

2. Are There Twins In There?
This one always comes from old men who think they’re being funny. I get it, I get it – you’re making a joke because I’m so hugely pregnant. You’re hilarious, sir…really, you should be a comedian.

3. You Look Great!
This is all well and fine, but I mostly dislike the tone that accompanies this “compliment” – which is usually pure shock. It’s as if they picture all pregnant women laid up on the couch, sitting pretty at 500 pounds and stuffing their faces with donuts. (OK, while I might not be 500 pounds, there’s been a time or two – or maybe every Sunday – when I’ve been posted up on the couch with some maple bars).

4. Wow, They’ll Be Close in Age
This one usually follows the “when are you due” question. And after the complete stranger has computed my personal life (what month of pregnancy I’m in and the age of my toddler), the light bulb goes off for them: this woman’s kids will be close in age. Thank you, Captain Obvious! And from here there’s a 50/50 chance that they’ll either go into their experience of also having children close in age and tell you stories of how well they played together or, they take the negative route and say, good luck – I can’t imagine having two under two! Big gulps.

5. Let Me Guess — it’s a Girl! (or Boy!)
I always think it’s odd when complete strangers try to guess the gender of my unborn baby. Do they think they have some sort of psychic power? I blame it on all the old wives tales like, “if a pregnant woman is carrying high, it’s a girl — low, it’s a boy” and other assumptions that make every Suzie Q at the grocery store a maternity expert. I secretly love when they get it wrong though: Nope, nosy Nancy – it’s a boy. Better luck next time. 

6. You’re All Belly
I know this is meant to be a sweet gesture but really, they’re not fooling anyone. What are they going to tell me instead, “Wow, your arms are looking really FAT!” Or, “Yikes, look at the size of your thighs.” And let’s be honest, they didn’t know how I looked before pregnancy so can they really comment now on the fact that I’ve only gained weight in my mid-section? Me thinks not.

7. Have You Had Any Weird Cravings?
This one always makes me feel like they think I’m a mad woman who can’t control my eating habits (don’t look her straight in the eye or she might try to steal our bagel – these pregos are unpredictable!) And again, what’s in it for the questioner? So she can go home and tell her husband over dinner tonight that she met a pregnant woman at Starbucks who will only eat chocolate covered pickles with sprinkle on top? I refuse to be a part of the gossip chain so I usually reply with a smile, “just salty things.”

8. Your Bump is So Cute
I know this one is well-meaning but honey, I do NOT feel cute right now; carrying my 19 month old on one hip and trying to push the cart at Target with my hair disheveled and wearing my prego uniform including my husband’s baggy t-shirt and my tried-and-true yoga pants (even though I haven’t been to yoga since my daughter was born). But, thanks, complete stranger, thanks for trying. And again my question; what’s the alternative? “Wow, mam, you have an ugly bump – it looks abnormal. Really, you should get that checked.”

9. Can I Touch It?
Umm, excuse me, have we met? Can I awkwardly touch your shoulder and invade your personal space? If your answer is “no” to either of those questions, then my answer is most definitely, NO! And, spoiler alert: it feels like a basketball!

Preserve Family Memories with New App, everyStory

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by everyStory. All opinions are my own.

As a living, breathing modern-day mom, I have a ton of photos of my daughter and our family living on my phone. I’ve been searching for a way to safely preserve these memories besides just downloading them to my computer (which I hardly ever back-up – yikes!) Of course I post some photos to my Instagram or Facebook page, but wouldn’t it be nice to know all of your photos are safely stored in one secure location where only your closest family and friends can view them? Enter the new app, everyStory.

everyStory app

everyStory is a cloud-based story-sharing platform, created to preserve memories by saving photos and audio for generations to come in the safest way possible. This one-of-a kind tool is now available for iPad devices during open-Beta and can be downloaded in the App Store. Users can import photos from a computer, iOS photo album or scan physical photos directly into the app using a device camera. The platform integrates a social network component by encouraging users to tag photos with people, and/or by location, subject or date.

The Coolest Part?

To create an interactive photo-album, everyStory lets multiple users record an audio message, on the same photos, in a shared album or within a group. Users can simply tap a tagged person’s name to hear the story that is connected to a specific photo or album. Now, that’s special!

“I created everyStory after being diagnosed with colon cancer and realizing my son may never remember my voice or hear my stories. I am passionate about providing people with an innovative way to preserve and share memories forever in the most interactive way possible,” said Dave Keene, CTO of everyStory. 

It’s sort of like fusing the most popular file sharing and storing platform with the most popular social network into one amazing new app.

everyStory App

How to Use the App:

everyStory has endless uses but is especially perfect for sharing photos with family – perhaps of a newborn child, a special family vacation, a momentous occasion or even a grandparent’s life legacy – all with special user-generated audio to accompany each shot.  Simply tap someone’s name to listen to their special memory and view slide shows by replaying the picture and audio captured. Users are invited to join groups and are able to detail their special memories and share with others via an email invite.

everyStory App

Membership Options: 

Free Membership: Includes 500 free photos and unlimited audio. everyStory’s referral program allows free members and the referred new user to receive space for an extra 100 photos.

Premium Membership: Unlimited audio and photo storage is offered with the premium membership, $3.99 per month or $39.99 annually, along with access to exclusive content.

Give it a Try!

  1. Visit www.everystory.us
  2. Review “Pricing & Plans” located under the “How It Works” tab to select a plan option and create a new account.
  3. Import photos directly from a computer, iOS photo album or scan photos from a device camera to begin building your interactive photo albums.
  4. Tag photos using the audio recording capability to capture stories, ranging from minutes to hours.
  5. Create groups to collaboratively share photo memories in a safe and secure environment.
  6. Utilize the referral program to receive additional storage space and continue to save special memories forever.

Visit everyStory for more information.
Download the new app here.
Connect with everyStory on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post brought to you by everyStory. All opinions are my own.

Healthy Spinach + Bananas Breakfast Muffins Recipe for Toddlers

I originally posted this recipe on Tribe Magazine, but I wanted to share it here as well because it’s one of our favorite toddler recipes and has been such a big hit with other mama readers! It’s a perfect breakfast recipe for picky toddlers who refuse to eat any vegetables. Also, don’t let the green color fool you — they’re REALLY good and a breakfast staple in our house now. A big thank you to fellow toddler mom, Ashley, for sharing this recipe with me!

Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins Recipe for Toddlers

Breakfast Muffins Recipe for Toddlers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (one of the single serving cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh organic spinach (uncooked)*
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup organic pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *could also add shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, or shredded yellow squash (all raw) to really pack it full of veggies!

Breakfast Muffins Recipe for Toddlers

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Put the first seven ingredients (applesauce, egg, vanilla, spinach, banana, maple syrup and coconut oil) in a blender or food processor and blend.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a smaller mixing bowl.
  4. Add the wet spinach mixture from blender to the dry ingredients.
  5. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. You can use a spoon or spatula. The mixture might be dense. Add a splash of milk to loosen it up if you need to, but the mixture should resemble a thick pancake dough. It won’t pour easily, will need a spoon.
  6. Scoop the batter into greased muffins tins.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees  (12 minutes for mini-muffins or 17 minutes for regular-sized muffins).

Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffins Recipe for Toddlers

 

A Creative Moms’ Night Out with Inspire San Diego Studio + Giveaway!

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by Inspire San Diego Studio. All opinions are my own.

You know me; always looking for a fun moms’ night out here in San Diego or an out-of-the-box date night for me and the hubby. That’s why I was excited to learn about Inspire San Diego Studio and their amazing art classes in San Diego and La Mesa.

What makes Inspire San Diego Studio unique, is their focus on the art making process and not so much on the final product. They also love to celebrate individuality, so you create one of a kind art at every workshop (not just the ol’ reliable ‘starry night’ painting at every class). I love their art style and how they’ll customize classes for adults, kids and private parties.

art class San Diego art class San Diego

Adult Art Classes

Inspire San Diego Studio mixes it up every class, so you can pick which piece of art you’d like to paint or even choose a class that will paint calendars, hand-made cards or wine glasses instead of canvas!

art class San Diego  art classes San Diego  art classes San Diego

Scheduling a class is super easy – just check their calendar of upcoming classes (click on the images in the calendar to receive more information, pricing and specifics), pick a project, date or time that works for you, purchase your seat and get ready for a fun, creative evening!

Inspire San Diego Studio provides all of the materials, so no need to worry about coming prepared (except with your creative juices flowing, of course). And speaking of juices, many of their classes are held at local, fun restaurants where you can order drinks and food! Check the calendar for different locations!

art classes San Diego

Kid Classes

Children’s art workshops are perfect for ages 7+. All materials are provided and parents are welcome to participate at no extra cost to help work on the same project together. Some classes also feature “Mommy and Me” themes, like this adorable Mommy and Me Ballet Dress class.

kids art classes San Diego

Time and pricing varies so make sure to check out the Kids’ Calendar for up-to-date information.

Private Parties

If you’re planning a fun occasion (think birthday party, bachelorette, family reunion, baby shower, etc.) or want to host your own moms’ night in, corporate building event or fundraiser, Inspire San Diego Studio will come to you! For groups between 8-60 people, Inspire SD Studio will lead a fun private class right in the comfort of your own home, work or event space and customize the art project to fit your theme.

art parties San Diego

Private parties are $35 per person (travel charges may apply). For more information, check out their website and shoot an email to info@inspiresdstudio.com

Contact:

Inspire San Diego Studio
info@inspiresdstudio.com
619.430.2318
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Special Discount for Mommy Project Readers:

Mommy Project readers, enjoy 10% off any class listed on the calendar when you enter code: MOMMYPROJECT at checkout.  If you’re interested in hosting a private event (8 person minimum), mention “Mommy Project” via phone or email and receive 10% off per person, plus the host gets to paint for free with a party of 10 or more! 

Giveaway

Inspire San Diego Studio is also giving away FOUR gift certificates, each good for one free workshop. Enter to win below and FOUR random winners will be chosen on Friday, July 17, 2015! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Inspire San Diego Studio. All opinions are my own.

Where the Turf Meets the Surf: A Guide to This Season at the Del Mar Racetrack

July in San Diego means the sun is shining bright, the beaches are bustling and opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack is just around the corner! Where the surf meets the turf down in old Del Mar, this season will stretch, Thursday, July 16 through Monday, September 7. Followed by the new “fall” season that will take off on Thursday, October 29 through Sunday, November 29.

As the Del Mar Racetrack gears up for its 76th season (this is not their first rodeo, if you know what I mean), make sure to mark your calendars with these fun events:

Del Mar Racetrack Special Events:

Thursday, July 16: Opening Day - Complete with the track’s Opening Day Hats Contest

Every Friday: 4:00 Fridays - Every Friday (and on selected Saturdays) throughout the season musical acts swing into full motion after the races. Just a teaser on this year’s vibrant slate include Paul Oakenfold, Weezer, Steel Pulse, Pepper and a reggae festival with Ziggy Marley.

Every Saturday & Sunday: Family Weekends – Join the family friendly party at the infield with kids’ free admission and only $6 per adult. Enjoy games, pony rides, face painting, magic shows and more!

del mar racetrack

Saturday, July 25 and Saturday, August 29: Del Mar Craft Beer Festival - because beer is kinda our thing in SD.

Sunday, July 19: Family Fun Day and Webkinz plush horse giveaway  - Bring the whole family and take advantage of the numerous FREE attractions including magic shows, rock climbing, a baseball clinic, crafts, pony rides and much more! Racetrack admission is FREE for children 17 & under, adults are $6.

del mar racetrack

Saturday, August 22: TVG Pacific Classic - True horse racing aficionados rejoice – this is the day the track will present the 25th edition of its richest and most prestigious event, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, run at a mile and a quarter and sure to lure many of the best runners in the land.

Thursday, October 29: Opening Day for Bing Crosby Season - This time the “throwback” meet gets a big buzz opener with two days of championship racing – the $26-million Breeders’ Cup being held at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky – presented on the first Friday and Saturday (October 30 and 31) of the session.

For more event details visit: http://www.delmarscene.com/calendar
Summer racing at Del Mar will take place in its usual Wednesday through Sunday format with the lone exception being the holiday closing day Monday (9/7). First post daily will be at 2 p.m. with the exceptions of Fridays (4 p.m.). Fall racing will be conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis with a first post of 12:30 p.m. A notable exception to that routine will be the 11 a.m. first post on Thursday, November 26, which is Thanksgiving Day. For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit www.DelMarScene.com. You can follow Del Mar on Twitter and Instagram, @DelMarRacing or become a fan at www.Facebook.com/DelMarRaces.

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe: Chicken, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stew

I’ve been on a new recipe kick lately because I’m trying to enforce “family dinners” where my husband and I both sit down with our toddler and enjoy the same meal together. We have a picky little eater, so I usually scour Pinterest for new recipes that I think she might like.

I’m also all about convenience these days. Any mom with a toddler knows that cooking needs to be fast and easy with a little one “helping” in the kitchen. Oh, I see you took all of the pots and pans out of the cabinet again – really, you shouldn’t have.  Any recipe with more than 10 ingredients or that requires more than 2 pots/pans (and excess dishes for later) gets cut from our weekly dinners.

That’s why I love this easy slow cooker recipe with chicken, quinoa and sweet potatoes. It is bursting with flavor but also includes mostly healthy ingredients to fuel the whole family. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipe:

healthy slow cooker recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 big pieces of organic boneless, skinles chicken breasts
  • 1 package of quinoa + seasoning (I used the Olive Oil and Rosemary flavor)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) organic petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) organic black beans
  • 5 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 packet of organic chili seasoning

Directions:

  • Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes.
  • Drain and rinse black beans.
  • Add: chicken breasts, quinoa + seasoning, cubed sweet potatoes, rinsed black beans, petite diced tomatoes can, minced garlic, chicken broth and chili seasoning.
  • Place on high for about 4 hours.
  • After 4 hours, use fork to shred the chicken while still in the slow cooker, then mix all together and serve immediately.
  • That’s it!

Enjoy! 

First Pregnancy vs. Second Pregnancy

I’ve been reminiscing about my first pregnancy lately and how it was so extremely different from this second pregnancy. We’re talking night and day! I’ll also be the first to admit that I was a little anal-retentive with my first one. I’ve relaxed A LOT this time around, so I’m sharing some funny differences between a first pregnancy vs. second pregnancy:

Frist Pregnancy vs. Second Pregnancy

First Pregnancy: You document your nutrition and ensure each food group is a part of your daily diet.

Second Pregnancy: Is gold fish off the floor and your toddler’s leftovers considered a full meal?

 

First Pregnancy: You take photos every week to document your growing little bump.

Second Pregnancy: Woops, you’re already in the third trimester; better take a picture of the bump so you can document it for the baby book that you’ll never have time to make anyway!

 

First Pregnancy: You avoid soft cheeses, turkey sandwiches, sushi and wine like the plague.

Second Pregnancy: Ehh- everything *safely* in moderation.

 

First Pregnancy: Your nursery is complete and perfect 3 months into pregnancy.

Second Pregnancy: You’re scrambling to get the room and “gear” together up until the last second.

 

First Pregnancy: Most of your soon-to-be son’s/daughter’s clothes are purchased new and hanging nicely in his/her closet months in advance.

Second Pregnancy: You’re all about the hand-me-downs – either from your older kids or your friends’ kids – spit-up stains and all! You also consider if it would be wrong to dress your newborn son in your daughter’s old pink pajamas – who will know?

 

First Pregnancy: You attend every class offered on child-birth, parenting, and breastfeeding and take notes.

Second Pregnancy: You could teach those classes in your sleep.

 

First Pregnancy: You read every pregnancy and parenting book cover to cover, sometimes twice.

Second Pregnancy: What is this thing called “reading” and who the hell has time for it?

 

First Pregnancy: You complete pregnancy-safe workouts at least three times per week.

Second Pregnancy: Chasing around your toddler and walking the dog = exercise complete.

 

First Pregnancy: You do your kegel exercises every day in preparation for labor.

Second Pregnancy: This time around the baby will just fall right out, right? ;)

 

First Pregnancy: You track your weight gain weekly, if not daily, to make sure you’re growing in the “normal” range.

Second Pregnancy: You have no idea how much you weigh except when your doctor checks you every month, because you threw away your personal scale after the first baby. (I gave the weight tracking duty to my husband: “Just tell me if I’m getting really fat” ;)

 

What else would you add?

Healthy Breakfast Casserole Recipe

My toddler is starting to eat what we eat at every meal so I’ve been on a serious casserole kick lately. Casseroles are so easy to make for family meals, are great for leftovers, and, if done right, can also be very healthy. That’s why I was excited to try out this Healthy Breakfast Casserole dish – perfect for the whole family!

healthy breakfast casserole

I actually made this dish for dinner because sometimes we like to mix it up and eat breakfast for dinner (we be cray!)

I’m a sucker for crescent rolls, so this was a must as the base of the casserole.

healthy breakfast casserole

 

I also try to hide include as many veggies as I can in any meal I give my toddler, so i packed my egg mixture full of zucchini and spinach.

healthy breakfast casserole

I bought all of my ingredients at Whole Foods Market and opted for organic options to make this breakfast casserole as healthy as possible for my family. Hope you enjoy!

healthy breakfast casserole

Ingredients:

  • 12 Organic Eggs
  • 6-8 Pieces Turkey Bacon (or Sausage) – without nitrates
  • 1 Bag Frozen Shredded Organic Hashbrowns
  • 1 Can Crescent Roll Dough
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Veggies of your choosing (spinach, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, etc.)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Bake or Fry Bacon (or sausage) until done and set aside to cool
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray
  • Place all Crescent Roll Dough on bottom of baking dish
  • Evenly place the frozen shredded hash browns on top of the crescent roll dough
  • Beat 12 eggs together then add your veggies and salt/pepper to egg mixture
  • Pour egg mixture evenly on top of shredded hash browns
  • Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes (or until egg is cooked through)
  • Take out of oven, add shredded cheese evenly across the top
  • Place back in oven until cheese has melted and casserole is bubbly
  • Enjoy with freshly diced avocados on top and/or salsa!

Enjoy!

 

Things That Become Difficult When You Have a Toddler and a Baby Bump

I’ve been lucky enough to have two “normal” pregnancies with no complications so far, and for that I am thankful. But, I will not lie, this second pregnancy has been much harder than my first. Maybe it’s because I just blocked out some of the less-glamorous aspects of being pregnant from my memory after the first time, or maybe it’s because I now have an energetic little toddler running around 24/7. Either way, the simple, small tasks of every day life have become increasingly more and more difficult when you have a toddler and a baby bump. Here are a few that come to mind:

toddler mom

1. ROCKING YOUR TODDLER TO SLEEP OR CUDDLING BEFORE BED TIME
Gone are the days when my toddler can cuddle up on my chest before bed time. She still tries but it’s not the most comfortable of places with a huge basketball between us. The cuddle sessions have evolved over the last few weeks from cuddling on my chest, to cuddling on the side, to now cuddling with Dad. :(

2. PUTTING YOUR TODDLER DOWN TO SLEEP IN HER CRIB
Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Belly bumps make it almost impossible to gently place a toddler in her crib for nap time or bed time – especially if the mattress is on the bottom level. My only solution is to reach in as far as my baby bump will allow and then ever-so-gently drop my toddler onto her mattress while saying a quick prayer that the minor fall doesn’t jolt her wide awake. This works about 75% of the time, and that percentage keeps dwindling as the bump gets bigger and the height of the drop increases.

3. MAKING MEALS FOR YOUR TODDLER
Nausea and food aversions have made it pretty difficult to whip up any sort of weird-smelling vegetable, chicken, or any other food that doesn’t sit well with me on that particular day. What’s worse? Watching your toddler attempt to eat said food while she smears it all over her face and the high chair. I’m still trying to perfect hiding my look of disgust during meal time. “Mmm, yummy green beans!” (barf!)

4. READING WITH YOUR TODDLER ON YOUR LAP
My daughter LOVES reading books so this has been a big adjustment for us. No longer can she sit directly on my lap while turning through the pages of her favorite books. We’ve switched our routine to her sitting directly beside me, tucked under my arm enjoying Good Night Moon for the 50th time that day.

5. PUTTING SHOES ON A TODDLER
Bending down to almost ground level to place shoes on a moving target is quite the challenge. I’ve found that counters come in nicely, if you can get your little one to sit still for more than 5 seconds and not jump off!

6. OVERALL EXHAUSTION
During my first pregnancy I worked full time, and often kept long hours at the office Monday through Friday – I thought that was tiring, even though I had the weekends to rest and do nothing. Now, this second time around, staying home with my 18 month old daughter is sort of like completing an obstacle course over and over again, 24/7. I chase her around, bend down then up to pick stuff up off the floor, lift her up and then down, carry her around for long periods of time, etc. Let’s just say, I hit the couch hard after she goes down at 7PM every night.

I know life is about to get a whole lot harder with “two under two” in the house, but at least I’ll be able to bend down and touch my toes when that time comes. ;)

Pregnant moms with toddlers, what else would you add? 

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