Courtney's Blog Posts

These days I’m a stay at home mom waffling with the decision to keep being a SAHM or go back to work. I’m straddling the fence so much it’s beginning to chafe. Ow! I mean, really, I just want to go back to work and make a brag-worthy paycheck, wear super cute clothes, say smart things, and go to Mexican for lunch with my co-workers. The problem with this is that I don’t want to actually go to work or wake up before 7:00am. Annnd I’ll be sad to leave my little guy in daycare about the time when he starts walking and talking a little. That’s when he will become more fun! So for now I’m just a SAHM enjoying time with my 3 year old daughter Annabelle, and my little man Leo who is the cutest, smiliest baby boy in all the land. FACEBOOK | TWITTER | BLOG
Don't Forget To Take Care Of Yourself, Mama.
As a mama to a nearly four year old and a 20 month old, I’ve spent my fair share of zhero1.jpgtime in doctor’s offices in recent years. Between monthly well baby checkups, sick visits, bi-annual pediatric dental appointments, and the occasionalER run, I stay on top of my kid’s health. 

I always feel so accomplished after seeing a pediatric physician. I make a list of things to ask the doctor and then feel like a good mom when I leave and have all the answers to my questions. But when it comes to my own health, I’m like; I’ll make an appointment someday…

I got a call from my OBGYN office the other day saying I needed to come in since I haven’t had an annual exam since 2013. 

"Really? Have I actually not seen my lady bits doctor since my son was born? "

Shame on me, I used to be SO GOOD about making these dreadful annual exams in my pre-kid life. I usually scheduled them during a sucky day at work so I could peace out and never go back to the office. That’s the only thing that had clamps and being spread eagle with neon lights tolerable. 

I had an eye doctor that I saw every year because I loved getting that 20/20 vision score. Plus he was kind of hot for an older man. And when I discovered there are actually dental hygienists that could lull me to sleep with their super gentle teeth cleaning skills, I was Johnny on the spot with those two appointments each year. Who wouldn’t prefer a nap over being at work, even if someone has a pointy tool and a drill in your mouth? 

I had a dermatologist for my Godforsaken acne that haunted me well past my teen years, and a family doctor to get annual physicals and *cough cough*, I’m sick appointments when needed. I took GOOD care of myself. 

And then I had kids. 

Ya, my birth control is going to be cut off if I don’t see my OBGYN this month. And my 20/20 vision is all blury/blury these days when I’m on the computer or reading for too long. I cannot remember the last time I had my eyes checked, but I’m guessing it’s been about three years. I’ve made two eye doctor appointments in the last year and cancelled them both because I didn’t have time – or a babysitter. 

The only thing I do stay on top of is my dental appointments. There’s just something about not going to the dentist like, ever, that makes me feel all back woods and I can’t go there. I may be blind as a bat with dark sun spots all over my face and high cholesterol or something, but my teeth gotta be pretty, m’kay?

Basically I’m trying to take ownership of the fact that since having kids I’m not very good about taking care of ME when it comes to necessary medical checkups. I want to get glasses, clear my skin up, have a family doctor, get on a routine with my annual exam, etc. Saying it on the internet is certainly going to hold me accountable to make these dang appointments!! At least I hope.

How many of you are neglecting your own health and wellness because you’re busy being a mom and running around after your kiddos? I think we all should make it a point this week to pick up the phone and make those overdue appointments! Let’s make our health and well-being a priority so we can be the best moms we can be! And hopefully, if you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon a hot doc that keeps you on a regular schedule, know what I mean?! But if you get a hot OBGYN with clamps, omg, run for the hills!!
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The Potty Training War Wages On…
I just realized that my one year anniversary of beginning potty training with my daughter Annabelle just passed in late April and I’m amazed at how fast the calendar months flew by. Notice I say it’s the anniversary of the beginning of potty training, and not when we potty train-ED. 

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We didn’t have the magical 3-day experience that I’ve heard about from fairies in faraway lands. Nope. Because God blessed me with a pretty good amount of patience, he gave me a toddler that didn’t want to get it for like six freaking months. I died a slow death, along with my patience. 

Let's not even talk about nighttime potty training. 

OK, fine, I'm embarrassed to admit that we just moved Annabelle out of nighttime Pull-Ups about a month ago, just shy of the one year mark. I read that nighttime training can take longer, like even a year, so I honestly just sort of got used to the Pull-Ups and didn't try to phase them out sooner. The Internet gave me a year so I took it.
"At our recent 18-month checkup I asked my pediatrician when I should start potty-training my son, and he wrote me a prescription for a chill pill." 

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I almost can’t even talk about my potty training experience with Annabelle without wanting to curl up into the fetal position on a cold floor. I mean, at the risk of giving TMI, Annabelle tested every patient cell in my body with the whole pooping in her panties thing. And naturally she would time her #2’s as we’re walking out the door running late to something. I actually started to take it personally. WHY DOES SHE HATE ME SO MUCH?

Thank God we’ve made it through the storm, for the most part, and I lived to tell the tale. It’s O-V-E-R, I’m FREE! No more potty training for a while…. Er, at least I thought.

Potty training round two (shoot me now)

A couple weeks ago a fellow mom posted a pic on Facebook of her son potty training at 20 months and I literally started to choke on my wine. This can’t be happening already. My son is 18 months and it just dawned on me that we have entered into the potty training window. 

No! There’s NO. EFFING. WAY I’m ready for round two. My heart can’t take it. She has planted the seed in my head. I wasn’t even THINKING about potty training and now it’s on the mother freaking brain. 

At our recent 18 month checkup I asked my pediatrician when I should start potty training my son and he wrote me a prescription for a chill pill. He said boys take longer to potty train than girls, so I should wait until like 2 ½ or 3 before I start. Oh good, permission to avoid it for a while longer, thank you GOD!

I mean, part of the reason I was shocked at the 20 month old potty training is because I couldn’t even imagine my son getting it this early. Was her son a prodigy? He must be.

And then my mind was blown the other day when my son ran into the bathroom and said; “I want potty! I want potty!” 

Excuse me?

Come again? 

Did I hear you say you wanted to KILL ME?

So of course I sat him on the potty for a few days and got nothing but giggles. Ok, he’s not ready. But then, he did the unthinkable before bath time, HE PEED IN THE POTTY! OMG, He’s a prodigy, too! He’s the smartest baby in all the land! 

And then he did it again the next day before bath! And then he did it AGAIN on the third day at the Children’s Museum – a public bathroom with no potty seat cover!! Smartest. Baby. Ever.

And then… well and then he totally stopped peeing in the potty. 

He says he wants potty, but when I pull his pants down he arches his back and tries to stand up, landing his feet in the toilet a couple times. UGH. What is happening here? Is he over it already? I don’t want to turn him off of potty training by pushing him too soon. 

When seeking advice on the matter I get varying degrees of opinions. Some will say he’s too young, just let him do it when he’s ready. And boys take way longer than girls. If that’s the case and Leo is going to take longer than Annabelle he’ll be going to Kindergarten in Huggies. 

Or you’ll get the no nonsense moms who say since he’s expressed an interest I need to lose the diapers NOW and go cave man style for the next 3 days, never leaving the house until he gets it. 



"Call me lazy, but I don't want to have a toddler running around diaperless for three days while we lock ourselves indoors." 


The other day I was telling a new friend about my potty training woes and how Leo has had a few potty successes. She said both her boys were trained cave man style by 2 years old and it’s B.S. that boys take longer, and her friends that don’t PT their kids until 3 just don’t want to deal with the mess any sooner. They’re essentially lazy, that was the takeaway I got. I sank in my chair as I one thousand percent identified with her lazy friends. And dear God, why did I divulge to her that Annabelle had been in Pull Ups for nearly a year? Her eyes popped out of her head and I felt the cold chill of mommy judgement washing over me. My ears pinned back as I explained how it’s all the Internet’s fault for telling me to give it a year. 

Call me lazy, but I don’t want to have a toddler running around diaper-less for three days while we lock ourselves indoors. Perhaps this is the best method. Perhaps the feeling of shit and piss going down your legs as a 2 year old is the best lesson in potty training quickly. I don’t know, but I do know that seeing a pile of poo on my couch scares me shitless (ha!) and I don’t want to deal. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong by not pushing too hard. But honestly, all I’m praying for is that my kid turns out to be a potty training prodigy that just PT’s himself. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, moms? I think that’s something we can all agree on…
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It's Okay To Put Away That One Piece, Moms.
Courtney - the voice behind the blog Life At Thirtysomething - is not only a regular contributor but also a CityMom. Go easy on her today because she's not only putting some thoughts on the line, but also a brave picture of her in a bikini. We love her just the way she is and any negative or mean comments will be kindly removed from this post.  
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My husband has always been a huge supporter of the bikini. He thinks the minute the bikini goes into the drawer and the one piece comes out, it’s all over. 

No, don’t do the one piece Courtney, don’t throw in the towel,” he pleads with me.

So I bought a one piece. I mean, when I’m at the beach or the water park and I’m bending over digging through a bag for sand toys, or carrying around a toddler on my hip, I don’t want to worry about how my flab is looking hanging over my bikini bottom. 

Besides, one pieces have made a comeback! Taylor Swift wears them. It’s kinda cool now, right?

I surprised myself by my purchase. By doing so I was not “throwing in the towel” on the two piece, but simply providing myself with a little extra comfort, and peace of mind that my never ending baby bump was being held IN when I wasn’t remembering to SUCK IT IN.

But then I read this article ‘I Have Stretch Marks And I Wear A Bikini’: Mom Proudly Shows Off ‘Saggy’ Belly in Viral Bikini Photo. I thought about it and I was all; now she doesn’t look that different than me in a bikini and she’s proud of how she looks. She considers her stretch marks a beautiful reminder of her three little blessings. 

Why can’t I give myself a break? I’m not 25 anymore with a smooth little belly and a shiny belly ring strutting around the pool in Las Vegas. I’ve had two kids in the last four years. I’ve gained 98 lbs. and lost 102 lbs. in that time-frame. That’s A LOT of stretching and shrinking on a lady’s tummy. And the older I get it’s getting harder to keep the weight off, no matter how much I work out. 

I wish I could say I have better things to worry about, but I’m constantly thinking about my waistline. Part of it is vanity. OK mostly ALL of it is vanity. But also I want to be healthy and fit and live a long life! Being healthy is important to me AND I want to have a hot bod. I’m not ashamed to say a big part of my world revolves around all the thinking and the doing to achieve this hot bod, which frustratingly takes a lot of f*cking time. And I'm still not where I want to be, despite my focus.
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We think Courtney looks fab no matter what swimsuit she's wearing.
Throwing in the towel – and then picking it back up

So I’ve dawned the one piece a couple times on our California vacation this week and not going to lie; I’ve felt pretty mom-ish. For some reason I don’t feel Taylor Swift-y at all in my one piece. 

So I went out and purchased a two piece mid trip. Ok, it’s not exactly a string bikini, but still, it’s giving me less of a mommy vibe which I appreciate.

I know my stomach isn't as flat as it used to be, and my hips and thighs are wider. But today, as I was thinking about that proud mom and her stretch marks, I actually felt a surge of confidence rocking a two piece. And perhaps some of the confidence came from carrying a toddler and holding hands with another while in my bathing suit!

My husband practically did two back flips and a hurkey when he saw me walk out of the hotel room in my new bathing suit today. His hope and faith in humanity has been restored now that he sees his wife has not yet thrown in the towel. 

I know I have areas I can work on. But my husband seems to think I look really good still, which makes me feel good seeing the look of pride in his eyes..

"I'm probably never going to have Jessica Alba's body."
I’m probably never going to have Jessica Alba’s body. I never had it before kids, how could I expect to have it now? I work hard, hitting the gym five days per week and I love to challenge myself with new exercises, so I know I’m doing my part to keep it together. 

Instead of focusing on my flaws, I'm going to try and focus on my good parts more, too. I like my arms, my arms look lean. And I like having broad shoulders and being tall. There, I've already started with the positive thinking! 

Today I decided to pay respect to my post-baby body and include a bikini shot like my fellow mom did. It takes a toll to grow babies in your body, and it takes WORK to lose the weight, too. Everybody has a personal vision of where they want to be physically, and I have mine, which isn't unreasonable, just a little leaner than I am now.

We may never be Jessica Alba, but we are all entitled to make whatever effort WE feel to present our best selves AND rock our bathing suits this summer.
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That time I should’ve...

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Call me sensitive, but I’m already hyper aware of bullying when it comes to playground play time – and my daughter is only three. 
I’m dreading the years ahead of mean girls (and boys) and it’s my personal mission to ensure my kids never become one of them. As a kid who experienced plenty of bullying, it’s like my biggest anxiety as a parent, especially as a parent of a little girl in the world we live in now with social media.

And seeing as though bullying starts as early as the playground with little toddlers, I better get some thicker skin or else it’s going to be a very long life.

I can’t help but notice the little early bullying nuances on the playground though; the bossy four year old setting the tone for the playground atmosphere, or the alpha five year old that excludes kids from their little game of tag. I watch as my daughter joyously runs into the play gym and cringe when I notice she has become a target of a mean kid’s antics.

In my experience with bullies on the playground thus far, the mean kid usually gets away with being the mean kid because mom/dad is either on their phone or chatting away with a friend completely oblivious to their little a-hole’s behavior.

I mean, I get on my phone too when the kids are playing, but I try to always have at least one eye on my kids to ensure no monkey business is happening.

I am by no means a helicopter parent. I sit back and let my three year old and even my 17 month old deal with typical childish behaviors from fellow playmates. I want them to learn how to navigate this kind of stuff and be able to fend for themselves because I won’t always be there to rescue them.

I don’t want to be that mom that yells at someone else’s kid for being mean or not sharing. It makes me uncomfortable getting stern with another kid, especially if their parent is within ear/eye shot. But in the few times I have had to step in to rescue my kid from hurt feelings or hurt limbs, I wish that I was better at giving a good level-headed talk to the perpetrator, like where they’re all; “Oh ya, I was totally super mean and I shouldn’t do that again to another kid!" A teaching moment!


But no, I have not given thought provoking speeches or high five worthy scoldings to the meanest of kids. I’ve spewed garbled simplistic phrases like “that’s not nice” as I’ve whisked my kid away, all flustered.

Slow clap it out for sharp tongue lashing skills. I’ve just struck fear in no one on that playground.

The evil girl

The other day there was a situation that occurred at the play gym that I felt was outside of the ordinary childish behavior and I did step in and address the mean kid. My daughter had come into the play area and immediately befriended another little girl of the same age and they were climbing and sliding and having a good time. I noticed there was an older girl in the gym, probably 6 or 7, and she seemed to be whispering and pointing in my daughter’s direction. My ears perked up and I overheard her telling her little minions that had come under her influence that my daughter is “evil.”

EVIL.

Then she was blatantly pointing at Annabelle and saying “the girl in the flower dress is evil, don’t let her play with us.”

The little girl that Annabelle had befriended came up to her shortly after and asked what Annabelle’s name was, followed by “Are you evil?”

I’m livid.

What in the HELL is happening here? Thank God Annabelle probably didn’t know what the word evil meant so she just sort of ignored the question. This is where the phrase “ignorance is bliss” comes from.

I didn’t step in then as I chose to watch some more and see what may follow, namely because Annabelle was playing, unbothered.

Then I saw her pulling a few other kids over to a corner and directing the kids to not play with the evil girl in the flower dress.

I charged toward the little girl and got at her level and said – wait for it – “That is not very nice, you need to stop saying that right now she is a nice girl.” She said; “OK” with big round eyes and I returned to my seat.

I know, I totally told her off.

The little girl tried to be nice to me after that and it frustrated me that my son kept going up to her and hugging her legs. She’d laugh and say “ha ha, your baby loves me!”

All the while I’m giving my son major side eye and mumbling trader under my breath.

But wait, mean girl wasn’t done. Maybe 10 minutes later I look up and see the girl at the top of the play structure pointing down at my daughter and mouthing the word “evil” AGAIN!!! I got her attention and mouthed STOP IT NOW with huge scary eyes and she mouthed OK.

From there I grabbed Annabelle and Leo and said LET’S GO, as I stormed passed her oblivious mother.

Later that night as I told my husband about it he was upset, saying I should’ve said something to the mom and I agreed. I regretted that I didn’t speak up but I felt uncomfortable confronting another mother who may take the defensive stance rather than use it as a teaching moment for her daughter.

I decided that going forward, I’m not going to let fear of confrontation hinder me from approaching a parent if it seems necessary in my gut. I will first address the child in the moment and make it a point to clearly articulate on their level that the behavior is not appropriate. If it continues or it’s appalling enough to begin with, I will alert the parent.

I will do my best to not be overly sensitive
about things, but I believe bullying continues because the bullies often times don’t get caught in the act and parents aren’t aware of their kid’s bullying ways. 



So from now on, if I catch the mean kid in the act, I’m going to say something and make it count. And I’m really going to try and dig deeper and find a better line than “that’s not nice.” 


Surely I can do better than that!
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Totally Admitting That I Have A "Fifty Shades of Grey" Baby
Say what you want about the literary quality of Fifty Shades of Grey. Go ahead and be a book snob and say it sucked and you quit reading it halfway through because it didn’t measure up to Wuthering HeightsI couldn’t care less about that stuff. All I care about is that it made me want to bow chicka wow wow with my husband like, a lot, and it also made me pregnant.Yes, Fifty Shades of Grey made me a mom.
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There is Generation X, Y, and Z, with sub-generation names like Baby Busters, the MTV Generation, and now, we most certainly have a Fifty Shades sub-

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generation of babies! Let’s face it, people were having a lot more sex while reading the raunchy BDSM novel. If it didn’t send you running for the hills
image2.jpg when Christian Grey introduced you to the Red Room of Pain, you were feverishly reading this erotic tale and barely coming up for air. 

Thank God my sex life was on the uptick during this book series, which made my husband far more forgiving, because everything else in my life was hanging on the brinks. My house was a mess, my job was barely getting done, and my dog was lucky to get an occasional walk. In a word, I was OBSESSED.

I have a history of obsessive behavior when it comes to dreamy celebs or romanticized movie characters. The quick list includes Elvis, which was an unlikely first obsession at the tender age of 14. I drove my friends NUTS forcing them to love him like I did. They were like; Ok, I’ll try to like this dead guy as much as you. P.S. You’re so weird. 

Later, I fell in lust with a much more acceptable heartthrob with Leonardo DiCaprio circa 1997’s Titanic. Fast forward to the Twilight years and of course, I was all up in Edward Cullen’s you know what – or let’s just call him Robert Pattinson. Could I beeee more insane about him? Well, maybe. I was pretty freaking dorked out over Adam Lambert, aka American Idol’s season 8 runner up. His gayness just made the challenge more interesting. As if his being gay was the only reason we would never be together.

My ‘15 minutes’ of Fifty Shades fame

In case you are unaware, before Fifty Shades was published, it was originally created as a Twilight Fanfiction story called “Master of the Universe” that was wildly popular with those uber fans who needed to read a raunchier version of Edward and Bella.Fanfiction is a website for aspiring authors who take famous characters that you know and love and write their own stories using said characters. There’s Harry Potter fanfic, there’s Hunger Games fanfic, but nothing quite like Twilight fanfic. 

In my pre-kid life I had a pop culture blog that delved into all things Twilight and once my readers and I became aware of fanfic, we read with ferver. My co-blogger and I immediately became curious about the author of this kinky story so we started communicating with her on Twitter. She actually became kind of like our “Twitter friend.” Ha! We begged her to do a podcast interview with us so we could pick her brain about all things Fifty Shades. We’d never read anything like this, how did she KNOW about BDSM? So many questions.

So after weeks of stalking her online, the author, now known as E.L. James, agreed to a Skype podcast interview! We were over the freaking moon about it to say the least. What was so amazing is that just weeks after the interview took place, "Master of the Universe" became published into a real book called Fifty Shades of Grey. And the rest is history! A year later E.L. James was on Katie Couric answering all the same questions we asked on our little ole blog podcast! So I def feel like I have a little piece of literary history in the Fifty Shades of Grey coming about story! My little “15 minutes” if you will! 

Too bad YouTube very recently disabled the podcast vids because of music licensing issues. You can't see me, but I'm crying a river right now. Hopefully they will be available for viewing again soon, ugh. For now, below is a pic of me and my podcast partner with E.L. James at a San Francisco book signing!

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Needless to say, I have a special affinity for this book and the powerful impact it had on my life. 


(Ahem, remember, it made me a mom?)

 

So my friends and I have been anxiously awaiting the day this film hits the theaters so we could have the biggest girl’s night ever. Literally, this day has been planned FOR A YEAR. And how cool is it that theCityMoms get an ADVANCED screening of Fifty Shades of Grey in Indianapolis?Talk about clout, y’all! Ha! I hope you grab your gals and see it this week to give you a little extra inspiration for Valentine’s Day. And who knows, maybe some of you will soon join the Fifty Shades baby boom generation, too!! 
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Surviving Parenthood One Bribe at a Time
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting so far, it’s that bribery is the most effective form of getting good behavior from a child. At least it is for me and my kids!

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I mean, I’m not bribing my toddler ALL the time. It’s usually just when she’s completely engulfed in an activity that she literally cannot hear me. Or she’s completely ignoring me, w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r.

My husband Jeff struggles with this concept of bribery as his attempts to rule with an iron fist simply do not work. Our three year old daughter Annabelle will either act like daddy’s not being serious, or his loud and direct communication style is met with dramatic tears and stubborn heels dug firmly into the sand.

Sometimes Jeff is in awe of my ability to get Annabelle to do what I want her to do in a gentler, more loving way than his iron fist can. You see, I employ tactics that work. I speak her language. My directives sound more appealing because I add lots of “buzz words” that attract a three year old girly girl’s attention; words she hears through all the other noise and distractions in her little world.


Here are some examples of how I doctor up some of these simple requests for action:

Request: Get dressed for church

Annabelle, do you want to wear your pretty blue dress, white tights and velvet shoes that Uncle Shaun got you? After church we’ll go to lunch and get a grilled cheese sandwich!

{Buzz words: pretty, dress, Uncle Shaun, lunch, grilled cheese}

Request: Stop playing and go potty before we leave for the gym

Annabelle, you need to go potty so we can go to the gym and you can play with your friends at child watch. You can take one toy with you in the car!

{Buzz words: friends, play, toy in the car}
It may be a longer winded way of telling her to get her butt in gear, but sometimes you just catch more flies with honey, ya know? 
Let’s make a deal

And when the sugar coating tactic doesn’t work, I turn to bribery and making deals.

The way I see it is, she has something I want and I have something she wants. Let’s make a deal, sweetheart. You go pee before we leave the house, and we’ll go on that Disney Cruise we’ve been planning all year. If you don’t, mommy is going to call and cancel it! Or if you don’t take a nap this afternoon, I’m going to tell Mimi and Grampy who are on their way for a visit to turn around and go home. 

It actually sounds a little mean when I type it out, but whatever, it’s not mean, it’s real. We do what works as parents, right? It’s called give and take. According to my mother-in-law, I’m teaching her a valuable lesson in compromise! This will serve her well in the future!

When all else fails, always use Santa

I’m sure every parent can relate to the Santa bribe. I mean, Santa has been the boss in our household for the last two months. If I ask her three times to stop playing and put her shoes and coat on so we can leave and she doesn’t get up, I simply ask her if she still wants that Barbie from Santa. “SANTA’S WATCHING”,  I’d say. 
Who needs that whole “Elf on a Shelf” thing? Santa trumps the elf. 
In fact, my husband told Annabelle that Santa lived in a tiny house ornament hanging on the Christmas tree and he was always watching. How creepy… but it works! 

I’ve been feeling anxious about what my next major bribery tool is going to be now that Christmas and our Disney Cruise are behind us, and then I heard Jeff tell Annabelle the other day that Santa is still watching for next year. Omg, Genius! Santa year-round, now that’s what I’m talkin ‘bout!

How about giving kids a choice?

Lately what I’ve been doing is presenting Annabelle with two choices. The one I want, which always has a “doctored up” desirable outcome for her. Or the second option, which is something like going to bed. Three year olds NEVER want to go to bed, so this usually works. 

This isn’t just a successful tactic with my three year old. I also employed deal making on my 7-year old nephew during our cruise when he was throwing a tantrum on the beach. I said; “Alex, do you want to go eat a yummy lunch {buzz words!}, have ice cream {buzz words!} and then ride bicycles {buzz words!} all around the island, or would you rather go back to the ship and sit in your room with your grandma?” I prayed he wouldn’t be a wild card and say he wanted to sit in his room and watch TV. Thankfully he quit crying and chose the desirable outcome for all involved. Problem solved! 



Wouldn’t it be awesome if kids just perked up and listened when we spoke without having to repeat ourselves a million times? But the reality for most kids is that they don’t, at least not when they’re little and easily distracted. So I say you just do what works. And if that means canceling a trip to Disneyland like 15 times in a month just to get your kid to take naps, I say do whatcha gotta do sistah! Eventually these little tots will wise up to our game, so enjoy the low stakes deal making while you can!


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Baby, Are You My Last?
They say you know when your family is complete. You must just have this heart-is-full feeling, like your arms fit perfectly around your kids and there’s simply no room for another.

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Or I don’t know, maybe being pregnant again makes you want to vom and the idea of being outnumbered by children sends you running for the hills. Whatever, at least you know you’re done. 


-Guest post by
Life At Thirtysomething's
Courtney Rice

But what if you don’t know for sure? I have two adorable kiddos, a three year old daughter named Annabelle and a 14 month old son Leo. Before I was a mom I always said I wanted two kids, a boy and a girl. I got my wish, so I’m done. . . YAY, that was easy! 


Wait, shouldn’t I feel done… like done, done. Like the wise people say? 


Does it mean something if I don’t feel like ralphing at the idea of being pregnant again, going through child birth, and enduring all those sleepless nights for a third time? I loved being pregnant and (knock on wood) have a history of easy childbirths. But does this mean I’m truly open to broadening my family for real? Hey, there’s a big difference between fantasizing about baby names (isn’t Finn a cute name?), tiny baby clothes and decorating a nursery, and actually removing the goalie to take the ultimate, no going back plunge. 

I love my little family and the growing relationship I see forming between my babies. I’m happy and would be content living with this family dynamic for the rest of my life. I came from a family of two and so did my husband, this is all we know. A third would definitely be unchartered territory for us and it’s a little scary not knowing what it could be like. Being outnumbered as parents makes me a bit weary. Ba-bye man to man defense, hello chaos! 


The world is built for four 

A friend of mine once said; “Let’s face it, the world is built for a family of four.” She’s right. Everything gets a little more difficult with that odd number, or anything greater than that. Getting a table at a restaurant, fitting three car seats into a car, riding in an airplane, and paying for family vacations will all be more challenging with a party of five.

What gives me pause on this topic the most is the times when we’re rushing around the house trying to leave for church. THIS is when I think a third might actually be a freaking nightmare. I mean, getting coats and shoes on, doing a last minute potty break, and packing snacks is stressful enough when you’re running behind (and we’re ALWAYS running behind). Just think about the times when someone blows out their diaper while being carried to the car, or another decides this is the moment she wants to put her shoes and socks on ALL BY HERSELF and will have a major meltdown if you try to do it for her or rush her along. Omg, when sweat is beading along my hair line and I hear myself turning into a super yelly version of myself, this is when my husband says with disgust; “And you want another one?”

MAJOR EYE ROLL and a feeling at the pit of my stomach that says; maybe he’s right to say that with such contempt... 


And yet, knowing all the difficulties that come with expanding my family, why am I staring a little too longingly at the preggo in the mall? Why are my eyes magnets to newborn babies when I see them?

It’s all weaning’s fault

For one, I’m just finishing up weaning my son at 14 months and I’m freaking sad about it. I remember wanting another as soon as I weaned Annabelle because I was sad that our breastfeeding journey was over. But I quickly remembered I could drink 3-4 glasses of wine on a Friday night (hey, that’s normal!) and not fear I was getting my baby tipsy in the A.M. WHAHOO, FREEDOM! So I got over the baby fever fast! Ha! These days, this mama is nearly tapped out, so I’m waiting to see if that feeling of relief comes back after we’ve had our last nurse to sleep together. *Tears*

I just purchased a new children’s book for my son called “
Love You Forever” about a mom who has a newborn son and she rocks him to sleep every night singing to him; “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m here, my baby you’ll be.” And it shows him growing up and how she still wants to rock him and sing that song to him nightly. And then in the end she’s an old woman who is sick and ailing, and her grown son rocks her and sings to her; “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m here, my mommy you’ll be.” MORE TEARS!

Annnnnd this is the kind of thing that makes me want to toss that goalie and go for a third!  I don’t know, there’s a lot to consider with expanding a family. Life WILL get harder. I will lose more hair. I will struggle to lose the baby weight. And I’ll be lucky if life is ever going to be about ME again. But with all that in mind, I often stare at my rapidly growing little man and I think to myself; Leo baby, are you my last?


Hey Mamas, how did you know you were ready for a third baby? 
Was it harder going from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3? 
Read more

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