The Great Toy Rotation

If you didn't know, Germany doesn't know sunshine.
They are NOT friends.

It has a lot to do with the fact that NOTONEPLACE in this country has central AC. This is not an exaggeration. So in the 3 months that Germany decides to give the sun a chance, it's miserably hot with no escape.
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But in the other 9 months of the year it's likely to be a foggy, rainy 40-60 degrees (or colder). You can imagine how fun this is with #allthetoddlers.

When rightfully b*tching (making the "i" an asterisk makes this G-rated still, right?) about this 18 months ago on my Facebook, a friend suggested Toy Rotations to keep them more occupied when stuck in the house on super miserable weather days. After Pinteresting my life away, we are now dedicated Toy Rotators & will never look back.

I separated the toys into 3 different piles. Putting a little bit of everything in each one. Some kitchen stuff, some cars, some babydolls, some peppa... you get it.

I labeled them "Rotation 1," "Rotation 2," and "Rotation 3."
Every 4 months we pack up our current toys, and pull out the next rotation. It's like Christmas freakin' morning on the rotation day, and today just happened to be that day.

Come January, we will rotate again and have yet another "Best Day of my Life." hahaha 

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Positive things I've noticed as a result of toy rotating:
+ Less begging at the store for toys.
I comment, "we can get new toys when the new box comes out" and everyone shuts up willingly.

+ More playing with the toys we actually have out.
Before, when ALL of these Godforsaken toys were in the playroom, bins were dumped, toddlers fought, mom + dad screamed, and no one played. Now we get SOLID HOURS of REAL PLAY and it's freakin' GLORIOUS.

+ Clean-up is SO MUCH EASIER.
Due to the major OCD I have inherited, I cannot go to bed without completely cleaning the downstairs of the house. That used to be legit HOURS of me in their playroom organizing the entire thing, and now it's my CHILDREN putting away their toys in bins before bath time, and 15 mins of me going behind them to reorganize because #cantletitgo

+ SEE YA LATER CLUTTER
I actually enjoy the rooms in my house more now that they aren't floor to ceiling devoted to toy storage. #praisejesushallelujah

+CLEAN OUT THE CRAP.
I've recently read one too many tragic articles or news stories about kids choking on broken pieces of toys. Rotating gives me a good chance to go through EVERYTHING, throw out the broken, donate the things they didn't enjoy anymore, and enjoy the piece of mind that purging brings. πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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Some people do smaller, more often toy rotations--like weekly or monthly. In this household, #aintnobodygottimefothat so, that's why we chose every 4 months. I also have WAY more kids to play with the larger quantity that comes with only rotating 3 times a year.

Other notes:
+We always keep out educational toys
+We always keep out books
+We always keep out puzzles

Right now, I don't involve the kids in the process because I enjoy my sanity. But, as they get older I'll likely involve them in the process and let them choose what they want in each box. 

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Tonight I get to sit down with Netflix, a big cardboard box, an Olivia Pope sized wine glass and bowl of popcorn, and a black trash bag. I'll go through our latest rotation and clear the crap from our lives.
The feeling of freedom it brings is unlike any other.

Also, typing that last sentence out has made me realize just how deep into this #momlife I've plunged.

HAPPY SUNDAY, Y'ALL!

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Solly Baby Wrap | how to

After posting a photo of me wearing Ellis in my Solly Baby Wrap with the kids, so many people messaged me asking how I get him so snug and secure!
So, here's my video tutorial! and Baby Ellis James' video debut. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

and don't hate on my one-week-postpartum soft, mushy #mombod πŸ˜‰

I LOVE my Solly!!
This is the Heather Grey that I bought before Stella (so it's held up REALLY well considering), and I've got my eye on the Natural and Grey Stripe... Might need to take the leap!
Even when they're older babes, it's still the cuddliest around!
ALSO, they have the "solly dolly" for your kids to carry their baby dolls. 
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DEAD. just kill me now, it's so damn cute.

Of course Brandon said some smart-ass thing and made me laugh which then hurt because #csection... hahaha
Riding that struggle bus 🚌 must. protect. the abdomen.

Hope this is helpful for the masses who think they're doing it wrong!
It's probably not wrong, just too loose.
You've got this πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

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The truth about motherhood

Motherhood is isolating. Yep. Who would have thought? Surrounded by humans all day and just in the last 3.5 years there have been times where I've never felt so alone. I spent YEARS praying for kids. I still look at my life and can't believe I'm living in this dream. #allthebabies #allthetime - but, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes it totally sucks.

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I wanted this so much. Don't get me wrong, I'm literally overflowing with love for my family. I just finished walking through my kids rooms kissing them all for the 5th time since they fell asleep tonight and putting blankets back on and I want to vomit I love them so much.

But, WHERE DID ALL THE PEOPLE GO? I'm friends with 3,074 people on Facebook and interact on 5 different social media platforms and the only people I physically spoke to today have peed the bed in the last week and threw their mac and cheese on the floor at dinner.

"But she's the full time working mom with ALL the kids. She probably doesn't even WANT to come."

Guess what... I do! We do!! All of us moms with "so many kids" who might seem like they've got too much going on? We are really freaking lonely. And a text once every 14 days doesn't fill us to the brim with that social time we are literally DYING to have.

You never know! Us "moms of too many" might be sitting inside on a Sunday in July in 60* weather alone with four kids wondering what the heck to do because it's Sunday in Germany!

Hey fellow moms- that mom with all the kids over there? The one who looks like she's got it all together on Facebook and Instagram? Really She just wants invites to library time and play dates and impromptu dinners. You might get more "No's" than "yes'" - but she really needs that invite. Her overworked, over emotional, over thinking-it self NEEDS that invite.

This is just one of those seasons. One of those times when things don't seem to fit right. Our family isn't in the right place at the right time to feel whole. And this season will pass. And we will all be better people for it, eventually. But until then you'll find me over here reading articles like "11 ways to cope with lonliness as a new mom." ✌🏻

And hey? Moms feeling the same way- don't be afraid to vent to your husband about all this. It's conversations like these that pull you closer as a family. ❀️

Also, you're not alone, you're not crazy, you can cry about it, and this won't last for forever. Tomorrow's a new day to take 75 Snapchat selfies with your toddler.

Mishka Moushka + other weird things motherhood teaches

I knew I wanted to be a Mom based on three things (before I was a mom, obviously)

1. I love kids 2. The concept of pregnancy was absolutely amazing to me 3. I thrive in the midst of chaos

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I wish someone had prepared me more. But, apparently that's not how it works. They just throw you in the trenches to learn on your own because you LITERALLY wouldn't believe them if they told you the truth. I'm almost three years into it (#rookie, I know), but a LOT of my friends are just starting. So, this one's for you.

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+ It didn't matter if I liked wine (or even alcohol...), I wouldn't get through some days without it.

+ mom powers are real. when the last thing you hear is your baby's heart rate in the 50s, you move your body from a bed to an OR table with a fully functioning non-mobile epidural. and you have no idea how.

+ Target laps are crucial in the first year (especially when you're HORRIBLY isolated with high order multiples). Pack up two feeds worth of milk, put two in the stroller, one in a carrier, get that buckies, and just start walking--with absolutely no purpose, but to just see other humans and the light of day outside that nursery that has trapped you. #momtherapy #avoideyecontact #callyourmom

+ You've never known stress or swamp ass until you're trapped in a bathroom stall without a stroller or a carrier or a place to put your baby with three toddlers who arent listening and touching #ALLTHETHINGS and you have to figure out where to put the baby so you can hold each toddler one-at-a-time over the toilet while they're all YELLING about how much they have to pee. so, you put the baby in the sink. #notaproudmoment

+ kids gain smarts WAY faster than you expect them to.

+ even as a nurse, you'll be scared shitless the first time your kid falls down the steps and ends with the biggest lump ever, and you WILL go to the ER.

+ Moms and Dads have fairgame to potty candy. but remember what's stated above--kids get real smart, real fast. watch out for that 2-year-old calling you out to SEE THAT PEE-PEE after you stick your hand in that jar. #eatinsecret

+ On that note, you'll learn to never actually SHOW your kids that you're eating. or you won't be soon enough.

+ I wouldn't care AT ALL that I spend more money on tiny little clothes than I do on a 401k.

+ continually throughout EVERY SINGLE DAY you would have impulse urges to shake, kiss, run away from, scream at, hug, cuddle with, and laugh at your children --all within MINUTES of each other. and no matter how terrible the day was, when they're sleeping you have even STRONGER urges to just go up and scoop them up to cuddle because SOMEHOW you miss them.

+ you'd have to tell them CONSTANTLY to stop touching their own and each other's genitals.

+ no matter your parenting philosophy, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse would save your life one day. YOU JUST WAIT. #toldyouso #mishkamoushka (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!)

+ It's completely unavoidable to have dried waffles smashed in your car floor boards. no matter HOW MUCH you used to clean your car before kids, no matter HOW MUCH you clean it now, it happens.

+ that sudden urge to run far away is IMMEDIATELY challenged by the sudden urge to procreate. #allthebabies

+ You've never relied so heavily on drive-thrus and full tanks of gas before in your LIFE than you have when you have three babies asleep for what you KNOW will be their only nap that day.

+Bandaids are a toddler's version of your caffeine. they fix EVERYTHING. (and if you don't drink caffeine I don't trust you one. single. bit.)

View More: http://tiffanyhudsonphotography.pass.us/shannonmorning

these children test my limits and motherhood is NOTHING and EVERYTHING I thought it would be.

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