It’s Almost Towel Day!

Keep Calm and Carry a Towel - Towel Day 2017

Tomorrow, May 25th, is Towel Day!

What is Towel Day? Towel Day is a day to honor the late Douglas Adams, beloved writer of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The basic premise of Towel Day is that you carry a towel around with you all day. It’s that simple. Anyone can do it, provided you have towels.

But if you aren’t familiar with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may be scratching your head at the absurdity of carrying a towel around with you. And to tell you the truth, many of Adams’ books are absurd. But as absurd as they are, they are also absolutely delightful. I remember reading them as a kid and how much of an impression they made on me. They were so wonderful and I remember seeing the (disappointing) movie adaptation with my dad in theaters.

But this still doesn’t explain the towel thing. For that, you need to turn to a quote in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

So you see, towels have immense value, which is why, in Douglas Adams’ honor, people carry around towels on May 25th. And really, it is a quite practical thing, especially as a mom. If you’ve never read any of his books, I highly encourage you to do so. To read more about it and find events that are happening, check out the official Towel Day website.

Happy Towel Day!

Are you a Douglas Adams fan? Do you celebrate Towel Day? 

P.S. Yes, that is a sticker on my computer.

The Worst Parenting Advice

Why I'm letting go of cherishing every moment

I’ll cherish some moments, like this one, but I’m letting go of the pressure to cherish every moment.

I have to tell you, it’s hard to write an article entitled the worst parenting advice. That is because there is a lot of truly bad advice out there. But today, I’m going to talk about something that bothers me.

I think you can break down bad parenting advice into a couple of different categories. One, bad parenting advice that is untrue/unsafe. This stuff is sort of factually objective and can usually be debunked with a quick chat with your pediatrician or a check on the AAP’s Healthy Children website (which I love). Two, bad parenting advice that just completely does not apply to you. Some situations with children can cross over and some can’t. Three, bad parentings advice in the form of judgy comments from strangers. This category is the worst and I have experienced it more than once and it never really gets better.

But today I’m going to talk about the fourth category. Bad parenting advice that tells you how you should feel.

I think, in general, it’s not a great idea to tell people how they should feel about anything. Because the reality is, we all have different emotions. We all experience things differently. We all feel differently and that’s okay.

And today I want to talk about “Cherish every moment” and “They’re only little once.”

It’s not that I think these are inherently bad statements. It’s not like I’m anti-cherishing. No, no cherishing, you must be curmudgeonly all the time! No, it’s not like that at all.

Mostly I object to the “every moment” part of the phrase. I know the people who say it have really good intentions. But can I be honest for a second? The pressure to cherish every moment is intense. There are some moments that I don’t really want to cherish. When my kids are fighting with each other or there is vomit or there is blood – I don’t really want to cherish those moments. And I think that’s okay. I don’t want to cherish how my kid screamed in my face – nobody likes being screamed at in the face.

And I also think it creates this pressure that every moment must be special and magical. Some moments are ordinary. Some moments are just simply moments. Not everything has to be special and big and grand all the time. If all nights are legendary, no nights are legendary. We are not going to remember every single second of our children’s childhoods and that’s okay. We’ll remember the stuff that’s important to us. We’ll remember the stuff that really matters. We will have plenty of memories to cherish when our children grow up and so will they. We don’t have to have every moment in our brains – that would be really overwhelming.

And, they’re only little once? Well, that is true. They are only little once. But! They are also only every age once. Dominic’s only going to be 5 for 365 days (is 2018 a leap year? No? Right?). Allen’s only going to be 2 for 365 days, 365 days that are already half over. I realized this morning that Dominic doesn’t say bressen for breakfast anymore like he did for ages and ages. I don’t know when that stopped, but I realized this morning that it was already over. Every age has it’s unique moments and sometimes, I do miss when they are tiny snuggly babies. But when they were tiny snuggly babies, they didn’t do any of the awesome stuff they do now. Every age has it’s moments, but I still don’t need to cherish every moment of every age.

So I guess in the end, these aren’t the worst parenting advice ever. Nobody’s going to die from this advice. But for me, this kind of advice creates a lot of pressure. And for me, it’s time to let it go. I’ll cherish what I can and what I want to. But certainly not every moment.

How do you feel about the advice to cherish every moment? Do you agree with me or do you think I’m completely off base? 

A Week in My Life Through the Eyes of Google

I remember a while ago reading this blog post about who google thinks you are and I thought it was such a fun concept. So I got to wondering, what would a week in my search history would look like. Except not google, but Swagbucks because I enjoy earning while I search. By the way, that’s a referral link if you’d like to join Swagbucks too.

So anyways, here is my life in a week as told through my search history. I tried to include everything on this list, but I might have missed a few searches that I did on my phone. But I hope this is interesting to you. What would your google searches say about you?

Let Me Google That

Let Me Google That For You

  • Does sleeping burn more calories than watching tv? (I thought I read this somewhere and I wanted to confirm if it was true. It is.)
  • Bracelets 
  • The Duckling Gets a Cookie (This is a Mo Willems book that my friend mentioned that we owned, but I was worried she was talking about some other book and I would look silly if I was wrong, so I googled it first.
  • Six Stories (This and the next two searches were an attempt to find a book I read about in someone’s Facebook post, which sounded super intriguing but the cover image didn’t have the author.)
  • Six stories June 1st
  • Six Stories podcaster
  • Wooden bracelet
  • Misha Collins (Many of my searches involve celebrities because I am terrible at famous people names. I need a picture so I can go, “Oh yeah! That guy!”) 
  • Dairy Queen
  • Kimpton
  • Aquatica
  • Slideboarding
  • Do tigers live in South America? (This and the next 4 searches are related to us watching The Jungle Book and me wondering whether or not all of these creatures could really live together in the same jungle and also me subsequently forgetting that The Jungle Book takes place in India.) 
  • Do wolves and tigers live in the same area? (Interestingly enough, this search brought up many other people wondering if lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) could ever live in the same area.)
  • Do bears live in the jungle?
  • Are there wolves in India
  • Sloth bears
  • Brent and Jess (They made my beautiful wedding ring which I love and sometimes I like to refer people to them.)
  • IRS scam (I knew something was a scam, but I wanted a page to direct the person to from the IRS that had resources and what they should do.)
  • How to access Prime Reading (Still feel dumb that I can’t figure this out.) 
  • Graco pack n play (The mattress on ours needs replacing.)
  • How I Met Your Mother number of seasons
  • Garrison Cootes (We wanted to know if the actor who plays Garrison Cootes voices the Cat in the Hat. He does. Nick was the one who caught this despite how many times I have seen Cat in the Hat episodes with the boys. Here we go, go, go, go on an adventure! The Thingamajigger is up and away!)
  • Hamilton Milwaukee (I heard Hamilton was coming to Milwaukee and I wanted to know what dates. There are no dates released yet. But it’s coming!)
  • High back boosters (Dominic is finally 40 pounds.)
  • Wisconsin car seat law (Double checking that 40 pounds is the weight limit he needs to be to be in a booster lol.)
  • Muggles bar West Bend (Did you know West Bend has a Harry Potter bar?! I didn’t until my friends mentioned it on their wedding invitation.)
  • The Credible Hulk meme (A few of my friends affectionately refer to me getting Hulk like sometimes haha. The Credible Hulk meme is totally me but I deleted it on accident and needed a replacement for it.) 
  • Soulish (This was in our Bible study and I wanted to see if the definition was anything special/different than soulful.) 
  • Last Pass
  • Baby sleep what is normal Precious Little Sleep (This is a long story and someday I will blog about that time I spent adminning a huge baby sleep group. But the long and the short of it is that my friend Alexis runs and awesome and huge blog (she has a book coming soon!) about baby sleep. While I was an admin, I answered lots of questions and now, while I’m not an admin, I still answer questions sometimes and I need certain links for them and sometimes the quickest/laziest way is to google the post title I’m looking for. Even though I have them bookmarked!) 
  • Three hole punch
  • Consubstantiation (Because I always get communion terms mixed up, I wanted to see which one this was. Inspired by my friend’s status about a discussion she had about communion with her son.) 
  • Early Intervention
  • Early Intervention better outcomes
  • Herb pictures etc (This was actually a series of searches I did on my phone in rapid succession so, to be honest, I can’t tell you exactly what they all were. I got a Growing Power Market Basket for the first time ever and there were two bags of some kinds of greens that I couldn’t identify. I asked several people and googled several things but nobody was 100 percent sure. I ended up asking in LST Supper Club where multiple people agreed they were sunflower sprouts and pea shoots. So, I got to add those two new things to my culinary adventures!)
  • Habanero’s Mexican Kitchen (I met my friend’s at this restaurant. I can’t be the only person who googles new places before going there, right?)

So there you have it! A week in my google (Swagbucks) searches. Hopefully you’re not judging too much 😉 Let me know if you found this interesting and I’ll do it again sometime!

What’s the most interesting thing you googled in the past week? 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Mother's Day!

I feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful moms. I thought about listing them all, but there’s too many and I’m too worried I would leave someone out, so instead, I present you with this list.

To the mom who gave me life, the one and the only, Happy Mother’s Day!

To the women who have taken me under their wings and loved me as if I was their own daughter, Happy Mother’s Day!

To the moms that I see in my day to day every life, who lift me up and encourage me, Happy Mother’s Day!

To the moms that I love but who live far away, who also lift me up and encourage me, Happy Mother’s Day!

And to all mothers everywhere, Happy Mother’s Day!

Like I said at the beginning, it is a blessing to know so many wonderful mothers. It is such a privilege to watch you raise your children. You inspire me, encourage me, and challenge me in so many ways that you don’t even know you are doing. Whether you stay home with your kids or you work at home or you work outside of the home, you are all doing your very best to raise your children and you have all taught me so much.

No matter where we are on our mom journey, there is always something we can learn from each other. I hope that you all can see how beautiful you are inside and out. You are setting examples for your children of strength and grace, of beauty and passion, of compassion and fierceness. Whatever tough moments lie behind you, you’ve overcome them. Whatever tough moments lay ahead of you, I know you’ll overcome those too.

I know it’s not Mother’s Day until tomorrow, but I couldn’t resist posting this early 😉 Happy Mother’s Day! 

Free Clip Art

Everyone’s Favorite Songs

So, I was curious what everyone’s favorite songs were and so I asked you. And let me tell you, you guys delivered! You have such varied tastes in music, it’s kind of wonderful and I love it.

Everyone's favorite songs

So I took all those songs and I turned them into a Spotify playlist. Entitled everyone’s favorite songs, of course. There are a few that are covers because I couldn’t find the original on Spotify. Usually, this is because the artist or whoever owns the rights to the song has chosen not to make it available on Spotify. There are a lot of songs on Spotify, but not everything. I do love Spotify and I promise this is not an ad haha.

So right now, this is a very short list. I could only add what people said! So obviously, this is not exhaustive of everyone in the whole wide world. First of all because I don’t know everyone in the whole wide world! But I could add to this list at any time, so if you have something you’d like to add, please let me know and I’ll add it!

Oh in case you are wondering why I picked a picture of a CD player over all the newer ways to play music, it’s in honor of Dominic. Dominic has been enjoying the discovery of the CD thanks to a birthday gift of a CD player from his aunt. He’s always been a musical kind of kid, so this was a really great gift for him. He definitely has developed his own favorite songs already. It’s one of the most awesome parts of being a mom is seeing these tiny infants turn into such personalities.

What song would you like me to add? 

Picture altered and adapted from a picture by mconnors at

Ramblings About Kids and Technology

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Technology and Kids

Do you ever wonder sometimes what it will be like for our kids to grow up with so much technology? Now, let’s just get this out to the way that this is not going to be a doom and gloom post about kids and technology. Because let’s be honest, I don’t really enjoy reading those posts. Even though I actively monitor and limit my kids’ screen time, they still get some and I don’t think that.

But today I was just thinking about how I grew up with technology and how much more so that will be the case for my kids. I mean, earlier this week, Dominic sent his first text. Well, he typed it anyways. I don’t really remember a time before technology. But he really won’t remember a time before technology.

Periodically, Nick looks at our monthly phone usage. Today he informed me that in the last month I have sent 1,053 text messages. And this number doesn’t even include iMessages, of which I have also sent many, but have no data on that. And this number doesn’t measure Facebook messages, which is my main form of communication with a few friends. But basically, the point is, I use these tools to communicate a lot.

Because that’s what they are – they are tools. And this is one of the perspectives that I hope to teach my kids. Not that technology is doom and gloom, but that, when used properly, technology can be a wonderful tool, that allows us to connect with people. That allows us to learn. That assists us with tasks we find difficult.

But also that just because it is a tool to do all those things, doesn’t mean that it should be the only way we do all those things. That there is value in face to face connection. That there are ways to learn outside of technology. That sometimes there are creative solutions to difficult tasks.

There’s a lot of things that I want my kids to learn about technology and honestly, I don’t even know what all of those things are. Somedays, I feel like I’m still learning about technology and I’ve been using it for a very long time. This post is definitely a lot more rambly than yesterday’s post. I hope that’s okay. 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts on kids and tech – the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

5 Things I Have Learned in 5 Years as a Stay at Home Mom

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As Dominic’s 5th birthday approaches, it occurred to me today that that means I have been a stay at home mom for almost five years. That’s longer than it took me to finish college, longer than any job I held, longer than I’ve known some people. It’s a long time. And so, in honor of Dominic’s 5th birthday, here are five things I have learned in my five years (rounded up) as a stay at home mom.

Dominic reading to me and Allen - what I've learned as a Stay at Home Mom

Structure helps us all.

This may sound silly, but I have alarms on my phone for lunch time and dinner time and bedtime. This allows us to keep things at roughly the same time every day without watching the clock, plus the kids understand what’s coming next. I also use an app that keeps track of my housework and this results in us doing certain things on certain days of the week. The kids have picked up on this and they know what to expect. It helps me a great deal to have some kind of structure otherwise the day blurs together because there’s no start and end time to my day. The kids knowing what to expect also helps them to roll with the day – they know when they can expect to be fed and they generally go to bed fine because we have a routine in place before bed.

Everyone is going to have opinions.

I have to start off by saying this is true of all parenting – not just being a stay at home mom. Everyone – and I mean everyone, including random strangers – has opinions on the “right” way to parent kids. Somewhere, someone out there thinks you are ruining your kids for something you do/don’t do. Guarantee. And every kind of mom faces their own kind of stigma and naysayers. For me, as a stay at home mom, this has included pressure from others to get a job and someone I knew called me a freeloader once. All of these things though are just opinions and frequently, not very helpful ones. You and your spouse are the ones who get to make the decisions about your unique and amazing kids – period. Check the outside opinions at the door to your house. This is way easier said than done, but it will make a world of difference.

You need a tribe.

Being a stay at home mom can be lonely and isolating. You don’t always see a whole lot of adults and being around your kids all the time can be hard. You need to find the people who are going to support you in this journey, the people who are going to lift you up when you feel like quitting or when you feel like you’re not good enough. I’m fortunate to have a strong tribe of people supporting me and I truly believe their support is invaluable.

My tribe is a diverse tribe and includes wonderful ladies nearby and far away, some who have kids, some who don’t, some who are the same age as me, some who are older, some who share my faith, some who don’t. However, what they all have in common is that they love me and want to see me succeed. They’re not seeking to tear me down but to encourage me. They’re not seeking to force their opinions on me, but to give advice when asked. They’re not seeking to tell me to quit, but to tell me I made this decision for a reason and to keep going. I am grateful to each and every one of them. I hope that you are lucky enough to find a tribe like I have. Because I can tell you when I didn’t have a very big tribe, it was hard.

There is more to you than being a stay at home mom.

When I first had my kids, I fell into attachment parenting (more about that another day). This made me feel like I could never leave my kids. Like I had to be with them 24/7 or I was a bad mom. I let myself be completely absorbed by parenting and let my other hobbies and interests fall by the wayside. But do you know what I’ve learned this leads to? A stressed out me.Over time, I’ve been able to slowly add in more things that are just for me. I sing in my church’s choir and attend Bible study regularly (with some of the moms from my tribe – thus accomplishing two things 😉 ). I blog and I read books and I write. I try and get out with friends and with Nick when I can.

Being a stay at home mom is a lot of pressure. If you let that be the only thing you have going for you, it’s easy to let the failures crush you. But the reality is, you can not measure your self-worth or success by the behavior of your kids. I still struggle with this because unlike other jobs, there’s no paychecks or promotions or recognitions. But for me, having things I can enjoy outside of parenting helps remind me on the bad days that there is more to life than parenting and I have not failed as a human being even if my kids are little terrors.

It’s normal that it is simultaneously so hard and so rewarding.

I feel like when your kids are little and it’s hard, you tell yourself that later on, it will be easier. When they don’t need you to do so much for them, it will be easier. But the reality is, it doesn’t get easier in a linear fashion. Some things get easier, but then there are other new problems that crop up. And sometimes, if you’re like me, you think if you just work a little bit harder, you will get there, to a point where it’s easier. But life – and parenting – don’t work like that. Parenting has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

But! On the flipside of that, I’ve also never done something this rewarding. There are awesome moments where you see them do a new skill for the first time. Or get a big hug from them with an I love you. Or they finally remember to do something you’ve been working on with them for ages. These moments make your heart like 3000 times bigger. It is frequently both of these things in the same day and sometimes even in the same moment. That’s normal. That’s life.

So I suppose, on reflecting on this list at the end, this isn’t just about being a stay at home mom. It’s also/mostly about being a parent. This is what I’ve learned and really, what I’m still learning. I’m still a work in progress, just like my kids.

What have you learned from parenting? 

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