You’re Doing It Wrong

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Let’s face it, we are all doing a whole lot of guessing in this game called parenting. I pretty much get through the day limping along doing the best I can while hoping they don’t need therapy for my stuttering, incomprehensible yell across the playground after school. However, there are a few thing that I KNOW you are doing wrong….

Blake Bolinger via flickr
(Blake Bolinger via flickr)

1.  Carrying your kids’ backpacks to school– Wtf is this about?! If I had asked my mother to carry my bag to school she would have knocked me out. Since when are we teaching our children to take NO responsibility of their own?  They aren’t carrying bricks in there so give the bag to your kid and force them to be responsible for at least one aspect of their tiny lives.  Stop creating pussies.

2.  Never letting your kids have freedom-

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(Paw Paw via flickr)

My mother never once walked me to school, or to the park, or supervised “playdates” with special activities. And I have never once thought worse of her as a mother for it. In fact, I delighted in the freedom she gave me and the responsibility it taught me. If I screwed up and was late to school or dinner, I lost my freedom. Holy Cow! Consequences can be issued for lack of responsible behavior? This is how children learn to navigate the real world and, unless you plan on having a 40 year old living in your basement, you better get to teaching this sh*t.  If you live close to the school, let them walk with their buddies (you can creepily hover a block or two behind if you are really that paranoid), let them romp at the park without you following their every move, let them ride around the neighborhood with their pals or to walk the dog. Freedom is necessary for growth, and it isn’t free, it comes with responsibility and consequences for screwing up. These are valuable life lessons my friend, stop stunting your children and let go a little.

3.  Dressing like a hoochie– I don’t care if you have girls or boys or both or only one. If you dress like a street-walker you are teaching our children that women’s bodies are valuable only as “meat.” I can’t believe the number of moms that drop their kids off wearing 3 inch stilettos, skirts they can’t bend over in without their hooha’s popping out and more cleavage the Dolly Parton bestows on a bikini. You really want your daughters dressing like that? Or even thinking that dressing like that is OK? I certainly don’t want my sons thinking that his girlfriends or wife should look like that.  Have a little damn modesty and save your lady parts for the bedroom with your husband…or whoever you entertain privately. You can look sexy and classy, I promise, and it’s actually sexier because you leave a little to the imagination.  All I am imagining is dollar bills and glitter in places it won’t come out….

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(John Pike via flickr)

4.  Acting like a short order cook– “I want chicken nuggets,” “ I want hotdogs,” “I want cake….” Who cares what you want, you’re children! Unless you have a child with a verifiable allergy that requires special meals, your children should eat a big bowl of whatever the f*ck mom and dad want for dinner. God forbid your little darling have to scarf down something that isn’t their absolute favorite.  Either they eat what you make or they go to bed hungry. They will get over it and they won’t starve, I promise and I have five tiny humans who are still breathing and healthy to prove it.  Once your kids realize they don’t run the kitchen they will eat whatever you put on their plate. Your “picky” eater will figure it out and stop being so annoying. Take charge like a parent should and stop kowtowing to demands from people who can barely wipe their own butts.

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(Rebecca Pollard via          flickr)

5.  Letting your kids play video games wherever, whenever– Yeah, yeah, video games are great for hand eye coordination. You know what else is? Playing catch, jumping around on monkey bars and playing tag. Sure they are quieter and easier to deal with when attached to a cord in front of the TV, but they are also missing out on Vitamin D and gaining social and physical strength by playing outside, or acquiring skills by reading a book or drawing  a picture. The parents who plug their kids in whenever they go out to eat or to an event or to drive five minutes to Dunkin Doughnuts, you guys drive me fricking crazy.  You know why kids these days don’t have any manners or ability to keep quiet and be polite for five seconds? Because rather than take the time and endure the frustration of teaching a child to sit and eat in a restaurant without causing a scene, or force a kid to be bored and use their own imagination quietly while watching a siblings school play, parents just plug in head phones to whatever wireless device they have and stick their kid in a corner. That’s great, now you and your significant other can have a nice intimate dinner with no distractions, but you also just created Cujo for any situation where your batteries die or there isn’t wifi. It’s OK for your kids to be bored, do your parenting thing and teach them how to combat this boredom. Life is full of boring moments and hours of sitting through material you don’t care about but have to pay attention to, you better get your kids ready now or you’ll be paying for a whole lot of college that won’t be worth diddly squat.

There you go. Stop screwing up.
 

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Remembering That I Like My Kids

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Children are miraculous. They are perhaps the only creatures that you can love more than life itself yet feel complete rage towards 75% of the time. Between the near constant fighting, exhaustion on my part, inability to listen EVER, and the disastrous messes they leave in their wake, sometimes I forget that I LIKE my children as well as love them. Let’s face it, you don’t have to like someone to love them. We all have that one relative, you know the one, the one who you wish no ill upon but you wish wouldn’t show up for birthday parties channeling Clark Griswald.  But I DO like my children, they are funny, interesting, enjoyable little balls of fury, I just forget sometimes. WP_20160403_036

There are days when all I feel like I do is yell and nag at my brood. Stop fighting. Do your chores. Put my tampons away. Where are ALL your shoes? Eat your food.  If you don’t do your chores I swear to God!!! Rinse and repeat.  Add to that the fact that I haven’t slept through the night since the beginning of pregnancy numero uno, 10 years ago, and there is a recipe for petulance brewing at every moment.

I get to the point where I answer every question with irritation and I forget to smile at the naughty things they do on accident or the embarrassing facts that come out of their mouths. For example, the other day my 3 year old said, “You have a funny peepee…Are girls’ peeps on the inside?” And instead of laughing, all I could think was that I didn’t have time to explain anatomy at the moment.  Jesus, get your sh*t together woman! When you can’t remember how to laugh at your kids idiosyncrasies or take joy in their little nuances, youWP_20160426_004 need to take a step back, grab a glass of wine and reset yourself. Irritation and annoyance should not be your go to place with your kids.

Thus, I have spent the last week remembering how much I like my kids. I promised myself to wait a beat before answering their constant and sometimes ridiculous questions so that I could enjoy the question as well as search for a decent or, at least, equally obnoxious answer.  I put my phone down and let my dishes wait awhile longer so that I could read my little ones an extra story or cuddle and extra minute in the morning. And I DO like my kids! Now that I am not acting like such and an a$$h*le they are acting less insane and we are enjoying each other more! Imagine that.IMG_3328

I’m not saying my kids are any less annoying. I would be worried about them if this were so. And I am certainly not less annoyed at the mess, the homework battles, my sleep conundrum, or the general amount of crap that a mom constantly sifts through. However, for the last week, I have been able to compartmentalize all those things and savor the little moments with my kiddos. Moments that are passing very quickly and that they won’t want to share with me much longer. So I have to keep it together, I have to remember that I like as well as love my children, and not let the bustle of daily life make me forget again.

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Chicken-etti; Big Taste for Big Appetites

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Colorado’s weather took a turn towards fall today and with it, my appetite veered to my slow WP_20160825_18_20_45_Procooker! I know the summer sun and temperatures will be back over the next 8 weeks or so, but tonight I wanted a taste of fall; something hearty and delicious, easy on our pocketbook, and a quick and easy crowd pleaser. Chicken-etti here we come!

Roll out your slow cooker and get ready to be wowed! All you need for this recipe are a handful of staples that we always have lying around anyway;

IngredientsWP_20160825_16_07_02_Pro

  • 2 Cups Chicken brothWP_20160825_16_04_04_Pro
  • 32 0z spaghetti (cooked al’dente)WP_20160825_16_08_50_Pro
  • 8 cups cubed and cooked chicken (around 5 chicken breasts)
  • 2 cans cream of celery or cream of chicken soup (I do one of each)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup carrots (optional)
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 lb chopped American cheese (I just use one package of slices and cut them up)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything in a crock pot and Voila! 2-3 hours later, simmering on low, you have a fabulous concoction that will melt your bad mood and buck up your anticipation for cooler weather.

A word to the wise, this recipe feeds a TON. If you aren’t feeding a hoard of ravenous monsters, like I am, you may want to cut this recipe in half.  In fact, even with our larger than life family, this dish will feed us for two wonderful nights.

P.S.  If your husband is anything like mine, he likes his food extra saucy, you can toss in 1/2 of milk to juice it up or, as i like to do, suggest he do it himself, haha. My kids like to poor  bit of milk on theirs just to cool things down a bit, seeing as anything over 98.5 degrees burns their mouths like they just sucked on the sun. Oy. ENJOY!!!

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The Many Styles of “Mom” Hair

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Mom’s are amazing. We manage to keep tiny, slightly suicidal people, alive everyday. This is no small feat! We feed them, bathe them, exercise them and love on them. In fact, we spend so much time on THEM that we often neglect ourselves. And thus, over the years, a new set of hairtstyles has emerged for mom’s.

Slept with a kid hair collageSlept With a Kid Hair- You know when your sweet little one climbs, lovingly, into bed with you in the middle of the night? This is the hair that emerges when that cuddle bug turns into a sleeping hellion. Between the tossing and turning, the fingers caught in your locks and then ripped away, the drool….you will look more like you have been through a tornado than catching ZZZZ’s.

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Messy Bun-This is my go to style. I don’t have time to dry, straighten, and then style my hair each day. A mom’s work is never done, meaning that someone is always crying, needing to eat, needing to poop…And thus my hair is put on the back burner, sometimes literally. YESSS I have caught my hair on fire, I don’t wanna talk about it.

PicMonkey Image4Craft Hair- Moms these days are fabulous at getting crafty with their kiddos.  We cut and paste our way to amazing masterpieces that we will probably throw away in ten days. And all that cutting? Well sometimes my long locks kind of get in the way….I’m going to go ahead a refer to all those short little whispies as “trendy.”

Night Out Hair- So you drugged your little munchkins and got PicMonkey Image 2ten minutes to yourself! You got your hair all sleek and “perty” and you are ready for a night on the town! HAHAHAHAHA! You know that’s crap! And, no, I didn’t actually drug my kids, though it was tempting. I pawned them off on their dad for five minutes so I could get ready for work. WORK. I don’t even where I would start if we were planning a night out! My children literally think that anytime I take a moment to do my hair or make-up that I must be heading to a night of bartending….kind of sad in soooo many ways.

PicMonkey Image5Rough Day Hair- If you see this woman, proceed with caution. You can recognize her by the lines of stress on her face, the possible bits of food that have been thrown into her hair, the presence of random baindaids from wrestling screaming children who need, but don’t want their wounds dressed…Do not attempt to speak to this mother and give her a wide berth. The only way you may penetrate her personal space is if you have a bottle of wine and a straw as an offering. Lead her to a quiet space with a comfy chair and run….

And there you have it. The many stages of “mom” hair. It may not always be pretty, but at least we haven’t pulled it all out yet!

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Why This Mom’s Viral Letter Bugs the F*ck Out of Me!

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Recently a wife’s letter to her husband on how to survive their six children while she goes out for a girls weekend, went viral on every parenting blog EVERYWHERE.  Meghan Oeser, mother of six, wittily takes all the romance out of parenting and breaks it down to it’s nitty gritty everyday insanity. And in some ways, she is correct. The rest drives me crazy!
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She first warns him of the scary turn around from happy hugs when returning home from work to obnoxious sibling fighting.  She is spot on.  This is basically a constant. If I manage to find my children playing happily for more than five minutes without hearing a scream of anger or pain, I tear up and whip out the camera. Most the time someone is unhappy with someone else and they are shouting it from the rooftops.

However, her letter goes quickly downhill with the next paragraph. Dinner. This mother has created the most horrific dinnertime routine I can possibly imagine. She warns her husband of each of her children’s’ separate desires regarding food; not needs, WANTS. Each kid WANTS  a different meal!? Then, when they change their mind halfway through cooking each entree that was asked for, she dumps dinner and pours cereal. I love cereal as much as the next mom, ok I could probably live on it. Cereal is not my issue here. The fact that she is willing to create a different dinner for each child just because they want it is the most ridiculous, obnoxious, crap on earth. Talk about entitled kids. Children should eat what their parents fix for dinner no matter what, with a big freaking “Thank you Mother Dearest!” at the end. I don’t give a rats ass if macaroni and cheese isn’t everyones favorite meal at our house, if I cook it you are damn well going to eat it or go to bed hungry. Mothers should not be short order cooks and if you are doing this in your home you are creating the next generation of entitled brats. Now, don’t get your panties in a wad, if you have a child with special dietary needs my harsh words are not for you. These words are for mothers who are too afraid to say no to their little darlings and realize that the brats aren’t going starve if they decide they don’t want to eat what everyone else is. Get a grip people!
Continue reading “Why This Mom’s Viral Letter Bugs the F*ck Out of Me!”

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A Mom’s Guide to a Quick, Free Workout

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Staying fit in this day and age is already tough. The hustle and bustle of our fast and furious lifestyles often leave little room, or energy, for the workout our bodies need to stay well oiled machines. Add in children and a family, a career for some, and mom’s often can’t find the time to focus on themselves.

For me, working out is essential to my mental well-being just as much as to my physical wellness. However, I don’t have the time to haul my ass to the gym, workout for 2 hours, and then drag my butt back home. Not to mention, I don’t want to take that much time away from my family. So I have become a pro at scouring the internet for workouts I can do at home that get my heart racing and reset my mental health without killing my valuable time.

Here are a few of my favorite workouts that can be done in anywhere from 20-40 minutes.  Most of these workouts are by Cindy Whitmarsh, who is a wonderful trainer for anyone who is a beginner or for someone who is more experienced and just wants to shake up their routine. All her workouts can be modified to fit any fitness level.

Also, read this disclaimer…..

Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge bigfitfam.com from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Bigfitfam.com’s programming.

Now WORKOUT!

Fat Burn Cardio Workout w/Cindy Whitmarsh

 

This workout is a 20 minute interval workout, meaning it alternates cardio with strength movements to maximize your calorie burn. No matter how many times I do this workout I always feel the burn! Here is the link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HinhIipYKgk Because this workout is only 20 minutes long  I will often pair it with another 10 minute workout to finish me off, such as Tiffany Roth’s Mountain CW1Climber Workout. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo5TpbHjI7TR4

Get your sweat on with these two awesome ladies!

 

Next, Combine 3 Workouts into One Killer Routine

This  set combines 3 workouts, again by Cindy Whitmarsh. Each separate set focuses on strengthening a separate area of the body, but in combination this workout will give you strength and killer conditioning in one.

We start with the “Booty Burn Workout.” I suggest using heavier weights for this workout, 5-8 lbs for beginners, while I use 12lbs.  The thighs and booty are a big, powerful muscles and they can handle a bit more weight. Next, is the “Upper Body Burn.” I use lighter weights for this because I have a few injuries. However, choose what works for you. You should feel tired by the 4th or 5th rep. If you are not tired, up the weight a bit. Finally is the “Six Pack Ab Calorie Burn.” Again, choose whatever weight works for your fitness level. I prefer to use 12lb weights for the first segment and then move down to 8’s for the middle and again to 12’s for the final movement requiring weights.

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*Booty Burn- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aALQIN9A4j8

*Upper Body Burn- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7P1wr1kvms

*Six Pack Ab Calorie Burn- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWYli90bDHE

Cindy Whitmarsh, via ExcerciseTV is one of my favorite trainers. She is fun, dynamic and works well for all levels of training.

Screw it! Cindy’s workout’s already dominate this post, we will finish off with her as well!

These next two workouts are great to alternate. I do each once a week because they never get boring and they go quickly! Each workout is 30 minutes. The first focuses on the lower body and the second focuses on the upper body. Each workout is an interval style workout where you do a strength set for 1 minute and the alternate with a 1 minute cardio set. These dynamic workouts are rough! You can do anything for a minute, so get to it!

*Cindy Whitmarsh, Results in 10 Days, Lower Body- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SomT8fpQVPE

*Cindy Whitmarsh, 10 Days to a Better Body, Upper Body- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJmKI6iUWXc.

Ladies, we can do anything! We can create humans! Our bodies are amazing for so many reason, don’t do injustice to such an incredible machine by letting it ruse any longer! Shake off the child infused haze and get moving. Set your kiddos up with a show, strap them in high chairs with snack and crayons…figure it out, your kids will learn to sit for 30 minutes and play while you do something for YOU!!!

Also, watch for my own workout series COMING SOON!

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An Open Letter to My Children on the First Day of School

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Dear Machaon, Akadia, and Dominic,

I think I can literally say that I may hate school more than you do.  As I watched you go into your classrooms on the first day, I was so proud of you all. You said, “hello,” politely to your teachers and smiled at other children you did not yet know. I got a little teary eyed thinking of how each you are growing up so nicely. For me, I feel so much pride watching you navigate through school, but it is also a first step in letting you go and grow on your own….without me. It is a bittersweet moment, the first day of school.

After dropping you off I walked home with only your two littlest brothers in tow. I WP_20160816_07_15_14_Prowent slowly, not really knowing what awaited me at home without you three there as well. In summertime, my house is filled with little people and I LOVE it. Despite the extra fights, the extra problems that occur with more people in a small space, I much prefer the summers when you are all home with me. When I can wake up in the morning and simply cuddle, or spy as you cuddle with each other, watching baby shows that you let you brother choose. Now, as I walk inside while you are at school, learning and making friends, my house seems so empty. Of course I have your 2 and 1 year old brothers to attend to, and I thank God for them, but it isn’t the same. I miss my three oldest.

The early mornings don’t help my mood either. It’s no surprise that I’m not a morning person so it shouldn’t shock you that whoever decided 7:30am was a great start time is officially my enemy, And all the homework that requires parental attention every night is a pretty big pain in the neck as well. What happened to the good old days when children simply did their homework? Your grandmother, certainly, was never expected to hover over me and sign off on my every moment of learning. Thus, I am grumpier and more emotional due to such an early start time and dreading the homework triathalon that will be begin when you arrive home.

So much homework and hovering takes away from our family time as well. We don’t have the time to play and sit together like we do in summertime. We have responsibilities and not enough hours in the day to do everything we want to do. So I am stuck being a good mom, nagging you about your homework and chores, making sure you bathe each night and get your 20 minutes of reading in. All I really want to do is play a board game with you, or make you sit in my lap as we watch some silly show.
School also means that you remember how awesome your friends are. Of course you played during the summer, but I got plenty of time with you as well. Now, you are reminded everyday how cool your buddies are and how lame mom is. Any moment you have that is not taken up by homework or chores is spent outside tearing up the neighborhood on your bikes and scooters.

And this is how it should be. It makes me so happy to see you playing with your friends and thriving in school. I am so proud of all of you. Missing you is what I will do for the rest of my life. You will only get older, more independent. One day, sooner than I choose to believe, you will go off to college and, beyond that, begin families of your own. I will smile and cheer you on through your journey, just as I did on the first day of school. I will be so proud of everything you accomplish and I will always be here when you need me. And I will always miss the summers when you were home with me, when time with mom was as precious to you as it always is to me.

For now, good luck on your first day of school, love bugs. Wish me luck too, these first steps to independence are hard on your mama.

Love Always,

Mommy

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