Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Weight of the World, NOT for Kids

Well, that all escalated quickly for all of us here in the U.S. and I will admit I wasn’t prepared for it. We saw it coming, but a lot of us did not want to admit it would be here as quickly as it came. I was naive.

The worry and anxiety I have with this pandemic kicks in every few days when watching the news. It’s a human reaction to something like this. I am thankful I am able to work at home during this time because not only am I fortunate to be working safely at home while here with my family, it is something to help occupy my mind from wandering too far into the worry and uncontrollable.

One thing we have to try to do is keep our composure for our kids. They do not understand the crazy world we live in and they shouldn’t have to. It is our job to guide them through this and allow them to live as normal of a life as we can while on a stay-at-home mandate here in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Growing up, I can say, my parents never allowed the weight of the world to fall onto my shoulders through any lows they may have experienced or during the world events that occurred. I always wondered how they did it now that I can see life truly does throw some curveballs at you as an adult and even more as a parent.

I have tried to recall the moments and what they did to help. They worked through it as we do any situation because you have to. My parents figured things out without me seeing the worry in their eyes because parents are the guides in a child’s life. They knew the importance of working together and making life go forward without panic or fear for me to have on my shoulders. Things always work out as long as you keep pushing forward. If I had questions, they would help me understand the best they could with correct knowledge, but also to what I could comprehend at each age.

A tweet I came across. I’m not the only one with this thought

Kids are learning something new every day and learning how to handle their own emotions. Do your best to not let them see you panic or worry through this, no matter how much of a struggle it may be for some of us. Children are not designed to handle an adult’s emotions as well as their own. Do not be selfish in that regard. This is not the time to use homeschooling to teach them how to handle a pandemic. There are learning moments for sure, but not on how to take on our emotions.

Sure, this is tough for all of us to wrap our heads around but don’t make this hard for your children. Take the time at home with them to do things you would not typically do together. Yes, they have to learn while they are out of school but it’s going to look different in how everyone is able to accomplish that. That will vary from what each school has been able to provide to you for this and what creative ideas you may have.

Many of my friends have posted all kinds of different things they have done with their children. Some have helped them create fire starters to sell to begin his own savings for a tractor, writing with sidewalk chalk on neighbor’s driveways to bring smiles to their faces, virtual dance parties/classes at home, crafts to hang in your windows for others to see, snack rationing with 1 cup per day, and cooking together. There are many things to do with them like being outside when it is nice and sure, let them on the iPad a little longer on the days you need the sanity for yourself! You’re not a bad parent. You need to take care of yourself as well.

I do encourage you to, if able, help your local small businesses and restaurants. Some are making kits to either bake cookies or make pizza (can be something fun to do with the kids) and other various items they are selling, even gift cards. My birthday is this coming weekend if anyone wanted to support a local bakery and have a kit shipped to us or even a lovely bottle of wine! 😉 I wear a size dry red.

On a lighter note, here are a few events that have happened in our home during the quarantine. I’m highlighting our more humorous moments for you here rather than a full list of what we have done day to day.

  • I was video chatting friends last week and hear my husband groaning. Our almost 10 month old son got into the dog’s water and food dish. He had a dog bowl bath and tried a bite of dog food.
  • When changing my son’s diaper, I panicked for a moment thinking his belly button magically moved and became an outtie. Turns out, it was only a cheerio hidden in his diaper from earlier. Amazing how they get things in places you never expect!
  • We definitely never drank on weekdays. Now we enjoy a beverage on our walks or with dinner. No we aren’t getting drunk, but we are enjoying the extra time in the evenings together more.
  • My husband went to Sam’s Club last week for some essentials. He thought we needed rice, but the smallest bag was 25 lbs. This was his panic moment and we now have 25 pounds of rice to eat through this situation. It will be our side dish at most meals! 
  • In the idea of making sure we get outside, we took a 4 mile walk when it was 20 degrees outside. Kid and dog in tow as well. Brrr
  • We turned on Frozen 2 Saturday morning for our son while we drank coffee at 7 am. He passed out, we continued to finish the movie. #notashamed
  • If you watched Frozen 2, you will understand this one. I later googled why wombat poop is square… watched a YouTube video on it. You’re intrigued aren’t you?
  • My husband and I ate Honey BBQ Fritos recklessly at 10 PM at night, totally sober,  instead of going to bed because, quarantine.
  • The other night my brother-in-law sent a nice text to the family checking in on all of us. This lead to all of us group texting (my whole in-law side) while drinking wine and laughing our asses off as we introduced them to the world of GIFs and how it makes messaging 100x funnier.
  • I tried crafts with my son.I set up paint on paper to color an Easter egg to hang in our window for the neighborhood kids to go on an “Easter Egg Hunt” by spotting eggs in everyone’s windows. Well, my son was irritated that I had put him in his high chair without food and could care less about the fun paint he could swirl around. The egg in my window was done by me. #pinterestfail
Another idea for those with younger kids!

Find some humor and fun throughout this odd time. I know it is scary and I am certainly not saying to ignore the world outside. Keep yourself informed with the proper channels. Do your best as a parent to keep your kids calm and enjoy the time they have being little! They will remember the fun times and what you did to make them smile. I promise.

A lot of the images I used in today’s post are from the Daily Chirp emailed from Natural Life.
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I have no affiliation to their site. I truly enjoy their emails and posts.

They bring a smile to my morning every day!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Vacation, just mom. What?!

Let’s set aside the panic of the COVID-19 virus for just a moment to read about a vacation I took without my husband or child. No, I’m not saying the pandemic isn’t important, it truly is and I could say a lot but I’d rather not because everyone else has plenty to say for all of us and I’m not a scientist or doctor so I’ll let them do the important work. Please keep yourself informed during this time by the ones who know and not just the facebook know it alls. So enjoy some time at home in quarantine and enjoy what I wrote below.

I skipped 2 weeks of writing as you may have noticed or may not have. It wasn’t because I did not want to write but I was away and had let go of the need to complete everything and truly take a vacation.

I recently went on an amazing trip to Alaska with some of my girl friends and met two new friends. Every moment was incredible. Yes, I went without my husband and child. What?! A mom left her kids and took a trip for herself with some friends?!

This was my first trip away from my son for more than 1 night. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how I’d do it, but just like everything else, you just do it and it works out. It was 7 nights away and a 4-hour time difference. This was not easy for me but I will say it was necessary and I enjoyed it so much!

The morning I was leaving for my flight, I had a tough face on until my mom proceeded to tell me, “don’t worry, Blake and I will handle everything. It will all be okay.” Well, I did not doubt anything until she said that and I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I gave her a kiss and a hug and said “I know, time to go!” Otherwise, I would have stayed and cried about leaving my son behind.

When chatting about our trip with one of my friends who has 2 boys and also went with us, she mentioned something that I agree with. She said, “I’m such an advocate for mom’s & dad’s living their own lives.” Not only do I agree with that, but even more she also said, “We take them on a ton of trips and we go without them sometimes. I think it’s good for everyone, even though it’s hard initially.”

There is a part of being a new mom that really made me feel good about her saying that in the sense that I’m not alone, knowing you kind of lose who you were to become mom and dad now. Who you are is still in there and deserves a moment to be that person again.

So when I video chatted or called my parents or husband multiple times a day to speak with them and see my son, I still got to be Carly for a week with my friends. The Carly I knew before I became mom. I still missed them of course and I truly wished they had been there to experience all of the amazing things we did and saw, hence the multiple calls a day to them. That never left me for a moment. They’re my #1 team but mama needed her time too.

The parts of this trip that were so necessary for me as an individual were the moments I was able to let go of planning a single thing, sleeping without waking to a little one needing a diaper change or a bottle first thing in the morning, and being totally carefree to the point that we could laugh until our cheeks hurt.

We laughed so hard one evening that we had people in the restaurant start to laugh too because we couldn’t stop. That felt so good to laugh like that with them again!

When I say I didn’t plan anything, I mean it and that is a big thing for me not to do. I used to cringe if someone planned stuff for me because it wasn’t how I liked it to be or wanted it to be. I like to be in control, it’s in my DNA and personality.

This trip, the only thing I had planned was the flights my friend and I took as well as 1 day of snow skiing with another friend. The rest of the trip was planned by our friends in Alaska. I can honestly say I would wake up each day asking, “so what’s our plans for today?” Though I knew ahead of time what there was in the plans, I didn’t bother to know exactly each day and detail and it felt so good to let that go and trust in our friends and guess what? The trip went perfectly!

Allowing life to do it’s thing and truly let go of control is something new for me. When chatting with my friend on my way home from work I said that to her and she mentioned, “when you are home all you do is plan and figure out everyone’s life because you’re a mom!” She is dead on.

All moms take on the tasks of the family’s schedule and life. It is a lot to handle and a lot to keep in line on a regular basis, it drains you but you always do it because it is necessary.

My husband had flown to Florida a few weeks prior to my trip as well and got to enjoy some downtime. Of course, we love to travel together, but we are individuals who are allowed to decompress and enjoy some time laughing doing what we love solo too.

Every parent deserves some time to themselves however they are able to get it. I’m not saying hurry and fly your ass to Alaska, the last frontier, but I am saying that you should find a moment to get to forget about planning and just go with the flow. Maybe now is actually the time for those of you who have children at home with schools shut down and are working from home?

Enjoy the days of no plans and school or work. Let the kids help you by making decisions for lunch or dinner, in a realistic way of course. Though I can’t say I wouldn’t love some lucky charms and waffles for dinner as a kid! Show them new board games or read books together. Pick a movie to watch each night. Take a walk on a local trail, take the dog for a walk, or make an obstacle course in the house or back yard. Try something new and let the planning go! We have to keep our sanity while we are all waiting this out.

Once the pandemic slows down and we can be around everyone again, be sure to find that time for yourself too. I am lucky and blessed to have a husband that is a great teammate that we can tag team trips alone but will also plan them together for our family.

I hope you’re able to find that time and make sure you can decompress!

Below are some photos from our incredible trip this past week!

Our crew in Alaska at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod race 2020
Seward, Alaska
One of the dog sled teams running the Iditarod 2020 at the ceremonial start
On our way to visit Whittier, Alaska
Talkeetna, Alaska after a 2 foot snow fall
Denali National Park, Mount McKinley – the highest mountain peak in North America
Enjoying the events for the Iditarod 2020
Our view from Alyeska Ski Resort from the top of the mountain