***If you have made your way back to Momsie, I am so glad you found us! We had some technical issues with the domain name so make note of the new web address. Another good reason to "follow" us and "like" us on Facebook so you can stay in the know!! Pass the word to people still searching for Momsie!***

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: The Real Meaning of Christmas...

Tis the season…. to be stressed, busy, overwhelmed, and exhausted! I honestly thought that when I had kids Christmas would prove to be more special than ever. It is true, their anticipation and excitement is priceless and seeing their faces as they open their gifts is awesome. But if I am being truthful, they also make the holiday a lot of work!! First there are the school programs you have to attend along with the class parties and teacher gifts. There is the shopping for their gifts, hiding the gifts so you don’t dare ruin the Santa fantasy. The late night on Christmas Eve nearly divorcing your husband as you try to work together to put together the kitchen set and brand new bike. 

Then there is the intricate plan of how to keep them from barging downstairs before you are in position with the video camera or coming into your room at 5 a.m. Finally the moment arrives and all your hard work is unwrapped and strewn about in approximately 3 ½ minutes only to be followed by complaints about what they didn’t get or fights over who gets the Nintendo DS first. Merry Christmas kiddos!!! I am really not trying to be a Grinch but if we are being honest, and you know I always am, it’s hard work pulling off the perfect Christmas.

Each December 26th when the exhaustion of it all finally hits I am sure I am not the only one who has vowed to make next year more low key. To spend a little less (the stupid $100 American Girl has already been tossed aside in lieu of the $2 box of crayons and mega pack of construction paper) and to try and remind our kids (and ourselves) what Christmas is supposed to be about. I think the biggest problem we have in accomplishing this goal is twofold. Like childbirth, as time passes we forget the ugliness of it all and when the next year rolls around and we do the same thing thinking it won’t be nearly as bad. Second, we think that somehow these changes will miraculously just happen. But the truth is, if you want Christmas to be different you have got to be intentional. Trust me, our society is NOT going to encourage slowing down, spending less and most certainly it won’t be mentioning Jesus (heck, we can’t even say Merry Christmas!!). So for the next few weeks leading up to Christmas I hope to share some tips on how to be intentional about keeping the real meaning of Christmas front and center and how to have the courage to say no to all the other stuff that truly just doesn’t really matter.

While it is fine to let your kids make a list for Santa and circle toys in the catalogues take time EACH day to talk about other important things that define Christmas.

Tip #1: Christmas is about giving…”For God so loved the world He gave his only son…” John 3:16. Christmas is the day God gave us his son Jesus! In Jesus, God gave us the opportunity for eternal life!!

Many of our kids don’t think this season is about anything more than getting. As your kids make out their gift list look for ways to balance the giving/getting scales. Here are a few things I am doing with my kids this season…

-volunteering with the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. We will help collect, organize and distribute toys to the needy families
-throwing a Christmas party for low income children at the Boys & Girls Club
-Taking a shift to ring bells and collect money in the Salvation Army Kettle in front of our favorite grocery store
-Going caroling at a nursing home

Other suggestions…

-clean out the playroom and closets and take the toys to thrift stores
-take a few Christmas cards to a nursing home
-bake cookies for a neighbor
-volunteer in a soup kitchen
-contact your local Department of Social Services and ask how you might give gifts or help make Christmas brighter for kids in foster care

The opportunities are endless but you have to be intentional because it won't just happen!! Help your children take the focus off themselves and find concrete ways for them to understand that there are many around them who are in need. This is a great time of year to teach the tried and true lesson given by Jesus, “it is more blessed to give than to receive…” Acts 20:35

Check out this website for a cute alternative to Elf on the Shelf…

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lauren Alexander: Rotisserie Chicken Soup...

As the weather continues to turn colder I find myself craving soup more and more. It's such an easy meal and, if done right, so satisfying. Whether it comes from a can, a restaurant, or your stovetop the ways to enjoy soup are endless. Typically I don't actually make the soup myself, I count on Panera for that. But after finding this super easy recipe I may consider myself a soup cook afterall! Once again, it all begins with the 
perfect starter: a rotisserie chicken...

Chicken and Tortellini Soup
Rotisserie Chicken
4 carrots cut into bite size pieces (or the small, ready to eat carrots cut in half or thirds)
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
8 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
In a large saucepan, simmer the carrots in 5 cups chicken broth until tender, 10-12 minutes. Add 8 ounces tortellini and simmer until tender, 2-4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken. Season with salt and sprinkle with chopped parsley to taste.
This is a great take on chicken noodle soup that really ups the heartiness by using the cheese tortellini. You could also throw in another vegetable like frozen peas to sneak in some extra goodness for the family. Serve with crackers or a grilled cheese for the hungry ones and dinner is served in 20 minutes flat.

Frugal Santa...

Am I the only one who is feeling the pressure this Christmas?!  First of all how did we already get to December and how did I end up with TWO children with December birthdays?!  I feel like as soon as Thanksgiving is over the money just starts flying out of our pockets.  I have never been an early shopper like those moms who get it all done before December even rolls around.  In theory it sounds great but I just never can get my act together in time.  Plus my kids wants seem to change weekly so I wouldn't really even know what to buy.

This year I feel especially convicted to not spend a lot of money.  Between the roller coaster economy and being more aware of the less-fortunate I just can't bring myself to spend lots of money on frivolous things.  Especially since my kids break most toys they receive or fight over them until the point of me taking it away anyway!  So this year I am trying to be more of a Frugal Santa by buying things they need rather than just want.  I don't want to take any of the joy out of their birthdays and holidays so I am making sure that even where I am saving I am still keeping things festive and exciting for them.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing some tips of how I am saving and what I am doing to creatively give gifts that double as necessities.  Here is my first installment:

Frugal Santa Stockings:
So like I said, I usually don't even start my shopping until December but this year I am proud to say that their stockings are stuffed and ready to go before Dec. 1st!  Stockings, to me, are the fluff of Christmas.  Kind of like the tissue paper of gift wrap.  Don't get me wrong, my stocking is my favorite thing on Christmas morning but for kids it tends to just be an array of after-thought gifts and fillers.  

I found myself in Target, about to spend money on stuff just to fill their stockings when I decided that instead I would fill them with toiletries and items I would usually buy anyway.  I can easily justify buying toothbrushes, vitamins, band aids, and tissues because these are things we use on a regular basis.  Luckily my kids are still young enough that they get excited over these things too.  I have wrapped the band aids for a little suspense and tied bows around their toothbrushes.  I also found some other great things that will fill those stockings AND get lots of use:

bubble bath
chap stick
new sippy cup
fruit snacks
granola bars
glue sticks

Have any of you found inexpensive fillers for your stockings?  If so share your ideas by leaving a comment under this post or on our Facebook page!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Road Trippin with the Kiddos...

Welcome back!  Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  We did the traveling thing to go visit my in-laws in Georgia and had a great time.  The one downside was the 4-hour drive there and back! My kids are not great travelers AT ALL!  Especially when they are tired or hungry and they were both while we sat in 2 hours of stand still traffic!  Did any of you run into this problem over the holidays?  More importantly does anyone have any great advice on how to make traveling with kids more bearable?  

We seem to try it all: snacks, toys, movies, games, and breaks here and there but it seems like every time we reach our destination my husband and I are completely frazzled and the kids are a wreck!  There also doesn't seem to be a "good" time of day to travel.  I used to avoid nap times because I thought the kids would be happier if they weren't tired but that didn't work.  So, we have tried driving while the kids are tired in hopes that they would fall asleep but no such luck there either.  

So, what are your go-to tricks?  Anyone have the magic ticket for making road trips more bearable?  And don't limit your advice to just car rides because we all know flights can be a nightmare as well!  Maybe I will throw this question out there to Adrienne since she is our "advice guru!"  Send me an email or leave a comment...I would love to hear from you here or on our Facebook page

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lauren Alexander: Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas...

You know what I'm thankful for this week? Leftovers! The only thing I love more than Thanksgiving dinner is the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. It's like it just gets better with each passing day. I intentionally buy too much of everything just so I can live off of it for a few days after the holiday has come and gone. But the day eventually comes that the turkey is gone and I'm back to trying to pull together a family meal. This is where our friend the rotisserie chicken comes back into play. I've already preached on the ease and convenience of the rotisserie chicken but never has that meant more than after the epic cooking showdown that is Thanksgiving.
Here is a yummy recipe that again uses the rotisserie chicken as an easy starting point. And this one's got a bit of a Mexican flair after all of that traditional American feasting you've done...
Chicken and Corn Enchiladas
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (I used the canned corn because that's what I usually have on hand)
1 1/2 cups grated Pepper Jack cheese (6 ounces)
Salt and black pepper
small flour tortillas
1 cup store-bought enchilada sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, corn, 1 cup of the cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spoon the mixture onto the tortillas and roll. Place seam-side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with the sauce and remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake until heated through and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve. Some additions to consider are adding black beans to the chicken mixture and serving with diced tomatoes and/or avocado. However you make it you've got dinner in 30 minutes and a break from all of that turkey! Happy eating!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bento Box Lunches for Kids...

I came across this blog the other day and I am in love!  If your kids are like mine they probably eat meals consisting of a mixture of things in hopes that they will get a full belly and maybe a little variety in their diets!  How perfect to create "Bento Box Lunches."  Heck, I would even like these for myself.  Check out this link and the links within her post on where to buy the cute little bento lunch boxes as well!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: Is there an App For That?

Is there an app for that?

Hey Apple I’ve got a few suggestions if you are considering some new apps…

For My Children, An App That:
  • Makes them sleep through the night in their own bed
  • Makes them unable to speak above a whisper when indoors
  • Instantly replicates toys to ensure one for each of them in identical color, shape and size
  • Magically transports them into the car and buckles them in when it is time to go somewhere
  • Packs school lunches
  • Obliterates Spongebob, Yo Gabba Gabba and the guy from Blues Clues
  • Makes vegetables taste like chicken nuggets, mac n cheese and French fries
  • Sanitizes and completely details my car each night
  • Enables them to have more coordination, less repetition and a sense of urgency when I am in a hurry
  • Enlightens them to the fact that the world does not in fact revolve around them

For My Husband, An App That:
  • Increases his desire to give me back rubs, hugs and hold my hand without “activating the launch sequence”
  • Makes him think as much about planning a date night as he thinks about planning his Fantasy Football team
  • Fills him with the desire to fold laundry and unload the dishwasher
  • Makes him enjoy Dancing With the Stars, Bachelor/Bachelorette, and Dateline
  • Enables him to recognize when we are out of something and go buy more at the store
  • Makes him love to dance
  • Gives him the ability to multi task…yes, you can have the kids AND clean up the house!
  • Shuts down all sexual desire after 10pm
  • Alerts him when the kids are in danger after a long day with me and need to be removed from my presence
  • Magically makes all my meals taste just like his mom’s

For Me, An App That:
  • Erases all the sun damage to my face
  • Restores the abdominal muscles I lost after 3 c-sections
  • Makes fruits and veggies taste like cheeseburgers and milkshakes
  • Returns the perkiness to my now sagging boobs
  • Makes my skin glow, my hair thick and full and teeth that are straight out of a Crest Whitestrips commercial
  • Increases my patience, decreases my irritability and forces me to stop and enjoy the moment with my kids
  • Prevents me from leaving the house in embarrassing outfits like a shirt on inside out with deodorant stains down the sides
  • Helps me understand why there are still idiots people who write checks at the grocery store
  • Will remove all slow drivers from the roads when I have somewhere to be.
  • Makes me a wild woman in the bedroom (my husband asked for this app, LOL). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lauren Alexander: A New Series for Easy meals...

Every week I sit down to make my "meal plan" for the week as well as my grocery list. There are so many times that I do this and find that I'm crossing off the idea of a meal because it just requires too many ingredients. I'm always in search of a delicious meal that's easy to shop for and not too time consuming to prepare. Pretty much the impossible, right? Wrong! Because when I'm looking for this perfect combo I always start in the same place- the holy grail of meal prep, the rotisserie chicken. I mean, what's not to like about it? Some magical man in an unknown room is cooking these babies up all day and then setting them out in those oh-so-convenient warmers until I can come by and snatch one up. I don't have to worry about preparing it, cooking it (or undercooking it, which is my greatest phobia), or making sure it's perfectly moist and ready to serve. Nope, the magical man does that. All I have to do is come up with lots of ways to serve it so my husband doesn't figure me out.
And today is your lucky day because I'm going to share with you the first in a series of recipes that uses the rotisserie chicken as a starting point and very little else to take it from the container to the dinner plate.
Chicken and Gruyere Turnovers (Don't panic if you don't know what Gruyere is...)
Frozen puff pastry (one 17.25 oz package)
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere (this is a very mild cheese and is great for baking because of how it melts; you can substitute a good Swiss if you can't find Gruyere)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 egg
Dijon mustard
Cut 2 sheets of thawed frozen puff pastry in half to form 4 rectangles. Dividing evenly, top half of each rectangle with a mixture of the chicken, Gruyere, and frozen peas. Seal the pastries and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake at 400 degrees until golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve with Dijon mustard. Serves 4.
The combination of the flaky puff pastry plus the melty, cheesy chicken mixture is to die for! And it has all the "basics" inside- meat, cheese, vegetable- so no need for a side dish. You could even add or substitute another vegetable (I was thinking broccoli ??) to up the heartiness of the meal.
Coming up I'll have more easy meals that start with the rotisserie chicken. Anything to give us a new recipe to try without breaking the bank or our back, right?!

Monday, November 14, 2011

$40/week Grocery Challenge Re-visit...

Another busy weekend, another Sunday that I just didn't feel like going grocery shopping!  Ever just get in a slump and don't feel like doing your wifely duties?!  Well thats how I am feeling these days.  I just don't feel like grocery shopping, doing laundry, or making dinner.  So I thought why not give myself a break from at least two of those things and switch the challenge up a bit. Instead of trying to spend only $40 at the grocery store I am going to spend that money on eating out this week.  I know that sounds impossible but I am determined to make it work. Heres the plan:

  • We are only going to eat out 4 of the 7 nights (I will plan a night for leftovers and cook the two remaining nights).
  • I am going to utilize the "kids eat free" tab right here on Momsie.  I am going to pick a restaurant each night that offers free kids meals.  Thats 2 people in the family that will eat without disturbing the $40 budget.
  • We are going to eat at non-tipping type restaurants meaning I will be choosing the places that are a step up from fast-food but that do not require a waiter/tipping (ex: McCalister's)
  • One night is pizza night and we always have leftovers so that will cover 2 nights.  We have been doing the $10 any pizza deal at Pizza Hut.  Check it out bc it is a really good deal!
  • One night I will be making this simple potato soup (I always have the ingredients on hand and it is a quick fix).
  • On the other night that I am cooking we will be having what my mom used to call, "The Sunday Night Special."  It consists of grilled cheese and vanilla milkshakes.
So that is my plan to not have to grocery shop (other than maybe some milk or bread) for this week!  I will also be scoping out Lauren's recipe coming on Tuesday because it is sure to be simple and yummy.  Happy Monday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

FYE: 11/11/11: DIY Art Wall

Once again I am "re-gifting" a post I have already written over at designPOST.  I am just so happy to share it with moms because it was so easy and inexpensive.  Plus I KNOW there are some moms out there who have a bag/drawer/box full of preschool/elementary artwork with which you just don't know what to do.  My little DIY project will give you a wall on which you can house their art and rotate it with ease.  Share pictures if you do this or another easy version!

click picture for full post/tutorial

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Hayes


Name: Hayes Willett     Age: 36

Number of kids:3-Miles (age 6), Mabry and Maddie Hayes (twins age 3)
What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)?  That I really had no clue what I was doing with my kids.  After being a nanny for many yrs I thought it would all come natural to me but nope, I was wrong.
What would you say has been your worst parenting moment? Well let's see, there are several..what about the time one of my twins didn't get off the elevator in the Bank of America building and I lost her for 10 minutes and had no clue what floor she could have pressed on the elevator because there are only 30 something floors in that building? Or how about just the other night when I was on vacation and helping one of my twins in the bathroom.  I didn't know she went #2, went to help her off the potty and her poo went rolling across the bathroom floor with a line of women waiting to use the restroom?  Let's just say I am a mom in training.

Your best? The hugs, cuddles and "I love You's" and more recently my Mabry tells me "Mom you're my best friend"

Best parenting advice you have ever received? "The days are long but the years are short.  Try to relish in every moment whether it is good or bad."

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids? What hasn't changed?! Most days I am in sweaty gym clothes and rarely shower until nighttime. I only wash my hair about every 2 days.  Some days I even gross myself out!!!

What is your day-to-day beauty regimen? ponytail, maybe some bronzer and mascara. I am faithful about washing my face (and body!) every night.

What is your favorite beauty product and why? Rodan and Fields Reverse-it helps get rid of all the sun damage I have from years at the beach

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be? Time to myself!

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids? I am a redneck at heart and actually enjoy taking my kids to Carowinds. They have so much fun and it really tires them out!

Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)? Charlotte has so much to offer-great museums, libraries, farms, etc.

What word do you use way too much on any given day? Stop or No

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with? Maybe Kelly Ripa. She seems like she would be a lot of fun plus her husband is hot-haha!

If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be? To have all the patience in the world

Favorite part of being a mom? I love watching the world through their little eyes.  Its so fun to see the trivial things that I take for granted and get them so excited.  This past week we crossed over a bridge to get to the beach and Maddie's voice got so squeaky and shrill with excitement of going on a big bridge over the water.  It was really cute. Later in the week they saw a full rainbow, a starfish and brought home sanddollars.  You would have thought they had won the lottery they were so excited!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mommy and Me Missions...

Adrienne has called out sick...just kidding she has actually called out busy and for good reason. She is a volunteering machine.  I mean she really is one of those people who doesn't just talk the talk, she is walking the walk.  And right along with her are her children.  How awesome to be able to serve in your community and set such a great example to your kids!!  Adrienne has started a group in her hometown called "Mommy and Me Missions" and her goal is to find volunteering opportunities that both parents and kids can do together.  This way adults don't have to miss a chance to volunteer just because they don't have childcare.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that kids love these missions.  My son went to visit and was recruited on one of their service projects.  He loved the experience and I was so proud to see him doing completely selfless work.

This week Adrienne is busy finalizing plans for a major fundraiser she is putting on with The Salvation Army so blogging had to take a backseat.  I am so proud and can't wait to hear about the results of her efforts.  If I had the time and drive that Adrienne does I would try to start a Charlotte chapter but until then check out the Facebook page for M&MM.  Make sure to "like" the page and keep up with all their do-gooding.  I hope it inspires some of you to get out and volunteer.  Stay tuned next week for some local opportunities to volunteer that I will be bringing your way!!

Adrienne and her crew!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lauren Alexander: Perfect Meal for the Time Change (urrrggh)...

My least favorite day has come and gone but it leaves behind its wrath. Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic. But the day we turn our clocks back is by far my least favorite day of the year. And now that I've got an 18 month old, the time change is even more brutal than in years past. Why? Because the little guy has no idea what's happened and can't figure out why waking up at 6am isn't just as good as waking up at 7am. I'm tired just talking about it.
This, my friends, is just another example of why I live for the crockpot. At the end of the day (and especially these days when it's 5 o'clock but feels like 8 o'clock) I just want to blink my eyes and have dinner in front of the family. And the crockpot is the closest to a miracle I have found.
Today's recipe is another southern classic that I remember watching my mom make often. Except dear mom slaved away with tons of steps and meticulous timing. I have no patience for either of those things so I choose to dump all of my ingredients in a crockpot and 8 hours later...voila!
Mom's Country Steak
4-6 cube steak (such a cheap cut of meat!)
1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup of water
That's it! Seriously! Dump them all in the crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours) and serve. I typically serve it over rice with a vegetable side or two. Honestly it doesn't get any easier than this. Not to mention seriously inexpensive. And the greatest part is it tastes EXACTLY like mom used to make, minus the actual work. Perfection!

Monday, November 7, 2011

No Grocery Shopping, No Budgets Just Love (and sore feet)...

This week I have nothing to report from the grocery store or my wallet because I skipped my Sunday trip to the store.  Instead, my friends I was home recovering from the previous night out. My husband, Taylor and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary this weekend.  7 years!!  We met in college but never dated until after and I never in a million years would have predicted we would be here...7 years and 2 kids later!

I used to see Taylor out at bars or football games and think he was so cute.  He was my crush from afar but never someone I thought I would date.  Or more accurately, never someone I thought would date me.  To say my husband was a flirt back in his college days would be a major understatement.  I was convinced for years that he only talked to me to get to my sister.  Sure he would stop by my dorm room from time to time but I also conveniently lived on the all-girls floor...lots of guys found excuses to visit there.  And hey, I met the guy because he was taking my suite-mate to a mixer!  Plus we both ended up being in long-term relationships and by the time college was over I rarely saw or spoke to him anymore.

Fate has a funny way of stepping in when you least expect it and that exactly what happened a few years after college.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I got that phone call from Taylor.  I knew he didn't like me like that so I just couldn't figure out why he would be calling.  Not one to be very serious, our conversations usually involved lots of joking so I never knew what he was thinking but somehow he asked me out to a movie.  I had never believed in the whole "you just know when its right" b.s until suddenly I just knew it was right. Taylor felt like home and we just never looked back.

After a surprise proposal in Paris (yes PARIS!) we set a date and got married as fast as we could. We, like most married couples have had plenty of ups and downs and there are few secrets between us anymore.  Sometimes thats a good thing and sometimes not so much.  But above all he still makes me laugh and still keeps me interested.  He is romantic and complicated and most importantly a great dad to our boys.  

Being parents together has definitely brought us so much closer but at the same time has created distance just because of sheer lack of energy and time.  We do our best to make small talk at night and stay as connected as we can throughout the busy weeks but the days of endless hours to talk and just be "us" are a fading memory.  So this anniversary was just what we needed.  My mom kept the boys overnight and we just made our plans on the fly.  We wandered the mall without time restrictions, we didn't head out to dinner until 9 (unheard of in parent-land!!) and we took it back old-school!  We watched football, ate good bar food, and drank college drinks. There was that point in the night where we both could have easily gone home and called it a night but we decided not to.  Instead we stayed out late and danced like we were back in our freshman year.  I am sure it wasn't pretty but we had a blast.

We laughed about how its weird that at this age you can go to a crowded bar and not run into a single person you know.  Thats probably because they are all home with kids.  But even friendless we had so much fun.  It was nice to get carried away for a night and forget all responsibility and to REMEMBER what we were like before marriage and kids and grown up life.  It was nice to carry nothing but lipstick and my license in my pocket.  It was nice to check out my husband and remember that he is HOT!  It was just nice to realize that underneath all the hustle and bustle of life and work and parenthood there is still our relationship.  The one that kicked off the beautiful life we have now.  And not to mention I believe celebrations are in order for every year you make it through marriage without getting a divorce...marriage is HARD y'all!  It made me look at my boys a little differently tonight...they felt even more special because they are a reminder of how far we have come.  One little phone call changed it all and I can't wait to see where else the story takes us!


Friday, November 4, 2011

FYE: 11/4/11: Plum District

I love my sisters for a lot of reasons, one of which is the fact that they clue me into cool websites.  Lauren recently sent this one my way...

Plum District employs moms to scour your city and set up great deals with companies and products that you will actually want to use!  Sign up now to see what is being offered right here in Charlotte!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mom Questionnaire: Beverly

Name:   Beverly Starkey     Age (optional):    31       Number of kids: 3 (+1 husband) =4

What was the biggest surprise to you after having a child(ren)? 
The difficulty in going anywhere on time which was already a problem for me alone!  Now that I have three, it takes a lot of extra effort on my part to go anywhere.  Related to that is the fact that I have to get up earlier in the morning to make it happen.  I used to be a noontime sleeper pre-kids and now, not only do they wake me up at 7 on the few days I don't have anywhere to go, but on the days I have to go out, I have to wake myself up that much earlier. 

What would you say has been your worst parenting moment?
In those moments where I throw my own temper tantrum in the midst of their tantrums.  I'll never forget what my pediatrician told me right after I had Kendall.  He recommended this book to me called "1-2-3 Magic" which basically goes through how to count your children to good behavior (yes, I am one of THOSE Moms who counts to three).  Anyway, the book tells you to not ever yell at your children because in essence all that is is a temper tantrum of your own, i.e. you can't control your behavior in difficult moments either.  So, everytime I throw one of my own (which is at least once every other day), I remember that book and think , "Do I want to burn it or ...maybe I should read it again?".  

Your best?
Praying with my kids at night.  The things that come out of my kids' mouths sometimes just amazes me.  Their wonder at every little thing is refreshing.  I forget a lot to be thankful for the small stuff too but they remind me of that every time we pray together.  So my best moments are those in which they teach me how to be a better mom and person and I try to return the favor.

Best parenting advice you have ever received?
For us, our schedule is crazy.  We are not home very often except to eat and go to bed most weeks.  The best advice anyone ever gave was to do what works for our family.  My kids have never been on a strict timeline throughout the day because our schedule just does not allow for it.  My kids stay up later sometimes so that we can spend that quality time together.  They still take naps (my 4.5 year old included when she feels like it) so that they can stay up a little later and play with Mom and Dad.  Just do what works for your family and own it.  Don't feel pressured to be like your neighbor or best friend because each family has its own dynamic.

What has changed the most about your personal style since having kids?
Style?  I'm supposed to have that?  Well, I don't know that I ever had style before other than t-shirt and jeans and that is still pretty much my style.  I'm addicted to my jeans and I don't think that will ever change.  The biggest change has probably been going from heels to flats.  I still have some heels for work and going out, but most of my closet now consists of flats.  Carrying around kids is tough in heels and just not worth it for me.

What is your day-to-day beauty regimen? 
Again, I ask....Beauty regimen?  Not much of one.  For the days I work, I wake up, take a shower, comb my hair and even get to blow dry it maybe once a week.  Brush my teeth, contacts in, clothes on...get the kids ready.  A very quick make up application goes on at stoplights between childcare provider's (grandma) house and work.  Just the basics - powder foundation, a little bronzer on the cheeks, mascara, and lip gloss.  On days I don't work, most of the time it is the same regimen, minus the makeup and sometimes the shower.

What is your favorite beauty product and why?
All products by Aveda but my favorites are my shampoo and conditioner.  This is where I splurge because there is nothing better than stepping in the shower and washing your hair to the scent of Rosemary Mint by Aveda.  I also wear their makeup which is mineral based and has significantly changed my skin texture.  A little of their Tea tree oil added to Cetaphil facewash does wonders as well.  See, that's why I say all Aveda products because I can't choose one.

If you could have back one luxury from your pre-kids days what would it be?
Time to read a book without someone standing beside me going, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom...I want some juice, can we watch TV?"  I love Dan Brown and Lynn Sholes books with religious mystery themes but the only time I can ever read anymore is when my kids (husband included) are sleeping.  That means that I am even more sleep-deprived than usual when I find a good book. 

What is your favorite kid-friendly activity to do with your kids?
I love going to the pool with them in the summer.  They are just so carefree when we are there and they get so worn out that they go to bed without as much wrangling from me.  At home, when it is just us, we like to set up obstacle courses in the playroom and everybody has a turn on the course and then we change it up a bit and go again.
Your favorite thing about raising kids in Charlotte (or whatever city in which you live)?
Charlotte - Access to whatever we want to do.  Charlotte has so much kid-friendly stuff to do that I still learn something new every week.  

What word do you use way too much on any given day?
Kendall, stop!  (substitute Caleb in there as well)  Kendall is the best big sister ever but I swear I feel like I am yelling at her to stop picking up, carrying, sitting on, holding down, etc. Zoe every two minutes.  She wants to help Zoe make every move and take every step and it is cute most of the time but every time she does, Zoe screams (ear-splitting) because she wants to do it herself. 

Celebrity mom you can most see yourself hanging out with?
Angelina Jolie because sometimes I feel like I live in a circus too.  She has double the amount of kids but the craziness of mine sometimes would probably fit in well with hers.

If you could have one super power that would help you be an even better mom what would it be?
Definitely patience, like all moms!  If you ask my parents how they would describe me growing up, one of the common themes would probably be slow and very calm.  I don't get worked up (or didn't used to) or have much of a temper at all until I had kids.  I lose my patience so quickly with them sometimes and then I sit back and think, oh so this is what my parents mean when they say payback for my childhood is coming back to bite me.  Deep breaths and remember they are kids.  I remind myself that I need to enjoy these little moments of slowness because one day they won't have time for me either.
Favorite part of being a mom?
Listening to their giggles when I make funny faces or Daddy chases them around upstairs like he's a hungry bear.  Then listening to their quirky little comments and watching their facial expressions as they learn how to interact with others and wondering where in the world they get some of this from.  :)

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