Did You Get Your “Mommy 10” Today?

As a mom, any quiet time you get to yourself is better than gold. Between work, the kids, activities, and everything else life throws at you, you look forward to your quiet time even more than a new season of “Fuller House” on Netflix. At least I do.

That’s why I need my “Mommy 10”.

What’s the “Mommy 10”? Well, I’m glad you asked. The “Mommy 10” is that precious time (usually about 10 minutes) in the morning after you’ve gotten up and ready for the day and before your kids get up.

It’s the time before the daily arguments about what to wear although outfits are picked out the night before.

It’s the time before needing to explain why Cheetos and Doritos are not good snack options, even if sanitizer is used afterwards.

It’s the time before explaining for the 100th time why sanitizer won’t get that cheesy stuff off fingers.

It’s the time before the first argument about whose Barbie is going to use the car and which one will have to walk.

It’s the time all moms need.

It’s ten minutes of quiet in the morning to use any way you’d like. Whether it’s to sit down and enjoy a few sips of coffee before it gets cold or scroll through your Facebook feed to see what everyone else was doing while you were sleeping, or even watching TV; it’s your time.

I need this time at the beginning of my day to just set the tone for what’s ahead. I look at my planner to see what assignments I have to complete. I look at the calendar to see what’s going on for the day and mentally prepare myself, especially when it’s back-to-back soccer practices at dinner time when I don’t want to use the crockpot.

Getting my “Mommy 10” means not hitting the snooze button and walking like a ninja through my house so I don’t wake the kids. Annoying…yes.

Well worth it…absolutely.

Then there are the mornings I hit the lottery.

Those are the mornings when I get the “Mommy 60”. Those are the days when I get really crazy and hit the gym even before the garbage men are out. It’s nutty, but truth be told those are the mornings I feel phenomenal, even if I’m ready to crash after dinner!

The days I don’t get my “Mommy 10 ” or “Mommy 60” and wake up when my kids do or even slightly after are about as fun as watching a Caillou marathon. I honestly feel the difference of not having my “Mommy 10”.

I know a lot of women who get their “Mommy 10” at night once everyone goes to sleep. While this time has its perks too, there’s just something about getting time to yourself first thing in the morning, even if you’re not a morning person.

Laugh all you want, but once you try it, you won’t knock it!

So did you get your “Mommy 10” today?



I Don’t Want to be “That” Couple

The other night I was out to dinner with my kids at a “semi-adult” restaurant. By “semi-adult” I’m talking about no crayons or paper kids’ menus. There were families eating as well as just couples. Some of the couples were middle-aged, the others a bit older. The common denominator was that they didn’t have any kids with them. It was just the two of them. Just a couple enjoying a nice dinner…alone.

Besides having no kids, they had something else in common…no conversation. It wasn’t because they were distracted by something else. They were just not talking…at all. Perhaps they said a few words here and there about the veal or the salad. But, that was it. You could tell there was no vital conversation going on.

Before you start calling me judgmental, this was not the first time I’ve seen couples like that out at a restaurant. I know you’ve seen them too. I know we all don’t know the circumstances surrounding their relationships. Perhaps they have engaging conversations at home and go out to enjoy silence. Who knows? You may be saying, well maybe they just had a long day or maybe they were just really hungry. I honestly hope one of those scenarios is to blame. If it’s not, then I truly feel sorry for them. I can also say I don’t want to be “that” couple.

It seems “that couple” is often the pair that has grown old together, raised their children and are now left with their partner. Just the two of them. Everyday. 24/7. There are no more “how was your day at school?” conversations or “should we let Cindy go to that concert?” or “who’s taking Billy to practice?” questions to answer. There are no little ones interrupting your conversation. You’re no longer talking in code with your partner so the kids can’t figure out what you’re saying when in reality they already have.

That chapter is over. In fact, the whole book has been read…a thousand and one times.

Now it’s time to move on to another chapter…start another book in your relationship. The book that just involves two main characters. Hopefully it’s not a book filled with dinners in silence and no conversation because the kids are gone. Who wants to be “that” couple?

Not me. I feel so sad when I see couples just sitting an entire meal without talking to one another. Is that what there is to look forward to once the kids are gone?

We all know kids take up a lot of time and most of the conversation at home. That’s why it’s important to just have couple time every now and again. Some people laugh at me when I say my husband and I have “date night”. It may sound silly to have a date with someone you are married to and live with. But, sometimes you need to make an effort and make a “date” to make that happen. Sometimes that means finding a babysitter or shipping the kids off to grandma’s house for the night so you can just be a couple. You don’t have to spend the meal cutting up food or playing rock, paper, scissors. You can enjoy your meal while it’s hot, have a couple of glasses of wine, and actually talk without being interrupted. You can have time together now so that you don’t become “that” couple later.

Carving out that alone time isn’t easy. With crazy work hours, multiple jobs, and toting the kids around to every activity from A-Z, life is hectic. Life is crazy.

What’s even crazier is spending a lifetime together only to end up as “that” couple. After “x” amount of years married you might not have a lot to say to your spouse, but I really hope I’m never sitting in silence during a dinner. I hope that I’m never riding in the car and find that I don’t have one thing to talk about that doesn’t involve the kids. If that’s the case, I know we’re becoming “that” couple. That’s an ending I certainly don’t want to read.





Why I Like Waking Up at 5:30

Sleep. You don’t realize how much of it you really don’t need until you become a parent. The days of sleeping until ten in the morning have vanished along with the days you would wear tank tops to the club (without any jacket of course) in the middle of winter. Just as you would never think of wearing something sleeveless in ten degree weather, you also learn to function on less sleep. But, when you can get a little more, you take it, right? I guess so. That is, unless you’re me.

Many people think because I’m a SAHM, I roll out of bed just before the kids need to be awake to start my day. Truth be told, most days I wake up at 5:30…by choice. It’s kinda funny, because I used to have to get up at 3:30 when I had a pay-check giving type of job. I hated getting up early.But, now things are different. I look at my morning time as exactly that…mine. It is really the only decent chunk of time I have to myself all day until the kids are in bed. By that time, I just want to curl up with my DVR and go to bed.

I mainly wake up that early so I can hit the gym. I’m not doing it so I can look like some supermodel. I’m a realist. I’ve had two kids. I was never a size 2 before and I certainly won’t be now. I’ve got cellulite and some extra junk in the trunk, but it’s fine.  I enjoy going to the gym because of the way it makes me feel both physically and mentally. As I put my ear buds on and get going on the elliptical, I think about the day ahead and what I want to get done. I make a lot of mental notes, give myself some internal pep talks if something is bothering me, and most importantly, work out my frustrations. Sometimes that’s also when I also get some of my best writing ideas. It’s just an important time all around.

Once I get home and am showered, the kids are usually awake and I am ready to start my shift. Bring it on temper tantrums and whiny Caillou, I got this today.

But, because I am human, there are days I hit the snooze and choose my pillow over the treadmill. I can honestly tell you, those are the days I feel so crappy. Crappy because I didn’t do anything productive. Crappy because I didn’t have my alone time. Crappy because I have a shorter fuse with the kids. Crappy. Period.

So, call me crazy, I like waking up at 5:30. I dare you to try it for a week and see if you feel better because of it!



Why Nights Out Are So Important

As a stay-at-home mom you obviously spend a lot of time with your kids. A lot. So, when you get to spend a night out without them, it’s a big deal. A very big deal. Sometimes, it’s even better than getting a full eight hours of sleep. In my opinion, it’s actually more important.

I’m not a doctor of any kind, so my advice simply comes from what the crazy people in my head tell me. There’s my disclaimer. I came to this big revelation after a recent night out with a longtime friend. Both of us have two children around the same ages. We have frequent play dates and pretty much keep the same social calendar full of story times and arts and crafts. Sure we see a lot of one another with plenty of time spent talking over glue sticks and construction paper. We’re both so busy and committed to our children that we often forget to take a little time out to remember who we were before we were “so and so’s” mother. I’m sure many of you out there can relate. We were all someone equally as fabulous before we took our mom crowns. Sometimes we need a night out to remind us. While sleep refreshes you, it seems to be only temporary. You’re bound to get tired and cranky all over again. Just rinse and repeat. Whereas with a night out, you get a whole lot more bang for your buck.

During a night out with a gal pal, you can just relax and have a conversation without being interrupted one hundred times a minute. You can talk freely and not have to spell out all the bad words. You can say “f***” if you want to and use it as an adjective, verb, or noun and not have to worry about having a potty mouth. You can talk about your dreams and not feel guilty if they don’t include endless days at the park. You can talk trash about someone and not have to worry that big ears will tattle tale. You can let your guard down and it’s okay.

A night out doesn’t make you a bad mom, that is unless you’re doing bad things! Although we may feel guilty at times (myself included), I think it makes us better mothers. Why? Because we have time to ourselves and can be reminded that we are more than just mothers. We can also use the time to recharge our batteries so that when we see our kids again we are less tense and can be more like the carefree mothers we all wish we could be more often. We can enjoy our families more. Whether you stay at home or work, being a mother is a laundry basket full of responsibilities that lasts a lifetime. It is stressful and wonderful all at the same time. It makes you laugh and cry. It makes you scream like your hair is on fire and then makes you feel bad ten minutes later. It is messy and wonderful and full of drama we never expected. It is full of love, smiles, and more hugs and kisses than we could have ever imagined.

So, if you’re lucky enough to get a night away, take it!!! You and your family will be better for it.




No Vacation from Motherhood

Vacation: noun, a scheduled period during which activity is suspended. That’s the definition from Webster’s dictionary. Vacation with kids: noun, a scheduled period of time where you will get no rest and if you think you were going to, you were an idiot. That’s my definition from the dictionary of Kristina. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I just returned from a vacation with my children. I don’t know if it was the warmer air or what, but at times, they seemed like someone switched out my kids and gave me some creatures from the planet Cling-On and Whine All the Time.

Before you think I had some horrible vacation, I honestly didn’t. It was a good time. But, let’s just say there were some trying times that I really wasn’t expecting. For the most part my girls are pretty good at home, even my little rowdy one is usually okay, although some would tend to disagree. But, during our week at the beach, they did things they usually don’t, which got really annoying.

For one, the defiance of the nap proved to be public enemy number one. My older daughter refused to nap after a busy morning at the beach. Therefore, by the time dinner rolled around, her whine-atude was amped up and she wanted to be attached at my hip, my leg, my arm…you get the picture. Just take a damn nap! That’s all she had to do. But no, she had to prove she was some type of non-sleeping superhero. Epic fail.

As for the little babe, she napped, but was still a terror. At times, she was even worse after a nap. I just don’t get it. She would wake up with such a bad attitude that I wanted to ship her back home. Her fearlessness also made me wish I had eyes behind my head. She became an expert in diving off furniture and even thought she could walk on water. She scared the bejesus out of me when she tried to walk to her father who was in the pool. Luckily he was right there to catch her.

Don’t even get me started on the ride home. My older daughter actually slept for most of the ride. She must have been tired from all those naps she didn’t take. But,my younger one needed a straight jacket and a bottle of Benadryl. She wanted no part of her car seat nor the wide variety of DVDs I brought along. Neither Dora, Caillou, nor Barney helped. So needless to say, it was the ride from hell.

After telling some of my vacation stories, someone told me I need to bring a “children’s helper” along next time. Yeah okay, are you going to pay for that? I didn’t think so. Someone else also told me it gets better. So I’m going to believe that for now. One thing I did learn was that there is never a vacation from motherhood. There’s always poop that will need to be cleaned, mouths that will need to be fed, boo boos that will need to be kissed, and fights that will need to be broken up. On the flip side, there will also always be bottles of wine to drink to help deal with all that! So, we’ll see what happens next year. Stay tuned!

I Need a Clone

The day is almost over. The kids have finally drifted off to sleep. There is peace in the valley. Finally. But before you can exhale, there are dishes that need to be put in the dishwasher and a mountain of clothes on the bed you need to put away, that is unless you want to be sleeping with your shirts and underwear, which really isn’t an entirely horrible idea at this point. There are checks that need to be written out and perhaps a lunch or two that needs to be packed. If you didn’t already realize it, you need a clone to get all this done before you absolutely collapse. You could have another cup of coffee to get you through, but even that won’t do the trick. You need a clone. Period.

Although your significant other may argue that one of you is plenty to go around, you know it isn’t. There are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on that ambitious “to-do” list you made for yourself. You thought that list was a great idea, but now you’re frustrated that not everything has gotten done. But, oh, if you had a clone,  she could do all those crappy chores and you would have time to enjoy the good stuff like seven DVR’d episodes of “The Young & The Restless”, but I digress.

That clone would also come in handy if you had two children who decided to wake up at the same time in the middle of the night and refused to go with their father. Not that I would have any idea what that feels like. But if there were two Mommys, each kid could have one, which would also ease up on the sleep deprivation. But again, I would have no idea what that would feel like!

Sometimes, a clone seems like the only logical solution to the problem so many of us face. By the time you’ve kinda finished everything you have to do, you’re just too tired to enjoy yourself. Ugh!

Okay, so I know I’m not getting a clone (and I’m sure my husband is happy about that one). In the meantime I’ll be sleeping with my clothes until I can cross that off my “to-do” list. There are diapers that need to be changed and little mouths that need to be fed..so ciao ciao for now!

Searching for the Big "O"

   If you’re like me, you’re always looking for it. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to achieve it. Sometimes you think you’ve got it, but you don’t. You used to be able to do it all the time. But, then the kids came, and well, you just don’t have the time because it just dropped down on the priority list. I’m talking about the big “O”. For those of you who have been reading the “Fifty Shades” trilogy like me, I’m not talking about that “O”. I’m talking about organization. Sorry to burst all your bubbles if you thought this was going to be a sex post. Maybe you should go back and spend some quality time with Christian Grey!

  Anyway, do any of you other mommas out there always feel like you are in a constant state of disorganization? It seems like no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get things in order. For those of you who know me, you know that I used to be sooo organized pre-kids. Some may say I was even borderline OCD, but I prefer to say I was just E-O, that’s extremely organized for those of you who don’t know. Now I’m just S.O.L. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. 

   Let’s start with the housework. When did the house become such a mess? Oh yeah, that’s right, I have kids. It feels like there are just not enough hours in the day and not enough of me to go around. There are days I feel like I need a clone just to do all the grunt work. Wouldn’t that be a dream? That might even be better than a date with Christian Grey. Okay, maybe not! But, you get my drift. It seems like I am constantly loading and unloading the dishwasher. There are constant piles of laundry that need to be put away. Don’t get me started on the house cleaning! Dust bunnies have seemed to take refuge in every corner of my house. They used to just vacation here, but now they’ve moved in and they’ve brought their cousins. I don’t like it one bit. Then there’s just the stuff that’s lying around everywhere. Crayons, books, magazines, random toys, catalogues…I could on and on. Where did all this stuff come from? Sigh.

   Now I know a playroom is just that, a playroom, but why do I have to feel like I’m going to step on a land mine at any second? Sometimes you need protective gear to enter. Blocks are usually scattered everywhere along with crayons, teapots, tea cups, and lots of stuffed animals.I know it’s their room, but it would be nice to be able to walk without almost breaking your neck. Sigh.

  My DVR is even in need of organization. I am currently 16 episodes, make that 17 episodes, behind my favorite soap opera. I need to lock myself in my room with some major snacks in order to organize this bad boy. I’ll put that on the list of things that are not going to happen any time soon. Sigh.

   What happened to free time to just get things in order like pictures or, God forbid, time to finish my “Fifty Shades” trilogy? For the love of Pete, I’ve been reading this third book forever! Oh yeah, I have kids.

   Since it seems like true organization is not in my future anytime soon, I might as well suck it up. I know there are plenty of you out there who are in the same boat. For those of you who have kids and are still completely organized with a spotless house, no laundry to put away, and dinner on the table with a different “Food Network” recipe every night…I hate you. Just kidding…okay, not really. But, please share your secrets to success, unless you’re some kind of robot, because that would be the only explanation. Ciao Ciao for now…I’m off now to continue my quest for the big “O”. Sigh.

‘Twas Two Days Before Christmas

‘Twas just two days before Christmas and all around my home, everyone was stirring, no one would leave me alone.
The stockings were hung over the fireplace with care, my husband used Command hooks so no marks would be left there.
Oh,how I wish the children were all snuggled all nice in their beds, they’ve been bathed, they’ve been rocked, of course they’ve been fed, so why do I still have visions of them sleeping dancing in my head?
Mama’s in the kitchen with still a lot to do, wrapping, baking, plenty of cleaning left too.
Now Comet!
Now Lysol!
On Swiffer!
On Bissell!
To the top of the counter, all the way down to the floor, you know what to do, we’ve done this before!
Dust bunnies and dirt, be gone once and for all!
All this work for just one day, the shopping, the cooking, the baking, it seems like it will never get done, but in the end it is worth all the fun.
The hustle and bustle, every year I complain, but without all the ruckus it just wouldn’t be the same.
The children are anxious, Christmas Day is almost here, it’s the day many of them dream of all year.
There will be wrapping paper flying and directions to be read, plenty of Dads will be wishing they assembled those toys ahead.
When it’s all over, the kids will be happy, everything will be just fine and Mommy can finally have that one glass of wine.
Maybe I’ll have two, yes, I really just might!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

My Christmas List

Dear Santa,
   I know times are tough this year and your rent in the North Pole went up along with the cost of living. You might have also lost a bit in that 401K and you also probably had to lay off a few elves, so there are less people to make all those toys. The elves you have are probably working OT or maybe you outsourced, who knows. Whatever the case may be, the things on my list have no assembly required and don’t need batteries, so you’re in the clear. I know you’re busy, but I would appreciate whatever you could through my way. I think I’ve been a good girl this year, so work your magic before heading to Florida for the winter (I assume you and the misses are snowbirds).
Here goes…
1. One day in peace to clean my house…I know this sounds odd, but I get a strange pleasure from cleaning my house from top to bottom even though I know it will just get dirty again within hours. I haven’t bonded with my Clorox wipes in awhile, so throw an OCD chic a bone would ya?
2. Dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t have crayons…love those kids to pieces, but it would be nice to eat a meal that someone has actually cooked rather than one that has been copied from a picture from corporate headquarters
3. One night of uninterrupted sleep…need I say more?
4. A pay-per-view movie palooza that includes a day in my jammies and maybe a visit from good old Ben & Jerry..I really just want to watch “Something Borrowed” since I read the book
5. A day when my children could change their own diapers (okay I know this is unrealistic, but a momma can dream!)
   I think that just about covers it Santa. Shoot me a tweet or friend me on Facebook if you have any questions. You shouldn’t have trouble finding our house, it’s done up Clark Griswold style. My husband likes to keep the electric company in business, what can I say! I’ll leave you some home baked cookies, if my children nap, if not you’re getting Chips Ahoy because that’s what was on sale this week. I will have a nice glass of milk waiting for you too.

Finding a Routine

   It seems everyone has a routine. Get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, etc. I kinda had one down pretty good for the past two years or so, but now it’s time to find a new one. Here’s the question, is there anything routine about your days when you’re a mom? After having two children in the house for about two weeks now, I can tell you the answer is no. When you have a job to go to with set hours, I think it’s easier to set a schedule because you are forced to. But, when you’re home and your job, A.K.A. taking care of your kids, has no start time and no end time, it gets complicated.  Nevertheless, I am still looking for a routine (don’t laugh!).
   I can tell you what has been routine so far…changing lots of diapers, doing lots of laundry , serving as the dairy cow, and trying to share my time as equally as possible with two kids while still trying to find time for the hubby and myself. As all the mommas know, this is far from easy. Although it may sound like I’m complaining, I’m really not. I’m just stating the facts. I know what I signed up for. I read the fine print and am on board with the program. I’m just trying to figure out how to make it go as smoothly as possible, if that is possible! For me, the hardest part of having two kids has been splitting my time between everyone. My two-year-old wants to play 24/7. We had lots of play time before her little sister arrived and now I’m trying to preserve some of that. So, when the baby naps, we have our special time. That is not always enough for her. Of course she wants attention when I’m feeding her sister or holding her. But, I can only serve one customer at a time. So, she is reluctantly learning the importance of patience.
  Then there’s my newborn. Right now, her needs are pretty simple. She needs to be fed, changed, bathed, and most importantly loved. She sleeps a lot, which is a great help, and is pretty much content in her swing or bouncy chair. While her needs are simple, they are time consuming as well. If you’ve ever breastfed, you know it takes time and each feeding is different. Throw in some quality time with the pump and it can be a full time job.
   After the kids, comes time for the hubby and time for me. But, how does that fit into the big routine? With everything else going on, these two things seem to be a luxury. With the kids wanting all your attention, it becomes a challenge to find time to carve out for yourself and your spouse. For us, it means catching up on a favorite show in the DVR and chit chatting here and there. For a little “me time”, I’ve snuck in some favorite magazines and phone calls with friends. The time may is not as much as before, but at least it’s something.
With all of these pieces of the pie, how do you fit them all in on a daily basis to form some kind of routine? If someone has the answer, please let me know! For now, having no routine is my routine.