In college, my roommate Jenna and I had a huge bin of nail polish – everything from metallic blues and greens to the new-and-exciting Vamp (based on that, let’s see if you can figure out about when I went to college!) With a considerable amount of time on our hands, we painted our nails a different color almost every day, switching out shades to match a mood, the weather or something we saw in the magazines that littered our dorm room’s floor.
Just a few short years later, I became a mom – and eventually I stopped wearing nail polish almost completely. I no longer had the time available to swap out my color every two or three days, and with all the activity my hands were seeing with diaper changes and hand washing, any color I applied looked chippy and awful within twenty-four hours (often less.) Recently I had lunch with a friend after returning home from a conference, where I’d gotten a manicure, and she told me in surprise that it was the first time she’d EVER seen polish on my nails.
As it happens I like the way my nails look without polish, but sometimes it’s fun to show off a bright color or pale pink for a special occasion or just because I’m in the mood. So recently I began experimenting with different strategies to get the color to last and by following these steps, have actually been able to keep a (regular, non-gel) manicure fresh for up to a week.
Here’s what works for me: [click to continue…]
I hate the swings.
They are the worst.
Because little kids can’t do the swings themselves, you see. You can’t pop them up onto the seat and then walk away, leaving them dangling there motionless. Until they know how to pump, they’re stuck, and when the big-kid swings are hung too high, they can’t climb up or down on their own.
Sure, it’s fun when they’re babies, giggling adorably as the breeze flutters in their faces. But as they get older and more insistent (“Push me! Push me HIGHER! HIGHER!”) and you stand there, repeatedly shoving and shoving with no sign of it ever letting up, it begins to feel like tyranny.
Too dramatic? Perhaps. But such is my dislike of swings. I’ve been known to immediately direct my kids to some other part of the playground the minute we arrive, just to forestall the inevitable “Mom, can you plleeeeeeease push me?” request.
And I happen to know that other moms hate them, too. It comes out in quiet confessions whispered from the bench. Or you can recognize it by the look in the other mother’s eyes as she pushes again and again and again. [click to continue…]
Today’s post is written by Happiest Home contributor and resident book reviewer Devon Barta of The Paperhouse. Enjoy!
Last week was a tough week.
We had four t-ball games, four gymnastics rehearsals that lead up to one gymnastic recital, gobs of work to check off a never-ending list for a local group I’m involved in, a stint as a fill-in editor for the local newspaper and all of the other normal-week stuff we ordinarily do.
I was at my max physically, and it was taking its toll emotionally.
So when Brock approached me for what felt like the 1,057th time to ask, “Will you puhleeze play Uno with me again,” I snapped.
And not the exasperated, palm-over-the-phone, “no honey, I’m working right now” brush off. I mean the bulging-eyes, frizzed-out hair, no-more-wire-hangers kind of snap.
Over a request for a ten-minute game of Uno by my five-year-old son.
And now that I think about it, his request might not have been as whiney as I’m making it out to be. In fact, I think it was a simple question, “Hey, Mom. Wanna play some Uno? I’ll bet’cha an ice cream I’ll win.”
He was tired of getting pushed aside by the chime of my phone and the bing of my email. He just wanted his mom. [click to continue…]
I’ve been blogging for a long time. I registered my first Blogspot account back in 2000 or 2001, back when I knew of about 10 other bloggers and we all just copied one another’s blogrolls. I wrote about my life, anonymously: my reason? I wanted a “real” writing career and was afraid that editors wouldn’t take me seriously if they found my blog!
Things sure have changed. After pursuing that “real” writing career – which included getting published in dozens of national magazines and authoring a total of four books – through the early 2000′s, I found myself embracing blogging in a big way (and this time, with my real name attached!). My writing has been focused on blogging for a few years now, and I love it.
I often hear from other moms who want to blog professionally, or who are simply curious about how it all works. They are often surprised (and just as often, encouraged) when I tell them what really goes into a pro blogging career. [click to continue…]
What a whirlwind of a week! I almost never write recap posts, but there was so much activity here at The Happiest Home (and beyond!) last week that I wanted to do a quick summary of some of last week’s posts to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Thursday night as I was getting ready to go to bed, I popped onto our Facebook page and, in the spur of the moment, decided to share this photo:
It’s a picture of me, nearly ten years ago now, carrying my screaming son Isaac away from a photography session at my brother John’s wedding to one of my best friends, Jenna. This is the message I included with the post:
“Speaking of hard parenting moments, I wanted to share this picture I ran across in a box recently. It’s me, at a family wedding, largely pregnant, carrying my completely-freaking-out three-year-old away from the professional photo session. He was a real handful back then, but he is now 13 and a more lovely young man you could not imagine. I just want to take my old self from this picture, give her a big hug and tell her everything really WILL be OK.”
When I went to bed the picture had been shared a few times and I had a handful of nice comments. But by the time I woke up the next morning and checked Facebook, I was astonished to see that the picture had been shared hundreds of times and seen by about 60,000 people. As of this writing that number is more like 135,000.
What? It was just a simple photo. Why did it strike such a nerve?
In reading all the commentary, though, I could see why: because all moms have had a moment like this one, either due to a day that went quickly, horribly wrong or perhaps several years that went slowly, mind-numbingly wrong.
In the above photo, I was sort of in the middle of both. Not only was I dealing with an ill-timed pregnancy, but I was in the middle of raising an exceptionally challenging child: Isaac, my sweet-cheeked second son, chubby and bright and adorable and absolutely hell on wheels. [click to continue…]
It has been such a busy week here at The Happiest Home, but we couldn’t let Mother’s Day pass by without doing something to celebrate our awesome, smart & supportive readers. Some blogging friends and I chipped in to buy some amazing gifts and give you the chance to win them!
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This post is the final installment of our reader-submitted guest post series, My Path to Motherhood. For more about the series, read this post. To read all posts in the series, click here.
Sixteen years ago, I labored and Lamazed and my first tiny child squawked his way into the delivery room, making his sunny-side up entrance into this world. My world changed that day, and then it changed again and again, in ways I never would have imagined in back when I was young and guileless and selfishly happy.
But let’s back up, because really, the biggest change happened a few years earlier, while I was doggedly climbing the corporate ladder in Seattle.
Everything about the Seattle years was lovely, despite the rainy season. The outdoors call to every resident and my new husband and I dove right in. We hiked and biked and explored the magnificent coastline of the great northwest. We reveled, too, in the excitement of being downtown, spending Saturday nights at the Trattoria, our favorite restaurant, drinking red wine, eating too much pasta, and contemplating the future. It was a magical time, and I was happy.
And then, one by one, it happened: our friends started having babies.
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This post is by Sarah Powers, Happiest Home contributor and Managing Editor, and blogger at Powers of Mine.
Photo: Anna Hollister Photography
To my first-time pregnant friend,
You’ve been on my mind lately – a couple of you, actually – dearest longtime friends of mine, about to become moms for the first time. I sent one of you a box of old maternity clothes, the few surviving pieces in good shape after my own three pregnancies in five years. To the other I sent a few books (at your request). Toward you both I find my thoughts wandering daily.
With a three-month-old of my own, I am partly of the world into which you are about to enter; but mine is a third and final babe, riding in a car seat that held her brother and sister before her, pushed in a stroller that is not only no longer fashionable but also probably no longer on the market. I am experienced, yes; but I’m out of touch, too, with the trends of new motherhood.
I want to say the right things to you, offer words that mean something and aren’t just clichés (though, as you’ll find, so many of the clichés are true). I want to be helpful. I want to make it wonderful for you, this thing that is about to happen. I want to save you from some of the parts that aren’t wonderful, and from the disappointment that comes when you realize that some of it sucks, sometimes. [click to continue…]
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and whether you want to pick something up for a special mom in your life or are hoping to drop some subtle hints to the gift-givers in your home, we thought a short list of last-minute gift ideas might come very much in handy. Go ahead: print this out and leave it lying around if you want!
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