Friday, December 25, 2015

McLoughlin #ChristmasEve 2015 #Catholic #Beanboozled #Scrooged

Christmas Eve. Ah, super busy day preparing for Christmas Day to make it special! My mom and stepdad are coming over on Day and love to watch the kids open presents and we have breakfast and listen to Christmas music. It's awesome. ... Today entailed wrapping presents, hitting the grocery store just ONE MORE TIME, doing dishes for Aron's GOURMET COOKING EXTRAVAGANZA and more!

Daddy spent all day working on Christmas dinner so he wouldn't have so much to do on Christmas Day. Eva helped him get seeds out of raspberries for cheesecake topping.

Joel was just being cool most of the day.
 Mid-afternoon I had to hit the liquor store so here's my Facebook status for that one:
OK so I don't really frequent liquor stores but I did my husband a favor and took some rum back that he said was disgusting. The place was packed! And apparently I never got the memo to not act like an awkward dork in a liquor store. I probably sounded like a raging alcoholic talking about how I don't really like to drink but I kind of wish I like to drink. Wow, can somebody please give me some duct tape in my stocking for Christmas? For my mouth.

We had to go out and rake leaves finally on DECEMBER 24 ... the weather has been so great that we kept putting it off. Oh, and we've been busy! The kids did some hilarious slow-mo videos jumping in that I'll post on YouTube.
As it got dark we realized we needed to return a RedBox so Aron and I set out on a quick walk to return it. We need the exercise badly since colder weather has come. So much easier to toss on flip flops and go walking in the warm mornings instead of putting on cold gear to walk!
8 p.m. Mass to include Julia, out 8th wheel and the girl I'm sponsoring for Confirmation

All of us

Home from Mass and time for some hot dogs!

Joel and Michael got an early gift of Minecraft redstone for a nightlight for being BEST BABYSITTERS EVER when Mommy has to run errands.

NORAD's Santa Tracker

Beanboozled was a hit at about 11:45 p.m. ... I'll post a video on YouTube of Aron trying CANNED DOG FOOD! Best game ever!
Here's my YouTube channel for more McLoughlin Family Fun! Merry Christmas!

Here's the Beanboozled video.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy #ChristmasEve

At my house it's also the dad ... Mr. Kerrie also is busting butt to wrap and place presents and eat cookies and write a letter back from Santa.

*Proofreader find: "Twas ... was stirring ... was busting but ... everything WAS perfect."

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#BestChristmasGifts Indoor Swimming Pool Membership in the Winter

I posted this last night on my Facebook wall:

I just want to give a shout out to my mother who is not on Facebook and thank her for the three-month membership to our indoor gym and swimming pool. She has given us the gift of health and the gift of getting out of the house in the winter time and the gift of family time.

My family LOVES SWIMMING! All my kids can swim as of this year and it is a mother's HEAVEN because I don't have to worry so much about them all the time! Yes, I still make sure an adult is with them, their dad or I, at any pool we go to. I don't think it's a teen lifeguard's responsibility to babysit my kid at the pool. That's my job.

Callie got to go swimming with our lovely neighbors Sunday at their indoor pool and loved it! We have missed swimming since the pool closed early September. My mom usually gets us a zoo membership but as the kids are getting old we are not really going anymore. If we go once a year it wouldn't be worth it to get a membership. So this year we asked for something different ...

A 3-month membership to our local indoor pool and gym.

And last night we signed up. I wanted to wait until we were really going to start using it. Sometimes we'll just swim and sometimes I'll go walk the track while Aron swims and then we'll switch another time and he can ride one of the bikes or swim alone in lap lanes and I can be with the kids.

The membership also includes time in the gymnasium if it's not booked ... and the kids love going to just mess around in there with basketballs.

It's the gift of sanity (getting out of the house in the winter) and health (swimming, the gym) and time together as a family not in front of the TV. Last night I swam a while with the kids and then I left Aron there with them and walked the track while listening to The Martian on the phone.

Thank you, Mom (Tutu) ... we all appreciate you so much!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2015

How Catholic Are You? Make Your Own Quiz!

So it seems I’m too Catholic for most Protestants; not Catholic enough for most Catholics; and pretty okay for most agnostics.

How did I come to this conclusion? Well, I’ve pondered it for a long time, and it seems to come down to percentages.

I’m going to develop a quiz for people to figure out how Catholic they are, and it would go something like this:

-5% Have you attended Mass every weekend and obligation day for 7 years but missed 4 Sundays for travel and vacation reasons?

+10% Do you severely honor the Sabbath? (no shopping or eating out!)

-25% Have you listened to “I Kissed a Girl” and liked it?

-10% Do you love rock and dance music?

+15% Do you practice NFP? Do you even know what I'm talking about?

+10% Do you have more than 2 kids? Bonus points if you go over 5 kids.

+10% Do you breastfeed?

-15% Do you love cuss words?

+20% Do you use a Catholic homeschool curriculum?

-5% Did you ever let your oldest son go to a Nazarene church with his friend on Wednesday nights?

-5% Do you dig Halloween?

-20% Subtract if you didn't give anything up for Lent last Easter.

-5% Like mine, do your kids have “secular, worldly” friends (like when they grow up they’re only gonna hang out with other Catholics)?

Well, I am at about 75% Catholic. So I am "better" than those in the 50% range and "worse" than the 90-100% people. I need to stick with people in the 70-80% range of Catholicism for the best bet at a real friendship.

Do you see how complicated we make religion?!

Simplified version for ALL religions/non-religions: Love God/Creator/Source. Love your neighbor/annoying friend/grumpy family member/everyone, a.k.a. is it so hard to just be polite, even if you can’t be totally kind? AND ... I don't care how Catholic you are if you are a crappy parent who is absent in the name of the Lord ... helping out at church all the time while your kids need you and can't reach you on any level :-(

I’ll work on this, too. Peace out.

*Originally posted 9/6/2008 and now we do virtual school through Kansas so take my points away on the Catholic homeschool curriculum thing but add like +1,000% since I now teach religious education and we go to Catholic co-op once a week! Woo hoo!

You could add so much to this! For example:

Do you sleep around while preaching at your friends that they will go to purgatory unless they get their butts to Confession?

Do you do volunteer work ... and not tell the world about it and post it on Instagram?

Have you met the Pope?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

5 Ways to Carve out One-on-One Time With Kids in a #BigFamily

As an only child, I was not spoiled with THINGS but instead my parents gave me the gift of one-on-one time. I treasured that time and am learning it's a gift that's hard to stretch out over 5 kids when I am also homeschooling and working sometimes 20 hours per week from home. Yes, homeschooling counts as time, I guess. But it's SCHOOL time. And we do a lot of fun stuff out of the house TOGETHER. Anyway, I had to come up with a new plan.

Okay, it's an old plan. I think Michael came up with it a long time ago and we just never did it. Now we are doing it. Here's the plan, then after that are a few more ideas!

Monday nights are for Joel. We go upstairs around 9 p.m. before I get too punch-drunk tired and we read some of his current homeschool book we are supposed to be reading. The other kids know it's our time and they stay downstairs. This is also a good time for TALKING and sharing stories and thoughts and ideas. He is 14 now and this time is priceless to me because we only have so much more time left together with him at home. I have to make sure I keep this relationship strong.

Tuesday nights are for Michael and it's the same thing with reading and bonding. Michael entertains me with his dark humor, but he is often the quietest of the kids so it's great for me to hear him out one on one. It's important for me that he knows that I value what is going on in his 12-year-old head.

Wednesday nights are for Callie. We like to watch some Project Runway Jr. and chat. Then I have her read to me from various books. She is 10 and still likes to spend time with me so I am jumping on this opportunity.

Thursday nights are for 8-year-old Eva. We chit chat and I read her stories and maybe we watch a cartoon together. She is my kid who needs tons of physical affection so we snuggle up.

Friday nights are for 6-year-old Samuel. He loves to hear stories so we take our time while I read to him then he tells a story back to me and we discuss the story if he wants to. Maybe we watch a cartoon and laugh together and just talk about his day.

The weekend. Well, I'm working on that. I should probably take one night for Mr. Kerrie and one night for myself. Seven people in my family and seven days in a week. Once Christmas dies down I think we'll start going out for a couple of hours on a short, cheap date. The night reserved just for me? I guess I could listen to an audiobook or watch a favorite show. I haven't been watching TV at all the past few months because I haven't had time or made it a priority to just chill out.

We attempt to do one-on-one kid dates twice a year but it usually turns into once a year, unfortunately. That has to change next year. The 4-hour kid dates are a big deal to them and don't even have to cost a cent, although I like to take them out to eat so we can sit and chat and enjoy some good food and a treat. Check out my post/article about that here!

Sometimes when I have an errand to run and one kid wants to come along I say YES! So much easier than the days taking 5 kids to the grocery store and trying to wrangle them while someone had a meltdown and I was sweating and breaking out the Hershey Kisses on the way to the minivan.

Lately when a kid asks to help me with something I say yes. Of course, sometimes my blood pressure freaks out a little when messes are made and wrong things are put into recipes, but it all works out. They are learning and having fun.

When the weather was nicer and a kid wanted to walk with me, I have to admit at first I was like "Ah, man, I'm going to miss my sanity time and my podcasts and quiet" ... but then I realized how important that one-on-one time was. When they are all grown up and out of the house I will probably walk every day alone or with Mr. Kerrie or some new old-lady friend. For now, I want to walk with my kids and hear what they have to say.

Go On a Date With Your Kid! #dateyourkid #thekerrieshow

**This was originally written in 2011

It all started after my youngest son was born and spent some time in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). If I wasn’t at the hospital, I was a stressball at home, so I decided one day to start taking my three oldest kids out on a date. My then-two-year-old considered a trip to the grocery store alone with me to be a fun date, so I figured the age four and up crowd would be the best candidates for a couple of hours on the town with Mommy.

Date Number One was with my oldest son, age 10. We couldn’t play a game of Pokemon cards without being interrupted 27 times, so we took our card decks and headed out. First we ate lunch at Olive Garden, then went for frozen yogurt at a place with large tables where we could play our game. He shared all kinds of thoughts with me that I will always treasure.

Date Number Two was with my second son, age 8. He chose Red Robin for his restaurant, and we played tic-tac-toe and drew silly pictures on the paper placemats. I joked for him to tell me his hopes, dreams and goals, and we had a great conversation about life in general. Later we grabbed some cookies and went to a park.

Date Number Three was with my oldest daughter, age 6. She chose a local restaurant where we could get some blueberry pancakes and hot chocolate. We colored on placemats and did lots of giggling. Then we went to a beauty school so she could get her first haircut.

For each date, we took Daddy’s truck instead of our usual mommyvan transportation, and we took the camera to snap lots of pictures. Sometimes we eat, sometimes each child might get a little gift, and sometimes we spend no money at all. You could make your date extravagant (go to a water park all day then have dinner out) or go simple (head to the park for an hour). My big rule is that you have to get out of the house so you aren’t distracted by phone, mail, dishes or laundry.

I love how I get to know each of my kids better when we go on our dates. They tell me things they might not tell me while their siblings are around, and I get to savor every word. We get to build a relationship based on more than day-to-day interactions like chores, meals, homework and activities. It’s easy to get into a relationship rut with your kids just as you can do with a friendship or a marriage.

Sometimes I plan our dates, sometimes my kids plan them, but we try to do something different every time. The sky’s the limit, but here are a few ideas to get you started depending on your child’s interests (we keep an ongoing list on the fridge):

·         Go swimming at an indoor pool in the winter
·         Go to a museum or children’s museum
·         Drive go-karts
·         Try geocaching
·         Head to the zoo or nature center
·         Take a board or card game to a coffeehouse and play while enjoying a treat and conversation

Whether you have one child or 10, going on a one-on-one date with him every now and then will be an important and special experience for both of you. As my kids get older I look forward to day-long dates with each of them. Dates aren’t always easy to fit onto the calendar, but they are always worth it. Repeat as often as necessary!

*Come back tomorrow for 5 Ways to Carve Out One-on-One Time in a Big Family!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Birthday #8 to My Daughter Eva!!!

The night before her birthday party I slept with Eva in her room on the floor at her request. Sam also wanted us to sleep with his Pig named Pig the Pancake

We had a chocolate cake and also a cherry bomb fridge cake

Her party was lovely with lots of friends

Eva's friend Little Eva got to spend the night!

Mommy loves you, Eva!

Friday, December 4, 2015

5 Tips for Lowering Your Car Insurance Bill

Car insurance is often toward the top of the list of any family budget. The amount of money it costs to drive has reached epic proportions. Naturally, you don’t want to spend all that money on something you might never use yet always have to have.

We’re going to give you five clever tips for lowering your car insurance bill.

1.      Don’t Drive a New Car

Rather than buying a new car, buy a used one instead. Insurers know that new cars are infinitely more valuable and much bigger targets for thieves if they’re bought new. Expect big insurance bills if you go down this route.

On the other hand, you can save a lot of money if you buy a used car. Scrape some money together and purchase a used car, even if it’s close to being new. This will reduce your monthly bill by hundreds.

2.      Don’t Put Everyone on the Policy

It’s tempting to put the whole family on the policy, but in the eyes of an insurance company this is a risk. They’re not just insuring one driver they’re insuring multiple drivers, so it’s only natural to see the price go up.

If you do have some occasional drivers in your home, this still isn’t a reason to put them on the policy. Instead, you should take out temporary insurance on the rare occasions they do need to drive. This can be done without breaking the bank.

3.      Secure Your Car

Theft is rampant everywhere, including in the UK. Use a company like for an injection of cash and invest in securing your car. This includes the best locks you can buy, car alarms, and steering wheel locks. You should also have a GPS tracking device that allows you to track your car after it’s stolen.

The biggest money saver is to store the car in a secure area, such as a garage, but this isn’t always practical.

4.     Accept a Higher Excess

If you accept more than the voluntary excess, this means you agree to pay more towards the cost of repair in the event of an accident. This sounds bad, but if you’re not at fault you’ll get this money back from the other driver’s insurer anyway.

Good drivers will find a higher excess goes a long way to reducing their premiums, whilst at the same time being of no risk.

5.     Shop Around

Always shop around for the best deals. You should never settle on the first offer. With all the insurance comparison sites available to you, it’s easier than ever before to type in your details and get a list of quotes in a matter of seconds.

The Truth

The reason why insurers can charge so much is because people don’t shop around. They’re lazy and so they renew with the same provider each year, even if the prices go up.

Get an advantage and have no loyalty to any company. Switch as soon as you see a better deal. That’s the best way to save money on your insurance premiums.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Live Ultimate Whole Sun Care Facial Sunscreen and Tinted Primer #Organic #LiveUltimate

I recently received  a full-size Live Ultimate Whole Sun Care Facial Sunscreen Tinted Primer to review. I don't usually use sunscreen in the fall and winter so I just recently tried some and I have to say I love it! I was afraid it would be too thick and would make my face feel like I had a bunch of makeup on or something but I don't feel it on at all! It feels nourishing and adds a burst of moisture to my dry, Midwest winter skin!

It has just a tiny bit of tint so it matched my face just fine. I can't wait to also try it out come summer when I am putting sunscreen on my 40-something face daily at the pool. Of course, I will also be breaking this out this winter when I go sledding with the kids or when we play outside!

Here are some of the great things I see about this product:

  • It contains astaxanthin and other powerful antioxidants that are especially great for aging skin like mine
  • It's all natural and mineral based
  • It's made with organic ingredients
  • Broad spectrum SPF 30
  • 21% Zinc Oxide
Check out their other products here on their Facebook page

Here's how you can purchase it! Update: April 24, 2016 used this product today on 9 people and a little goes a long way. The slight tint makes us all have a healthy glow in pictures but it doesn't look like some obnoxious fake tan :-)

P.S. I might make a small profit if you click the link and purchase. Just wanted to let you know!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Have a Happy #Thanksgiving

1. Wake up and think of all the things you're grateful for.
2. Continue to think of all those things all day long, even if a family member makes you want to throw the gravy across the room.
3. Try to keep smiling and try not to stress eat..
4. When you are away from your family who may or may not annoy you, watch your favorite TV show or do your favorite hobby, like reading or scrapbooking or woodworking or WHATEVER. Try not to comfort eat.
5. Consider going for a walk after dinner.
6. Check out these awesome Thanksgiving crafts my kids made at their homeschool co-op.

Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Avoid a Sleepless Night

I love sleep. Who doesn't? But it's difficult to sleep well when your body is on a crappy mattress and your head and neck are on an even crappier pillow. To me, it's worth it to spend a little bit more for comfortable bedding, including mattress, pillow, and sheets because I spend roughly one-third of my life in bed! I need good sleep to be able to keep up with my busy lifestyle of homeschooling five kids and running several businesses, which include proofreading and writing, which really require my very best brain power and focus.

Something important you need to do that you might not be thinking about is ensure your mattress and pillows suit your sleeping style. Your sleeping style? That’s right! Think about these other factors, as well, when searching for a good night’s sleep:

  • Do you toss and turn or do you rest peacefully in one spot most of the night?
  • Do you prefer a hard or soft mattress?
  • Do you prefer one or two pillows? Flat or puffy? Feather or foam? When my kids were younger they didn’t want pillows at all. As they get older they always want one, and when they start to hit the tween years they insist on two pillows! My husband and I each use two pillows, and one of mine is a Tempur-Pedic that should probably have been replaced a long time ago!
  • Do you sleep alone or with your spouse? A Sleep Number bed might just be the answer if you and your spouse have differing opinions and tastes in mattresses.
  • Do you snore? Get a pillow that fits your neck well so that it’s more comfortable for you to sleep on your side, where you are less likely to sound like a freight train all night long!
  • Do you need a noise machine or fan to help you fall asleep?
  • When was the last time you changed your mattress?
  • What kind of sheets do you prefer? Super soft or anything goes? Maybe even flannel sheets in the wintertime might make you feel cozier and help you sleep better.

Better sleep tips:
·        Limit caffeine at bedtime, unless you are like me and are hardly affected by caffeine at all!
·        Stop smoking! Nicotine is a stimulant.
·        Avoid alcohol 2-3 hours before going to bed. Seems like a glass of wine would knock you out, right? But for most people it has the opposite effect, giving them the unwanted gift of restless sleep.
·        Know yourself. For some, exercising before bed helps them rest well, as it tires them out. For others, it gets them fired up.
·        If you just can’t destress but don’t want to become dependent on sleeping pills, consider taking the natural supplement of melatonin. You won’t wake up feeling groggy or hung over.
·        Make sure you go to the bathroom before going to sleep and also keep water near your bed so you don’t have to get all the way up out of bed if you get thirsty. You definitely want to be able to fall right back to sleep if you wake for any reason.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Lovely Candy Company Pre-Review

I'm so excited to the opportunity to sample and review six different candies from The Lovely Candy Company! Here is some information about the company. I love that it's gluten-free because then I can easily share with our gluten-free friends and neighbors. What great gifts!

The Lovely Candy Company makes premium, consciously crafted candies for consumers looking for indulgent treats which offer the best ingredients available. Lovely candies are all natural, certified gluten free, tested non-GMO, certified kosher and contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. They have Chewy Caramels, Fudgee Rolls(think a better Tootsie Roll), Fruit Chews with real fruit pieces, and Gluten-Free Licorice. A great treat for you and a fantastic treat for the whole family. Live Life Lovely! Get your Lovely Candy for the Holidays TODAY! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If My Kids Went to School ... (and Now They Go To Co-op!!!)

This is making the rounds about a mom who mixed up pajama day with picture day. And all I can think is, "Yeah, that might be me pulling something like that and I can see Samuel with these jammies and this put-out look on his face." Priceless!

**I originally posted this back in 2014 but had to share again today because it's co-op picture day so the kids are out of uniform for a day. I was thinking it would be funny to send them in pajamas. Just kidding! I wouldn't do it on PURPOSE for my own entertainment or anything like that!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#RoyalCelebration Recap Part Two #FriendlyBlueWalkingDead

PLEASE don't kill me for taking so long to post this! My mom is riding my case about it so here you go! You can thank her if you were waiting for part two! There were tons of pix to organize plus we were recovering from all this chaos and my proofreading jobs are going through the roof, which is great, but it messes with my blogging life!

Here is Part One of this saga, which started with us picking up our friends and heading to the Plaza to the shuttle. Think we are crazy to take 14 people to this situation, to include 10 kids? All I know is I wasn't going to be sitting on the couch while history was being made; that is NOT how my parents brought me up. My family was going to be a part of it and have a story to tell, even if it means that I have to put like $100 in each of my kids' Future Therapy Jars. Read my lips, all you haters griping about how people PARKED on the highway and how CROWDED it was: IT WAS WORTH IT TO ME AND TO MY HUSBAND. So here is the next part of our day!

The Metro! Woo Freaking Hoo! We were so relieved to get on that dang bus after waiting in line over 2 hours for it.

So The Metro dropped us off like inches away from where it picked us up. Just kidding. It took us from 47th and Pennsylvania to Main and Linwood. We could have walked that a LOT faster but we didn't know YET just how tough our kids were. Now we know. This is a photo of me trying to take a selfie and capture some of the crowd but it's a #fail. WAY MORE PEOPLE THAN THIS.

As we were walking toward Union Station for the rally, since we knew we had missed the parade, TONS of people were walking AWAY from Union Station. Yet still so many of us were walking TOWARD the rally, which just goes to show you how dedicated Kansas Citians were to being part of this event in any way at all.

Trying to capture history while moving a group of 14 through a crowd isn't the best idea I ever had.

Rather than have a view of the back of a bunch of heads, we bullied our way kindly down the hill until we were packed like sardines but had a view.

OUR VIEW!!!!!!

Here's a video of some of the event and of the crowd.

Here's a video of some of the ending fireworks.


Mass Exodus out of Dodge. Like a scene from Friendly Blue Walking Dead.
Bad Joke Alert: You know how we are so awesome because we didn't riot? It's because we are too LAZY to riot. Look at all this trash! Yes, the trash cans were overflowing but that's when you PACK YOUR TRASH OUT!

Photo courtesy of Jill Connors ... rather than wait another 2+ hours for a bus out of  Downtown, we just started walking. And walking. Our goal was to eat in Westport and we kept promising the kids we would stop SOON and eat. Instead we bought water from a vendor on the side of the road and Lamar's gave us FREE BLUE DONUTS!

Forget soon, kids. We walked our happy butts (part of the way without the guys because they ran ahead to get the van in Loose Park) all the way back to where we hit the shuttle earlier in the day. Then we tried to find SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE to eat in this town with no luck. I can only imagine what Jill and I looked like trekking through Plaza neighborhoods and Westport with 10 kids in tow. Let me tell you something, though: WE DID NOT CARE HOW WE LOOKED. We were exhausted and just wanted to get our crew to food and drink.

We ended up dropping off the Connors and heading to Winstead's in Overland Park, which was entirely dead. SWEET!

Doesn't Michael look like a good little Royals fan?

This is how far we all walked that day ... at least.

Julia Swayne made a little collage of how much Michael liked the day. He gets double money in his Future Therapy Jar for letting us drag him along. Poor dude. We saw ZERO parade and 100% of the rally but the players were dressed in black so they were even harder to see! Next year dress them in neon pink or somethin'.

The kids were AMAZING ... nobody had to go to the bathroom even! They were probably thirsty and hungry at points but they barely complained. Some had on crappy shoes and STILL THEY WALKED!

Next year when we win again we will consider getting a hotel room close to the festivities or even within a mile so we can get up early and at least one of us can go stake out a spot by a barricade on the road in front of the parade. We will also have walkie talkies since cell service was non-existent. We will also have a meeting spot in case someone gets lost. Like BACK AT THE HOTEL or IN FRONT OF THE CHOCOLATE OR COFFEE SHOP.

When you talk about having an EXPERIENCE, this was it. The bad and the good. The waiting and the griping and the impatience and the craziness and all of it ... I'll remember it fondly like my wedding day or the birth of each of my kids, able to recount the life-changing and character-building points along the way.

Two thumbs up.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Casual Aging

I don’t care if you get plastic surgery or inject fillers into any part of your body. That’s your business and your money and your body.
The thought of a needle in my face to plump out my wrinkles freaks me out. I don’t have the time for it, and I’d rather save my money for a trip to Paris.
Also, I WANT my face to show when I’m mad. I don’t want to be yelling at my kids or my husband and have them whisper to each other, “Um, can you tell if she really means it because her forehead Is. Not. Moving.” So I need those parentheses things between my eyebrows to instill fear into my family. To be taken seriously.
Of course my eye wrinkles show all the happiness I’ve had over my lifetime, so I’ll be keeping those.
I’ve had cellulite since I was born, so we’re old pals and I’ll just let it be, especially since I’ve seen TV shows of how they do lipo and it makes me vomit.
My butt dimples may also stay since I don’t see my butt all that much and my husband says he likes it. He might be lying, but that’s okay.
My belly has never been flat, so I expect nothing from it. In fact, I kinda appreciate it since it stretched to fit 5 kids. It’s a trooper, and I’ll keep it.
As for my boobs, well, hmmm. I suppose they are the one (two) things I would consider altering. The fact remains that I don’t have the thousands of dollars it would take to “reconstruct” (ahem, it’s still a boob job) my chest area. They nursed 5 kids nonstop over the course of 13 years, survived 5 pregnancies, and they are tough as nails.
My plan is to just grow out my bangs. Or pull my hair back into as tight of a ponytail as I possibly can to pull back the wrinkles with it. What’s your plan?

This post was previously published on way back in maybe 2011 and was taken down so I figured it needed a new life since I'm years older than I was when I first wrote it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Cope with a Colicky Baby

Babies are supposed to smile and coo before drifting off to sleep in your arms, so ending up with a baby that screams blue murder for hours at a time, for no apparent reason, is enough to drive even the most laid-back parent to the brink of insanity. And if this is your first child, it is even harder to cope. 

Colicky babies are a nightmare. The crying bouts can last for a few hours, or even all day, with very little respite. Your little one might eventually fall into a fitful sleep, only to be woken again by a barking dog or noisy toddler. Yes, it’s a difficult time, and for some parents with no access to help and support, trying to cope with a colicky baby can put a huge strain on their relationship at a time when everyone is supposed to be deliriously happy.

What Causes Colic?

All babies cry, but colicky babies cry a lot more than most and their crying cannot be explained away by a wet nappy, missed nap or hunger. The underlying cause of colic is not really understood. Some experts think the extended bouts of inconsolable crying associated with colic are caused by digestive upset whereas others believe the problem is an immature nervous system.

Tips for Dealing with a Colicky Baby

·         Carry your baby around in a papoose carrier all day – Instead of putting your baby down when you are not feeding him, carry him around all day long. Babies love the extra closeness and many are calmer as a result.

·         White noise CDs – Babies are often soothed by white noise such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners, but if you don’t want your washing machine on 24/7, buy a white noise CD instead.
·         Baby massage – Place your baby on a soft towel in a warm room and then massage him gently using massage oil. He’ll find it soothing and will probably go to sleep.

You are Not a Failure!

It is only natural to feel like a complete failure when nothing you do consoles your screaming baby. Modern parents put themselves under enormous pressure to create a happy family home and when something goes wrong, they usually blame themselves. However, it is not your fault and you are not alone: millions of other parents are going through the same trials and tribulations with you.

Ask for Help

Help is out there, but you need to ask for it. Coping with a screaming baby all day and night is torture, so try and persuade a friend or relative to look after your baby for a few hours so you can have a mental and physical break. Alternatively, look for support online in parent forums. Just knowing that other parents are going through the same thing will help enormously.

It is hard to stay calm when your baby is screaming his lungs out, but remember that this difficult period won’t last forever. However, if you do start to feel agitated, put your baby down safely in his cot and leave the room until you feel better able to cope.


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