Monday’s Mama is Fit AF.

Are you looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Look no further.

This Monday I want to introduce Emily from The Mom Grind. I have been following Emily on Instagram for almost a year now. This woman is awesome. She somehow manages to work out all the time with a toddler (and now another baby on the way!!) and be a total badass and STILL not make me feel bad about watching her exercise on Instastories while eating ice cream.

the mom grind3

She’s very ‘you do you, but this is what I’m doing’. I love her. You might also love her. You should follow her if you need inspiration to work out with and around and sometimes literally underneath your small children this New Year. Or even if you just like nice people.

Oh. She’s super nice. I wonder if it’s all that adrenaline from being healthy and stuff. Is that how adrenaline works? I wouldn’t know.

In fact, she is SO NICE, that she answered a few of my questions. Thank you, Emily!

the mom grind2

1. Your Instagram is completely inspirational. I love that you work out with your toddler. And I guess you will be working out with a new baby soon!? Please share your secrets. Time management? Wizardry?
Thank you! It started off by me being inspired by other Moms to be honest. I realized there wasn’t any real secret to it — anything worth doing isn’t going to be easy. Now I love to workout because it has become time where I can be selfish and only think about me — think about the things bugging me, how strong I feel, goals I need to reach, how my workouts going to go, or how proud of myself I am for just getting to the gym that day. Whatever it is, that hour is mine. I carve it out of my day, and I’m a better wife, Mom, and friend for it.
It’s finding YOUR reason — make it deep so it takes root in your life. Also make it work for you. It’s only a couple small hours in your week — so be selfish about it! 
2. How long have you been such a badass? Was this a natural continuation of your pre-kid life? Or did you just decide to Awesome It Up after becoming a mom?
Haha- badass! Thanks! 😂
I think it happened because I was carrying so many burdens (that I was putting on myself).
I felt like a failure as a woman because I had a horrible labour that ended up in emergency cesarean section. It took months of recovery and I lost my identity in that time. I decided to stop making excuses for myself, and with the help of an amazing trainer who made me realize my potential, I just kept moving forward and getting stronger. Now I just want to keep moving that way. It might look different, but always forward, always stronger. 
3. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
I saw Justice League in the theater! It was awesome, and all those badass women in the movie fired me up for a wicked workout the next day!
4. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE?
I’m definitely not above store bought- but if I have the time I’ll make a simple cookie or Rice Krispie square.😉
Ok, I’m not gonna lie. Emily may have sold me on this whole work-out thing with that whole ‘time to be selfish’ thing.
Hey Emily, does hanging out in the sauna at the gym count as a workout? JUST KIDDING MAYBE.

Santa, Interrupted.

Oh, the Holidays. The time of year when we try our hardest not to offend those we love and cherish. Or something like that.

Because we are moving soon (OMFG I NEED TO PACK), we took the ToddlerMonster to visit one set of grandparents in Myrtle Beach. The Teens* were in Florida with their dad and we all met back home after Christmas.

*The boy Teen just turned twenty-one and has not been a teenager for a few years but I have no other name for the two of them. The Teens is just so short and easy. I am open to suggestion, as they don’t care for the alternatives I have proposed: The Freeloaders, The Children of the Last Millennium (abbreviated COLT), or the Starter Kids.

SO ANYWAY.

Babystar is and was and remains all about Santa this year. And THE TEENS wanted to watch her experience SantaMagic and open her other gifts because they love her and they are brats. So we waited.

We told Babystar that Santa took her gift to her house. When we were just about to leave for Myrtle Beach last week, I ran back inside to hang the stockings. And I left instructions for THE TEENS to build the trains set ‘from Santa’. The shenanigans were only 99.9999% stressful and annoying.

But worth it. Ugh. Loving your kids is SO OVERRATED.

(Presents do not equal love. This whole delaying Christmas so all three of my favorite children could be happy and get what they wanted DOES equal love.)

But. Um. Y’all. I feel like I must Confess.

Babystar had WAY TOO MANY presents to open last night. And I didn’t even realize that it had happened.

Christmas shopping was done from about September to November. Sometimes via Amazon in the middle of the night. (When those packages arrived, I put them straight into a closet without opening them. So I guess I may have forgotten about them.) Often the Girl Teen was at Target with me, and she is a huge Babystar enabler. It is just so much FUN to choose toys for little kids. And so the Target bags would go in one closet or another and I guess I sort of forgot about them.

We even wrapped all of these gifts in November. The Teen and I had a wrapping party and we had music and snacks and it was fun and I was sad when it was over so I didn’t realize that I had purchased an entire toy store for the two year old.

It’s actually quite lucky that we are moving to a big farmhouse with no friends because she will have plenty of toys to play with and plenty of room to keep them and plenty of time to play with them. But soon I have to pack them. Ugh.

Santa brought her the train set that she wanted. Of course it was made by elves, but I think their summer job is at Ikea. Ikea would have charged $57.96 for all of the pieces that Santa’s elves made. And some are still in the closet. Santa went overboard.

Her Christmas stocking was full of chocolate coins* ($1.99), three packs of pink Play-doh ($0.77 x 3), a Rudolph board book ($1), a pack of M&Ms ($1.29), a Princess Poppy expandable washcloth from the Target dollar aisle which she already used last night ($1), ten adorable ‘monsters’ from Ikea** ($7.40), and a tiny baby doll*** ($3.59).

*Did you see those awesome Coins from Around the World for $1.99/bundle at Trader Joe’s this year??

**Ikea chooses ten kid’s drawings each year and turns them into stuffed animals with two sizes each and all proceeds go to charity and it is the cutest thing.

***Her Toddler BFF has this little baby from Target and Babystar loooooves it. Her BFF calls her ‘Baby Lucy’ so this one is naturally ‘Baby Lucy’.

And then there were a million more gifts wrapped under the tree.

  • Melissa and Doug felt food Sandwich Set
  • Melissa and Doug Scoop and Stack Ice Cream Cone Magnetic Play Set $21.20
  • Melissa and Doug Birthday Party Cake $14.97
  • Felt donuts from the Target ‘dollar aisle’ $3
  • Wooden breakfast food from the Target ‘dollar aisle’ $3
  • Strawberry Shortcake doll $9.99
  • Angel Cake doll $9.99
  • Blueberry Muffin doll $9.99
  • Orange Blossom doll $9.99
  • vintage Huckleberry Pie doll from eBay $9.95

I tucked Huck in with Angel Cake because she was the only one without a giant hat.

  • Terra Prehistoric World Playset (basically an awesome giant bin of dinosaurs) $15.99
  • CAT mini machines (“just like at nook!”) 5-pack $4.69

CAT trucks at nook

  • Hotwheels car launcher (meant to go with a track but Babystar just likes to zoom her cars) $9.97
  • Moana pajamas $17.97
  • Usborne books: Ludwig the Space Dog (it’s 3D!) and My First Book About Me (to help with naming feelings) $28.24
  • Three adorable winter hats with animal ears ($3, $3, $3)
  • Lacing toy for building fine motor skills $3
  • Honestly Cute Potty Training set (a baby doll with a flushing potty that she already adores and is currently peeing on my table and I hope will get Babystar excited about using the potty herself) $20.69
  • Play-doh Florist Shop $9.99
  • (We also bought an 18-pack of Play-doh but didn’t give it to her. We have been doling it out as she smooshes her Play-doh colors together.) $15.49

I did luckily get most of these things on sale. But dude. Yeah. It’s a bit much. I know, I know. I have no idea how this happened?

Parents: Got any advice for reigning it in with the gifts? I didn’t THINK I was an Over-Do-It Mama but apparently I am one. Bummer.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $25,036.15

Monday’s Mama is a Virgin Who Can’t Drive.

(RIP Brittany Murphy.)

Our December 25th Monday’s Mama is perhaps the most famous mama of all. She is SO famous, that when people say “Mother and Child”, they usually mean this chick.

Happy Labor Day, Mary of Nazareth.

mary pieta

Merry Christmas, to those of you that celebrate.

Merry Monday, to those of you that recognize the Roman calendar.

Babystar is growing up in a blended household. My husband is a practicing Christian. He even served a few years as a deacon in his church. A DEACON, Y’ALL. I was a Deacon’s Wife. I love his awesome multi-denominational Mennonite church. Everyone there is a hippie liberal social justice warrior. They all try to be like the chill Jesus dude. The Jesus that fed the hungry and welcomed immigrants and sheltered the homeless and advocated for the marginalized. On (most) Sunday mornings, Babystar goes to church with my husband and plays in the nursery with her friends. She sings songs and does crafts and has a snack and sits with the (three year old) big girls and she freaking loves it.

I love it too. I drink coffee in bed and enjoy the time to myself. I get a little upset when they don’t go to church. I’m not gonna lie. I may have insinuated insisted more than once that Jesus is probably crying because he misses them so much. (To my husband, not to Babystar. I’m not a monster.)

According to my husband, I am basically a hippie witch. I believe that everyone is right when it comes to religion. And everyone is wrong. I dig the ancient remedies, and I’m all about some candle magic and essential oils and herbal potions and putting spells into the Universe. Love and light, my friends.

We respect each other’s faith and spirituality. It works for us. We discussed this AT LENGTH before conceiving a child. We decided to expose her to both of our views, and other views, as they come up in life naturally. Babystar will someday choose for herself. And she will likely change her mind again and again. That’s ok.

Back to Monday’s Mama, who throughout history is the most famous Madonna of the two  Major Madonnas. Wikipedia says there have been between three and six billion bibles sold and only 300 million Madonna albums sold worldwide. (To be fair, the OG Madonna had a huge head start.)

Mary deserves better. If the hype is legit, Mary had a freaking BABY in a freaking BARN with no epidural, no drugs of any kind, no midwife or doctor or shaman. And the woman was surrounded by literal animals. Have you ever seen a Nativity Scene without at least a sheep and usually a camel? No.

Put the camel outside, people.

After all this, she gives birth to a god and THEN WHAT? How is she not a Goddess?!? At least the Catholics know she is Divine and made her a Saint.

mary halo

Jews for Jesus is a thing. A strange thing, but a thing nonetheless. Imma tell my husband to start Mennonites for Mary. I’m sure he’s going to get right on that.

 

The Long Long List.

Santa’s not the only one with a list that goes on forever.

Sometimes I wonder why I am keeping track of every penny we spend raising Babystar.

That number at the bottom is mildly soul-crushing.

And then I think how satisfying it’s going to be to show her when she is nine and doesn’t clean her room. Or when she is sixteen and scratches my car. Or when she is forty and picking out nursing homes.

Mostly that last bit.

But keeping all of these notes is tedious and sometimes a bit boring. Not everything deserves it’s own post.

I bought a new outfit for Kelsey, which is Babystar’s favorite baby doll (these days). Kelsey is the cheap Honestly Cute brand baby doll from Target. (Babystar ignores her pricey American Girl Bitty Baby. It’s kind of hilarious.) I have no idea where Babystar heard the name Kelsey, but she named her all by herself. We don’t even know anyone named Kelsey. The $9.99 outfit was definitely a bribe, but I don’t remember for what exactly. Life, probably.

I bought a hat and mittens set for $7.99 because I couldn’t find any of Babystar’s hats. I later found three hundred hats in the closet.

I bought four sets of mittens for fifty cents each, hoping to have at least two mittens in the house at all times. I am not hopeful.

I have bought four really cool packets of on-the-go fun. They are little coloring books with a few crayons and stickers. You can find them for $1 each at Target or Micheal’s. We have already used the Rudolph one and the My Little Pony. I still have dinosaurs and Trolls in case of emergency. I really need to create my own busy bags. Maybe that will by my New Year’s Resolution. It’s nice and attainable.

Oh, and I spent $3.60 more on sticker packs. Usually as baby-be-good-bribes.

I broke my car-screen cherry with this kid and paid $3.99 to rent Trolls Holiday on my iPad last week for Babystar to watch in the car while we ran four hundred errands. Bonus: I now know all the words to Trolls Holiday.

Just kidding. I already knew all the words.

We paid $17.99 to buy Blue’s Clues Season 3 because we were tired of streaming the free Season 1. And Season 3 has the holiday episode. And Babystar we both love Blue’s Clues.

We had a HUUUUUGE blowout while spontaneously out with friends a while back but luckily we were literally next door to a kid’s consignment shop. Like, the only one in my area. I bought her an adorable Marimekko outfit for $16.95 that is still too big but we rolled the pants up. I also paid $17.50 for used shiny gold shoes because I was a little stressed out and she wanted them even though she didn’t actually poop on her shoes. Thank goddess.

And we have two Advent Calendars for her this year. She loves her $2.59 ‘Snowman Chocolate’ (there is a picture of a snowman on the front) and remembers it every day and she is getting REALLY GOOD at finding and recognizing the numbers so I think we need these babies year round. I also got her a puzzle advent calendar ($4.95) that is less popular but she still likes it. After she gets her ‘snowman chocolate’ and cons at least one of her older siblings out of their ‘snowman chocolate’. Suckers.

We have a really cute snow globe ornament that has never made it on to the tree because  Babystar NEEDED it in Nordstrom Rack and then totally forgot about it. I just found it in the bottom of a bag the other day. Oh well. It’s pretty. And $3.97 is a fair deal for twenty minutes of Toddler Patience.

We also have a vintage Apple Dumplin’ doll. You know, Strawberry Shortcake’s little sister. She already has been separated from her socks and her turtle but they are around somewhere. Vintage toys on eBay combined wth one-touch PayPal and insomnia get me EVERY TIME. This one was $16.95. Plus I totally have Strawberry Shortcake and some of her friends wrapped under the Christmas tree, but Target wasn’t selling the retro Apple Dumplin’ doll. And Babystar loves Apple Dumplin’ thanks to her big sister showing her a few youtube videos.

apple donut

But Babystar calls her Apple Donut. Because what the hell is a dumpling? I love it.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,781.46

 

 

 

 

 

We Get Around.

Toddlers have a lot of energy. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. It is exhausting. How on earth did I do this with TWO kids twenty years ago?!

Oh right. I was twenty years younger.

Babystar and I go on Little Adventures all the time. We love to take picnics to playgrounds, because picnics at playgrounds are free. But sometimes we have to switch it up.

We took Babystar to National Harbor for ice cream back when it was warmer (November because wtf is wrong with the weather). I spent $23.66 at Ben & Jerry’s and it all goes on the Toddler’s Tab because we wouldn’t have even gone if Babystar didn’t need to run out some energy. Parking was $12 and the playground was $7. Yes. National Harbor charges seven freaking dollars per kid to access to the playground. It’s such bullshit. They get away with it though, because they put a really cool carousel in the fenced in playground area. And the seven dollars comes with unlimited carousel rides. But still. Jerk move, National Harbor.

We paid $1 for a ride on the tiny carousel at Potomac Mills recently. We also paid $8 on that same trip to rent a gigantic fire truck shaped two person stroller thingy. I think we could have gotten fifty cents back if we had returned it but we left it at the door to the mall because we are terrible people. No. Wait. We are JOB CREATORS. Someone must make a living collecting those things, right?

We rode the train (AGAIN) at Springfield Mall. The mall trains are all $5, but it really cost $10 because the guy in the conductor hat at Springfield Mall charges for adults too. More bullshit. Springfield Mall also has a soft play room with a bunch of bouncy houses. Babystar was a bit scared, but I think she was just too young. We basically paid $7.42 for her to sit at the table with us and watch the big kids play. Whoops.

We went to Tyson’s Corner Mall recently and rode the train there too. The train guy only charged us $5 for Babystar and let me ride free, so there is still SOME kindness in this world.

We went back to Scramble today. ($10 plus $8.75 at the snack bar.)

We paid $11 to park at the zoo (member discount) to see ZooLights. And another $7 for the carousel that night.

Are you noticing a carousel trend? Last week, Babystar stopped nursing, and looked up at me and said, “I love milk. And water. And carousels.” And then went back to her milk business.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,672.98