I refuse to stop using my cell phone around my kids

Yes, I use my cell phone when I’m spending time with my children. #sorrynotsorry

I have read lots of articles and anecdotes about smart phone addictions: how our phones have become an extension of ourselves, how we are ignoring our kids because of it, how “mommy loves her phone more than me.”

My children know how much I love them, and that they are not second rate to a device.  Yes, sometimes they have to wait a few seconds for me to look at their 12th new Lego design (learning a little patience is never a bad thing). But, I will not stop using my phone around them; this is what I will continue to do:

I will continue to take photos of my children doing whatever they are doing, because tomorrow when I’m at work and my heart is longing for their hugs, I will browse through the photos and my heart will feel full again.

I will continue to check my email, because like it or not, sometimes work does come home. Even a quick email back of “I see your email, and I’ll get you the answer in the morning” can help someone enjoy their family that night.

I will continue to watch for updates on a friend’s recovery as I cheer along him and his family.  Learning about his specific prayer requests that day can help guide my children’s prayers that night.

I will keep checking instagram to see how an internet stranger’s daughter is doing through her chemo treatments, because although I cannot help directly, I can send love through a like.

I will continue to text a family member who is looking for help with a new baby.  I can send answers, support, and love to someone struggling.

I will watch for photos of my sweet niece who lives much too far away.  As much as a photo of my own children fills my heart, so does her pudgy smiley face.

I will continue to read a blog related to a stage of my child’s life, because sometimes people who have been through it before, just know more that I do now.

I will continue to use my phone when I’m with my children to keep in touch with my village. That village provides the foundation on which I stand, and I want to teach my children to grow, love on and support their own villages.  This is one way I can show them how to do that.

Happy birthday to my fierce one

Today Eloise is 2!  I cannot believe how fast it has gone.  I know people always say that, but it is so true.  Fortunately, I haven’t felt like I’ve missed much this time around.  It has been a completely different and wonderful experience raising this child to two than it was raising her brother to two.

When Link turned two, he’d been planning to be a big brother for months, and in exactly 1 month from his birthday his sister would arrive.  He was made to grow up quickly because he would no longer be the only.

We’ve had the pleasure of letting Eloise be the baby for as long as she needed to.  She still rocks to sleep in my arms once in awhile and enjoys being scooped up and snuggled.

But my oh my, she is not even close to a baby any longer, and this toddler is fierce in everything.

Eloise loves her brother fiercely.  She loves everything he is and how he plays with her.  She wants to mimic him and do what he does, including every time he’s a stinker or defiant – turn around and she’ll have her pouty, stinker face on too.

Eloise is fiercely independent.  She will make certain you know what she can and wants to do.  She dresses herself, brushes her own teeth, peels her own banana- anything you’d like to help her with: “no help!”

Eloise has fierce emotions.  She loves not only her brother, but her family and friends with an intensity you can feel.  When someone leaves her presence, her heart gets broken faster than you can blink.

Eloise has changed me in a fierce way, she has made an incredible impact on her family, and she is a joy at school.  I am humbled and in awe that she was given to me, and I have loved every second of her two years in a way I never knew possible.

I love you baby girl.  Happy birthday to my fierce one.

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MommyCon swag bags!

One of the great things about attending MommyCon is the free stuff!  Well, free as in after you pay for the event or the VIP sessions.  I’ll be excited to show everything I received!

What I am also excited about for the swag bags is being set on baby shower/new baby gifts for like, the rest of my life! So I need a lot of my friends to have more kids…

MommyCon is this weekend!

Mommy-Con Minneapolis is this weekend! There are still tickets available (use discount code THENIHADU15) and I’d love to see you there!

On Friday night I will be going to the VIP events.  Although I’m not currently expecting a baby and my kids are in the toddler stage, I’m looking forward to learning more about resources and products available to parents.  I hope to someday pursue certifications or “official” training on breastfeeding and car seat safety, right now I just love to be a resource and provide guidance. Here is a little about what I will be learning:

First VIP session will be by the founder of Cottonbabies, Jennifer Labit.  I met her not too long ago when she visited Minnesota and she is truly a lovely person.  I look forward to hearing more about how she started and runs her business and more about it’s current state.  I admire the good work her company does and the Bumgenius diapers are what we mostly use for cloth diapering.

Next will be a session on Babywearing.  I have a couple of carriers that I’ve used with my littles, and I’m excited to hear more about what Beco and Ergobaby have to say!

Then I’ll get to see Jamie Grayson, BabyGuyNYC.  I started following him on social media maybe a year ago, and I think his story is just so neat! I’m hoping he shares some of his favorite things for toddlers too, but I will just enjoy meeting him and Angry Baby!

Last will be The Leaky Boob‘s founder Jessica.  Breastfeeding and women’s rights related to that are very important to me.  Beyond that is empowering mamas to make the best choices for feeding their babies.  I look forward to seeing what she and the other folks have to say in this session.

Let me know if you will be there so I can make it a point to meet up with you!

The excitement of an April

As I’ve been watching my Timehop app, and Facebook’s new “On this day” feature, I discovered having statistically boring Aprils.  Then I thought, how can I make April 2015 more exciting?

Monday-Friday I go to work at a job that I mostly enjoy.  From 5-730pm those nights, I make dinner, do laundry, do dishes, play with the kids, bathe them some nights, put them to bed.  I follow that up with more laundry, house work, or lounging in bed watching ER.  Weekends are packed with swim lessons, birthday parties, lawn work, outside time, grocery shopping, etc., etc.

All of that – I love.  I’ve been doing those things in Aprils for years.  Which means I’ve been busy, hence less exciting social media posts.  Which is a great thing!

I am on my iPhone plenty, and I rarely judge other parents on their phones when they are out with their kids.  I know that we all could put our phones down more and enjoy what is in front of us.  I cherish the time I spend behind the phone’s camera capturing memories of my rugrats and I enjoy sharing those photos with others.  I hear time and time again how much folks enjoy seeing their big eyes and goofy moments.  And watching my history of a day, I see that the more recent the year, the fewer memories listed.  I find joy in that – it means I did put my phone down to enjoy my life.

April 2015 has been full of joy.  Eloise has started talking more and acting like a little girl instead of a tiny baby.  She has decided she wants to potty train and loves playing outside.  Lincoln has stopped saying stupid and talking about poop all.the.time. and changes best friends every other day.  They had excellent reports at their conferences and enjoy being together so much.  Justin and I are in our routines and have started doing more outside projects.  April is 15 days in and we’ve done those things and so much more.

I’m not sure I’d want April to be any more exciting!

MommyCon Minneapolis 2015

Happy Monday!  I have the pleasure of being a MommyCon blogger this year, and I am really excited to share this great event with you!

MommyCon is coming to Minneapolis on Saturday April 18, 2015.

This will be my first time attending MommyCon, and I’m looking forward to it!  Taken from their website, “MommyCon is a boutique style convention dedicated to bringing modern parents and mothers-to-be together. Our focus is on natural and organic parenting methods and timeless tidbits as we journey through parenthood together. Our seminars and workshops include; babywearing, birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, car seat safety, natural health and medicine, baby gear, childproofing and so much more! We end our day with amazing giveaways and each attendee gets a gift bag from our sponsors.”

As you may know, mommyhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I am passionate about breastfeeding and car seat safety, and we practice cloth diapering, babywearing and some natural health and medicine aspects in our household.  Most of all, I love supporting other moms and helping them wherever they are at.  I am excited to go to this event and learn so much more from vendors and experts.

I hope some of you will attend with me!  Here is the schedule: http://mommy-con.com/minneapolis-schedule-revealed/.  Look it over and see if anything interests you!  It is a very fair price for attending, and you can bring your little one along.  Also, if you would to save $5, please use the discount code THENIHADU15.

If money is an issue for you, please let me know:  I have one very discounted ticket that I could give you!

Check out the schedule and the great vendors that will be there! I’m looking forward to sharing with you my experiences during the weekend and I hope you will join me there!