Mother’s Day: the gift I really want

Mother's Day: the gift I really want

Mother’s day is quickly approaching, and with that comes the endless barrage of commercials for beautiful gifts.  Handbags, makeup, earrings, shoes, etc.  Everything you can think of that a woman may like, it’s all on sale and marketed as the perfect gift for this mother’s day.  And while it’s all great I’m afraid we’re forgetting what the day is really about.  It’s a day to show our mom’s how much we love them.  And believe it or not, but actions really do speak louder than gifts.

So what do I really want for mother’s day?  It’s quite simple really, I want to feel loved and appreciated.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’d thoroughly enjoy receiving a stylish new blouse, or fabulous new shoes, or a beautiful new handbag, but what I mostly want is to feel appreciated for everything that I do.  I’m a stay at home mom, which means that I work really hard doing things that can easily go unnoticed.  Actually, I’m sure working mom’s probably feel the same way about everything they do around the house.  Which is why it’s great to feel appreciated.  So what would I consider a great gift for mother’s day?  Here are just a few simple ideas:

  • A nice meal out of the house with my husband and little man
  • Someone else cleaning the house for the day or doing the laundry
  • Someone else making breakfast and serving me a delicious cup of coffee
  • Someone else changing all of the dirty diapers for the day
  • A lovely card with a personal, beautiful, heartfelt message written inside
  • A DIY gift made by your precious little one (ok maybe not this year from my guy just because he is still quite young)
  • Lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles from my little man
  • A simple heartfelt “thank you for all that you do” is really all that I need.

Does my list sound a little cheesy?  Probably but it’s the truth.  All I really need for mother’s day are simple actions that let me know that I’m loved and appreciated.  Of course these simple actions can also be accompanied by a great pair of new shoes 🙂

What do you really want for mother’s day?

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Earth Day: tips to love the planet

Happy Earth day!!

Today is Earth Day. Let’s use this day to reflect on how we are treating our planet and how we can improve. Remember that even the smallest gestures can help. Recycle, reuse, and don’t waste!  If you need some ideas, here are just some of the measures that we take in my family:

  • Recycle.  Not everything belongs in the trash, recycle when possible!
  • Reuse.  Not everything is waste after just one use.
  • Conserve water.  Don’t let the shower run, don’t leave the tap running when brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t over-buy.  Take care when you’re purchasing anything.  Think to yourself “do I really need this?”  And be especially careful when buying produce, too much just gets tossed out and never consumed.
  • Buy from bins.  When possible avoid purchasing items in packages.  This is easy to achieve when purchasing produce.  Go for the fruits and veggies that are in bins and you purchase by weight.  You can get only what you need, you avoid the cost and waste of the packaging, and if you use reusable cloth bags you avoid the waste of plastic.
  • Go solar!  We have solar power for generating hot water.  Not only is it good for the environment but it also cuts down on our electrical bill, double score!  I’d love to be 100% solar but each step is a step in the right direction.
  • Use cloth bags.  Don’t take the plastic or paper bags offered to you in shops, carry around your own cloth bags that you can reuse time after time.  And if they get dingy just wash them (especially the ones you use to purchase food).  Plastic bags are one of the worse things in our landfills.

Those are just a few of the measures we take in my house, what do you do to be friendly to our earth?  Let me know your tips!

Potty training: when is the right time?

Potty training: when is the right time?

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that my son is letting me know each time he has dirtied his diaper.  Basically he makes sure to get my attention and then touches his diaper.  And sure enough he’ll have a freshly soiled diaper.  I shared this development with a few fellow mom friends and they seem to think that it means he’s ready to start potty training, and that I should get started right away.  When I heard this my first thought was, but he’s only 16 months old, isn’t that too young?

I’m a first time mom so I’m learning everything as I go, but I never thought I would be thinking about potty training my son at only a year and four months of age.  It just seems so young.  But one thing is quite clear, he knows when he has soiled his diaper and he’s asking me to change him every time.  So I started to wonder, maybe it’s not him that is still too young, but me who is not emotionally prepared for him to conquer another milestone?  This growing up thing is beautiful, but it also tends to produce a tear-jerking reaction that pulls on my heart strings.

Maybe it’s not him that is still too young, but me who is not emotionally prepared for him to conquer another milestone?

So I purchased his potty seat, and I even bought him his first big boy underwear.  I’m not entirely convinced that he’s ready, but I’m willing to try.  And if we give it a shot, and I see that he’s still not quite ready for this life-change, then that’s ok.  We can always put it off and wait for him to mature a little more.  In the meantime I will introduce the idea of using the toilet to him and just see how it goes.  If he does decide to conquer this milestone now then I’ll just have to be ok with it, and really, who doesn’t want to get away from the diaper stage?

Fellow mom’s: what are your thoughts on the potty training subject?  What age were your kids when they stepped away from diapers?  Any tips for successfully tackling the training stage without losing my mind?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Jealousy: when you least expect it

Jealousy: when you least expect it

Recently I was lucky enough to spend several weeks back home visiting my parents. It was fantastic spending time with them and especially seeing them enjoy having their grandchild around.  I loved seeing them run after him and giggle and laugh along with him.  There’s just something magical about the grandparent-granchild relationship isn’t there?

My son has especially taken to his grandfather (also known as abo).  Little man is just 15 months old so now is when he’s really getting into running and talking, so of course we’re all overjoyed at witnessing his advancements.  His fascination with his abo resulted in him running around the house all day long saying “abo, abo, abo” with his arms outstretched waiting to be picked up.  He would run downstairs (ok I carried him down the stairs, then he’d run) in the morning searching for his abo, and when his abo went out he felt no greater joy than seeing him arrive home.  When he couldn’t find his abo he’d look all over the house and upon spotting him he’d say “ahi esta!” (spanish for “there he is!”).  It was truly adorable to watch.

But here’s the real kicker: I got jealous!  Who would have ever thought that I’d feel jealous of the relationship between my son and my dad.  It seems crazy, I know.  I adored seeing how much they love each other, how they would search for each other in the house, and how they played together non-stop.  The problem is that when I would arrive home with his abo, he’d run straight past me and into his arms!  I mean seriously?!  No yay mami is home!  It was more like move out of the way mom, my abo has arrived.  Somehow it felt like a rejection, and I found myself feeling quite offended and jealous.  I wanted to say to him; don’t forget that I birthed you and I’m the one who feeds you, changes your diapers, and kisses away your ouchies!

When I went home for a visit I was super excited for my parents to have the chance to spend several weeks with my little man.  I imagined just how happy they’d be, and in turn how happy my little guy would be too.  But not once did it occur to me that I might feel rejected or envious by their relationship.  And don’t think he wasn’t equally as crazy for his grandma (also known as grams), it’s just that the sun rose and set over his abo.  I should also point out that his grams was getting equally as jealous as I was!  So there we were, thrilled the boys had formed such a bond, and yet feeling jealous at the same time.

Have you ever found yourself feeling jealous of the relationship between one of your kids and someone else?

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Expat life: visiting home

expat life visiting home

When you live as an expat the chance to go back home for a visit is a precious opportunity that you jump at.  There’s nothing like being able to go home and spend time with your family and friends.  No matter where you go in the world, no matter how much you love and enjoy where you’re living, there just isn’t any place like home.

So when you do arrange a trip home you make all of these plans, who you’re going to see, places you’re going to go to, and things you’re going to do.  Sometimes you have a full schedule before you even pack your bags.  You set off with the best of intentions, but often times what happens when you arrive home is that a different reality sets in. Family always takes the most important role, especially when you have a child.  And any plans made with little ones are really just more of a guideline than anything.  Things happen, stuff comes up.  Maybe the weather wasn’t cooperating one day, maybe the friend you had lunch plans with couldn’t get away from the office, maybe your child got sick so you had to stay home.  An endless number of things can come up, so you find yourself changing those plans, and sometimes even just scrapping them.

When you go home you see just how much things change with time.  Sometimes many friends have also moved away, and sometimes some friends become more like acquaintances.  Not all friendships last a lifetime, and that’s ok, but when you move away the state of that relationship can stay frozen in time, and it’s not until you make a visit back that you realize that things have changed.  As an expat, you quickly learn that the best of friends will always be around. They will always be in touch, and they will always jump at the chance to see you even if it’s just for 5 minutes.  But the not so close friends tend to fade into the background.  They will keep in touch via social media, maybe even by text, but you’ll rarely see them even when you’re back in town.  At times it’s a sad realization to come to, but the truth is, it’s rarely a surprise occurrence.  If you’re honest with yourself you know which friendships will survive the test of time and which ones won’t.  Relationships change, and as an expat it’s very important to invest the effort and time into those that are long distance.  That way, when you do get to see your loved ones, it’s like no time has passed at all.

Going home for a visit is always fantastic and special.  It’s great to reconnect with family, friends, and with makes you, you.  If you’re a new expat don’t be surprised to see changes, and don’t worry about the things that do change.  Just make sure you enjoy and cultivate those relationships that you want to stand the test of time.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows