August 31, 2010

Gearing up for "Stroller Strides September"

The next segment of Project Stroller Strides is "Stroller Strides September"  I am wicked psyched with my progress, I am dealing better with my girls while working out and they are getting better at sitting and not mauling each other while mommy gets her sweat on!

I am THRILLED and honored to announce that Stroller Strides is working with me this month and has generously offered a great giveaway to one lucky reader!  So I am going to hit the showers and get my butt in gear writing up Project Stroller Strides: Stroller Strides September.  Be on the lookout! For those mamas out there who are not happy with their post baby body {even if your babies are not babies anymore} and have been too lazy or discouraged to do anything about it.... Stroller Strides is the most fun I have ever had working out. Has yielded better results than working with a personal trainer. Has not only changed the way I look and feel but my ability to deal with life.  Endorphins are wonderful... I highly reccomend that 'high' to any and everyone! The moms truly are supportive, you go at your own pace and I know I must sound like an infomercial or someone who just drank the kool-aid.... but you must go see for yourself!  Find a Stroller Strides in your area and go check out a FREE class.... I promise you will be glad you did!

I kicked off my own personal Stroller Strides September yesterday and today will 2 great workouts and then starting talking the talk at preschool drop off this afternoon - that went a little something like this...

From Shelbi's Facebook Status: Tuesday August 31, 2010 12:30pm
"STROLLER STRIDES SEPTEMBER..... Arrived at preschool drop-off stinking and sweating from an awesome SS workout, sporting my SS Logo t-shirt. Passed out 4 SS coupons and when asked if I "lead" the class in my head the answer was... "Why yes! Yes I do - Nobody knows it, they all think Katie leads the class, but really it's me!"

So I guess that means my long term goal, on top of getting fit, my body back and having a bikini body next summer is.... To build up Kelly's franchise so much that she gets through her waiting list of want-to-be instructors and has a position open for me.... It's good to have goals!

Happy Stroller Strides September everyone!

August 29, 2010


A Mother's Musings has opened up shop on Etsy... named... "Gigi and Lula" of course!

My GRAND OPENING SPECIAL includes $1 shipping on all orders shipped within the US!

I am so excited!
I have had a blast making these little pretties...
The hat might be my favorite so far ...  and look for more hats to come in both infant and toddler/child size.

Being a hippie chick I love flowers in my hair, or did once upon a time.
Now I have fun playing with my girls' hair and pinning it up with bows and flowers!!
I hope you will love these hair clips as much as the girls and I do...


August 27, 2010


Congrats to Kelli, the winner of the Bag of JEM's  tutu giveaway (picked by! I am so madly in love with my girls' Bag of JEM's dresses I just know you are going to be thrilled with your custom tutu!.
Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway!

Friday Food For Thought

Going all the way back to my childhood this has ALWAYS been my favorite quote, poem, what-have-you. Shel Silverstein was a true genuis. We should all carry this in our hearts and burn it into the very fiber of our children.

Happy Friday!

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
~Shel Silverstein

August 26, 2010

The first three weeks of school:

In typical Shelbi fashion I knew what I needed to do to get Gigi ready for her first day of school, pack what she needed in her backpack, and at what time I would need to leave to pick up my father at the airport – and yet…. Did Shelbi pack G’s backpack the night before? Did Lula wake at her usual crack of dawn? Did I have Lu’s outfit picked out and ready? Breakfast planned? Ahhh… That would be ‘No’ – ‘No’ – ‘No’ and… ‘No’. Maybe subconsciously I knew if I ran around like crazy trying to dress, feed and prep everyone and everything and sprinted out the door just in the nick of time, I wouldn’t have a moment dwell on the fact that… my baby was on her way off to her first, first day of school!

Or I am just me… a chaotic, whirlwind of ADD and I wasn’t prepared because I never am… Either way we all made it out the door with everything and on time to “Rescue Grampa from the dragons!” {Or, for those of you who don’t speak “Gigi”, pick him up from the airport.}

Gigi was excited to be going off to school – I knew from our experience at VBS this summer that G would probably be upset at my departure but be fine once the day got rolling. I was full prepared for this difficult “good-bye” scenario. At 12:00pm on the dot Mrs. U. opened the door to the classroom signaling it was time to come in. Like a blur Gigi shot past me, past all of the other children waiting and straight into Mrs. U's arms. By the time I made my way into the classroom G had already hung her backpack on her hook and was with Mrs. E. {the assistant} signing her name to the daily sign-in sheet.

I was able to get a quick hug good-bye and tell her that I loved her before she was lost to the wonder of her classroom. There were no tears. No begging either Daddy or Mommy to stay. Nope... just an "Okay - Love you - Bye..." as we tried to re-assure a girl that had already and without our help, leapt into preschool with both feet and without so much as a backward glance.

When I returned at 3pm to pick her up, a very excited G jumped from her chair to show me her painting and then quickly said "I don't want to go home! I want to stay here!" -- I might have expected a tearful good-bye and while I was mistaken in that expectation, I knew all along she would say something along the lines of not wanting to go home when I returned to pick her up!

I had a moment to visit with her teachers after all the other children and parents had left where I was informed in a "jovial" manner "G is a little chatterbox!"
I expected to hear this - I just did not expect to hear it on the first day!

The second day of school was 5 days later. Gig only attends preschool two days a week {I wish there had been room in the three day program… but we were too late} So, 5 days after a glorious first day experience I was not sure what to expect. As we were walking into the school with G’s little buddy Taylor {who we carpool with from time to time} the girls tried to say goodbye to me before we even reached the building. Sorry girls! I have to walk you into your classroom and sign you both in before you can say goodbye! Two happy girls skipped into the school house. Two happy girls raced to be the first into the class and two happy girls hung up their backpack {by themselves} and signed in and began to play. However, when I interrupted G to say “Goodbye - I love you and I will see you soon” The waterworks began. So a kiss on the head and I was out the door. Swept up by her teacher I stood out in the hallway pressed again the wall, so as not to be seen, listening. It only took G a few moments before she was happy again. Out of sight out of mind...

A few hours later when I picked G up I was told of a spill she took on the playground and how she cried inconsolably for some time. She was not injured but had to be removed to the chapel before she could be calmed down. Now that is the little drama queen I know and love. {Well, the “drama queen” part I could do without most of the time} Mrs. U and I both chalked it up to new surroundings and exhaustion. School starts right about naptime for G. I am aware it will take some time for her to get used to having to be “on” and learning during a time she is normally dreaming, snuggled in her bed with arms wrapped tight around her Teddy.

The third day of school G tried to say her “good-bye” to me in the car and I again reminded her that I had to walk her into her classroom before saying goodbye. This time however, when we reached her classroom she “Had to go potty!!!” This would prove to make the transition a challenge. She stood frozen in the doorway stuck in a quandary. She knew she needed to hang her bag up, she knew she needed to go potty and she knew she needed to say goodbye in a moment. She was unable to process all of those needs and cemented her feet to the floor. So with Lula on my hip, sweating and soaking me with an over filled diaper I tried to push my little statue toward the hooks to hang up her bag and remind her that she needed to go potty. I eventually managed to push her to the hooks, then the potty and toward the sign in sheet. By the time she needed to sign her name she was crying. Her teacher again came to my rescue. I kissed her goodbye and was out the door.

This time at pick up I was told she said “No” to her teacher a few times. I was reassured that this was not a bad thing. They were only three days into her first school experience, heck her first experience under anyone’s regular charge, except for me. Mrs. U said it was a good sign that G was comfortable with Mrs. U and they would work through it just fine. *sigh* this was not the raging success I had hoped for but it was by no means a failure. In truth it is becoming clear that G might have been better served in a program that could have offered more than two days a week. But I adore her teacher and try not to second guess anything, not yet… It’s only been three days of school.

The fourth day of school was the same; A cheerful goodbye in the car and then a tearful “Don’t leave me” in the classroom. I am starting to notice that G is the ONLY child who still has trouble with “Goodbye”. I wonder if she is the only child who is having trouble with the authority too. Have I done her a great disservice? I scheduled my life to fit my children I did not schedule my children to fit my life. We have not had a ton of structure; my quasi attachment parenting style may have put my girls behind the 8 ball a bit… In the end I stand firmly behind how I have parented my girls. But I feel a little sad that some if not all of the other 3 years olds were better prepared for regimen.

Today the tears started long before school.
I don’t want to go...
I want to stay home...
I want to stay with you...
I don’t like it....

All met with the same firm but kind
 "I am sorry you feel that way but you have to go. I am sorry you are sad, but I know that you are going to have fun. I love you and I will see you after school."

To which she responded each time… “I DON’T LOVE YOU!”
Heart aching and knowing she doesn’t mean it. I just kept saying.
“That’s okay; I love you no matter what!”

As I reward for going to school like the big, brave girl I know she is she was allowed to drive home with her neighborhood buddy Taylor and play at her house for a bit after school. I am told that Grace started to cry a few minutes before the end of the day but stopped herself and cheerfully announced “I’m okay! I forgot… I get to go home with Taylor today!!”

We shall see what next week brings. For now all I can do is reassure Gigi that I love her no matter what. As I am sure there are many more “I don’t love you’s!” and “I don’t like you’s”! in my future.

August 25, 2010

Goodnight Today

Goodnight Today-
I’m done with you.
I’m finished,
Its over-
The day is through.
My pillow is calling-
The kids are asleep
It’s time to quit stalling,
The dishes will keep.

Aw, who am I kidding?
The house is a clutter.
An unending mess-
A revolving door…
Of dishes
And toys
And laundry galore.

The life of a mother-
So tired…
Can’t think.
Drowning in chaos…
I need a drink!

Goodnight Today-
I’m done with you.
I’m finished,
Its over-
The day is through.
Done all that I can-
I’m going to rest.
I’ll try again tomorrow
I’ve done my best.

I’ll kiss my babies
And whisper “Sleep Sweet”
Tickle their face
And tuck in their feet.
Crawl into bed
And close my eyes tight
Saying a prayer-
“Please sleep through the night!”

We’ll fill up tomorrow-
Just like today,
With play forts
Messes and clay.
I will ignore the house-
Play with my kids;
And know in the end
What was important-
I did.

Goodnight Today-
I’m done with you.
I’m finished,
Its over-
The day is through.

Wordless Wednesday

Now show us what your Wordless Wednesday looks like...
Add your link below!

August 20, 2010

Friday Food for Thought . . .

"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary."

~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher

August 19, 2010

MY serenity prayer...

I want to blog about school - G's first day of school.... and the two days of school since.  I have been waiting to get a week under our belt to tell about how she's delt with this new adventure... How I've delt with this new adventure... and how Lula is holding up without her sister.

But instead, at this very moment, I am in the middle of a straw that broke my back war with G about bedtime. I have had it! I've reached critical mass.... I am about to go super-sonic... and fly way off the handle!  Hubby is, per usual, on the road. Bed-time has been getting later and later and the antics have been going on longer and longer and.... I-CANNOT-TAKE-IT-ANY-LONGER!!

So I am taking a deep breath and counting to ten - writing this blurb and asking for God to grant me the serentiy... with my very own "bedtime" serenity prayer.

God, Grant me the serenity to accept that it's me,
alone, against the kids at bedtime;
the courage to stand my ground, be firm and not hit;
and the wisdom to win this battle.

August 18, 2010

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

Okay - I figured I'd join the blogger craze -{Wordless Wednesday}- You know me... I can't be completely "wordless" I have to say something... Maybe this will force me to be better about using my fabulous and expensive camera a little more often....

Today's Subject:  Handsome Hal

{A present just for you!}

{Don't play with your food!}

{Sorry PETA - That is NOT a toy mouse...}

Happy Wednesday all... This was just a glimpse of what my morning looked like today!

I'd Love to see what your Wordless Wednesdays look like! Leave a comment below with your links!

August 16, 2010

My favorite moment of the day...

The girls felt the need to "dress up" to play  "Mother-May-I?" in the backyard. 

 I love how G has a "tea-party" hat on and Lu is wearing a "sock-monkey" winter hat
{in the 107* heat no less!}

I really, really, really adore my girls. They never cease to make me smile!

August 14, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am channeling Sally Field at the moment. I feel like I should be clutching my award and saying to you all...
"You like me, right now, you like me!"
 But I won't {again} I will just get on with it...

The SassMaster at Don’t Come to My Circus and Try to Wear the Top Hat  gave me the Versatile Blogger Award this week! I must admit that I while I am grateful and excited, I am feeling a bit guilty… A little over a year ago I was given another blog award and did nothing about it. I suppose I should list “lazy” below, but I prefer to think myself as ‘distracted’ and ‘busy’ raising two toddlers rather than 'lazy'!

I never win anything... but to be given a blogger award by a peer… And to be given the same award she offered up my blogging hero Allie Brosh…AND she listed me above Allie {see for yourself}… Very cool! So Thank you, I will try to do you proud! 

The rules are:

Thank the person who gave you the award.

Thank You Ring Master Sass!
If I could nominate you I would. But you already received this award and deservedly so. Don't sell yourself short! Congratulations!

List 7 things about yourself.

Pass on the award to bloggers you've recently discovered.

Seven Things About Me:

  1. I tend to leap before I look… Like racing to Arizona when I was pregnant and now we’re stuck…here… in the ‘Wild West’. And believe me, AZ is the ‘Wild West’
  2. I don’t like to talk religion or politics… Unless I am with my two other liberal girlfriends, who also wonder how on earth we ended up here with the conservatives and their rogue Sherriff.  
  3. I love watching people’s reactions when I answer that “My girls are 18 months apart, to the day.” 
  4. I sometimes wonder what happened to my days of shoe shopping, pedicures, manicures, and Happy Hour – But wouldn’t trade my life as a SAHM for anything! 
  5. My girls’ laughs make my heart swell – Their laughs could pull me out of the darkest place! 
  6. I don’t miss working {a paid job} at all and would give anything to stay home with my kids forever! 
  7. I desperately want to be the next Erma Bombeck, even if I know in my heart I will never be that brilliant!

I would love to nominate some people for this award, but fifteen (according to official rules) is more than... Well I could scrape up 15 but don't know I I know fifteen that deserve it!  So I am officially awarding th following brilliant bloggers: (some of whom I have been admittedly following for a while - sorry!)

Congratulations to the five bloggers above! 
Thank you for doing what you do! I love following your blogs!

I follow a ton of brillinat, funny, entertaining blogs. If you are wondering why I didn't nominate you {and I know a few of my besties might be} it's out of respect for your family's privacy. I felt keeping your home and children's locations off of the information super highway was more important than a blog award! But I love you all!


August 12, 2010

"You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ A. A. Milne

That A.A. Milne quote seemd to fit today perfectly. Be it that Winnie-the-Pooh and preschool seem to go hand and hand in my mind or that the words, for me at least, are poignant. That quote conveys the exact lesson I so desperatly wanted to teach G before she set off on this new adventure, preschool.

In truth I think the lesson learned today was;
She is braver than I believe, stronger than she seems, and smarter than any of us think.

Gigi's first day of school story to follow....
For now I  am headding out to the backyard,
flopping down in the grass,
staring up at the sky
and watching the meteor shower.
I haven't gazed up at the night sky...
truly reveled in the breathtaking expanse of the night sky in far too long!
It seems a perfect way to end this amazing day.

Sleep Sweet.....


August 10, 2010

My favorite moment of the day...

After dinner and before bath, the girls and I flopped down in the backyard grass, stared up at the sky and asked each other....


Pica: Do you ever feel like you're raising a Billy Goat instead of a child?

To my fellow Pica Parents,

I had a surprising response to my recent post. There were a number of touching and greatly appreciated comments from fellow moms {some of them teachers} who value the type of mother I am. It is always nice to feel validated! Even though I am quick to say I don't give a flying fig what anyone else thinks of me, my style {parenting or otherwise} my views or my ideals. The support is truly overwhelming and just plain feels good!

But the response that surprised me was from people who know a Pica child, are related to a Pica child {and of course those who have taught a Pica child} who wanted to hear more about the culinary misadventures of my darling Lula.

So I started to think - I have taken video of Lu eating sand hand over fist on the playground, snapped photos of her face covered in paint from eating it, all to illustrate my point when I tell people –Lula eats everything! My inner-circle of friends, if they haven't been there to witness the new inedible, yet somehow irresistible treat Lula finds to horrify me with - well then you can bet your life I am divulging all the insane details as soon as I can. I share this never-ending game of "Don't touch that! Don't eat that! Get that out of your mouth! Spit that out! Stop! Stop! Stop! No! No! No!”, with my friends not so that we can laugh, but so that I can laugh. So, I might relax for a minute and throw my hands in the air, shake my head and remind myself "If I don't laugh, I'll cry!"

Then it hit me… When I first decided to tell the pediatrician “Lu eats paper. I mean doesn’t just put it in her mouth and chew it for a while, she eats quantities of paper.” There was a part of me that went back and forth about bringing this up to her doctor. What if it meant something was “wrong” with my child. Would I really want to know? What if it’s nothing? What if it’s “normal”? Would I look like a fool for saying something? What if it’s completely odd and Dr. M., in all his years of practice has never heard of this before and my child is just a freak? I almost didn’t say anything. After all Lu was less than a year old. In the end however, I did and he said, with a shrug, as if it were nothing; “You have a little one with Pica...”, Then moved on without any further discussion or reaction from him. At that point, I kind of let it go.

At her 12 month appointment I had to add sand, crayons, rocks, and pebbles to the list of things Lula was eating. Again, Dr. M, said that word “Pica” and moved on as if it were no big deal. This really did not feel “normal” to me, but I adore our pediatrician. He has been a doctor for a long time and I believe in him with every fiber of my being… But this still felt like a bigger deal than “Just tell her ‘No.’ - Remove the object from her mouth and be consistent.” Before her 18 month appointment I was concerned that this was still a problem and what the heck was ‘Pica’ anyway? So I looked it up……… HORRIFIED!

I went through a tornado of emotions.

Devastated; that there might really be something wrong with my child. {There isn’t!}

Furious; that I knew that Pica could not be her diagnosis. My child does not have a mental disorder. She is not Autistic, anemic, or neglected.

Sad; what would I do if she was still eating random stuff in school? Was I really going to have “that child”; The paste eater??

Defensive; No one was going to judge me because my kid is on the playground eating sand. I am a good and attentive mother. This is NOT a reflection on my parenting… And they dare not judge my child. Trust me, no one wants to say word one about my child, or they will find themselves face to face with Mama Bear – and it won’t be pretty!

Needless to say, I went through a myriad of emotions, shame was most certainly on that list. The definition of Pica, as you search for it on the internet is far too broad stroke. It puts children like Lula that simply eat the inedible for no other reason than ‘they do’ in a category with children whose needs reach far beyond eating crayons or dirt.

So for all of you moms and dads out there who haven’t breathed a word to anyone about your little one, putting a family of beavers to shame with the way he eats through your books-- Or your daughter’s inability to color or even be near crayons without ingesting half the box- You are not alone!

For all of the moms and dads who have heard the word Pica from their pediatrician only to be horrified by the definition and insistent that is not your child. Your child is a happy, healthy, well-adjusted little man who just happens to eat sand – You are not alone! 

And for all of the moms and dads who have ever felt judged because your little one eats the sidewalk chalk and would rather swallow rocks than skip them - You are not alone!

Instead of sitting at home crying – why not laugh? I am sure if we are all brave enough to share, we would be surprised at how many of us there really are raising little Pica people.

Time for a little ‘Sisterhood in Motherhood’!

Send me your story – The craziest thing your little one has ever eaten. I promise to share mine too! Or send me your moment when you realized this “eating thing” went a little beyond “normal toddler behavior” – Or share anything you want about your life trying to stay one step ahead of your eating machine! Send your stories to my email and I will compile a post all about the …Joys of Pica…The Emotions of Pica… The Frustrations of Pica… whatever it is. The posts will NOT include your name or anything personal unless you would like to be named.

Trust me, I find it cathartic when I share Lu’s culinary misadventures – You just might too! I KNOW your story will help someone feel better. I look forward to hearing what you are going through with your little one or went through when he or she was younger. Personally, I would love to hear from someone whose tot grew up, went off to school and can now control the urge to eat pencil erasers {a favorite of Lula’s by the way!}

Thank you in advance for sharing your story!



August 9, 2010

Crafty Summer

{Barely a minute ago...}

I think the emotion I am feeling is 'Jealousy'...

Gigi starts preschool this week. My baby is about to embark on her first, first day of school! Without a doubt I am going through the “How is that possible? Yesterday she was...and now she’s… and on her way to preschool!?” There is a tiny catch in my throat – However, I think the strongest emotion I am feeling is jealousy!

 No, not jealous that her teacher gets to spend this time with her. Please don’t get me wrong I’d give anything for the chance to be a fly on the wall! I can only imagine what amazing things she will discover this year! Capabilities she didn’t know she had! Just to see in her face what her teacher will see, as she belly’s up to these new hurdles and eventually bounds right over them!
Oh to bear witness to that…
There is no doubt that I am jealous of her teachers for getting to participate in those amazing, life altering moments!

But that’s not what’s eating me - I am mostly jealous of Gigi!
{Sick - I know!!}
She is going to get to do some pretty cool things this year and I want to do them too! I think I was on the right track when I went to school for P.E. - Trust me I could live out the rest of my days playing parachute games and having scooter races. Play is important in my life – Truthfully, I am not entirely sure that a life without play is a life worth living! Maybe my place in the world was supposed to be in a preschool classroom! But this post really isn’t about me and my “could ‘a- would ‘a- should ‘a’s” !

Being a SAHM {Stay-at-home-mom} has allowed me to re-live the best parts of my childhood – And really isn’t that why we have kids anyway? So that we can go back in time and do it all over again? The girls and I have done some pretty awesome projects this year. I have to say; this age with G has been a ton of fun – Smart enough and needing to be challenged enough for preschool, but not old enough to go. Finding fun activities to stave off the unending heat and the accompanying cabin fever and keep little brains and hands occupied these last several months has been a dream – Except for the Pica!

Yes, for all you preschool and elementary ed teachers out there, I have a Pica child. But trust me – Lula is one Pica child you might actually want in your classroom! Just ask the elementary school counselor down the street who adores her! Lula is the kid that you would go home every day with a story about. A laugh out loud, she made your day kind of story. She is funny and easy going and bright – Yup, she will eat anything she can get her hands on- and arts and crafts do present some big challenges in my house – But she is this bright and amazing little girl who quite often delivers moments like this…

Because of Lu’s Pica we made our own play-dough and have had some great fun with that. {I know play-doh says “non-toxic” but I felt better about Lu’s eating play-dough if I knew exactly what was in it!} FYI- My fellow desert moms – The play-dough I made 4th of July weekend is STILL GOOD! Wax paper and Ziploc bags and it’s still going strong!

We practiced our fine motor skills by creating some fabulous jewelry! G made me bracelet, something that I am rarely seen without I might add! {This was of course a project that was done while Lula was asleep so as to avoid any swallowing of beads}

We painted and colored and even framed some of it! {It took forever to get Lula to a place where more paint ended up on the paper than in her mouth but we got there and I now have 3 framed Lula originals on the wall in the loft next to Gig’s first 3 paintings!}

G discovered how to draw actual people instead of simply scribble. This was a momentous day in our household!

We had fun painting with different objects to see what would happen if…we used apple halves… potato halves…sponges…rocks…hands…feet and of course…brushes

We made some beautiful artwork by folding our paintings in half and discovered the magic of mirror images!

We glued everything – Macaroni, ribbon scraps, foam shapes, beads, jewels, small rocks, pipe cleaners! Glue was a big hit – Craft glue, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, hot glue gun – I’ll say it again – Glue-Was-A-Big-Hit! {don’t worry I was the only one wielding the hot glue gun! I have the scared and burned fingers to prove it!}

We drew with chalk, markers, crayons, half eaten crayons, half eaten chalk, half eaten markers and pencils.

We hunted for rocks and then painted them, glued eyes and decorations and feathers to them! Named them and lines them up on the kitchen counter for all to admire! {That was a big hit!!}

We made magic wands, egg carton caterpillars, coffee filter butterflies and paper airplanes.

We practiced learning our shapes and coloring inside the lines and cutting with some amazing Kumon Learning workbooks.

We learned how to walk with scissors and how to pass scissors and what a gigantic mess a three year old can happily make with a piece of paper and free reign to just cut paper!

We started our alphabet project and decided after ‘E’ that there was time enough for that once school started … and in the end, creative discovery was more rewarding!

We have had a fun and creative and messy summer -- I know that 6 hours a week at school is a drop in the bucket. There are still 5 other days of the week for us to make all sorts of arts and crafts! But I want to sit in the classroom and create something that someone else thought of, prepared the supplies for and simply revel in the joy of creativity! I am a little jealous that Mrs. U is going to have some engaging craft projects for G each week and I am going to be home wondering when Lula will outgrow eating crayons, and glue and paint and glitter so that she and I could have some arts and craft time just the two of us!

But if I stop and push the jealousy aside for a moment – I can get excited for Gigi and all the amazing things she is going to do and learn this year. I can get excited that although it was only a minute ago she was my tiny little baby, I have known for some time she was ready to take this step and spread her wings a little - And that little evil part of me can be excited at the prospect of ripping off some new and fun craft ideas – There are still two more summers to fill before Lula goes off to preschool you know!!

My baby is going to preschool this week.
Okay.... I'm jealous that her teacher is going to be there for moments that I am going to miss.
I'd be lying if I said it's was mostly about arts and crafts...
I'm jealous. I am.
But I am also so very exctied for my baby.
This is going to be a great year!

I love you Gigi! Mommy is so very proud of you!
My baby is going to school... *sigh*

*Don't Forget the Bag of JEM's GIVEAWAY is still going on.
To Enter the drawing or for details- Click HERE


August 6, 2010

-- CLOSED --
Bag of JEM's Giveaway!!

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Bag of JEM's is so "Much More Than Bags" !
From stylin' handbags to "too, too adoreable" tutu's and dresses for your own little Jewel. Bag of JEM's is filled with handmade items crafted with care!

Jen has been making fabulous handbags for years - Recently {with a little push from a friend} she discovered a talent for toddler dressmaking....I was thrilled to be one of her first customers and am madly in love with Gigi and Lula's new dresses!

Designing and creating her new line of toddler dresses proved to be so rewarding {and fun} Jen thought she might try her hand at a tutu - The result was a resounding and adorable success!

Buy It:
Visit Bag of JEM's to purchase any of the products listed above. A purchase is not necessary to enter the giveaway.

Win It:
Bag of JEM's giving away an adorable handmade Tutu to 1 lucky winner. You pick the size and the colors and Jen will make it! This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. For a chance to win, you must do the following:

Required: {You must do #1 in order to qualify for the giveaway}

1. Visit Bag of JEM's and tell me what your favorite product is by leaving a comment under this blog post.

Optional / Additional Entries: {Please leave a separate comment for each entry}

2. Follow A Mother’s Musings, Mishaps and Milestones via Google Friend Connect. Current followers count!

3. Subscribe to A Mother’s Musings, Mishaps and Milestones via email HERE. Current subscribers count!

4. Blog about this giveaway. {Be sure to leave the link to your blog post!!}

5. "Like" A Mother’s Musings, Mishaps and Milestones on Facebook. Current fans count!

6. "Like" Bag of JEM's on Facebook. Current fans count!

7. Follow AMothersMusings on Twitter. Current followers count!

8. Tweet the following (can be tweeted daily): Bag of JEM's Giveaway!! @AMothersMusings -

9. Post A Mother’s Musings, Mishaps and Milestones Badge on your blog. {just copy and paste the code you see in my sidebar}.

10. Leave a comment on a non-giveaway post on this blog.

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The fine print: Do this by August 27th and you are in! 1 winner will be picked randomly. Please make sure that you leave a way for us to contact you or we won't be able to get this fabulous prize to you. Winners who I am unable to contact and who don't respond within 48 hours of being sent their winning email notification will forfeit their prize and I will draw another name. I was not financially compensated for this review. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone.


August 4, 2010

This should terrify me! But somehow...

I found it oddly comforting! Maybe it's because I actually know the woman who wrote this...
Maybe it's because I am trying to be very matter-of-fact about Gigi's next milestone: Preschool
No matter the reason, I found this tidbit of information something that we mothers {and fathers} need to read! Especially those of us who are about to send our babies off to preschool for the first time this year!

The entire piece is amazing and desreves to be read. To do so, click HERE but I wanted to share my favorite part with you now.

*Please note - momismycodename has an Adult Content Warning for "adult language" - The part I reposted here has been cleaned up - but I must state for the record I have no issue with the use of "language" in her blog. In fact I believe removing the language detracts from the literary integrity of her piece.
{Just in case you care about my 2 cents!}

What preschoolers need to know and will find out during the first week of school:

We will play! We will learn (while we're playing)! We will laugh! We will cry (it's inevitable). We will hurt, we will heal... We will try, we will fail. We will try again and we will fail again... We will make friends and we will find out we don't like some things about some people. We will tell them. They will cry. We will cry. We'll work it out. We will try again and find out we are AWESOME!! We will have big feelings and we will figure out together what to do with them. There will be big voices sometimes... We will learn to listen to the big voices and the small ones. There will be messes. There will be "have-to's." We may not like the "have-to's" but we will still be required to do them. We will find out there are all kinds great of things we can do by ourselves. And I will be there to encourage you and help you figure it out. My name is not "mommy" at preschool, although by April I will hear that several times an hour until it's time to go home. I am not going to do it for you... even if it's hard, but I will sit with you, as you come to understand that YOU CAN. You will hear my angry voice, and my laugh, and see my smile and see my WTF face more than once a day... Because I have all the same feelings you do. And P.S. it's my job to be impervious to all the bullsh*t you feed your parents. Welcome! You can! You will! And believe me when I tell you that if it isn't safe or kind, YOU WON'T. Let's have fun!

Parents, the above is written for your benefit too, but here's your Need To Know list 2010 -2011:

ALWAYS say "goodbye" - sneaking out is dirty pool, and not appreciated by your child or his teacher. Give a 2 minute warning, ONE hug or kiss and a confident "I'll see you soon." and then hit the bricks. You can call from the parking lot, or ask the teacher to call you when your child is calm.

After week 1, allow your child to hang up his backpack and get undressed by himself. He doesn't need you to do it anymore. We work hard to foster independence because it makes kids feel good and powerful and proud. You don't want to be that mom cutting up her daughter's steak at the rehearsal dinner, right??

Mommies and daddies of "Princesses", please note: Dress shoes and high heeled flip flops = chin-chopping, concussion-creating, tooth-loosening, America's Funniest Videos-style wipe outs. Save the effin tap shoes and patten leathers for dance class. And yes, I will think you're a total idiot if you bring her in with dress shoes on and say you couldn't get her to take them off...

No preschooler on the planet needs a friggin umbrella. If it rains, we stay in. Please leave your eye-poking, classroom distraction in your car.

And lastly:

Your child is the center of YOUR world... as it should be. Here, our focus is COMMUNITY. We will enjoy the unique qualities your child brings to the GROUP and celebrate our classroom family in many ways. That being said, this is a classroom not a [expletive] Chuck E. Cheese. We'll sing for your kid and make a crown on his birthday. Save your cake and pinata for the backyard.

Please note: My opinions are my own. I do not claim to speak for all preschool teachers... just the ones NOT on anti-psychotic medications.
If you like what you read here as much as Idid, there is sure to be more to come when school starts in a few weeks! Thank you flipflopmama a.k.a. The SassMaster for telling it like it is! I look forward to getting to know your students this year! {and I promise not to come to your circus and try to wear the top hat!}

August 2, 2010

You know the old saying…

...if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. ?? Well if you want to hear anyone in my life laugh, tell them “Shelbi has a plan!”

Who am I kidding? I try to be organized. I write things down; I leave post-it notes on my steering wheel so I don’t forget; I take my Adderall and even set alarms to remember my afternoon dose; I seek out new and brilliant ways to get and stay organized, but in the end my life is like my craft closet – An overwhelming pile of unfinished, shoved behind a closed door, half done, half baked, given up on projects. Follow through is not my strong suit!

I have been overwhelmed with my life all summer. I have posted about it once or twice and recently emailed my girlfriends to thell them I am making changes. I have decided not to continue on like this - I am taking my life by the reigns and putting an end to the chaos {or at least making an effort to reduce it!} and changing my never-ending mantra of “Stop the World – I wanna’ get off!” to… Well I don't know yet, but I’m open for suggestions!

Step 1: Schedule

I have a day planner, a kitchen calendar, outlook, a smart phone – time to put my life down in black and white – see what fits where – remove the stress of feeling the time crunch one day and the unending boredom the next. Okay – Now I know; overwhelmed and bored are the enemies. I can fix that! …Right?

Step 2: Routine

What should happen every day? {Besides breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Nap, Bath, etc…}

Step 3: **ME**

Decide what I need to do for me daily or weekly to stop feeling like I am going to start screaming and convulsing on the floor – And to truly rid myself of wanting to hitchhike to South America and never return! {See… I liked that one so much I used it again! Thank you Dr. Phelan!}

Step 4: Plan into motion

I need a specific start date – a date when I know that I can commit to this new way of life. A date to look forward to, prepare for and…. Well having a date sounded so good. So organized – So empowering!

The reality…

I let my friends know that I needed to get this new routine and schedule of “Have To Do” things going before I could figure out when and where we could make regular plan. That I have loved hosting our Wednesday Play Group this past year but until my new schedule and all its kinks get worked out my play group days are on hold.

That’s when it hit me… I moved into this house July 13th 2007. The neighborhood was only half built at that time. The lots across the street were all empty and I had a brand new, 2 month old daughter. Only two of the moms currently in our play group lived here when I moved in. Of those two moms only one of them had a child. Her daughter was 6 months old back then. Now our girls are about to start preschool together next week. I have two kids, she has three… Times have changed -- 3 years ago we had all the time in the world and were desperate to find things to do – New neighbors, new moms, more kids – Three years go by and we are all so busy going off in a million different directions, we barely have time to stop and say “Hello” at the mailbox.
**Then I got sad…**

Okay – Schedule cleared of friends for the moment – write down: Swim Lessons, Dance/Gymnastics, preschool and Stroller Strides. What have we got? Okay – it all fits – I can make it to Stroller Strides 4 times a week!! – That takes care of the ME! Gigi has preschool two days a week, the girls have swim lessons once a week and dance/gymnastics once a week. So Monday – Friday our mornings are booked! Tuesdays and Thursdays our afternoons are booked – Now I can pick a start date!

Story Time, Play Dates, Playground, Pool, Children’s Museum, and Zoo… All of these things can be worked in after I get this new routine down!
** I’m starting to feel good! **

Start Date: August 1st

The universe had a good laugh when it slapped me in the face with my “plan” –I didn’t realize that I’m not finished with my summer babysitting gig until August 3rd. Although I can fit 3 kids in my car, I cannot fit 3 kids in my{chic but not practical for working out} Bumbleride Stroller so – Monday and Tuesday are out for Stroller Strides!!!
** Annoyed!**

What happened to my perfect plan? I was really happy about getting a fresh start in August… Here’s where every fiber in my being would normally say “Screw it!” It’s not perfect so forget it… I tried… Oh well… The best laid plan… and all…” I didn’t though!

So Monday and Tuesday are not going according to plan – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will! I am going to figure out how to make up for the fact that I cannot get my “Me Time” in today and tomorrow. Maybe I’ll go for a run with the girls after dinner??
**I am a reed – I bend**

The reality is this - I want to do everything for my kids! I really do want to… I want them to have fun things in their lives like swim lessons, dance lessons and gymnastics. I think it’s important to go to the zoo, story time, the playground and spend quality time with their friends.

The truth is - I simply cannot continue to put my needs at the bottom of that scary craft closet and shut the door while I run around like crazy for my girls. I know I will be a much better mom if I do something – just one thing for myself and right now… Well right now, I could really use a good sweat! I’m starting to think that our running joke about SAHMs being the new Alcoholics is no joke! I think it’s time to step away from my glass of wine and step into my running shoes… Maybe my new mantra will be…
“I am a mother, therefore I am an athlete!”

** I can hear you laughing!! You never know… I just might be! **
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