Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Godfrey Family Beach Trip

Summer is HERE! We kicked it off the best way we know how by going to the beach. Here's a quick run down including LOTS of pictures. Prepare for the cuteness that is a baby in smocked swimwear!

Reese was a wee bit terrified  unsure about the sand and surf at first. The first two days involved a LOT of mommy and daddy holding her.
Snacks in the shade on our beach blanket was a favorite part of each day.
Sweet baby finally warmed up to beach life by about day three.
 We ate dinner out a few nights. This was one of our favorite spots! Sea n Suds! It was a perfect night on the beach. Can you tell I curled my hair? :( Gotta love humidity!
 Reese was dressed to impress in her anchor bubble from Smocked Auctions
 We are definitely in a fun phase of "Look away from the camera as soon as mommy says to look and smile." Makes for lots of outtakes.
 Mommy/daughter walk! I did try a maternity tankini the first day but I got too darn hot. It's ALL about comfort, y'all!
 It was SO fun watching these two play all week! I am pretty limited these days thanks to my growing baby belly. Daddy to the rescue!
 "Reese, say cheese!!" "NO thanks."
 Matt's sweet parents kicked us out of the house one night so we could have a date! It definitely included put put and I definitely showed this boy whose boss!
 Toward the end of the week, we had the opposite problem that we experienced in the beginning. Now we were trying to make sure this brave girl didn't float away.
 Maybe my favorite picture from the whole trip
 Here's our home base!
 Lolly and Poppa were always close by and Reese was their little shadow the entire week!
 Another little Smocked Auctions bubble for our last night out to dinner!
 Tried to get some pictures of Reese before dinner and let me just tell you, I WORKED for these. Girl was wayyyyyyyy more interested in throwing sand and walking into the dunes. Let's just say I was sweating like a wild banshee by the time this little photo session concluded.
 Sweet little beach baby
 This was the best we got when it came to a family picture.
The BEEEEEEEEEEEEautiful house we stayed in for the week!!
Hope you enjoyed our week in photos! Be sure to check back in the next few days for my post on tips for having a toddler at the beach!

Monday, May 12, 2014


My sweet Reese is now 21 months old. Up to this point, we have some how avoided the whole "public meltdown" fiasco. I don't know why, I just assumed it was because I'm such a good parent so she had no reason to throw fits.


Think again.

Over the last few weeks, the tantrums have become a little more, um, frequent. I can pretty much tell when they're going to happen but for some reason whenever they do, I still feel myself slowly spinning into a panic attack... red face, sweat forming in all the wrong places, saying weird things to strangers I pass while frantically removing ourselves from the public eye... "Kids, you can't take them anywhere!" As a side note, I wouldn't suggest making comments to anyone. The awkward stares that generally follow usually just make matters worse.

I like to think of myself as a problem-solver at times, but for the most part, I really would prefer to be a problem-avoider. So instead of figuring out how to handle the meltdown effectively, I usually find myself trying to figure out why it happened in the first place. Because if I figure THAT out, the tantrums will stop! Right? Am I right?

Yeah, no, that's definitely wrong.

Here's the thing about most almost two year olds: they are barely scratching the surface of how to have self control. And they don't have it figured out yet. They also handle their emotions very differently based on their developmental level.

 It's funny to me that as adults, we don't have much patience for this. Yet we expect other people to totally excuse us when WE are the ones lashing out because something makes US mad. Have you ever heard someone use the phrase "Stop acting like such a child!" Well, telling your child to stop having meltdowns, throwing tantrums, and acting out is like saying "stop acting like a child." The problem is, they ARE a child.

Tantrums are teachable moments if we can direct them in the right way. It's not unreasonable to expect that our children behave but we have to teach them that. I see a lot of parents ignore meltdowns. But I think that is when our kids need us the most. Can you always reason with a two year old? Haha. NO. But you can help guide them through those scary moments.

1. Walk with them away from the situation (prepare for kicking and flailing about at this point)

2. Do your best to remain calm and talk in a voice that is going to turn away wrath, not stir it up

3. Watch in amazement how quickly your little ray of sunshine returns to their former pre-tantrum glory.

4. Don't let yourself be bothered by the disapproving stares of others. They either don't have children or are too far removed from that stage of their children's lives to give you the grace you need.

But whatever you do, don't say things like "Anybody want my kid?" It just makes things awkward.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mommy Wars Part One: The battle with no winners

When I first become a mom, I was incredibly overwhelmed by the amount of love I felt for this helpless little person that I had just pushed out of my body. No one can prepare you for what it's like to become a mom. It is truly a gift like none I've ever received. But with this great gift came a lot of pressure that I never planned for. Not just pressure from myself but also pressure from outside sources, leaving me asking myself the question "Will I ever do this mom thing right?"

                                                            Enter: The Mommy Wars.

It's a real thing. A real battle between mothers over the various ways WE choose to raise our families. You can see it all over facebook, instagram, twitter. Name the outlet, the mommy wars are being fought there and no one is winning.

If only it were over just ONE thing. But it's not. The battle is waged over all kinds of ideologies...

Stay at Home VS. Full time out of the home worker

Cry it Out VS. Attachment Parenting

Organic diet VS. The McDonals drive thru

Home Schooling VS. Public School

Vaccinating VS. Natural Immunization

Natural Child Birth VS. The C Section

DIY VS. I'd rather buy, thank you

I'm sure there are more that I'm missing. I'm sure in your own experience, you've seen the way any number of these battles has effected you. Maybe you've been the victim of someone's critical spirit over a specific decision you've made. Maybe you've lashed out in defense of your point of view at the expense of someone else's.

The point is, this is a battle with no winners. No matter how many people you have on "your side" there will always be "another side" that feels differently. This is the beauty and tragedy of our role. We have decisions we have to make and they WILL be different than the decisions that others are making.

So in an effort to wave the white flag, let's expose this issue for what it really is: Satan's attempt to rob mother's of the joy found in their role AND the opportunity we have to nurture each other in those roles.

Even with all our vast differences, we can still find common ground.

1. We are all moms
2. We all feel insecure in our role and decision-making at times
3. When we are critical of another mother, we are fighting the mommy war
4. When we are defensive of our own position, we are fighting the mommy war
5. We are all doing the BEST we can with information that WE have to raise our families

We have seen the power that we as mothers can have in our homes when we nurture those who live in it's walls, but have we even tapped into the potential we have to be each other's biggest advocates, greatest support, loudest cheerleaders, and sweetest nurturers?

Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we stopped tearing each other down and competing with each other?  If instead of fighting against one another, we started playing on the same team? We would be a force of good to be reckoned with.

Will you join me in waving the white flag and ending this war? It starts in our own hearts by examining our motives and the way we CHOOSE to lift each other up.

If you walk away with anything from this, I want you to know, sweet momma, I'm on YOUR side.