Don’t Be Afraid, Mama

A photo by Pineapples. unsplash.com/photos/Q7PclNhVRI0

Too often I hear other moms tell me that they are afraid to take their kids out on their own. Whether it be on a trip to the grocery store or a day at the beach they will wait until they can go with a friend/spouse/on their own. 

To an extent, I get it. I really do.

Toddlers are overwhelming. Wiggly babies who don’t want to sit in the cart while you shop are frustrating. Simple errands take double, maybe even triple the time that they used to.

It’s hard. 

But mama, don’t be afraid…

…of being outnumbered || Before having Simon I wondered how I would ever go out in public with two babies. Two of them > one of me. I’m not very good at math but I know I at least got that down. I quickly learned that it is very unrealistic for me to wait until Alex is home to do things like grocery shopping while still being able to prepare meals and enjoy time together as a family so, I just dove right in. Sometimes, we double stroller. Sometimes, Lyla walks and Simon is in the Ergo. Sometimes, I’ve got a crying baby pulling my hair on one hip and a limb-flailing toddler on the other…you know, whatever works. 

…of your kids crying || Kids cry. This isn’t news to anyone. They cry in their carseats. They cry in the stroller. They cry because their shoes aren’t sparkly enough. They cry because they hear other kids crying. You get the picture. As long as you’ve made sure they are fed, changed and not in any sort of pain just try to drown it out. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes you’ve just gotta let the choir sing! 

…of tantrums in the store || Gosh, these can be embarrassing. You will probably get some looks, maybe even a comment or two, but hey – tantrums happen! It’s part of the game. This is your chance to teach your kids what sort of behavior is acceptable in public and what is not. Are they going to listen the first time? Probably not (unless you are really effective, and in that case, sign me up for the first copy of your parenting book!). Will your child throw another tantrum the next time you don’t let them open three bags of Goldfish before you even leave the snack aisle? Probably. Just take a deep breath, stick to your guns and roll with it. 

…of being tired || It took me two and a half years but I have finally resigned to the the fact that I will never feel rested again. Between the kids and the house and the dog and the husband (kidding, babe) there are simply not enough hours in the day. It’s easy to brush off invites to fun outings or playdates when you are feeling “tired” but don’t let that be a reason for missing out on life anymore! Yes, you are tired. So is every other mama, so pour yourself a mug of coffee and get out there. At least you will be in good company 😉

…of being unprepared || One of the hardest things for me about having two kids is how disorganized I feel ALL THE TIME. On a recent outing, Simon had a huge blowout. No big deal, right? Right. Until I realized that I didn’t have any diapers OR wipes in my backpack. I was carrying around this big backpack, that I swore I had packed full of essentials (and backups…and backups for the backups) that morning, for no reason because it was empty. So, I took Simon into the ladies room, wet some paper towels to wipe up the mess and then made a makeshift diaper with a bunch of wadded up toilet paper. Definitely not my proudest moment as a mother but it did get the job done and did not interrupt our family fun time. 

…to ask for help || I am not superwoman. You are not superwoman (I don’t think so, anyway). Sometimes you are going to need help. In those moments, you are going to be cursing under your breath wondering why you ever tried to get out in the first place. You are going to vow to never do it again. But, in these times don’t be afraid to ask for help. Wherever you are, chances are that a lot of the people around you are parents too. They get it. They want to help. Don’t be shy. 

Don’t let the fear hold you back.

Get out there. Enjoy life. Embrace your gifts.

Laugh off the crazy. 

This season of life is going fast. Too fast. Before you know it, we will be meandering through the aisles at Target alone and wishing we had some little crazy people in our carts (OK, maybe not – solo Target does sound pretty fab 😉 )

Make memories. Take photos.

Smile, laugh, and dance with your kids.

Thank your spouse for these beautiful gifts. For this precious time. 

Lean on your friends when you need some help. We all do. 

Don’t be afraid, mama. You’ve got this. 

 

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DIY Floral Step Stool

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PottyTrainTogether #CollectiveBias

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Here at the Byrd house it’s potty training time. We have great days and we have…well…not so great days. It’s definitely a learning process for all parties involved. Luckily, Lyla has been pretty enthusiastic by the whole thing, especially once she realized that “big” girls get to wear Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants with princesses on them. 

Like a lot of little girls, Lyla is enthralled by all things princess. If she had it her way, she would never take off her dresses or crown so, like any good mom would, I use it to my advantage when I need her to do something 😉

Need to do her hair? I ask her to sit still while I make her hair just like [insert favorite princess of the week here].

Want her to eat a few more bites of dinner? Tell her that meatloaf is food fit for a princess. 

Girlfriend is motivated. 

So, with potty training, I’m using the same tactics. 

On a recent trip to Walmart, I picked up a package of Pull-Ups with Disney’s Princess Sophia on them. Lyla oohed and aahed  at them in the cart, in the car and when we got home. (I told you, she loves princesses). To build excitement, I didn’t let her open them on the first day, but kept talking them up – letting her know that we would open them when she was ready to use the big girl potty.

The Pull-Ups® Cool & Learn® Training Pants have a built-in cooling system that helps teach kids when they are wet. They also have easy-open sides for when you need to help with the changing. 

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Of course, a big part of potty training is learning what to do after you go. You know, the whole flushing and washing your hands thing. So to make that special for her too, I decided to make a floral step stool fit for a princess. 

Back at Walmart, I picked up a plastic step stool and some faux flowers. I love getting my flowers from there because they are so affordable. Less expensive = I can buy more and really make a statement. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Lyla was pretty excited to see this step stool come to life so she happily helped me remove all of the flowers from the stems and we collected them into one big pile. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Since hot glue and toddlers do not mix (safety first, y’all) Alex kept her entertained with some highly sophisticated hand-puppet action while I got to work on gluing the flowers to the stool. 

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

When I was done, my trusty assistant helped me clean up all of the extra flowers while we let the glue dry. Then, we were off to the bathroom to give it a try!

DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL DIY FLORAL STEP STOOL

Find out which type of potty training character your child is at this link. Lyla is definitely a squirrel so I think our approach of making the potty and hand-washing routine a princess game for her is going to work really well. 

Wish us luck!

Ready to start on your potty training adventure? Use this coupon at Walmart for $2 off any package of Pull-Ups (or GoodNights) at Walmart from 8/28- 10/8.

 

 

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Year of the Byrds 34/52

Soooo I haven’t posted a “Year of the Byrds” update since week 16. My goodness. 

(I have, however, been emailing myself photos for the past eighteen weeks. I’ll get around to posting them…eventually)

Life has been very, very good to us. This week was no exception. 

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Started off the week catching the sunrise with my favorite son 😉

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Hit up one of our favorite beaches on Saturday. 

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Lots of fun with friends in our neighborhood.

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A coffee farm excursion.

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More playing.

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More beach.

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And a special dinner at Monkeypod to welcome home these boys 🙂

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Strawberry Fields Forever

On our recent trip to Michigan, we spent one morning at a local farm picking strawberries with my grandma. Lyla wore a pair of my old overalls and picked berries like a pro. The sun stayed behind the clouds, leaving us nice and comfortable. We joked, we worked, we tasted sweet berries (shhhh, don’t tell). It really was a special morning and I found myself holding back tears numerous times. My grandma must have felt it too because she kept telling me to make sure I grabbed some photos, so I did. I’ll let them do the rest of the talking…

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Waimanalo Beach with Uncle and SwimZip

In the week leading up to our big trip to the mainland we spent a lot of time with my brother (AKA Uncle) cruising the island and hitting all of our favorite spots. 

[If you didn’t know, Uncle had been living here on Oahu for the past year but recently decided to go back to the mainland to finish school.]

Waimanalo Beach

Waimanalo Beach is one of my favorites on the island. The mountain views are unreal, the water is the bluest of blues and the sand is so nice and soft. Just a little slice of heaven here on earth

On this particular morning, it was pretty windy and we were getting sprinkled on here and there but it was still just as magical as we wanted it to be. 
lyla swimzip waimanaloSprinkles or shine, I take sun protection very seriously, especially for my kids which is one of the reasons I love SwimZip products. Their rash guards have UPF 50+ Sun Protection, have an awesome zipper in the front which makes it super easy to put on (am I the only one who thinks my kids’ heads are huge?!) AND are super cute. What’s not to love, right?

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While Uncle and Lyla played in the waves, Simon and I hung out on the beach. And by hung out on the beach, I mean I was an obnoxious mom and put him in the grass for some photos. 

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Admit it, you wouldn’t have been able to resist either. 
waimanalo baby toes(Simon isn’t repping SwimZip here but they do have tons of cute options for boys. Which one do you think would look cutest on him?!)

Before calling it a day, we spent some time on the giant rope swing. 

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SwimZip isn’t just for kids! They have products for women and men as well as sun hats and fun circle towels. (seriously, how cool is the world one?!)

I know that I have a pretty long wish list going…what would be on yours?

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

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