Looking For The No-Sew DIY Tooth Fairy Costume From Pinterest?

Looking For The No-Sew DIY Tooth Fairy Costume From Pinterest?
Looking For The No-Sew DIY Tooth Fairy Costume From Pinterest? Click The Pic!

Looking For The No-Sew DIY Tooth Fairy Costume From Pinterest?

Being Grateful After A Rough Year

2016 hasn't exactly been a picnic. I'm a bit terrified for 2017 to be honest. The days following January 20, 2017 to be exact. Not that things were perfect before - nothing is ever perfect. But I'm especially afraid for what is to come. The night of the election I wrote this: How Do I Explain This To My Children? and I still feel the same way.

Anyway, I'm making myself sit here and find 12 things I'm grateful for from last year because I need to focus on the positive and put in the effort to move forward and find the peace within me for myself and for my children.

1. I'm grateful that we have gotten rain. We live in Southern California and we are in a really bad drought and we desperately need rain. So grateful for the rain!

2. I'm grateful that a site like Ancestry.com exists because we have finally found more information about my dad's side of the family. He grew up in an abusive, broken home and spending quality time with family and relatives telling stories about the old days and keeping track of who was who wasn't really what they did. I was actually able to trace back to the late 1600's and find full-blooded Cherokee Indians in our bloodline. My 9th Great Grandmother was an amazing Cherokee woman who I could actually read about on google!! Her name was Quatsy of Tellico (of the Wolf Clan) and one of her sons was a man called Standing Turkey (Old Hop) who also has fascinating stories about him.

3. I'm grateful for rainy, gloomy, lazy post-holiday weekend days where the whole family is home and I'm sitting around writing, still in jammies, drinking lattes all day long which is perfectly acceptable on a day like this.

4. I'm grateful for summer beach days with friends or with family. Where we get there early and spend the day digging in the sand, finding crabs hiding out on the pier pilings, boogie boarding in the waves, drying off to eat a sandwich and maybe catching a small cat nap on a towel in the sun. After a long day of beaching it up I'm always grateful for our favorite Mexican restaurant next to the pier where we spend the evening eating tacos and eating chips and salsa reminiscing about our beach day while planning the next one.

5. I'm grateful for kids who crack themselves up silly while watching cartoons. Those days pass quickly, so it's fun to hear kids being kids who enjoy slapstick comedy like only a kid can.

6. I'm grateful for holidays filled with yummy homemade food made from recipes that have been passed down, lots of family who share funny stories, (even if they are the same funny stories year after year), kids running through the house and even the happiness and calmness when everyone gets the heck out at the end of the evening so I can finally decompress!

7. I'm grateful for dancing babies. Especially my own who will dance to any music, any time of the day or night. Even in his sleep.

8. I'm grateful for my sweet 6 year old child when I see him playing on the playground just before I pick him up from school and I observe him being a good friend to others and a helper to his teachers - even though he doesn't know I'm watching him. There isn't anything better than watching your child enjoy their childhood.

9. I'm grateful for my daughter. She is an amazing big sister (most of the time - I mean she is human after all!) and she has such a caring heart and a sweet, spunky soul. I love watching her create art because she enjoys it so much and she has really become such a great little artist at only 8 years old. I hope to collaborate with her someday on a children's book and have her be my illustrator. I also love to see her interacting with animals. She has a real gift when it comes to animals.

10. I'm grateful for my husband who is on this crazy journey with me, who makes me laugh daily and who is always doing funny accents to crack us up. He's a great dad, a great husband and a hard worker. And we both share the same crazy dream of being organic farmers someday too. We already have the house full of animals. Our 8 and 1/2 year old daughter, our 6 year old son and his 2 year old toddler brother who is like 10 animals in one.

Happy New Year! Be safe and please call a cab or an Uber as opposed to driving drunk. My husband lost his very best friend 11 years ago this January due to a drunk driver hitting him and killing him. He was only 31 years old. I hope the coming year is good to you and your family. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to practice more gratitude. Especially during this year of the "terrible two's." As I type, my 2 year old is currently face down, crying uncontrollably, feet kicking while he's screaming because daddy put his favorite chair back at the kid table and he wanted it at the kitchen table, even though you can't see him at all when he's sitting in it because the table is too tall....Oh wait, now he's running in the other room laughing at a ball his big brother just threw. Thank goodness for the easily distracted toddler! All is right with the world.

Unless you move the chair again. #momlife


To read more of my posts about Gratitude click here

To read more posts from My Tales From The Crib click here.

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However, I'm not on Facebook at this time and here's why.

I'm grateful for having an entire beach to ourselves!

Family day at the beach.

Why Moms Celebrate Babies Monthly Milestone Birthdays

Logging onto Twitter today I saw a tweet from Ivanka Trump, whom I do not follow personally, but saw that one of my followers retweeted her. She tweeted a picture of her cute little 8 month old baby boy and she is wishing him a Happy Birthday because he's 8 months old today. If you dare to read through the comments, you'll see a bunch of people bashing her for saying, "Happy Birthday." Now, as a non-Trump supporter, I'm not normally going around defending things any of the Trumps say and do - especially on Twitter! However, as a mom of three myself, and one who has also celebrated monthly milestones during the first year of life, I can definitely defend Ivanka's tweet.

It looks like she felt the need to defend the tweet here:

If you've never had children yourself, then you would have no idea why a parent would celebrate each month. However, think back to when you had your first boyfriend or girlfriend in jr. high or high school, or even to your first year of marriage. Chances are you celebrated each month on the day you met or started dating (or got married) because it was new, fun and exciting and the year anniversary seemed so far off. This is how new parents feel too. Being a mom to a newborn is hard work. Heck, being a mom to a child of any age is hard work in it's own way. My little guy (baby #3) turns 2 tomorrow and I could write a novel about how hard some days are. But regardless if you are Ivanka Trump (not sure she would admit to it or not, I have no idea) or a mom who's blog you read or know in real life who appears to have it all together, to you and me - motherhood is HARD! I'm not saying it's hard everyday for the ladies listed above, and of course the more daily help you have the easier it can be to get the daily house/cooking/cleaning/chores/carting-children-here-and-there stuff done, but deep down in the back of our minds when we finally sit down at the end of the day and the kids are finally asleep, we all have the same basic wants and desires for our children and most us wonder if we are measuring up in their tiny eyes and we worry about all the things most parents worry about when it comes to their children, so no, it's probably not a cake walk for anyone - celebrity or not, billionaire or not.

In a child's first year of life there are many milestones and almost everyone, including pediatricians, measure the baby's first year of life in months. Everything revolves around how old they are in months. (Same with pregnancy.) So of course a parent is going to celebrate each month as it comes because there are many reminders about how old the baby is in months. During their first year of life, many parent go to see their pediatrician every month for a well baby check-up. Often times it's done every 2 months, but I have known moms who take them monthly. Baby clothing sizes and shoe sizes are all categorized in months (and sometimes by weight) as are baby toys, baby diapers, well baby check-ups, even baby enrichment classes. So it's not unusual to celebrate a baby's monthly milestone "birthday." All you have to do is look on Pinterest to see a million posts and DIY ideas of how moms are celebrating each monthly milestone. Some say "Happy Birthday" some say, "Happy 6th month birthday" (or whatever month they are celebrating) some say, "Happy 9th month Anniversary of your birth," some even take a picture of their baby every single day for the first year (btw this is a lot easier when it's your first child) - I've seen it all and either way they say it, they are celebrating each month.

If you are a breastfeeding mother, you are sometimes even just trying to survive week-by-week at first because it can be tricky to get to that "sweet spot" where it no longer hurts, the baby finally has a good latch and where it gets easier and quicker and more comfortable to nurse at home as well as out in public and on the go. In my personal experience with breastfeeding all three of my children, by the third month we were finally in a really good spot where it wasn't a huge production to just nurse the baby. I felt very comfortable to nurse in public when I was finally feeling mobile with the baby and older children to get out and about in the real world. This sometimes happened before month #3, sometimes later depending on which baby it was and where I was in my postpartum depression (unfortunately I had PPD in varying degrees with all three children), but I'd say that by 3 months old I was feeling great and was ready to celebrate!


  • This is why we need to please stop judging new mothers with breastfeeding in public. A new baby/infant eats every 2 hours in most cases (every 4 hours in older babies) and a new mother NEEDS to get out and get some fresh air and be out in the real world for her sanity. It's been a long journey from the delivery of the baby to get to this point. Let her nurse the baby and leave her alone. You have no idea what she has been through just to get to this point in her motherhood journey. She needs breastfeeding support from everyone around her to be successful. The WHO recommends a baby breastfeed until 2 years old (exclusively for the first 6 months) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends moms to exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding while supplementing with food until 1 year old. What does exclusively breastfeeding mean? Click the link to read more, but it basically means that nothing is supplemented - breastmilk only, no formula, no water or any food/solids - including adding rice cereal to the bottle to "help them sleep longer" which is a wives tale and can be dangerous for a newborn baby or infant under 4 months old. With that being said, exclusively breastfeeding can be tricky if the new mother is having a difficult time breastfeeding in the beginning like I did with baby #1 and needed to supplement with formula at night during those first few weeks just to get a break and to give my extremely sore nipples a bit of a break. Then we got over the hurdle of the nipple soreness and latch issues and went on to breastfeed without needing to supplement with formula until she was 6 months old when we started to introduced solids. (There was a bit of nipple confusion going from bottle back to breast because the baby has to work harder to pull the milk from the breast whereas the milk flows very easily from the nipple from a bottle - but I kept at it until she was successful.) I was still breastfeeding until she was 14 months old when we introduced organic cows milk. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time breastfeeding and you/they want to continue (it should be the mom's decision only since she is the one doing it), then please seek professional help and surround yourself with a strong support system to ensure a good, long lasting breastfeeding relationship with your baby. (If you don't want to continue then PLEASE don't feel guilty or beat yourself up over it. We all have our own motherhood journey. They all look different and should all be celebrated! If you do need support: A Lactation Consultant can help as well as the international breastfeeding support group,  Le Leche League. Here is a great "Latch On" video for extra help too from the breast pump company Ameda. This video was invaluable to me with all three children. P.S. It's OK to need breastfeeding help with babies #2, #3, #4, #5, etc., even if you nursed baby #1 until they were 2 years old and feel you should be a professional by now. All babies are different and just like each pregnancy, labor and delivery (even parenting techniques) differ from child-to-child, you will have a different breastfeeding relationship with each one too. Don't be too hard on yourself. You will get past this hurdle and find the "sweet spot" again! But support for the breastfeeding mom at home and in her community is crucial. 
  • Not all moms own a breast pump either because they are very expensive, (some are $300+) so not all breastfeeding moms have breastmilk in a bottle when they are out in public. It can take about 30 minutes of pumping to just get 2-3 oz sometimes. Many times a baby will take 4-6 oz of breastmilk in one feeding - and they feed every 2-4 hours. Besides, if you are a breastfeeding mom, in order to keep your breastmilk supply up the baby needs to breastfeed on the breast. The breast pump, even a very good one, isn't going to have the same affect on keeping milk supply up. So just because a mom pumps, she will still need to put the baby to the breast the same amount of times to keep her supply up. If it bothers you to see a mom breastfeeding in public, look away. She should not have to find a filthy, stinky, cramped bathroom when her baby needs to eat. Babies do not wait. They are hungry and they need to eat and they scream when they are past the point of being hungry. Taking the time to pack up and move from wherever the mom is when the baby starts to get fussy and needs to eat and search for a bathroom because a stranger feels uncomfortable can push the baby way past the point of being hungry. Would you rather hear a screaming, crying baby while you are eating in a restaurant or have the mom quiet them while breastfeeding? 
  • As the baby gets older and is more curious about their world it gets harder and harder to keep a cover over their heads. All 3 of my children (as well as all of the babies of my breastfeeding mom friends) would just pull it off. Please take this into consideration when you are feeling upset that a mom is breastfeeding her child without a cover in public. Many times the baby won't keep it on regardless of how much a mom may try. Only newborns, tiny infants, sleeping babies or sometimes babies with sun in their eyes will nurse with a cover on. The older they get the more distracted by noises, new sights and sounds they get. Also, if a mom has older children and she is alone at a restaurant or park, do you really expect her to stop her kids from eating or playing and take her screaming infant to find a bathroom and sit on the toilet to nurse her baby?  What are her older kids supposed to do? Stop putting so much pressure on mothers because you are feeling uncomfortable. Just stop!  All you have to do is google breastfeeding mothers in the early part of the century and you'll see plenty of black and white photos of women nursing in public without a cover and no one is batting an eye. Like these here:
  • Here are more breastfeeding photos throughout history that normalize breastfeeding 
  • 19 Works Of Art That Shows Breastfeeding Has Always Been Beautiful 

So why exactly are moms celebrating each month again?

A baby changes so much during that first year. During the first 3 months your baby goes from being a head bobbing, tiny bowl of jelly to holding their own head up, looking around, smiling, cooing, recognizing you and other family members, reaching for toys. Diaper changes are sometimes up to 10 times a day+ during the first month! And breastfeeding or bottle feeding is usually about every 2 hours (even at night in most cases.) Often times if a baby is colicky, (meaning they can cry for a few hours at a time without stopping and there is no reason for it because they are fed, changed, warm, comfortable, nothing is poking them, etc.,) and it can last through the first 3 months. My 3rd was colicky and I still have PTSD from it. Colic is very, very, VERY stressful and can compound a mother's postpartum depression if she is already suffering from it. A mom can still be sore from the labor and delivery during the first month and in most cases is still having postpartum vaginal bleeding up to 6 weeks or more after the birth. In many, many cases if a mom has to return back to work, it's done before the 3 month milestone. Way before in most cases. Especially if she lives in the United States. Other countries have much longer maternity leave than the USA, even up to a year of paid maternity leave in some countries. In the US most moms get 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a c-section delivery. It's not a coincidence that we also have a very high c-section rate in the US. As a mom I can tell you that often times it takes that long to just get into a good groove of life with having a new baby. It's not a process that happens over night and when a mom doesn't have any help, it can be a nightmare for her to return to work that soon.  However, not all moms want to stay home past the 6 or 8 week mark and are ready to get back to work and have someone else take over the bulk of the day-to-day baby duties and she should not be judged for that either. Some moms don't have a choice in the matter regardless if they want to return to work or stay home. They need to make money to provide for their families and they should not be judged for that either. But this is why we need longer paid maternity leave too. Mothers need to be supported, period!

Months 3-6 they start to sit up on their own, roll over on their own (sometimes even before 3 months), laughing, babbling, batting at/starting to play with their toys, starting to get teeth, etc. If a mom is suffering from postpartum depression, she *might* be feeling some let up from it as the baby is growing more and more independent and her hormones are shifting back to normal (in some cases.)

Months 6-9 they start to pull themselves up to standing, more teeth are coming in, they are playing with toys, starting solid foods, recognizing more people, giving kisses, lots of babbling and words are now forming, etc.

Months 9-11 they are cruising all around the furniture (meaning they pull themselves up to a standing position and "walk" around the furniture while still holding onto everything), they are eating a varied diet while still having milk from the breast or breastmilk or formula from bottle only a few times a day - usually morning, afternoon, evening and night, they are now sitting in a high chair feeding themselves, some are starting to say a few words, some are starting to stand alone without holding onto anything.

Month 12  - Baby's First Birthday!
Some are starting to walk on their own now, or maybe a few steps here and there but all children are different. (My oldest was 14 months old before she started to walk on her own, baby #2 was 12 months and baby #3 was about 11 months. However, my own brother was actually 18 months before he started walking!) Most have a lot more teeth now (however, a family we know has a child who didn't even start the teething process until he was a year old and didn't get his first tooth until about 13-14 months old!) Oh and as you probably noticed, counting the child's age by months doesn't just stop at 12. It usually goes until they are 2. Clothes, shoes, diapers, toys, enrichment classes and even Pediatricians carry on counting each month until 2 as well.  

Hopefully this post clears up why moms count and celebrate each month of a child's life. You need these little celebrations during the first year just to get you through. It's like loosing weight, saving for a large purchase, counting down the days until a big vacation from work or a visit from a loved one - you celebrate the baby steps along the way to get you through the hard days. Besides, for most of us the first year is a looooong one! There are many sleepless nights with a fussy, crying baby (especially when teething which is a nightmare in it's own.) But the bottom line is, is that we need to support and encourage mothers and stop bashing good mothers for their parenting choices.

Motherhood isn't easy and most of us are trying our very best. I may not support Ivanka Trump's politics, but I will support her love for her children and her desire to be a good mom to them, because that is what I'm trying to do too.

Moms need to support other moms. Period.

To read more from My Tales From The Crib click here.

As you can see, I'm passionate about breastfeeding. If you'd like to read more, I have this post here regarding breastfeeding and Facebook. Or my breastfeeding posts in general here.

If you'd like to read more about my struggle with Postpartum Depression and how we need to release the stigma, click here> "Why The Shame Of Postpartum Depression?" Or click here to read my posts about PPD in general here

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However, I'm not on Facebook at this time and here's why.

How Do I Explain This To My Children?

As my husband and I sit here on the couch on election night, way past our bedtime, smart phones in hand, afraid to hit the refresh button - in complete and utter disbelief - I can't help but be sad for my children. That was the first thing I thought of. "The kids are going to be devastated tomorrow!" we agreed. This election year has been a terrible one. It has gotten so nasty and out of hand and so hard to explain in a way that a child can understand because they are not used to hearing adults say such horrible things to each other. And we actually have not been letting them hear anything about the election (we never let them watch the news) - but they are hearing things from other kids at school and other adults everywhere we go. This is the first election where I have been a mother to young children who are old enough to be aware of what is going on in the world around them. They are aware that Donald Trump has said some really mean things. They are aware that he wants to build a wall to keep people out.

My daughter has a beloved teacher who moved here when she was 19 years old from Guadalajara, Mexico to go to college in the United States of America and my sweet child is terrified that Donald Trump will send her away if he becomes President. My daughter is only 8 years old. She should be worrying about her spelling test on Friday, what to get her friend for his birthday and when we are finally going to get this supposed dog we keep talking about (soon my child, soon) - not if some tyrannical, hate-filled old blow-hard of a man wants to send her lovely teacher back to Mexico. The same woman who made me cry during Back-To-School night because she said, "You love your children when they are at home and I will love them when they are here and together we will become a good team in helping them grow and learn and become the best people they can become. I will be their mother here at school and love them and care for them like my own children." Now you see why I couldn't hold back the tears!

My fellow mothers reading this - this election has reminded me of something. I need to be more present so that my children get my influence as opposed to social media's influence. I know I'm not alone in this. We must band together and check back into our lives to raise the next generation to be better and more evolved than this one. Smart phones, iPads, social media, Facebook has become a brain clog and a crutch for far too long in our lives and it's up to us - the people raising the tiny humans who will eventually run this world to DO BETTER. I'm in tears tonight at the thought of a Donald Trump Presidency for the next four years because as a mother to an 8 year old girl and a 6 year old boy who is just this year a brand new, sweet, innocent kindergartner not yet hardened by the harsh realities of life, I make it my mission to raise children who are tolerant of all humans, who respect all humans regardless of what they look like, who they love, who they pray to and where they were born. We talk at length at home about not being a bully and what it means to stand up to bullies and fight for the underdog and for those who are unable to fight for themselves. We teach them to fight for the rights of all humans. I have made a point when talking to my children to go out of my way to not describe people by their skin color or use stereotypical words when talking about others and I cringe when people do talk like that around my kids. It's mostly the Baby Boomer generation and the generation older than them who think nothing of putting people in nice little cut and dry categories based on race, gender or sexual orientation. Please evolve from this way of thinking. We can be better than that.

We need to teach our kids to have more respect for adults and for their peers. We need to get off our high horses when it comes to our kids and admit it to ourselves if we do have the child who is the bully. They are somebody's child - and we need to swallow our pride, loose the defensiveness and listen to how we can change their behavior because we must change their behavior for the better. It's hard to do, especially if it's a mirror of our own behavior, but it must be done.

We need to unplug the devices and let our child see the color of our eyes when they are telling us a story about what happened that day at school as opposed to the top of our hairline on our nodding head as we look down at our phone pretending to multitask.

Our children are not objects needed to be to multitasked.  

We need to make a "No Phone/ No TV Zone" during most, if not ALL meals and use words and facial expressions to communicate with one another while we are sitting at a table looking at each other. If this sounds weird and foreign the way I'm explaining it, it's because this idea has become foreign to so many. Be honest with yourself, how many meals do you have a week where the whole family is sitting at a table talking and eating and the TV is off and phones are not sitting on the table right next to your plate or in our hands taking your attention away at every beep and buzz. Now think about your own childhood and how your family meals were. Was the TV on?  Did it bother you if your dad was watching the game instead of listening to a story you had about your friends at school? Now is your chance to change it for the better. This is your life. These are your kids. You shape the story they will tell someday of their childhood. Don't loose your child while they are still young enough to want you to be a part of their daily lives. Just ask a parent of a typical teenager about how much their child wants to sit and chit chat about what they are doing with their friends at school.  Crickets...

Regardless of who wins this Presidency, I still vow to raise my children to not judge people by their skin color, to not dislike someone because of who they pray to, or who they don't pray to. I promise to teach them that love is love and to marry who their heart tells them to, not who society tells them to. And to respect people who choose to love someone that society is telling them not to. I will keep teaching them manners and respect and compassion and to not be a bully, regardless of what they are hearing a candidate who is running for President saying to others. I promise to teach them to believe those who speak out about personal tragic stories of sexual abuse for they are the true brave souls in this world.

This election has taught me many things - one of which is that I need to work harder at home while my children are young to continue to lay the foundation of goodness, caring, respect, tolerance, understanding, compassion, and continue teaching them right from wrong so they can make choices in their lives that make a difference for the better. So they will know when they hear an old man named Donald Trump yelling at someone on the TV and using obscene language and being an outright bully to anyone who challenges him on social media and on TV to know that they don't have to respect that sort of behavior just because he's an adult and they are children. They don't have to imitate that behavior and they will know from how their parents treat them that they don't have to ever tolerate that behavior from anyone - even from the President of the United States because they matter simply because they are a human being. Just as you matter. God help us all.

I'll leave you with some Maya Angelou. May she help to spread some positivity and a better understanding and make you feel a bit better.

One of my all time favorites:

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better." 
~ Maya Angelou

"You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive."
- Interview from the April 2011 edition of O, the Oprah Magazine (2011)

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
- Excerpted from Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
Interview in USA TODAY (March 5, 1988)

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Interview for Beautifully Said Magazine (2012)

"I am a Woman
Phenomenal Woman,
that's me."
Phenomenal Woman, poem (1978)
The above quotes were found here.

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Peace, Love and Light.

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To The Teenage Girl Who Got Punched In The Face By Her Boyfriend After Trying To Break Up With Him

To The Teenage Girl Who Got Punched In The Face By Her Boyfriend After Trying To Break Up With Him
You matter.

You do not deserve to be punched in the face by anyone, let alone by someone who claimed to love you - someone you loved in return and trusted to keep you safe from harm.

You should not feel bullied to stay with a boy or any man or woman for that matter, who is aggressive toward you, who threatens you, who makes you feel unsafe, who makes you feel less than your worth, who belittles you, who bullies you, who frightens you, who calls you terrible names (cunt, bitch, whore, slut, stupid, worthless idiot ARE terrible names), who picks fights with you just for the sake of fighting, who makes you feel like you are walking on egg shells around him all the time, who makes you afraid to make him angry, who keeps you from seeing or talking to your family and friends, who slaps you, who pushes you, who pinches you, who flinches at you in an aggressive way like he's going to punch you but doesn't - this time. 

Abuse is not just physical. It can be mental, emotional, sexual-

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I heard your cries for help (it still sends a chill down my spine) and watched him storm off in anger and I rushed to you. We don't know each other, yet immediately my hand went to your shoulder as you sat in your car to try to comfort you - wanting to hug you and not let go. Once I knew you were safe and that police were on the way the words just flew out of my mouth without a filter - even though it wasn't my place to give my opinion since I don't know you or your situation.

"I'm so sorry he hit you. You are worth so much. You are a strong, beautiful girl and you do not deserve this. No matter what happened or what you are fighting about, you do not deserve to be punched in the face." 

I learned that he punched you and threw you on the ground a few days before when you tried to break up with him. Him punching you just now was a result of you breaking up with him for good. 

"Your boyfriend needs help, I said, and you are not the one who is responsible for getting him that help. He needs to get help himself." 

I couldn't stop the words from coming out - tears starting to build up behind my eyes even though I was trying the hardest I ever have to hold them back to stay strong while you cried. You got out of your car to hug me as I told you I was staying until police came. 

"Don't ever be with anyone who treats you like that. You deserve so much. Much more than he is capable of giving you."

The police came right away, I hugged you again and told you my name and where I lived. "I'm here for you. You're not alone." 

I gave the police my statement about what I saw and where he went and what he was wearing then rushed to pick my daughter up from school, as I knew she would most likely be playing on the playground waiting for me to get there. I also made the decision to tell my children small details of what happened. I was visibly upset when I got to the playground and my 5 & 1/2 year old and toddler were in the car as I rushed out to help her. He saw all of the police cars and saw that I was hugging a crying stranger. I had to tell him what was going on - only an edited version appropriate for a small child. This was real life happening right before his eyes. We shelter so much of what they see on TV, movies, video games and anything online, yet he saw the aftermath of a domestic violence situation - something he never even knew existed since he comes from a loving family who uses words as opposed to physical violence to solve problems. From the car you could see the goose-egg sized red welt popping out of her cheek. There was no avoiding some sort of conversation. 

"That girl I was hugging had a boyfriend who wasn't nice to her so she didn't want to be friends with him anymore. She is allowed to do that, just as you are allowed to do that if someone isn't being nice to you or treating you with love and respect. And when she said she didn't want to be friends with him anymore and that she didn't want to ever see him again he got so mad he hit her.  In the face?" He asked, noticing her face. "Yes." I said, knowing how horrible that must sound. "We're not allowed to hit anyone at school. You'd get in BIG trouble if you hit someone in the face. He shouldn't have hit her. You don't hit people. That's really bad." 

My son is in kindergarten and he already gets it.

That started the dialogue with my children who are 8 1/2  and almost 6 years old. A dialogue that had a strong emphasis on being brave and strong and standing up to bullies, protecting and helping those who need our help, not ever letting a boyfriend, a girlfriend, (and someday) a husband or wife, a stranger or even a friend or family member treat you with anything other than love, respect, honor and care. A dialogue that will continue in order to educate and empower them.

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship (of any kind):

One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.” 
― Lundy BancroftWhy Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

“Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out?
Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you?
Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did?
Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you?
Has he ever shoved, poked, or grabbed you?
Has he ever threatened to hurt you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he’ll ever be violent; he already has been.” 
― Lundy BancroftWhy Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

To find more inspiring quotes on GoodReads about domestic violence and by survivors of domestic violence click here. 

How do I get help for myself or someone I know who is being abused?

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline http://www.thehotline.org/ 
or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224 if you feel that your computer history is being monitored. You can always log into a computer for free at your local public library.  Create a fake yahoo or gmail account if you have to. Just get help!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Here's how you can learn more, give help and get help. (Click HERE)

Help a stranger. Help a loved one. Help yourself. You deserve more.

Image found online and being used for educational purposes only. I do not own this picture. If it belongs to you please contact me so I can give you credit. If you would like me to remove it please contact me and I will remove it. Thank you. 

Image found online and being used for educational purposes only. I do not own this picture. If it belongs to you please contact me so I can give you credit. If you would like me to remove it please contact me and I will remove it. Thank you. 

Help a stranger. Help a loved one. Help yourself. You deserve more.

Top 5 Halloween Posts: DIY Costumes, Classroom Goodie Bags, Crafts And Treats

Do you want to make a cute costume but you don't know how to sew?  Here is a very cute and totally unique costume idea that is entirely no-sew! All you need is a glue gun and some supplies. This is a cute idea for a teachers costume as well as a fun DIY Tooth Fairy bag to have on hand for when your child looses a tooth. Don't forget to Pin it!

DIY Mama! No-Sew, Homemade Halloween Costumes Featuring: The Tooth Fairy!

Relive your childhood with this very cute and extremely simple DIY Rainbow Brite costume. Click here to see the easy step-by-step instructions to put this costume together. Don't forget to Pin it!

DIY Mama! No-Sew, Homemade Halloween Costumes Featuring: Rainbow Brite!

Cute & Easy Mummy Wrapped Hot Dogs. Don't forget to Pin into your Halloween folder! Click here to see step-by-step instructions. Don't forget to Pin it!

Halloween Party Treats & Tips: Mummy Dogs On The Go!

Need a cute and unique idea for goodie bags? Does your preschooler like to help in the craft making department? Click here for step-by-step instructions. Don't forget to Pin it!
DIY Mama! Preschool Halloween Goodie Bags & Teachable Moments: Name Tags

Need some ideas for a fun & simple preschool craft?  This is a great "following directions" craft for your preschooler, TK/PreK'er, or Kindergartener. Click here to see more.  Don't forget to Pin it!

Preschool Craft: Halloween Kitty Cat

Have a fun, safe & Happy Halloween!

Coco Cana

5 Friday Funnies! Fall Edition: SNL Kate McKinnon & Alec Baldwin, Halloween Top Ten, Funny Mom Blogs

It's Friday and it's time to have a bit of a laugh. With all this political craziness going on it's nice to have a break and think about something else for a change, but before we do that I'd like to share this very funny SNL sketch. Alec Baldwin does a better Donald Trump than Donald Trump himself and Kate McKinnon is the funniest woman alive right now. Enjoy!

VP Debate Cold Open - SNL

Sibling Irony #3: Presents: Funny Kid Arguments. 
Toddler vs. Preschooler

Top Ten Fights Parents Have With Kids Over 
Halloween Costumes

Holiday Hilarity: Funny Holiday Cards

Death By Chevron Print Overkill

For more click here

Halloween Party Treats & Tips: Mummy Dogs On The Go!

My kids had their homeschool co-op Halloween party yesterday and there were some super cute treats!

I made Baby Mummy hot dogs. 

I decided to cut the hot dogs in half and make "Baby Mummies" since it was part of a lunch pot luck for kids grades TK to 4th and not the main course. However, we're making them again for our Halloween night dinner and we're leaving them whole and we're adding a slice of Colby Jack cheese before we wrap our mummies. 

These are the ones my husband and kids made with the cheese. He even added bacon to a few of them, and they were great right out of the oven. He cut the dough a bit thicker than I made them. I was really short on time and was making them incredibly fast. I was also dealing with a fussy baby who was eating in his high chair and throwing food on the floor. And I had a huge time crunch to get back before the kids started eating. 

Tips: I used a pizza cutter to slice the dough and I sprayed the cutter with cooking spray so the dough didn't stick. This worked out well. 

I sprayed the baking sheet with cooking spray and I sprayed the tops of the baby mummies too to give it a crispy top. You could also brush the dough with egg whites. 

I made some plain dogs too for the kids with gluten intolerance and I called them "naked mummies" and was met with many giggles. I realize it's hard for a kid to have food allergies, especially during holiday time at school and by calling them "Baby Mummies" and "Naked Mummies" the kids felt like they were included with the festivities and not just getting an after thought. 

I was short on time so I didn't add eyes. But no one seemed to notice. 

Transportation Tips: I realized that I was making a hot dish for a school pot luck and there wasn't a set time for the party, I wanted to keep them warm AND we live 25 minutes away from where the party was being held!!! So this was going to get tricky.

 I lined some glass containers with aluminum foil and placed a layer of mummies, placed another piece of foil and another layer of mummies, then topped it with foil and the seal tight lid. I then placed my containers into an insulated grocery store bag that is lined with a beach towel. 

After I added my containers in the bag I wrapped them with the rest of the towel and zipped it up. I was in the car in less than 10 minutes.

The food was delivered hot and the kids loved them! 

My Sunday Photo

It's a s'mores kind of evening! 

My Favorite Things To Do On #SundayFunday!

In a perfect world, Sunday would truly be a day of rest and not the rushing around at the grocery store, doing laundry, getting ready for the week day that it has become in our house. I am realizing that I need to do more prep during the week so we can turn it back into Sunday Funday!

If we could just set all chores and household duties aside, this would be a great way to spend a Sunday

  • Champagne Brunch  (Not during pregnancy or while breastfeeding though. Boo.)
  • Beach Day
  • Mamas Only Spa Day (This only happens about once a year or once every few years though.)
  • Spend the day swiming at the water park
  • Riding bikes through the park
  • Hiking the nature trails at our favorite nature preserve, The El Dorado Nature Center
  • Spend the day writing (Mama only of course!) 
  • Family day at Disneyland
  • Gardening in our little farm or flower garden
  • Picnic at the park followed by ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Date with my husband (preferably a long lunch or dinner, a movie and coffee after with possibly a bit of (fun) shopping after.
  • Fun household chores like baking, organizing a room because you bought something new, painting, gardening, etc.
  • Wandering around Target or Costco (yes, that's fun in our family, lol!)
  • Watching the sunrise
  • Watching the sunset
  • Family crafts like water color painting, playdough, building things, etc.
  • Family game day
  • Family movie night with a living room picnic
  • Campouts
  • Bonfires and roasting marshmallows
  • Spending hours and hours outdoors with nothing to do but exploring!

What are your fun ways to spend the weekend and Sunday Funday?  Comment below!