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Back To School: 5 Healthy Ideas For Lunches And After School Snacks

For some reason the hours between lunch and dinner make my kids crazy with hunger! I call it the late day feast. I'm always looking for ways to get my kids to eat more veggies and healthier foods, so the late day feast is the perfect time to sneak these things in because frankly, they will eat anything!  Especially if you just casually set it out on the table for them to run by and grab a quick bite of something. In our house we call these "hummingbird bites," because they are too busy to sit for a meal but we need them to eat so they just fly by and grab a bite and get back to playing. The meal gets eaten eventually and they get to keep playing. If it's something messy we will usually hold it while they take a bite or they will use a fork. This only works if you are not in a rush to get out the door and you have more freedom with time.

We are fortunate to live near large grocery stores like Mother's Market, Trader Joe's and Sprouts that offer great deals and sales on organic produce. I try to buy most of my fresh produce from the organic section, so whatever is on sale or special is usually what I'll buy.

Here are some different ideas for lunches or after school snacks. This is a list of stuff my kids will actually eat. They are 7 and 4 & 1/2. My little guy hasn't always loved eating a wide variety of fruits and veggies and for a few years was stuck in a rut of only carrots, corn, apples, blueberries and red grapes. However, I kept offering different things to him and would also set out veggie platters with a wide array of colorful options that would get eaten quickly by sissy if you didn't act fast! My daughter has always eaten like a rabbit sneaking into a farm! I mean, as a 5 year old she was munching on Brussels sprouts and asparagus! 

After many colorful veggie platter presentations with an array of different dips like ranch, creamy cilantro dressing and hummus, he finally started trying new things. So don't give up if your child doesn't like something. Keep offering it! Someday they might just surprise you and try it! 

1. The Veggie Platter. 
You're probably rolling your eyes at this one, and trust me, before I saw it with my own eyes I would too. But think back to your child at an adult party or a holiday dinner. There is bound to be a veggie platter there with different dips and your child is bound to be drawn to something on there. So start with serving that! Our veggie platters vary from meal to meal with whatever I have on hand, but I suggest stocking it with stuff your kids like for the first few times you set it out then slowly add in a few new items for them to explore on their own. If they ask what it is, just casually tell them the name of it, reach over and eat one (make yummy noises) and walk away. If you make a big deal out of it, they won't eat it! Things to add to the veggie (and fruit) platter: carrots, cherry tomatoes (these ones are from our garden!), cucumber, celery (I slice it very small into "shoelaces" as seen in the picture, because it can be pretty strong), mini corn cobs, olives, sweet bell pepper slices, small romaine lettuce chutes with ranch dip, jicama slices, even some veggies that are lightly blanched like: broccoli, green beans and asparagus spears. If your kids are really having a hard time eating only veggies you can add in a bit of fruit like apples and grapes, but I recommend not adding in too much fruit because it's so much sweeter than the veggies and they might just eat the fruit and leave the veggies to die on the plate! To mix things up a bit in the veggie department, I'll even make a fresh pressed juice (adding more veggies than fruit to avoid too much sugar) and that seems to keep the troops pretty full til the next meal too.

2. Fresh Organic Fruit. I like to have some things on hand that are already ready to eat like pineapple spears, cut melon like watermelon, honeydew, etc., cuties (the little clementine oranges), fruit cups (in water if possible, to avoid too much extra sugar), apple slices or apple sauce, berries, bananas, etc.


3. Healthy carbs. Everyone needs carbohydrates to help with proper brain function but empty carbs aren't going to help anyone, so opt for healthier ones with whole grains like rice cakes and whole grain crackers. We also like unsalted pretzels, snap pea crisps, whole grain chips and salsa, etc. My kids love rice cakes and they now come in a variety of different flavors. We usually stick to brown rice, light salted with sea salt. We love this brand by Lundberg and can find them at Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Mother's Market, Von's/Pavilions, etc. They have so many products I'd love to try them all!  These organic, non-GMO rice cakes are by far my favorite!

4. Healthy Protein. Pair your healthy carbs, fruits & veggies with healthy proteins like hard boiled eggs, lean lunch meats, tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad (easy chicken salad recipe found here), cottage cheese, low sugar yogurt, sliced cheese or cheese sticks, sea weed snacks, organic nut butters like, peanut (we love apples and peanut butter together!), almond butter or our new favorite, Honey Sunflower Butter from Wild Friends!  It's super yummy and the kids love it! They have other products too that I'll have to try. We found this at Costco. I'm eating it right now, in fact, on top of a rice cake!  Yum!


5. Kid Sized Sandwiches & Snacks. I have learned as a mom that my kids will try almost anything if it's cut cute and small. So in addition to these snacks I also like to do mini egg salad sandwiches, cucumber with cream cheese, peanut butter & jelly, tiny ham & cheese or turkey & cheese (both with pickles, of course!) or chicken salad sandwiches on whole grain bread (kinda like what you'd find at a fancy afternoon tea). We also keep on hand plenty of healthy trail mix made with unsalted nuts and unsalted pretzels, sesame sticks, dried fruit like cranberries or cherries, banana chips or plantain chips, popcorn, with yogurt chips for a little something sweet added in and I'll serve it in a small dixie cup to eat on the go! We also make mini banana or apple muffins with flax seed, chia or sliced almonds. Anything healthy to keep them full til the next meal!

What are your favorite healthy snacks?  Please let us know in the comments below!

My kids were making "sandwiches" with rice cakes, sea weed snacks and veggies. 

*The products I'm featuring in this post are just some of my family's favorites. I was not asked to advertise for them. 

A Writer's Journey To Becoming A Mom's Blogger.

When I was 6 years old, I wrote my first story. It was about a sad puppy in a pound hoping someone would come along to love him and of course, buy him. It was from the point of view of the puppy and it was very heartwarming and charming for a first grader, if I do say so myself. I remember how I felt when my story was well received by my teachers and parents and other kids and I saw how my words could move someone and make them smile. It was then and there that I proclaimed myself, a writer.

I wrote story after story all through elementary school. In jr. high (aka, middle school) I started writing poetry and continued that throughout high school. I wrote essays and short stories in college and I when moved to "Hollywood" (the place people say they are moving to to pursue acting/writing/directing, etc., but no one actually moves to Hollywood. It's either too expensive or too sketchy, so you move to a surrounding area-) I started writing stage plays and screenplays. I moved to the valley because it was affordable but the drive to anywhere was hell. Once there, I found a group of actors who were putting on a show called The 24-Hour Plays, where you write, direct and produce an evening of one-act plays in only 24 hours! These folks became my LA family and I started writing one-act screenplays (which is about a 20 minute, mini play) for this theatre group and became hooked with the writing process as well as seeing my words come to life, live on stage through an actor's interpretation.

A few years later I got married and moved to Kauai with my husband and joined a group called Women In Theatre and wrote another one-act play for a contest they were having. My one-act was chosen to be put up as a dinner theatre show! It was one night only and there were only 2 shows chosen out of about 20 or so and mine closed the show! It played to a sold out crowd and got rave reviews in the newspaper! It was very exciting to see my work come alive once again. 

Once I became a mom I stepped away from acting and directing (who's got that kind of time anyway?) and decided to get back to my roots and my true passion and I focused more on my writing since, "I could do it without makeup, not having showered, baby barf on my shirt, (breastfeeding at the same time even) and in my pajamas at midnight."  

Blogging and Freelance Writing became the obvious choice for me. I started my blog in 2009 with this post talking about how I need to get back to writing, I now have close to 400 posts on my blog and I've even written a children's ebook called, My Baby Brother for MeeGenius and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! It was inspired by a beautiful moment my children had on the living room floor. It's perfect for a big sister and her baby brother. Here's the link to learn more and to read about the special moment that inspired the book. 

I have a million book and blog post ideas, now I just need to find the time to write them! In fact, I even went so far as to ditch my Facebook account so I could find more time to write! Why I'm Deleting My Facebook Account The Day My Child Starts Kindergarten

Thanks for reading and thanks for being a friend of MyTalesFromTheCrib!  Come by and say "Hi" on Twitter!

Mom, Party Of One!

This is a pic from a pre-baby #3 night away, but it fits perfectly for this post! 
Tonight I'm having a rare moment that needs to happen more often. I'm having the night off while my husband is at home wearing our 8 month old baby in the Moby wrap trying to wrangle a 4.5 year old and a 7 year old to bed while I sit here writing, reading, munching on munchies and basically effing off.  Exhale.....

I deserve it! 

I work very, very, very hard.

I'm a stay at home mom of 3 small kids and my days and nights never ever, ever end. I'm not being overly dramatic either. My 8 month old is attached to my breast all hours of the day and night, waking about every 45 minutes to breastfeed during the night due to teething and growth spurts - so at this point in my motherhood career I'm permanently on call - at the mercy of a tiny human who can eat for days and loves to snuggle his mama. I know this too shall pass and someday I'll tell a new mom holding a newborn in a grocery store how I really miss nursing my babies -- but for now I'm just fricken exhausted. I'm always at the brink of these huge blow-out, break-down tears and I'm always trying to work out how I can get my next fix;

A.K.A. a nap.

I'm suffering from postpartum depression (PPD) and even though I have several recent posts sitting in my drafts folder that talks about it, I haven't been able to finish any of them to post them on my blog. I think because maybe it's too heavy...?  I'm living it so it doesn't feel like something "fun" to write about. It feels too raw, even though I know I need to write about it so I can get the ball rolling on my healing.  But I do mean to post these blogs because I need to do this for myself and because I think it might help someone somewhere to know they are not alone in their dealing with PPD. I'm determined to bring some normalcy to it to help release the stigma. I didn't ask for PPD. I'm not feeling this way because I needed another project on top of having small children, trying to keep house, cook healthy meals for my family, breastfeed a baby and homeschool for the second year and oh yea, try to get my body back after having 3 kids too. Let's not even get to my freelance writing or my blog writing or children's book writing because right now those are pretty non-existant. So if you are reading this and can relate to any of these words regarding the PPD then please let me know in the comments below. You're not alone, My Friend!  In fact, you can join me in bailing water out of the sometimes sinking ship. I'd love the conversation! Let's start a PPD hashtag on Twitter to get more support.

#PPDsupport  (Click for more articles on my blog relating to PPD)

So, I have my pretty good, so so days and my horrible days and not many in between. In fact most have been the latter. I have a lot of horrible days lately. Then the kids go to bed way past their bedtime and I sit in my rocker feeling guilty from my horrible mood during the day or how much I yelled at the kids or how tired I was and how many times I dozed off in my rocker while nursing Baby Brother while the kids were playing Lego's, Magna-Tiles or Calico Critters or watching Wild Krats or something. Usually TV though. So I sit there nursing a tiny Baby Man who has also fallen asleep (but might wake if you move him) and my husband and I contemplate having a bowl of ice cream and what we should watch on Hulu and all seems to be OK for a bit because I start to recognize myself again and I recognize my husband again and laughter comes out of our mouths reminding me of the two young lovers who sat at the dinner table for hours drinking wine and talking about everything under the sun as opposed to the frustrated words of two over-tired, overworked, exasperated parents who can't get one word in to each other all evening, that isn't about the kids or work or regarding the mess and the stress. Our stressful mess. Then, regretfully, I stay up way too late because I'm trying to have some time alone in the quiet and peaceful stillness of my soul...


I'm not a morning person. At. All. I never have been - since birth, probably. I am always too tired. Too depleted and never feel rested. For as long as I can remember I have tried to see just how many more minutes of sleep I can eek out in the morning before I have to get my fat, tired ass into the bathroom to pee then off to fight with wake up two grumpy kids who are way too much like their mother...

This week I have been trying to change some things to heal my PPD naturally:

  • I have decided to get back on my supplements and vitamin routine so my energy doesn't "bottom out" like it does without them.
  • I have been trying to juice everyday and incorporate more fresh, raw, organic veggies into my diet overall.
  • I have been trying to avoid the "quick-fix" yet damaging snacks (bowls of cereal, mostly) because I don't think the processed wheat is doing me any favors. In fact, it's just time to admit already that we're simply not friends anymore. It makes me too angry. 
  • I have been trying to think more positively and eliminate any extra drama. 
  • I'm trying to get out in nature daily or do something fun (like take the kids swimming at the water park) as many days of the week as possible.
  • I have been trying to not yell as much in the mornings to get the kids ready and out of the house. This one is hard!  My family is really bad at getting going and I need to be better about my prep the night before to ensure smoother morning transactions. Dilly Dallier/Time Waster/Procrastinator Extraordinaire 

(I need to change that!)

I have been trying to go see a therapist and I intend to make an appointment with a new Naturopathic Doctor my friend told me about, but both of those things take a lot of time and a lot of money. Mostly because they are not covered under insurance at all. Much like most natural healing things, or more natural healthcare. They also add a bunch of added stress because I need to deal with child care and schedule time for that and then there's the whole, trying-to-get-everyone-out-of-the-house-on-a-certain-time-frame, fiasco.

I'm having a hard time at this whole motherhood thing right now. You'd think that after 7 plus years I'd be better at it, but not so much these days. I feel like most days need a do-over.

So for now I'm trying to do as many things as I can naturally or for free. Taking a walk in nature is free and provides more stress relief than medication or therapy combined. I just need to find a way to get the energy to actually do it, then figure out how I can make it last.

Until next time...

Thanks for reading and thanks for being a friend of MyTalesFromTheCrib!  Come say "Hi" on Twitter!  However, I'm no longer on Facebook and here's why: 

Happy 39th Birthday To Me!

It's the last year of my 30's. Wow, that kind of seems crazy because I feel like I was just in my 20's a few years ago. On my 30th birthday my brand new husband and I were getting on a plane to move to the Island of Kauai. It was a very exciting time. We had just gotten married and the world was at our feet. That seems like yesterday yet we're already talking about what we should do for our 10 year Anniversary next year. I will be turning 40 next year as well, so we definitely need to do something fun. Maybe take a weekend cruise with the kids? Maybe renew our vows?  Maybe head back to where we spent our honeymoon or where we spent our first wedding anniversary? Not sure. But we'll have to do something awesome for sure.

But today I'm 39 and at this point in my life I'm just in survival mode. I have an 8 month old breastfed baby who demands the bar to stay open all hours of the night and day. I have a 4 & 1/2 year old who is riding the delicate balance between wanting to be a big kid and still wanting to be mama's baby, and I have a 7 year old who is keeping me on my toes every hour of the day while I try to figure  this parenting thing out. Most days with this bunch I feel like a complete and utter failure. I never feel as though I make the right decisions or the right in-the-moment-choices, and I feel like I'm behind the 8 ball most of the time. That is probably a huge factor in my PPD (Postpartum Depression) right now for sure. It has taken a tight hold around my neck hard this time. But who am I kidding, no one really wants to hear about that. It's a total buzz kill even if it is my truth and my reality.

So today is my birthday and I feel tired, worn out and struggling with what to do and how to keep the daily schedule. When you're a mom of 3 kids every day is the same regardless if it's your birthday, a day running errands or if you're on a family cruise in the Mediterranean Ocean. It's all just survival mode, am I right ladies? If you are shaking your head no, then do me a favor and PLEASE fill us all in with your secrets in the comments section. I'm dying to know!

On this joyous day of 8's (August 8th), my little family and I are heading to the bay to swim the day away. When I was in my 20's my ideal birthday would be a champagne brunch on the beach with all-I-could-drink mimosas and all-I-could-eat super rich brunch fare, but today my hubby went to our favorite breakfast burrito take out place (because the baby was nursing/napping) and brought home some yummy breakfast burritos and fresh squeezed orange juice and we sat at our picnic bench under our covered patio in the back yard with the kids being silly and the baby eating a mum mum in his high chair and Jack Johnson playing on the iTunes. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze keeping us cool and everyone was laughing and smiling and toasting me for my birthday.

A lot has changed over the years and even after being a mom for the 3rd time, clocking over 7 years I still feel the daily struggle. However, I've got my awesome hubby at my side feeling like I can conquer anything and today I wouldn't have it any other way. Warts and all.

Happy 39th Birthday to me! May this year be filled with new adventures, renewed passions and dreams and more failures because that is where I get my good writing material.

Cheers to 39! And Cheers to all my fellow Leo's out there!  Grrrrr!

If you want instant good blogging Karma points then just hit the share button to your favorite site below!  Simple as that!

This pic really has nothing to do with my 39th birthday other than I have this look on my face a lot most days and I love this movie. But other than that I wasn't in a wedding dress looking depressed because I totally married the right guy!
"If you're a bird then I'm a bird too."

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Modern Dad Pages

Daily Gratitude Journal: I'm Grateful for the Sea

It's been a while since I've written a "Daily" Gratitude Journal Post. Today is the day to get back on that way of thinking. However, today it's easy to sit down and take a few minutes for myself. We are on vacation with my in-laws down at the beach so there are two extra people to keep our three children entertained while I quietly slip out to the front porch, latte in hand, by myself to smell the salt air and feel the familiar chill of a beachy summer morning that provides the perfect lazy backdrop of relaxation in it's overcast, misty air. Some might call it gloomy. Today I call it glorious.

Armed with a newfound optimism, I'm grateful for so many things and since we're not home drowning in piles of clean laundry and piles of dirty laundry and piles of the yet-to-be-determined-by-the-sniff-test-only laundry that resides boldly between the two; I can breathe. 

Since I'm not walking through a crumbling kitchen held up by stacks of paper, stacks of school books and stacks of dishes; I can see. 

Since we have the rare one-to-one ratio of adults per children in our home-away-from-home beach house (even with me sitting on the porch alone); I can relax.

"This," I loudly proclaim, "should occur more frequently!"

Today I'm grateful for:

1. Family. We are so blessed to be surrounded by two sets of grandparents who are loving and generous. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my parents close by to see as often as we do. At this point we see them at least weekly; sometimes more, sometimes less. The kids will always have fond memories of growing up with their maternal grandparents firmly planted in their everyday lives. They live close enough to attend a Monday afternoon dance class, or meet for lunch in addition to the once a year holiday blow-out events where everyone comes together. I'm thankful for my in-laws who go above and beyond to create wonderful vacation memories with us, like renting this house for us all to stay in. We may not be as close in distance to do all of the year-round events, but we make the most of our time when we are together a few times a year. As paternal grandparents they bring a fun perspective with them filled with water color painting lessons and hot wheel races. if we could just get our brothers to move closer for regular cousin visits...

2. I'm grateful for cold, chilly, misty beach mornings where the espresso is warm and the chair is cozy, smiles are genuine, voices are friendly, laughter flows easy and the day holds promises of sandy excitement once the sun burns through the marine layer. Summer mornings at the beach. Doesn't get more relaxing than that. 

3. I'm grateful for vacations because regardless of what the calendar says, every afternoon is Saturday, every morning is Sunday and every evening is Friday night.

4. I'm grateful for Mother Nature for without her, none of this would be possible. The ocean, the hummingbirds coming by to say hello!, wiry branches offering me tiny purple orchids, the fruit tree in the back yard behind us; the palm trees and waves swaying to their familiar, breezy song. Thanks Mama Nature. You're a real peach!

5. I'm grateful for clarity and perspective; for fresh starts and long journeys and the necessity of putting one foot in front of the other and continuing the walk down the mountain or up the mountain - whichever way your brain imagines life to be. For slogging onward and having faith; for getting back on Spirit the horse after it reared up it's legs sliding me and two others off it's back when I was 5 years old (true story); for not backing down when intuition is screaming at me and for trusting the chills up my spine and the way my nose hairs tingle just before crying. I'm grateful for possessing the strength to just be me and to take my family on this journey; this detour in our lives right now I believe so whole-heartidly in and trust; and for not backing down - never backing down - to the bears and the wolves circling the fire. I'm grateful for the ears to hear the wise owls and for the ability to tune out the cackling crows. I'm grateful for the steadfast gut that has served me well and has gotten me in and out of the jams that give my life the bold flavor I crave. I have my family's best interest at heart and from there is where I make my decisions. I do not apologize for that.

...and to my children who may be reading this someday, some advice from Mama:

-Always listen to your inner voice and believe what your heart is telling you.
-Trust yourself to make your own decisions but keep going if it was the wrong one. It will be the wrong one from time to time and that's okay. That's how you know what you want and what you don't want out of life. You will find the right path someday. Enjoy life's daily lessons.
-Always hold love in your heart. For a heart full of love will always seek the good and the truth of what you deserve.
-And lastly (for now anyway), I hope you find a love like Daddy and I have someday! It's been a beautiful ride!

My Daily Goal: I will take a picture each day that brings me happiness and I will post it along with my list of 5 things I'm grateful for. I invite you to do the same!  These are not listed in order of importance. That is too much pressure for this writing exercise. I am just free flowing as I write and trying to be genuine in my thoughts and emotions and writing what I feel at the moment. Please join me! @coco_cana #DailyGratitudeJournal

Modern Dad Pages

Daily Gratitude Journal: I'm Grateful For Ice Cream

Today has been one of those days. It's just....uh.

Can I bitch for a minute?  So I have this baby who is 6 months old, he's the cutest thing in the world (I mean seriously, look at this picture!) and he's a breastfed baby who like...eats like he's going off to war or something. The kid seriously nurses I mean for real, all day long. Why am I on Twitter so much?  Because I'm sitting in my rocking chair nursing this tiny human 24/7 and my smart phone is really the only thing I can do one handed.

But this baby, oh my goodness!  This tiny, sweet little thing of a man that looks identical to his older sister and has the personality of his older brother and loves him some boobies like his daddy! And nurses a lot.

(I forgot my mom reads my blog. My bad)

He can be perfectly content in his bouncy chair or in his bassinet while I'm off doing something totally glamorous and luxurious that only SAHM's do like eating bon bons (putting in a load of laundry), or getting a massage on my back patio over looking the Caribbean Ocean (going poop), sipping a tall glass of ice cold champagne (doing the dishes), getting a mani/pedi from someone who looks like a cross between George Clooney, Brad Pitt & Ryan Gosling (prepping/cooking dinner), or taking a shower all by myself without interruptions (yea right. Like that happens!) and I can't even sneak through the house without him seeing me because he goes all stalker on me when he does. I feel like I'm being ogled by a bunch of construction workers in this naked dream I had once of me running errands naked because I didn't have time to get dressed because I was trying to get 3 kids out of the house in one piece.  I just forgot to put on clothes.  However, I did make my latte. Priorities.

So anyway, here's what I'm grateful today:

1. Ice cream. And not just any ice cream either. Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter. Sent from the heavens. Go buy some now. I'm not kidding. I'll wait...

2. I'm grateful for new tub toys so that my kids will actually want to take a tub and want to stay in there long enough for mama to go to the bathroom in peace. (We have 2 bathrooms!) 

3. I'm grateful for Freeze Bot. It's the indoor air conditioner my husband bought off Amazon last summer (and gave a name, of course) because he always says, "it feels like we live on the surface of the sun!" and damn, today he is right!  It's so hot today!

4. I'm grateful for.....hmmmm....I'm kinda crabby today and all I can hear are kids screaming (they call it playing) at the top of their lungs in the other room (see number 2) and it's clouding the happiness side of my brain. Hmmm...what-am-I-grate--oh yea, I'm grateful for Coconut Cream Creamer because that is the nice little delight I added to my homemade iced latte today.

5. I'm grateful for my home espresso machine. Nach.

When I'm crabby all I think about is food and sweets and things like that. And no, it's not that time o' the month because I'm exclusively breastfeeding Mr. 6 month old so I haven't seen that little beauty (wrong choice of words) in about a year and a half! Another perk of breastfeeding til they go off to college. Ok that's probably a bit extreme... Maybe til they become teenagers then. Hey, mama's trying to avoid dealing with Aunt Flo. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

So there you go. A completely First World Problems Daily Gratitude post. I've made the future generations of my family incredibly proud, no doubt, of the humanly contribution I've made in this world whenever they dig this up and read it someday.

C'est la vie!

Oh and I gave my fellow mom blogger friend, Domesticated Momster a shout out with the strike out in the first part of the post. Whenever she does it it cracks me up. She's very funny, go check her out and say "hi!"

Domesticated MOMSTER Blog


My Daily Goal: I will take a picture each day that brings me happiness and I will post it along with my list of 5 things I'm grateful for. I invite you to do the same!  These are not listed in order of importance. That is too much pressure for this writing exercise. I am just free flowing as I write and trying to be genuine in my thoughts and emotions and writing what I feel at the moment. Please join me! @coco_cana #DailyGratitudeJournal

The Glamorous Life Of A Stay-At-Home-Mom: Episode 1

On today's episode of The Glamorous Life of a Stay-At-Home-Mom:

Me: It's been a really stressful day. The baby's diaper exploded out of his neck hole, then he was doing dolphin spins on the changing table as I was trying to get all of the poop off. Once I finally got everything cleaned up and dried up and successfully avoided getting poop on his onesie - he peed all over himself as I was reaching for the clean diaper - soaking his onesie, the changing pad I just pulled out of the dryer and the wall where I hang my kids' arts and crafts.

Good thing that the runny paint look is so hot right now in preschool crafts.  

So I decided to just put him into the tub. As I was filling the tub and arching him from my lap over to the bath he unleashed the barfing exorcist successfully drenching my shirt, my favorite, most comfortable (ahem...the only ones that fit right now) jammie pants, my socks, the floor towel, a bath toy, the kneeling knee pad and all of the fresh bath water in his nice, clean tub.

Fast forward a few minutes later to where we are finally in the tub and I have Tommy Lee drumming the water like it's the 80's. In walks my 7 y/o daughter who wants to show me pictures of a scorpion mom with a million babies on her (barf!), a cobra snake with venom dripping from its fangs (hurl!) and one of those screaming lizards that has the clown collar that puffs open when they are pissed (no thanks) And I'm spinning between a 6 month old wanting to go deep sea diving for a wash cloth at the bottom of the tub (while breathing of course) and the, " Look it! Look it! Look it mom! Check this out it's gross!" demands of a 7 y/o veterinary student who is covering my entire line of sight with her new book. 

So as I continue to avoid getting soaking wet while I oil up my baby pig in a mud fight in walks in my (uncharacteristically) grumpy 4 y/o with a severe case of itchy bed head (reminding me I gotta do another check for nits A.K.A. lice eggs because we got that flier sent home from preschool letting us know someone had lice and brought their pets to school to share with the rest of the class) and he tells me, "everything is wet." 

Meanwhile the bathroom is feeling like a clown car with, "Holy crap where did I get all these kids and do they accept returns?" in it, my favorite gloomy day - wanting to stay in and drink coffee all day - lounging attire has now been defaced with dried up baby poop, dried up baby pee, half dry and starting to crust up baby barf, baby soap, and bath tub water and the older kids are pushing and shoving like it's Black Friday at Walmart. Just when things couldn't get more annoying or frustrating my chain smoking neighbor fired up his table saw 3 inches from my kitchen door to tinker the day away and the other neighbor's leaf blowing addicted yard guy just showed up to perform a 2 hour lawn manicure using only his hand siren.  

Cue the crying baby, the ringing phone and someone knocking at the door. 

Several minutes later the baby is quietly and peacefully nursing, the 7 y/o is quietly and peacefully making some art by herself and mama is quietly and peacefully sipping the latte I made hours ago and have reheated twice already while quietly and peacefully rocking in my nursing chair breastfeeding the quietly and peacefully nursing baby turned napper. 


All is right in the world again. 

The E--

Not so fast -

Screaming from the bathroom:

"Caaaaaaan sooooooomebodyyyyyyyy wipe meeeeee pleeeeeeeeeease?!"

Baby wakes up and starts to cry. 
7 y/o starts whining about being bored and wanting to play iPad. 
Set the day to repeat. 

Teenager: Ummm... Did you want whipped cream on your caramel frapp?

Me: Sure. 

Teenager: Ok. Pull up to the second window and we'll have your order ready there, Ma'am.

Me: K. (Thinking to myself) Ma'am??!! What the hell? I'm young and hip. What's this Ma'am crap? It's not like I'm some crabby old lady! 

(Car honks behind me) 

Asshole in the convertible behind me: (Sticks head out the window in a way that is indicative of assholes) "Let's keep it movin', Lady!"

Me: Lady?!?????

Modern Dad Pages
Friday Frolics

Daily Gratitude Journal: The Calm After The Storm

Beach towels and bathing suits drying on the line after a long day at the water park. 

I realized I needed to sit down and focus on what I'm grateful for before I blow a gasket. I'm seeing a pattern here of me getting incredibly frustrated at some point during the day and then realizing I need to sit down and reconnect with my gratitude. 

One of our dear children was playing around in the bathroom which resulted in an almost clogged toilet, and an entire roll of toilet paper and the plastic spinner (both at different times) go for a swim with a brown trout in the Yellow River. 

Not cool! 

Then Mr. Baby Love himself decided to flood his new high chair with poop. I say "flood" because if you are familiar with the poop of a breastfed baby then you're aware of the gold-ish, brown-ish, liquid baby poop of which I speak. 

Mix that in with a fussy, overtired, hungry baby who just took a post-poop explosion tub, fold in two overtired, and overexposed kids from too much sun and fun from the water park, swirled around with them not wanting to take a tub, sprinkled all over my annoyance of the regular day-to-day drama that happens in a family and you have one very crabby, very yell-y mama. 

There. I said it. I yell at my kids when I've been pushed past my limit. 

Then I feel shitty about it and sit down to write a Daily Gratitude Post. 

I'm human. And some days I'm a really sucky human. 

Time to chill out, close my eyes for a bit while I love up on a tiny little breastfeeder who's all warm and clean and soft and calm and smelling sweet from his tub and think about more positive things from the day and from my life before I change the title of this post from Daily Gratitude Journal to Today's Rant And Grumblings Of A Crabby Mom. 

The kids had fun at the water park and they swam their hearts out. We've been waiting for months for it to open - for it to finally be summertime so we could spend long days swimming like fish once again and it's here! 

Daily Gratitude Journal: Sunday

1. I'm so grateful that my husband and I have taught our children how to "find their own fun" as I always say. They have dealt with the harsh realities of "being bored." They have learned that the world is not going to provide entertainment for them at every turn simply because they are bored. They have discovered that after about 10-15 minutes of being left alone to "find their own fun" after they have loudly proclaimed their boredom! (and quickly realized that they either do something or its time for chores), they are capable of inventing some great fun for themselves. Because of this they make up their own games, they go on adventures in the backyard finding new discoveries, they prefer to picnic outdoors for every meal, they build entire worlds out of dirt, leaves, bits of grass, picked flowers, pinecones, sticks and rocks. My daughter calls them "squirrel nests" or "animal hospitals" or "animal hotels."  They have grown into true nature children who enjoy being outside and I'm so, so, so grateful for that. 

2. I'm incredibly grateful that my mom's eye is feeling better after kind of a freaky scare the last few days. Nobody wants anything to go wrong with their eyeballs or God forbid their sight! I'm also grateful for ER docs and nurses and smart folks who are on call to help in these stressful & unnerving times. 

3. I'm grateful for the calmness of the evening after bedtime. For crickets chirping outside and gentle breezes dancing with the leaves on our orange tree and the house not quite sure what to do with itself now that the kids aren't tormenting it so it just stays still and waits for morning. 

4. I'm grateful for getting a time out and for reset buttons where kids cool off in tubs and mommies cool of in rocking chairs and daddies cool off in garages and babies cool off by filling their bellies full of warm milk and then everyone happily comes back together once the beasties have melted away and the lights are low and kids hair is cool and wet and daddies have gotten their tinkering fix and mommies feel rested and calm - taking deeper breaths, longer breaths and kisses are now replacing yells and hugs are replacing huffs and smiles are replacing snarls and yawns are replacing wild animal cries and, "Goodnight's" and "I love you's" are replacing the, "stop arguing's!" and the, "because I said so's!" 

5. I'm so grateful for evenings. So, so, so incredibly grateful. Evenings, glorious evenings.
My happy lil 6 month old nursling

My Daily Goal: I will take a picture each day that brings me happiness and I will post it along with my list of 5 things I'm grateful for. I invite you to do the same!  These are not listed in order of importance. That is too much pressure for this writing exercise. I am just free flowing as I write and trying to be genuine in my thoughts and emotions and writing what I feel at the moment. Please join me! @coco_cana #DailyGratitudeJournal

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Domestic Momster

#MySundayPhoto and Post 5-31-15

I am posting this photo twice on my blog this week. Once for #MySundayPhoto hosted by   and once for #SilentSunday hosted by  

In an effort to follow the strict rules for Silent Sunday (absolutely no words.  Nada.  Zip.  Not even a title or link, etc.,) I decided to separate the two posts.  I am a writer after all and writing absolutely nothing at all and then hitting "publish" took me waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone!  Like I lost a limb or something.  OK, let's not go overboard here, but if you are a writer and have been since 1st grade like I have been, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

I love the idea of a photography post. I don't normally post pictures of my kids on here where you can see their entire face.  It kind of makes me cringe a bit. Can't totally explain it where it sounds rational to almost every other mom blogger/dad blogger out there, but I just have a thing about that as I've talked about in the post below:

Top 10-ish Reasons Why I'm a Crappy Mom's Blogger And Should Just Go Back To Being a Writer

However, I decided to post this pic. This was taken at the water park we have been going to for the past few years. It was our little man's first time there with his older siblings who know the place like the back of their hands. He just turned 6 months old a few days ago and he is happy like this most of the time. (We're now well past the colicky phase from his newborn days so I can finally say that now!! YIPPIE!!!) He loves playing with daddy and in this photo my husband was getting him to giggle like crazy. I love this photo for many reasons, but what I especially like about it is the perfect reflection in my husband's sunglasses of Mr. Baby Love himself laughing.  It just makes me smile and it makes me feel very, very grateful for my life!  So for that reason I decided to post it. I hope you enjoy!


#SilentSunday 5-31-15