“Push Me Mom!”

Those three words that can sometimes lead to my ultimate mom guilt.  Because they come again and again!  Sometimes I think , “not again.  I love you, but I have SO much to do….. or I just want to socialize for a few minutes with the other moms!  Play date is for mama’s sanity too child! I can’t wait til you are old enough to swing yourself.”  And then you know what… I feel guilty again for looking at such a task as a chore.

051a0104

Because, tomorrow, they will grow up and my 2 year old won’t have that little sweet chime in his voice when he comes to my office door and “mom you come push me? Push me on da swing mom!”  And so then I pull away from whatever email, edit or project I am working on to go out in the backyard and push him. (not always mind you, but I attempt to balance it out)  I lift the swing back back back and let go. And he or she will squeal with delight “Wheeeeeee!!  Higher mom higher!  Whoa mom, too high, too scary…”

It goes on.

But you know something…. as adorable as their little chimes or squeals of joy are, there is something a little sweeter.

Sometimes I will be working, and take a look out the door into the backyard and see something adorable, I hear something adorable.  It is the way they play with each other.  Yes there is the “NO IT’s MY turn First! MOOOOMMMMMM Milo’s NOT letting me have a TURN!” thrown in there… but every once in a while, I hear them playing together nicely and taking turns spinning each other and giggling together.  This sibling bonding is heartwarming and I love to see it.   I believe that even at a young age, kids recognize the sacrifices we make.  Believe me, there are times I can’t get anything done!  But I have noticed what a huge difference breaking up my day has also had on me, on any stresses etc to step away from chores or emails or whatever to play with the kids, to go to the park, to stop and smell the roses… It brings me back to priorities, to family, and you know something… it drives me, motivates me.

Madeline will notice when I make a sacrifice and she sees when I am turning away from something else that I need to get done.  And it is a serious tug and pull.  This balancing act.  Being an adult, helping pay the bills and making those sacrifices.  I feel like a juggler for a reason. That ought to be a synonym for adult.

Madeline sees when I pull away because every time she sees that I am spending quality time with her, and not half looking at the phone or playing hide and seek (while doing chores at the same time (admit it! you do it too:)

In those moments we are building a puzzle, or reading a book or playing with ponies, or swinging, even if it just 5 or 10 minutes here and there…. she looks at me and says, “I love you mom.”

Time is love.

Have you played today?

Daily Juggle Ep 1: A Rambunctious Photoshoot

All I can say about this photoshoot I recently did with my toddlers is, “The Juggle is REAL!”

This is one of the silliest and most fun photo shoots I have done with my kids.  And as a photographer and a mama these kids have had a lot of pictures taken so that is saying a lot.  They thought hopping all over mama was so much fun because it is something that they never get to do!  I edited this into a Charlie Chaplin styled old movie and I am in love with the high speed cuteness.  Little Madeline’s and Milo’s kerplunking all over the bed and little facial expressions are the sweetest.

image-001-juggle060image-001-juggle090image-001-juggle0960image-001-juggle09510image-001-juggle095130

Not a single day of motherhood is easy.  I can often feel like a circus performer wrangling this little crew.  But I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.  What is your daily juggle?  Tell us and it might just make it into our next video!  Something as seemingly simple as transporting the groceries inside is one of mine from this week.

When it comes to it, yes I have hard days, and more hard days.  Yes, the juggle and struggle is real, but with that… I have learned to roll with it.

Be sure to subscribe to our youtube page!  Or follow us here to see what cute video is coming up next!

Monticello Virgina

Our first grand stop on our epic road trip across the country with two toddlers in tow, all our stuff to live off of for the next 3 months and a small car…. Monticello.

We learned the correct pronunciation is Monte ‘ch’ ello, old Italian.  Thomas Jefferson was an architectural genius for his day. Here is our happy attempt to expose our kids to art, culture and history.  Sometimes I think we need remind ourselves they are only 2 and 3.

Here is what I learned in the start of our road trip.

  1. Boredom is good
    1. With so many electronics and distractions to go with them, kids don’t seem to get much of this these days.  I found that if we try to avoid pulling out any kind of electronics, the kids have to actually use their “imagination” and come up with their own entertainment.  They quite literally are forced to learn how to completely entertain themselves.  And what might start out with a little whining somehow transitions into them making up their own songs and playing pretend with their little toys, and getting excited about things they see out the window, like the clouds or a big truck going by. And when you hear them laughing at each other in the back seat for the silly faces they are making at each other, that is a happy sound indeed.  True road trip bonding.
  2. Mix it up!
    1. While I did not want to provide my children with something to do every moment of the trip, I can’t expect little toddlers to completely entertain themselves for a long road trip, especially when they can barely see out the window anyway.  So with many a fun activities ready to go such as these Little People Flipbook The kids love these! They will spend anywhere from 15-30 minutes flipping through them and imitating the voices of the different pictures. While Madeline is not picture reading yet, she will “picture” read to Milo. Aside from books, I will hand back one little toy at a time for them to play with and when they seem to get restless and are done with it we switch or move onto another little toy. Madeline loves these Disney Princess Little Kingdom Magiclip 7-Doll Giftset. She likes mixing and matching the different little outfits. Between toys, games and books, we pulled out little snacks here and there.
  3. Resist the Electronics for as LONG as possible!
    1. We quickly learned that the second we pulled out an iPad or iphone that they were quickly eager to use them and NOTHING but them!  So my advice, wait to pull them out as long as possible.  We did not have a Charger Adapter and Chargeport for the ipad at the time, so when the battery was gone, it was gone for the rest of the ride, so we prioritized only pulling out the screens once it got dark!  It is hard for the little’s to entertain themselves when they can’t see anything!  So then we put on a movie for them.
  4.  Greet groans with positive vibes
    1. We hadn’t even left the city yet when Madeline says to Matt, “Are we in California yet??”  So cute and really quite funny in that moment.  We forgot how much our sweet little toddler has to learn about the geography of the U.S. so we just laughed. My mom got her this fun puzzle to learn her states and see the different places we have visited and lived. Anyway, we just laughed and explained how far we were and reminded her of all the fun places we were going along the way.
  5. Download a selection of movies
    1. We use Amazon Prime for our movies,  but we only got around to downloading 4 movies pretty much the night before traveling and… I ultimately would have loved a little more variety for mostly my own sanity.  We did cover about 50 hours of driving time.
  6. Invest in a lap desk for the kids
    1. Encourage a little independence for the kids!  I would have loved to have invest in something like this Lap Desk for the kids so I was not twisting awkwardly back to help pick up whatever they dropped or what they want again and again. Don’t get me wrong, stuff will still find its way to the floor but I know that the kids would have loved their own little “stations” to help themselves to snacks or whatever they are wanting. Also, when it comes to reading books and coloring, they really needed something to lean their stuff up on so it didn’t slide off their laps as easily.

First Official VLOG

It is official!  I am mommy vlogging our everyday life.  Not everyday but our everyday if you get me.  And it is an adventure.  When I set out to create Up and Away Moms, I wanted to create a community of mothers sharing their real life… and so for starters I am starting with sharing mine! The messy mom bun, no makeup, no Photoshop side of motherhood. Yes, there are the perfect pictures all over pinterest, but I want to share more of the mess… why?  Because we are all just doing our best!  And in the end, happy healthy kids who feel loved is what matter.  Not so much a spic and span house.  So join us in our little household made a home with these crazy hooligans running around learning and growing each day! Let’s find Joy in the Juggle!

Check out our next vlog of our Moving Day here!

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for more regular motherhood fun! Homemaking, DIY, Shake it off with a little laughter and more.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s day out there to all the moms that get what those days are like, you know, the ones covered in spit up and filled with tired tantrums of two year olds.  What you do matters. Even if you don’t see it. Never forget just how important your job is! You are amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm5H7bPVgGmGAJkZG05YCKg

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube Channel for more regular motherhood fun! Homemaking, DIY, Shake it off with a little laughter and more.

Managing the Artwork Clutter

It happens daily, if not multiple times a day, your sweetie brings you their masterpiece.  They might even do that shoulder to the cheek moment and that little look of pride on their face as you graciously accept it, listening to what it was and then you display it for a while.   But it builds up fast!  Here are some tips to managing all that artwork clutter without letting go of the sentimental side.

wall art

Before you get started, determine your own scale.  1. Direct to trash 2. Cute, let’s hang it up for a while… snap and picture and throw it away when no one is looking and 3. Treasure!  I am never throwing it away!

When your child presents their masterpiece to them, likely, more than anything, they want to see that you are proud of their accomplishment and proud enough to display it.  They will likely forget about it soon enough, but the whole process will build a confidence in them and motivate them to do it again… even better.

But all that artwork stacks up FAST! Especially those cotton ball and feather covered paper plates and other 3D creations.

Tips to clear the clutter!

  1. Select a wall and a timetable. Clear, trash or keep and repeat. Snap  a picture of the items as you go, with and/ or without your child.
  2. Write is down.  When you receive your child’s masterpiece, write down what they said it was, their age and name.  Even a week later and it will slip your mind.  What you do decide to keep in the long run will have more meaning if you remember what it was they drew, especially if paired with recent family events such as a fun trip to the beach.
  3. Use them as scrapbook paper. Cut out the image to size and let it be the backdrop to pictures of the kids at those same ages.
  4. Use 12 x 12 and 9 x 12 sized 3 ring Scrapbooks with Clear Sleeves for long term storage. Select a limited number of favorites to keep, take a picture of them, and throw away the undesirables. (We have loved Project Life Three Ring Albums)

Let us know what you like to do to display those masterpieces in the home! Comment below, or share your own child’s masterpieces.

 

Letting Madeline do My Makeup.

Shake it off with us today with a good laugh!

I think that I have always enjoyed being a little bit of a goof ball for the sake of bringing a smile to someone else’s face.  In part because I am the queen of awkwardness, so I have learned to just roll with it, but I just love to make my kiddos laugh!  So sure, I will let a 3 year old do my makeup.  She is so funny in the video.  She totally got into her little hairdresser / makeup artist mode. So professional!

Madeline and I started talking about this idea and she thought it was the BEST!  We laughed about it for 10 minutes.   And of course the conversation moved in that silly direction of what toddlers think is funny…. ,”and THEN mom I could out GRAPES on your face!!  hahahaahahah”  Silly girl.  She is a riot.

One of my favorite brands of makeup that I have used for years is MAC Makeup.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already!  What silly things do you like to do with you kids!  Leave a comment below and let me know.