Category: Mommyhood

So here is a little situation we are in these days.

When do you get your kid a cell phone?

To be honest, for a long time, my response to this question was “never”.  I just really didn’t see the need for it.  My thought is slightly changing though as my Oldest continues to get older.  A few weekends ago, we were at a basketball tournament in LA and I had to head out for an event, leaving my Oldest with another family.  Being that we were not very close to home and that he would be hanging out in a gym for a couple hours, driving home and arriving while we were out, it was the first time I thought to myself “it would be nice if he had a cell phone so that he could check in with me on how the game went, that he was heading home and that he arrived safely”.

So it got me thinking, is he getting to an age where we, the parents, will not always be around, should we provide him a phone so that we can connect with him in those circumstances?

If it was just for the phone, I would probably be much more willing.  Here is the problem I am seeing with this.

I have a MAJOR problem with seeing kids on cell phones.  It drives me insane.  I am not talking about communicating on their cell phone through a phone call.  I am talking about the silent obsession of sitting on their phone playing games, texting, and looking on the internet.  Who knows what they are doing but they are disengaged.  It is my biggest pet peeve.  I cannot handle when I have kids in the car and instead of doing all the things that kids do like chatting and laughing, they are sitting silent because they are too busy looking down at their phone.  Do parents do the same thing sometimes?  Absolutely.  But we have learned the art of communication thanks to not having any of this when we were kids so we understand the balance.  Unfortunately young children do not which has created a generation of kids who do not have the confidence they should when communicating with others and use technology to do the communicating for them.  And then I could open a whole can of worms when it comes to social media, videos, photos and online bullying.  Don’t even get me started on that entire mess.  There in lies my problem with the whole cell phone thing and why I am so hesitate to take that step forward.

What I am finding though is that the husband and I are quickly becoming the minority when it comes to kids having phones.  Entering 5th grade I drastically saw a jump in the number of kids who have phones.  Most of my Oldest’s friends have phones.  So am I being a prude when it comes to providing this kind of technology?  Perhaps.  I get that it is going to happen one day.  But when?  That is my biggest question.

I understand that this is really one of those “to each their own” situations.  I am in no way judging parents who have given their children phones.  I am truly unsure as to where I stand at the moment.  Believe me, if we did get him a phone there would be so many rules around using it that I am sure he would not find it fun at all to have.  And yes, I completely understand that this is hypocritical as I have made a business off of social media and technology and spent countless hours texting.  I get this.  Just another area of parenting that I am slowly entering and I would love to hear what you have to say!  Please share what you have done with regards to this.  This newbie is listening!

Parenting is hard. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. It is hard. In fact, I am now fully aware that it is the hardest thing I am going to do in this life. Then there is the reality that it only gets harder.

When I brought my Oldest home, I was petrified. I was 26 years old and was absolutely certain that the hospital would do a much better job of taking care of him than I would. It’s a baby! What if I do something wrong? I knew nothing about being a mother and it scared me. I didn’t sleep the first three nights as I was consumed with the fear that if I did, he would stop breathing. I remember my Mom saying, “Sarah, you need to remember, God is the one watching over him, you are simply here to help guide him through life”. On the fourth night I finally got some rest and those words have stuck with me ever since.

“God is the one watching over him, you are simply here to help guide him through life”

Little did I know how freaking hard guiding a human being through life was going to get and how easy it was when he was a newborn.

Fast forward and now here I am with an 11 year old, 8 year old and a 5 year old. The newborn stages are a blur at this point but I can remember one thing. It was easier. I am definitely not saying it was easy. I hated nursing, I need my sleep and boy was it exhausting. It was definitely a physically demanding stage in the life of a parent so please do not think I am knocking anyone who is challenged by this stage at all. I absolutely get it. What has switched is that the physically demanding stage has subsided (well, with the exception of being a personal uber driver for my children) and the emotional stage is definitely kicking my ass.

Bigger kids equal bigger problems. I thought I could potentially screw them up as a newborn but it is glaring me in the face that this is where I am actually afraid of screwing them up! And I am trying. The problem is, they need to learn to fail. They need to learn to make mistakes. They need to learn pain. Without learning these things they will never learn to succeed. And do you know how hard it is as a mom to let your kids fail at something? Or feel hurt? It is the absolute worst. I hear all the time about how terrible it is to be a helicopter parent but goodness it is a mom’s instinct! They forget homework on the table? You want to drive it back to school for them. A friend says something really mean to them on the playground. You want to punch that kid in the face (I know that sounds terrible but it is true). And the thing is, you can’t. You have to just be there for them when they want to talk about it, support them through it and give them the confidence that they can handle it on their own. Like I said, it is HARD.

Why am I saying all this? Because I think that sometimes we want to make it all look easy. That is also human nature. We don’t want to think about how every decision we make we are worried how it will affect our kids as adults. There is a lot of responsibility riding on us and we don’t want to think that we are doing something wrong. So we say nothing.

But here is the reality. We aren’t doing anything wrong. We are all trying our best, just like we are teaching our children to do. Just like them, we fail sometimes. And just like them, we succeed. It is important for us to share these things with each other because no one parent is perfect and we are doing everything we can. It is the hardest thing we are ever going to do but it will only be harder if we never share our own struggles with each other. So, I plan on doing a bit more of that. I figure if anything, one person out there might like to hear it and hey, it starts with one right?

But it starts here.

FACT: Parenting is HARD.

FACT: YOU are doing a great job.

Book Cover

No, no, no.  Stop it.  I am NOT pregnant.  Most certainly not.  Yes, my post title is a bit deceiving but I am not here to announce anything.  No Baby #4.  I apologize for those of you who would have liked to see me fall into a tailspin of craziness and anxiety about having another.  For right now, we are good.

I am however, excited to share with you a new book titled “You Know You Are Pregnant When….funny quotes from women who have been there” by Kate Casey.  Kate is the witty writer behind Love and Knuckles (a hilarious pop culture blog) whom I met a while back at an event.  I loved her candidness and commentary and soon began looking forward to her recaps on the Housewives more than the show themselves.  This book is the product of accumulating numerous quotes from men and women regarding pregnancy over the year and putting them together for our personal enjoyment.  For anyone who has been pregnant and had a baby, it is so SPOT ON that you laugh at how similar everyone’s experiences are…including cravings, emotional breakdowns, and sex.  For example…

You know you are pregnant when… you save your best outfit/undies for OB appointment day” – Natalie G., New York, NY

You know you are pregnant when… what you thought was a hangover/motion sickness from the cruise to Ensenada and an entire day of tequila shots lasts more than a few days” – Christa M., Jackson Hole, ID

You know you are pregnant when… strangers tell you their birth story” – Julia K., Newport Beach, Ca.

I sat down with Kate to talk a little bit about the book and how it all came about.

“You Know You Are Pregnant When…” made me laugh and relate to so many women.  What gave you the idea to pull quotes from so many men and women around the country and put it together in a book? 

I started collecting quotes four years ago because I thought it would make a great gift book for pregnant moms.  I didn’t find anything else like it and also thought it could become a series.  My next book will be “You Know You Are A Parent When…” and I am looking for quote submissions.

Through all my pregnancies, I had very funny (and sometimes humiliating) situations that so many other women have also experienced.  Did you find that many women responded with similar comments? 

I was thrilled to find out how many women had similarly hilarious experiences.  It’s a strange 10 months of your life and one you can only understand if you have lived through it.”

Were there any responses that completely shocked you?  Can you share one?

“Your husband starts calling you ‘jungle tits” – Devon H., Costa Mesa, Ca.

What is your favorite response that you have received?

My favorite responses are the ones from the husbands at the end.  “Every argument is lost with the words ‘I’m ruining my body for you”- Michael K., New York, NY (Michael is my friend from elementary school who is now a playwright in New York City and the father of two kids.)

How did you select the responses that made it into the book? 

I used almost every response.  There were only a few that I didn’t use because they were repetitive, which shows you how unique ever woman’s experience is when they are pregnant.”

You are currently pregnant with your fourth child.  Honest answer: are you one of those people who loves to be pregnant or are you over it?  I will be honest.  By my number three, I was over it.

I don’t mind it.  In the beginning it is pretty barftastic and I always feel like a walrus, but for the most part, it is smooth sailing.  I am also a strange person because I look forward to labor.  I look at it as an athletic event.  I am basically a baby hoarder.  I love babies.

Your blog focuses on reality show recaps and I can spend hours reading your hilarious commentary.  What made you start the blog and dissect the reality world?  Also, who is your favorite Housewife?

I have always loved to write.  A few years ago my husband’s friend Travis suggested I started a blog.  They say you should write what you know.  I know pop culture.  I can’t tell you anything about music, but I can tell you anything you need to know about made for TV movies, Saturday Live and comedies.  My idea of relaxation is watching a Bravo marathon.  I like to think of myself as a television anthropologist.  I translate pop culture for normal people.  I say what everyone else is thinking from the comfort of their sofa.  my favorite housewife is Bethany Frankel.

As a Mother’s Day treat, Kate and I have teamed up to GIVEAWAY a copy of her book to THREE lucky winners TODAY.  There is a catch though.  You must follow Juggling in Heels on Instagram (@jugglinginheels).  The giveaway photo will post at 9:00am TODAY on Instagram and the first three people to comment on the photo with #youknowyouarepregnantwhen followed by their own comment will win!  It is that simple!  Good Luck!  You can also purchase a copy by clicking here.

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all the amazing Mama’s out there!

Is anyone else having as much trouble as I am remembering to move this guy?

I tend to run around like a maniac in the morning, hiding him under my robe until I get him in a new spot before the kids see.

And when they find him first and realize he hasn’t moved, I come up with the crap excuse that they must have not been very good yesterday and he didn’t want to give a bad report to Santa so he stayed put.  

Because why not instill fear in your children at Christmas time?  

Completely makes sense.

I was extremely curious as to what the check out woman thought when I walked up to the register at CVS and put down four packages of Children’s Motrin.

Am I a mom who makes drugs out of children’s medicine in my spare time?

Am I a hypochondriac who over medicates my children?

Did I have a coupon and was piling up, only to get all bottles for free?

No, I was just a mom who’s Oldest was diagnosed with migraines.  

One bottle for my purse.  One bottle for the school.  One bottle for home.  One bottle for the hubby’s car.  I think we have got it covered.

After a few headaches that ended up with him getting physically sick to his stomach, it was concluded that the poor guy is going to suffer from migraines from time to time.  Hopefully with having this on hand, he will be able to let us know when he feels a headache coming on and we can stop it in its tracks.  We will also be taking a look at his diet and hydration to ensure we are doing all we can to try and avoid him getting anymore.  Even though he will have to deal with this, and it is not always going to feel good for him, I feel so fortunate that this is all that it is.  

If anyone has children that deal with migraines, I would love to hear what you have done to help avoid them getting one.  There is so much information out there and of course, I want to know it all.  I have read that diet is a major one, which would be a BIG deal for him considering he is a carb addict and of course loves processed foods because, well, he is a kid.  Like I said, suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Oh this parenting thing.  Just when I think I have got it, something gets thrown into the mix!  Typical!   

It has been a while since I have given an update on this thing we call “parenting” so I thought I would give it a whirl.

Yesterday the Oldest asked about A-Rod.  With all the Sports Center he watches, I was curious as to whether he would ever take notice of his suspension or look right past it.  It seems he takes it all in and wanted to ask some questions about the whole thing.  It was the first time we have been faced with someone our son looks up to falling from grace and him acknowledging that they did something wrong.    I do wish that we would have brought it up first and next time I will.  If he would not have asked, we would have never had the opportunity to talk about this and we should.  He is 9 in November and the world around is becoming more and more exposed to him.  Time for us to stop being naive about what he does and doesn’t see and hear.    

The Middle Man is in one of my favorite stages.  He is in the “Mom, will you cuddle with me?” stage and I LOVE IT.  He loves to just sit with me on the couch and it is one of my most favorite things to do in the morning.  He continues to struggle with his anxiety but he has also come so far that I know it is going to simply be a continued effort for us all and probably always will be.  We have also entered the “every potty word is the funniest word ever and so I am going to say it all the time, no matter where we are…” stage.  Let me tell you.  There is nothing like your son yelling out “butts! boobs!” at a museum.  It is awesome.

The hubby saw a post on Facebook the other day that said, “The Terrible Twos are just a precursor to the Terrorist Threes”.  When I spent 2am to 5am arguing with Baby Girl to go back to sleep on Saturday night as she screamed that she was not tired, I would now say WE ARE THERE!  The girl wants it her way and that is the only option right now.  It is pretty amazing how stubborn she actually is.  I will admit, she is a Mini-Me….for sure.  It just gets hard arguing with your three year old self.  On the flip side, when she is not pissed off, she is the sweetest little thing who loves to play dolls, brush my hair and dance like it is nobody’s business.  

So there is a little glimpse of where we are.  I swear, no matter how many years I do this parenting thing, just when I think I have got it, I am thrown another curve ball.  That is what makes it so fun though isn’t it?  Who wants same old, same old?  That would just be boring.

For my first visit to Kauai and Princeville, I had no idea what to expect.  I had heard the island was beautiful and everything you imagine a tropical island to be, but I was still blown away.  It was beyond.   I no longer felt like I was in the United States but on an exotic tropical paradise in the middle of nowhere.  After eight days there, getting back to reality has been a tad bit hard.    This definitely tops the list as my favorite family vacation we have taken so far.

photo via Savvy in San Francisco

On Saturday, my Oldest took a major spill off his razor, which led to scraping off his forehead, chin and entire nose, two fat lips and a chipped tooth (which was permanent I might add!).  It was a pretty nasty fall and when I heard the scream come from him, I knew it was not okay.  His face was all bloody and he couldn’t stop screaming.  And yes, just because I know some might be wondering, he was wearing a helmet.

For all the anxiety I have about things that COULD happen, I have a weird sense of calm when things actually happen.  I was totally mellow when it came to getting him home, cleaning up his wounds, calling the Pediatrician and Dentist, and putting him back together.  I thought to myself, hey, this is boys!  We have escaped injury for a while so something was bound to happen.  And there were no stitches or broken bones so that was a huge plus.  Granted we are going to have to watch the sun to ensure there is no scarring and he is going to need to bond his tooth and take it easy for a bit but really, in the grand scheme of life, this was minor.

Little did I know my anxiety would come from something else.

The night of the fall my Oldest took a look at himself in the mirror and said, “Oh my gosh, my face.”.  The next morning, he did not say a word as we headed out to church and kept his head down the entire mass.  Considering I usually have to break up the talking between him and his brother, this was definitely out of character.  Friends came up to him to see how he was doing and other children that we don’t know asked if he was okay, simply out of kindness.  My Oldest ignored them all, dropped his head and didn’t respond.  I was surprised by this behavior until it hit me.  He was self conscious about the way he looked and my heart instantly hurt.

Suddenly the injuries that I thought were “not the worst thing that could happen” became AWFUL and I wanted them gone so he wouldn’t feel this way.

At some point in life, we are all going to be self conscious about something.  Unfortunately it is human nature to worry about what other people think.  I still do at times though I wish I didn’t.  This was my first time really seeing one of my children feel self conscious over the way they look.  Once he was all cleaned up I never thought about the fact that he wouldn’t want people to see him with his injuries.  It made me sad and anxious that he was feeling this way and there was nothing I could do.  

Who knew the self conscious stage would come.  I mean, I knew it would, I was just not ready for that part yet.  This is an entirely new stage of parenting that seems really hard.  I don’t want my children to feel self conscious!  But they will, because like I said, I do.  Ugh.

Over the last couple of days, as his wounds begin to heal and he is becoming used to the injuries, my Oldest is returning to his old self.  But I know this is not going to be the last time he is self conscious about something and I know there are going to be times that I know about it and other times I don’t.  I mean, isn’t this the entire teenage years?!  I just hope that I am instilling in all three of my children self confidence so that as they get older, and these situations become more prevalent, they have the confidence not to care.  Crossing all my fingers….and all my toes….

What have we been up to?  So far this summer, we have…

spent a couple days at the pool…

watched the Angels beat the Mariners…

hiked and played at Crystal Cove state park

toured the grounds and made adobe homes at Mission San Juan Capistrano

and it has only been two weeks!  In years past I have tended to overbook our summer with camps and activities but this year I took a different approach. I wanted to share with the kids all the amazing places we have around Southern California.  We usually take these places for granted being right in our backyard and don’t tend to actually visit.  So far it has made for the best summer yet and I am excited to keep going on our list.

Have a happy weekend.

It started with Friday.  It was the last day of school.  I had been anticipating this day for so long that I couldn’t contain my excitement.  Summer was officially beginning at 11am and we were all ready for a little fun.  I completely forgot about a post and was wrapped up in the celebration with the three kids and our friends.  

Then the weekend hit and it was filled with a soccer tournament, graduation parties, family reunion, dinner at a friends, and of course, Father’s Day.  It was late nights, lots of friends and family, so much fun and ended with complete exhaustion.  I did have plans to write a post for today, I really did.  But then last night when I had the chance to do so, I choose to watch Million Dollar Listings New York (don’t judge) instead with the hubby, embracing the fact that we were finally sitting down.

And then it all ends with this morning.  Again, I planned on waking up early before the kids woke up to write up a fabulous post for all of you.  Unfortunately I realized at 6:30am that this was the official first day of summer and I would be crazy to not take advantage.  It took only a second for me to roll over and go back to sleep.  It is not very often that I get to be lazy and it felt SO GOOD.

The laziness is now over though and I must get this house back in order (DISASTER) and prep for some fun plans we have this week.  Summer is here which means three little ones are going to be looking to me for fun and I need to be at the top of my game.  It also means that I will be posting regularly again.  I hope everyone is having a great start to the week!