Bad Mommy Confessions!

  1. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom just for some alone time!
  2. I am 14 months post partum and I still wear maternity pants because I refuse to buy bigger jeans…and, er, I like to be comfy!
  3. I do everything with my phone in my hand…I even mop the floor sometimes with my phone in my hand…which is just sad!
  4. I open drinks, snacks, and even children’s Tylenol and use it before paying every time I go shopping. The children’s Tylenol thing has happened twice recently.
  5. I regularly take my 14 month old out wearing pajamas.
  6. I got all the way to Target before noticing my baby wasn’t buckled into his car seat! This is one I have a hard time admitting, but most of us have done it once in a lifetime and this kind of thing doesn’t happen twice! Scary!
  7. I’ve never taken my kids on a real vacation because that is a luxury for two income families.
  8. When I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t even look in the mirror. My hair remains unbrushed, jammies stay on, and yesterday’s mascara more than likely is smeared under my eyes…but I don’t care, so I don’t look!
  9. I have no self control when it comes to ice cream so I can’t keep it in my house.
  10. We have one night a week that we call ‘fend for ourselves night’. On these nights we are, for the most part, on our own. The big kids can make a sandwich for themselves, or we eat leftovers, or…GASP…even a microwave dinner! However, the other six nights of the week I do cook well balanced meals!

Well there it is folks! I got it off my chest! Lol what are YOUR confessions?

The sleep deprived mom chronicles

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Since autumn arrived my kids have gotten sick more times than I care to admit. And it is only November 12th. It is so hard for my boys because they have bronchial flare-ups. My oldest son Vincie has had them since he was born and Noah is proving to have inherited the bronchial flare-ups, too. It’s so hard lying here right now, listening to their noisy breathing. No wheezing thankfully, and I know they’re both getting plenty of oxygen, but I just hate to see them uncomfortable. Both of my boys should technically be my healthiest, being Breastfed 32 months between the two of them (and counting). However, you can’t fight genetics. As a kid I suffered terribly with the same affliction. The sound of the humidifier pumping steam into my bedroom is forever ingrained in my memory. I loathe cold and flu season because my boys are especially vulnerable. Hoping tomorrow will be a much better day!

Another thing keeping me from sleep these days is the fact I have been summoned for jury duty. As a Stay at home mom, my job is to be with my kids. I have sent in a request for an excusal, so all I can do I hope and pray that they grant it. Otherwise I’ll be forced against my will to pay a stranger 10/12 dollars an hour, full time, for a month…while earning a mere $15 a day. It would be a huge financial setback, and during my oldest son’s birthday, and Christmas. My fingers are crossed the courts will see it my way…

My most treasured photos…

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I wanted to share with you all my most treasured photos that I carry with me on my phone! I have them all saved in clouds, computes, phones, tablets, and hard drives. The first two are my older two kids Christmas portraits that I took in 2012. Next is my older kids holding their new baby brother in 2014. Then a photo I took of my daughter at her Christmas concert for school last year. She looks stunning in the photo and it truly captivated her beauty. Next is a photo I found of my daughter when she was only 3 years old (I treasure this photo so much because it is SO her at that age…back when she was an only child; a true princess). Next is a random candid photo of me and my husband at our wedding in 2005, both of us look so young! Then there is my youngest Noah on his 1st birthday a couple of months ago. And lastly…an irreplaceable photo that I treasure so much of my brother Mike and I dancing to Coldplay’s “Fix You” on my wedding day. I remember everything about this moment…the way the crisp autumn air smelled, the pride I felt when my big brother asked to cut-in and dance with me at my wedding, and that comforting/safe feeling that I felt when hugging him. My brother passed away just over 4 years after this photo was taken. Someday soon I will write about him because I have SO MUCH to say…about the grieving process, being a bereaved sibling, and so much more. This January will be 6 years since I lost my only brother! This photo of us is my favorite of us as adults…

Wet Socks to Break a Fever?

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Yesterday I took my nine year old daughter to the pediatrician for a persistent high fever. She was already being treated for strep throat and had been on antibiotics the entire time. I was desperate for her fever to break and for her to feel like herself again. Her doctor gave us a really strange suggestion…wet sock treatment. I know what you are thinking…it sounds extremely bizarre! At this point I was ready to try anything!

Wet sock treatment is recognized by top physicians and hospitals (University of Maryland for example), so I knew it must be an effective treatment if doctors are actually endorsing it. The instructions are to take a pair of thin cotton socks and wet them with room temperature water. Wring out all of the excess water so that they are just damp, and then put them on your feet. Over top of the damp socks put on a pair of thick wool socks and go to sleep.

The purpose of a fever is to increase your metabolism so that your body will fight off the source of infection; however, a prolonged high fever can be dangerous. Physiologically what happens during the treatment is this: in response to having wet feet, your body sends blood and lymphatic fluid circulating through your body. What this does is boosts your immune system and allows your body to rest and heal. You can actually do this treatment for five nights in a row, and then take two nights off before starting again.

I can only speak for my own experience. I was so worried for my daughter with a fever of around 104 for days on end. We did the wet sock treatment exactly as directed by our physician. I checked my daughter’s temperature one last time before bed and it was 102.6 at that moment (this is while on Motrin). When she awoke this morning the socks were dry and her fever gone! There is no doubt in my mind that the wet sock treatment is what broke her fever.

I absolutely recommend this treatment. It is so simple and harmless. I honestly can’t imagine how any harm could come from trying this, but I believe you should always ask your doctor first before trying home remedies. This is definitely one to add to your repertoire. We definitely have!

25 Get to know me questions!

1. Do you have a middle name?
Renee!

2. What was your favorite subject in school?

English and photography. They are still my two favorite things. I am a photographer and a blogger!

3. What’s your favorite drink?
Coffee! I am a total coffee junky. I absolutely cannot function without coffee!

4. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
Well, I’m a mom so I mainly only get to listen to Disney radio on Sirius. I love Taylor Swift, Wildest Dreams!

5. What would you name your children?
I’m not having anymore kids, so I’ll tell you my kids current names. My 9.5 year old is Alana. My almost 6 year old is Vincent. My 13 month old is Noah! 

6. Do you participate in any sports?
No, but I’m a soccer mom!

7. What’s your favorite book? 

I do not have time to read, but the last book I purchased on my Kindle was 50 Shades of Grey…one of these days I will actually read it!

8. What’s your favorite colour?
I love purple, but wear black because it’s most flattering!

9. What’s your favorite animal?
Cats! I have 2 myself.

10. What’s your favorite perfume?
I love Clinique Happy.

11. What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving.

12. Have you graduated from High School?
Yes.

13. Have you been out of the country?
Only to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls! Lol.

14. Do you speak any other languages?
Nope.

15. Do you have any siblings?
Yes. My sister Carie is 5 years older than me. My brother Mike was 2.5 years older than me, and tragically he passed away nearly 6 years ago in an car accident. Would be 37. I have 2 very little sisters. Samantha is 15 and MacKenzie is turning 13 this month. 

16. What’s your favorite store?

Target!

17. What’s your favorite restaurant?
It must be Olive Garden because we go there any time we go out to dinner. 

 
18. Do you like school? 

I love learning, but I must admit…I didn’t care too much for school!

19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
I love the Daily Bumps, Shaytards, and itsjudyslife to name a few.

20. What’s your favorite movie? 
The Other Woman! I just adore that movie!

21. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
The Voice and Grey’s Anatomy is about all I have time for these days.

22. PC or Mac?

Mac!

23. What phone do you have?
I have the Samsung Galaxy S5.

24. How tall are you?
I’m 5’4″.

25. Any pets? 

We have 2 cats.

3 sick kids for Halloween?

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Being home with 3 sicks kids all day certainly keeps you on your toes all day! Strep throat has made its way through 4/5 members of my family. I appear to be the only one spared…finally, something good comes out of getting a tonsillectomy at the age of 30! When I had my tonsillectomy I was cursing my doctor for suggesting I need to have it done, and I was questioning WHY would a person ever get their tonsils removed as an adult, for the love of god! However, today was the first time in 4 years that I was glad I did. While it’s not impossible to get strep throat, it is certainly more difficult…I’ve been in closed quarters all week exposed to strep and never got it. Yay me! My poor family though! Even the baby has strep! My other two didn’t get it until they were 5. My 9 year old daughter has had a fever of 103 and the lowest its gone down to after ibuprofen was 100.5. So my husband and my 2 boys are on amoxicillin 3 times a day, and my daughter (who is allergic to amoxicillin like I am) is on essentially the liquid equivalent of the Z pack. She had a double dose tonight. Other than that I have made some preparations for our halloween party tomorrow. I made rice crispy treats and homemade spiced whipped cream for the homemade slow cooker hot cocoa i am making tomorrow for trick-or-treat. It will take more than a fever and a strep diagnosis to keepbmy kids from trick-or-treating. Although they will no longer be contagious, I hope they are feeling up to it. In order to submit this blog on time (before midnight) I will end this here. Until tomorrow…

Can You Discipline a 1 Year Old?!

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I have been raising kids for nearly a decade now, and I can honestly say with confidence that I have great kids. They respect me and their father, and they respect their elders and/or anyone of authority. They are smart, well rounded, and kind/considerate of others. So I feel like I must be doing something right!

My first child was a really good baby! I rarely had to correct her behavior, but when I did, she was a stubborn one. She reminds me so much of myself. So with baby number one I quickly learned the art of distraction with her around the age of 1. Even at that age,she would nonverbally argue with me and fight hard to keep doing whatever it was that I didn’t want her to be doing. I discovered very early on in motherhood a few things that have worked and now, going through the toddler age for the third time, I’ve got it pretty nailed down.

Redirection- 1 year olds simply do not have the cognitive ability to understand why they are being disciplined. They know that you don’t want them to, but there is simply no reasoning with a child this age. I like to conjure up my most positive, excited voice and say something like, “Guess what mommy wants to show you!?”. In my experience, that’s all it takes, followed by taking them by the hand, leading them away, and getting them involved in another activity.

Limit your use of the word NO- I learned quickly that if you say the word “no” a lot, it is no longer useful. And there are times where it simply MUST be useful! For example, when your new walker tries to run into the street, or something where time is of the essence. Overusing the word NO takes away the effectiveness of it. In those situations, you must be able to get their attention and you will be thankful for it.

Praise/Reward the good behavior- One last piece of advice I have from my personal experience is praise! Praise is important at all ages, but when praising a toddler I like to overdo it a bit. Their little faces light up when they see how HAPPY you are with them, and I love to give my 1 year old a great big, over-the-top round of applause when he does something praiseworthy, like puts his blocks away whem hes finished with them, or when he uses ‘nice touches’ (no hitting), or even when he says a new word or reaches a new milestone. I think it’s so important to make them feel good about themselves so they actually have a strong desire to continue the good behavior.

I honestly think at this age it is more preventative than anything. And always be consistent in your actions so they can build their confidence. This is such a FUN age, but it is also when you are building that foundation and setting those boundaries!

The Halloween Countdown is on!

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3 days until Halloween and the Kieffer house is full of excitement. It brings back so many memories of my childhood; picking out my costume, planning my trick-or-treat route, choosing which friends I’ll go around with, etc. As soon as I picked up the kids at the bus stop the excitement was just oozing from their pores. They were talking so fast it made my head spin. Their positivity is contagious so I decided to take them for a walk. We walked down our cul-de-sac, stopped home to grab a snack, and then headed out. We made it about 15 minutes walking through the ‘hood before it started raining.

Noah, my 13 month old, is dressing up as a panda this year. Last Friday I put him in his Panda costume and let him run to the bus stop to pick up his his siblings. It was the most adorable thing I’ve ever witnessed. A cherubic little toddler, toothy grin from ear to ear, running as fast as his wee little legs could run, his wobbly gait, arms flailing…I was beaming with pride as my adorable little man made his rounds, flirtatiously saying “hiiiii” to the other moms at the bus stop. I so look forward to seeing that again on Saturday!