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Today, I did something out of the norm. I made the 30-minute drive downtown, to park in metered spots along a busy road, risking car naps between my toddler and a crying 8-month-old, to go to a place I’ve never been before. That’s right…I left my mom radius.

Defining the Mom Radius

I have a life I like to refer to as my mom radius. Everywhere I go with my kids on a daily basis are places that are familiar, comfortable, and about 5-15 minutes from home. I know what to expect and can escape if things aren’t going according to plan. It’s easy.

As a stay at home mom of two kids, I very rarely leave this radius. Maybe to some of you, that’s sad, but I’ve created a great life from this stretch of 7 miles. My kids and I go to parks, playgrounds, coffee shops, restaurants, splash pads, pools, gyms, libraries, and play dates. We ride bikes, kick soccer balls, go on morning jogs, jump on trampolines, walk the dog, or just sit out front and wait for trash trucks.

I didn’t use to be this simple. Before kids, I was a lot more adventurous than this!

I backpacked Europe, spent a month in Australia with people I never met before, took day trips across the border to Mexico, and stayed out as long as I felt like it. Now, if I’m out past 9 I feel like such a rebel and if anything “unpredictable” or out of the norm happens, my husband and I revel in its glory for far too long.

What Happened When I Left My Mom Radius

Although I’m happy, I’ve had this itch for some adventure again. But, what is “adventure” with two kids on a weekday? To a mom like me, it means a seriously planned out activity, but these activities are– you guessed it– OUTSIDE OF THE RADIUS!

Yes, I’m finally feeling comfortable enough with my boys to go on some *minor* expeditions. I want to explore new places to eat than the 5 we always go to because we know our boys will be drowned out by chatter. I want to discover new and interesting activities for our family to enjoy. I want to plan future mini road trips to new towns I’ve never been to before.

So, I’ve started to test myself this past week, did some exploring, and guess what, I didn’t spontaneously combust! In fact, we’ve been having a blast.

We drove out of our way to a crazy donut shop, went to a lavender farm, tried a new café, went to a movie past our toddler’s bedtime, and, as I explained earlier, made the trek to downtown to visit a children’ discovery museum.

Yes, there have been some tears in the car ride from a restless baby, some stress about making naptimes or debating if cookies for dinner was acceptable for 2-year-old. But, I’m pretty proud of myself.

What’s even better, seeing how happy my toddler looked at each of these new places made everything worth it. I could tell these experiences were eye-opening. In fact, he even said “This place is awesome!” at an Air and Space Museum. Although he has fun at our nearby park, he has never come close to saying this phrase about a place within our radius and that goes a long way with me.

Continuing to Push My Mom Radius

So, what exactly happened when I left my mom radius? Nothing. Nothing except new experiences, unexpected laughs, boosts of confidence, and great memories.

To some, this whole admission from a mom who doesn’t seem to have a life may be laughable. That’s okay. I love my life. I wouldn’t change the un-adventures I don’t have for anything in the world, but there is something refreshing about the unknown.

Obviously, it’s not as exhilarating as traveling to exotic locals or taking a spontaneous trip to the lake for a few days, but it’s a step in the right direction.

As my boys get older and I become less threatened by a not-so-planned schedule of events, I know the person I once was will slowly begin to show herself again.

No, I won’t be beer bonging in Jamaica or bungee jumping in Cairns, but I’ll have the experiences of raising two littles and living to tell the tale. My husband and I will plan chapter after chapter in our story as parents who saw the world once more.

Until that day comes, I’ll be inching and pushing that radius just a little bit further to keep life “awesome” for both my boys and me.

The post What Happened When I Finally Left My Mom Radius appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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As a modern mom, I’m sure you already use Amazon Prime, but are you also utilizing the Amazon Subscribe and Save store? If not, you could be simplifying your life and saving money too!

Obviously, you don’t want to subscribe to a service without fully understanding it beforehand. After having my first son, I chose to sign up for Amazon Subscribe and Save. Three years later with another child in the mix, I feel more than qualified to explain this program to others. Here’s the Amazon Subscribe and Save store breakdown, what it is and how to use it to ensure you’re getting what you need each month at a discounted price.

What is the Amazon Subscribe and Save Store?

Subscribe and save is a monthly service where you subscribe to a series of products that you would like delivered on a specified date. These items usually come in “bulk” and the subscriber can choose how often they would like to receive it (every month, two months, three months, etc.). You have the ability to cancel or change the frequency of deliveries when needed.

When you subscribe to various products, you end up saving anywhere from 15-20% on each item.

In order to save on a monthly basis, you have to subscribe to at least five different products for that month’s delivery. As a mom, finding five products you need each month is not hard at all, so reaching this order completion is not difficult.

Subscribe and save products range from baby gear to dog food to toiletries to household goods to nonperishable food items. To find the specific product you’re looking for, all you have to do is search within the Amazon Subscribe and Save store section of the website. If you are unable to find an item, keep in mind that Subscribe and Save is expanding their selection of goods all the time, so if something isn’t offered this month, check again next month.

Why Use the Amazon Subscribe and Save Store?

Through Amazon Subscribe and Save, you will receive items you know you need each month or products you need on a regular basis without leaving your house or remembering it on your next shopping trip. The delivery process makes it less likely for us to run out of certain necessities such as toilet paper, paper towels, or laundry detergent.

Many items are cheaper than what you can find at other stores. And, if it isn’t, the price is comparable.

Another perk, you won’t have to load up large items such as diaper or wipes into your cart or car, which we all know is difficult when you have one or more kids in tow.

The convenience of the Amazon Subscribe and Save store is priceless when you have kids, especially younger children.

How to Get Started

First you need to do your research. Start taking note of items you need consistently around the house, especially things that are easily forgotten at the store, difficult to find, or take up a lot of space in your cart: diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.

Keep track of how often you buy these particular items or may need them: every month, every two months, every three months, etc. You just need a roundabout idea, as you can adjust the schedule later.

Second, now that you’ve taken notes on your “regular necessity” items, you need to do some price comparisons. Check if your desired products are offered in the Amazon Subscribe and Save store and compare the prices at the store with your discount on Amazon. My general comparisons have found that through Subscribe and Save, items are generally cheaper or very close to the amount I spend in store. If it’s close to the amount you spend in store, the next question you need to ask yourself is how much more convenient will this be if it’s delivered to me on a regular basis. Usually, it’s always more convenient and worth the price.

Now it’s time to start Subscribing and Saving!

Pick the date you want to receive your items (you can easily align them with your pay schedule) and start adding products to your order. It will take a couple of months to determine how often you need particular products, so take mental notes.

What Should You Expect With Your Order?

You should expect to receive lots of boxes over the course of a couple days on or around your selected delivery date, so invest in some good box cutters like these.

You will also need a space to store excess items or bulk items, so make sure to prepare ahead of time.

Check Your Emails

Sometimes there are price increases, decreases, or changes in products. Amazon will notify you with enough warning to change your order if necessary. Amazon will also send you an email to make any updates to your order prior to the delivery being processed. I describe this important email in the next section.

Don’t Forget to Update Your Monthly Order

You may not need some products as often as you thought you did when you initially ordered them. It’s very easy to update your subscriptions BUT you have to do it a week or so prior to your delivery date! Amazon will send you a warning email, but also keep it on your calendar if you’re busy like me.

So modern mom, are you ready to start making your life a bit easier and save money too? Use this Subscribe and Save link to see if your favorite items are offered through this program and get started!

If you’re interested in other ways you can save money on baby products and household essentials, check out my post here.

The post How Families Use the Amazon Subscribe and Save Store appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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Give yourself grace. As a mom, I’ve heard this advice more than a few times. In fact, I just gave this guidance to a new mom of two struggling to get dinner on the table with her newborn and toddler in the mix. I told her this phase is about survival and “giving yourself grace” right now is important. Of course, just like all advice, it’s much easier said than done.

The Intention is There

The intention is there. When you feel like your day is unraveling or you’ve been hard on yourself for whatever reason, “giving yourself grace” is about giving yourself that kindness you often deserve. Sounds awesome. The type of thing you’d want your best friend to do for herself because you don’t want to see her breakdown. So why is giving yourself grace so damn hard?

Unfortunately, when a tired, exhausted, sick, hormonal, pregnant, anxious, lonely, depressed, or overwhelmed mom is given this sound piece of advice, all they hear is “let things go” which some of us just can’t do. It’s not in our mom DNA. It’s against our personality, our natural instincts, or our routines that keep us sane.

Moms push themselves. We go without for the sake of our children. We attribute our children’s overall happiness, success, and well-being to ourselves. If they’re doing great, we must be doing something right; We give ourselves a quick pat on the back. If they aren’t doing well, we are relentlessly hard on ourselves. We assume we have no clue what we’re doing and must suck at this whole “mom thing”.

Can we do everything right? No. Are we perfect? No. But we want to be. This is the opportune time to give ourselves grace. Yet, most of the time we choose not to.

We look for what we can do to keep things in our control. We try to make balanced meals. We pride ourselves on a clean home. We plan activities and create schedules for our families. But, when we are going through a tough time, the things that are typically within our control, seem to unravel. Even though this is when we need to be kind to ourselves, or “let things go”, we can’t… or we have to work really really hard to.

When I was teaching, I lived by a certain standard. I prided myself off of a clean classroom environment that usually ran efficiently and effectively. It was organized. I wanted it to be my happy place since I spent more hours there than I did at my own home. I also had a rule for myself: always leave the classroom spotless before closing up for the day. Loose papers were filed, floors were picked up, whiteboard erased, tables and chairs bleached. Why? Because I believed each day was a fresh start for both my students and myself.

Why Giving Yourself Grace is So Damn Hard

Now that I am a stay at home mom, my house is my work environment, and I hold myself to the same standards and beliefs. Then, all of a sudden, I added another child into the mix, and the goals I set for my everyday life became much more difficult to achieve. With that, my happiness and comfortability began to deteriorate. This is when I started to hear “give yourself grace”, “don’t be so hard on yourself”, “dishes can wait”. All these things are so true! I needed to hear them, but I can’t be expected to change who I am or what I’ve always done within a matter of days.

I get that when we’re in survival mode, you do what you need to in order to make it through the day. But, for those of us that strive for perfection, who equate our happiness to our homes, who want to be the best- “giving yourself grace” may be more stressful than just getting it done. At what point am I happier if I just push myself?

Can Dishes Really Wait?

Can dishes really wait? Is it more stressful to not have the pan you need for dinner or a clean sippy cup ready for your son, than it is to take the time, you don’t exactly have, to clean them?

Is a heaping pile of laundry you chose to give yourself some grace over becoming more of a nuisance when those comfy pajama pants you love to wear are dirty or your child has no matching socks?

Can we really afford take out every night or should I zap frozen meals for the next three months while my newborn baby won’t sleep? Is accepting the mom guilt over my toddler not getting a balanced diet easier than just prepping meals when I should be catching up on sleep instead?

Is plopping my kid in front of the TV only to become an irritable child zombie easier than pushing myself to leave the house with my two kids on a day I should be getting over a cold?

To be honest, I’m not sure of the answer to my questions. Seeing dishes pile up, laundry not being folded, food not being cooked, and children not being engaged makes me feel irritable, stressed, and inadequate. That’s why giving yourself grace is so damn hard. And, as a mom, it’s near impossible.

The Dos and Donts of Giving Yourself Grace

From here on out, rather than give this arbitrary advice I’m going to say things like:

  • Please don’t be that hard on yourself
  • You’re doing the best you can right now, and that’s what matters
  • Let’s prioritize
  • Let me help you
  • What would you say to your best friend if she was going through this
  • Let me help you

If you are currently in this situation, try some of these things:

  • Set small goals to achieve this week by cooking 2-3 meals or leaving the house only on Tuesdays or Thursdays
  • Clean up toys only before bed instead of throughout the day
  • Ask for help from loved ones and/or friends
  • Choose one task over the other
  • Decide what your non-negotiables are when it comes to housework
  • Brainstorm ways to make it easier on yourself

What does giving yourself grace mean to you? Comment below.

The post Why is Giving Yourself Grace So Damn Hard? appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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As moms, it seems we’re always sharing special moments with our friends and families. When I do, I like to share mine in a big way, with Basic Invite. Basic Invite is an online stationery company, offering a unique selection of prints for every occasion. From baby showers to birth announcements to HS graduation invitations, you can take advantage of truly customizable templates while enjoying easy ordering, purchasing, and sending services.

Here’s why I love Basic Invite:

Super Customizable Templates

Modern moms know exactly what they want, so having control of your card down to the smallest detail is important when making lifelong memories.

The biggest reason Basic Invite totally rocks is how adaptable each design is. After choosing your template, you can mix and match each element of the card using over 180 different colors that capture your specific style. This feature is so unlike other companies I’ve used in the past, many of which I’ve found very limiting for this very reason.  

So, if you’re searching for a HS graduation invitations template, you have the freedom to choose a design you like and match your child’s school’s colors, rather than scouring the internet trying to find the perfect one.

There are tons of HS graduation invitations to customize to fit your personal style!

You can further tailor your invites to include gold, silver, and rose gold foil for that extra sparkle!

Time Saving Elements

Moms are busy. We all know that. That’s why I find Basic Invite so appealing when I go to design cards for family and friends.

One major time saving element are their envelopes. Not only do they offer various color choices, but each envelope is peel and seal for quick and secure closure. If you must know, I have personally licked 100+ envelopes from other online stationery companies in the past. What a waste of time and taste buds!

Basic Invite’s address capturing service and free recipient address printing makes sending out cards easy for the busy mom.

Another efficient service offered by Basic Invite is address capturing. I love this modern feature! The service allows you to request addresses by simply sharing a link on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page. Each address is saved and stored on your account for later use.

Basic Invite also offers recipient address printing at no extra cost! How much time would you have saved on holiday cards last year if you didn’t have to print and peel every address label? I know I would’ve saved a ton.

Try Before You Buy

Basic Invite is also one of the few online stationery companies that allows you to try out your purchase before you buy. How? They will send you a printed sample of the actual invitation you created so you can see how it will print and ensure quality prior to placing a final order. I wish more companies did this!

Receive a printed sample before making your final purchase.
Basic Invite is a Must for Moms

With so much to celebrate in mom world, the memories you create are important. Basic Invite allows you to create lasting moments that you can customize to fit your particular style. Basic Invite also makes the ease of purchasing and sending invitations simple for today’s mom.  From showers to birthdays to HS graduation invitations, Basic Invite has got it going on!

Right now, enjoy 15% off your order with this coupon code: 15FF51

The post Customize Your Memories with Basic Invite appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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How important is a great sound machine for baby or toddler? Very. In fact, if you care about baby sleep, this tool is the tool you’ll need for a super effective naptime and bedtime routine. After much research, and two children later, I finally found one I absolutely love: The Hatch Baby Rest.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a small commission. All opinions are my own.

Before you find out why the Hatch Baby Rest is the best sound machine for baby and toddler, let’s discuss why you need this valuable piece of equipment.

When your baby is first born, they experience numerous changes. One of those major changes is how quiet life outside the womb. Your belly is like a 24/7 party for them- super loud and rowdy. So, a sound machine helps to ease baby into this big transition. In turn, the sounds will become a major calming force, specifically when it comes time to sleep.

Added to a great sleep routine for naptimes and bedtimes, a sound machine can also trigger your child’s brain to know the difference between rest and wake. When you want your kids to go to bed, this will be very helpful for their sleep and your peace of mind.

As the days progress, a sound machine will provide an optimal sleeping environment for your baby or toddler, as it will drown out other noises that could potentially wake them. Really, any noise can do the trick: a loud sibling, neighbors with barking dogs, road noise, the sound of a toilet flushing…Nothing worse than having a baby or toddler wake-up prematurely due to unexpected or unwanted noise.

For other tricks to get a newborn to sleep, see my tips and tricks here.

Now that we’ve covered why a sound machine is necessary for a baby and toddler, let’s talk about why the Hatch Baby rest is so incredibly awesome and why moms everywhere should be adding one to their child’s room.

Hatch Baby Rest App

Probably one of the coolest and most unique features of the Hatch Baby Rest is that everything can be controlled from an app on your phone. It’s the best. You can adjust the sound, light, control more than one sound machine, and create different timed settings depending on your need with the click of a button.

via Hatch Baby

If you have loud children or loud neighbors, this app feature rocks. I love that I can control the volume from anywhere in the house without having to disrupt my child’s sleep environment.

Sounds and Lighting Options

Another feature that makes the Hatch Baby Rest the perfect sound machine for baby and toddler is the variety of sounds and lighting choices available. The color options for the nightlight are endless, as you can even create a custom color to fit your child’s needs.

via Hatch Baby

As for sounds, they vary from rain, white noise, wind, etc. My toddler prefers the “dryer sound” while my baby likes the sound of the crashing waves.

Easy Touch Start

To start your Hatch Baby Rest, all you have to do is preset the light and sound on your app and tap the top of the machine when you want to turn it on and off. So simple and streamline. My two-year-old helps with naptimes and bedtimes by starting and stopping our sound machine for baby brother.

Endless Settings

The Hatch Baby Rest includes numerous settings, as well. You can dim the light depending on your needs, set timers, let it run until you manually turn it off, and set different programs. These options are perfect if you have a toddler or are planning to use the sound machine until your baby becomes a toddler (further explained in the next section).

Grows with You from Baby to Toddler

As our children grow, many parents have issues with their toddler getting up out of their bed or calling for them throughout the night and/or early in the morning. For some parents this arrangement works, for others, a 4:30 wake-up call is not ideal.

via Hatch Baby

Many parents opt to purchase an “okay to wake” alarm clock for their child. So, in addition to a nightlight and sound machine, now, there is another gadget to add to your collection.

The Hatch Baby Rest is unique because, with the programmable settings, you can create your own “okay to wake” clock, saving you from a future purchase. This option makes the Hatch Baby Rest the perfect sound machine for baby and toddler.

Modern Design

As a modern mom, we want our purchases to be functional and visually appealing. I love the sleek design of the Hatch Baby Rest, which will look Instagram ready no matter where it’s located in your child’s room.

via Hatch Baby

For an extra cost, you can even purchase decorative sleeves for your Hatch Baby Rest! There are tons to choose from. See them here.

The Perfect Sound Machine for Baby and Toddler

With so many sound machines on the market, it’s hard to find one that will fit the needs of you and your family. The Hatch Baby Rest answers it all from easy controls to various sound and light settings to flexible programming for babies and toddler, this sound machine makes the perfect addition to any nursery or child’s room.

Looking for more product suggestions to help with baby sleep, check out these must-have items designed to get you and your child more rest.

The post My Favorite Sound Machine for Baby and Toddler appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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Recently I read an article stating that grandparents who babysit their grandkids may live longer. Of course, the article got me thinking about my parents and parents-in-law and how much they’ve done for us since having our first child back in 2016. The problem is, extra years of life doesn’t seem to come close to what we actually owe them. As parents, how do we even go about paying them back for it all? To them, time spent with our children is more than enough, but to us it’s just the beginning.

I started to think about how many times grandparents have come to our rescue.

How many times have I asked them for help with raising our children?

How many times have they picked me up off the floor when I felt like falling down?

How many times my kids have asked for them instead of me?

How many times I’ve thought about how necessary grandparents are and how lucky we are to have them in our lives?

Growing up, my grandfather babysat my sister and I every Monday. We also spent many weekends with him and my grandma at their house in San Pedro, California. Some of the best memories I have as a child are with him.

Of course, many of those memories include ordering whatever we wanted at the McDonalds drive thru, eating candy completely unsupervised, playing Nintendo for hours on end, and trips to Toys R Us on some idle day of the week. I guess you could say we were a little bit spoiled, but it’s funny that my husband has the same memories with his grandparents and great grandparents too.

Sadly, my grandfather has since passed on, but now my children now get to make memories with their grandparents, like I did once before. As things are shaping up, they will have many of the same recollections as my husband and I have as a child.

We currently reside in Tucson, Arizona. At first, we knew no one, and being a stay at home mom with a newborn can be very isolating. Despite our distance, our parents have been a consistent strength to us and became our support by making the trip to visit us on a regular basis.

Currently, my mother-in-law drives 2 hours, here and back to spend time with our sons once a week. My mother, and now recently retired father, come out about every 6 weeks to stay to play with our boys. Besides the time spent with our children, I also get a much-needed break each time the grandparents come to town.

Not only are my kids insanely fortunate, but we are too. Seriously, I’d be dead on the floor without them and here’s why:

They Are Superheroes

I want to go back to what I said earlier about grandparents coming to our rescue, because it’s true. As a mom, I’m sure you have felt run down from time to time. Maybe you had no one to fall back on and maybe you did. For me, my parents and parents in law have been there to help and support me when I needed them the most.

Terrible pregnancies, sick kids, sleepless nights, a much-needed day away- I have woken up to cooked meals, washed dishes, folded laundry, and fed and clothed children. How they do it all? I’ll never know… maybe it’s because they’re real life superheroes? Who knows, but I am so thankful known the less.

They Buy Our Kids Ridiculous Gifts

As parents, we have to be careful how we raise our children, especially with what we buy them. No one wants to raise a spoiled brat and that’s why we have grandparents. Grandparents are totally allowed to spoil the crap out of our children by buying them pretty much anything they want. 

Honestly, half the toys in this house were bought by grandparents. I can personally attest to this as my Barbie collection was bought by my grandfather because “Barbie needed all her friends.”.

Grandparent spoiling is much different that parent spoiling, and we’re alright with that.  

They Actually Want to Put Your Kids to Bed

As a stay at home mom, sometimes it feels like groundhogs day around here and bedtime is always chaotic. Between nighttime, naptime and two kids, I feel like I’m putting children to sleep all day long. The great thing about grandparents, they actually want to put the kids to bed, and we love them for it.

Even though our children sucker them into one more story and two more songs, they adore that time with them, and we get a few extra minutes to be child free.

They Give Our Kids Loads of Sugar

As parents, we are responsible for providing a well-balanced diet to our children. Although lame, it’s what we need to do to help nourish their growing bodies. Of course, since grandparents are now “off the clock” for doing any parenting, they are allowed to give our kids sugar, and I’m pretty sure it’s more than they’ll ever admit to. When our son started saying things like “Gramma cupcake. Grandma cookie.” We knew something was going on. It took some getting used to, but of course I think back to my grandpa filling us up on all the sugary cereal I wasn’t allowed to eat at home, and know it’s going to be okay.

They Are the Best Babysitters

Yes, with all the toys, candy and delayed bedtime routines, who wouldn’t want grandparents for babysitters? And as parents we love it because who else would we trust more in the world to watch our most prized possession than the people closest to us in our lives? Extended vacations, movie nights, day dates… the amount of babysitting hours grandparents rack up over the years would eventually buy them a new car if they were getting paid.

How Many Times Can We Say Thank You?

If years added onto their lives is what we can give to grandparents, then that’s what we will do. Give our children toys, feed them sugar, let them bamboozle you into a later nap.

We as parents need to let it happen.

These are the memories our grandparents want to share with our kids and these are the recollections our kids will have of their grandparents when they become adults. This is how our kids will learn how to become grandparents themselves one day, and how I plan on treating my own grandchildren, should I become lucky enough to do so.

How many times can we say thank you to our parents for doing all they do to show our kids the unconditional love they deserve?

How are grandparents important to your life? Share and comment below!

The post Grandparents are Superheroes I Can’t Live Without appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase using one of these links, I make a commission. All opinions are my own. See my full disclosure here.

Thinking about what you need as a mom of two? Luckily you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but being a mom of more than one is a huge transition. No matter what stage you’re in currently- pregnant, newborn, or seasoned-there are some valuable products you’ll want to consider to make this next chapter as easy as possible.

Just like you, I was pregnant with my second and comforted by the fact I pretty much had everything I needed for a baby. Of course, I also wasn’t new to this whole motherhood thing, which helped ease my nerves a bit about becoming a new mom of two.

Then, baby arrived.

Afterward, life at home with my boys got a lot more…..interesting. As I continue survive the day to day as a mom of two, there are a few necessities I would highly suggest, and honestly couldn’t live without.

Baby Jogger City Select Double Stroller

Choosing the best stroller for two kids is tough. Many moms love the Baby Jogger 2016 City Select Double Stroller. This stroller is not only durable but comes with tons of options and attachments depending on what best fits your family.

All the options are perfect for a newborn baby and toddler in tow, while also being able to grow and change with your family depending on child preferences and where you’re going!

BOB Revolution PRO Duallie Stroller

It may seem like you have a ton of strollers as a mom of two, but some strollers fit different needs. If you love to run or hit the trails, do yourself a favor and get a stroller that will make you enjoy it like the BOB Revolution Pro Duallie Jogging Stroller!

Although the price tag on this stroller is pretty high, it’s totally worth it. The wheels help you glide up and down hills, tread through rocks, and easily push over 70+ pounds between a toddler, baby, and car seat.

Stroller Hooks

Two kids sometimes means your hands are full and you’ll be toting around double the amount of stuff. Make sure you have stroller hooks for every stroller to help you carry bags, backpacks, and everything in between.

For more suggestions on the best stroller accessories, click here!

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine

As a second time mom, I’m sure you already know a ton about baby sleep and the importance of a good white noise machine. Well, with two kids potentially waking each other up on a daily basis, you’ll want the best sound machine out there.

The Hatch Baby Rest is must-have for any mom of two. Although sleek, modern, and practical, the best feature is an app you can use to control everything from your phone.

You can adjust the sound and light, save preferences depending on the time of day, and even create an “okay to wake” setting for your older child all from the touch of a button.

Looking to brush-up on your newborn sleep tips and tricks? Get a refresher here.

Infant Optics Camera

A mom of two definitely needs a great visual monitor for their kids. Many love the Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor because you can connect both cameras to one monitor, which switches back and forth between both rooms.

If you already have the monitor, then all you will need to buy is the camera. Don’t forget some extra batteries while you’re at it!

Ring Video Doorbell

When you’re a mom of two, a knock on the door is never convenient. Typically I don’t even answer the door if I’m not expecting someone but even when I am, I feel like they tend to show up while I’m either feeding my baby, changing a diaper, or putting at least one child to bed.

The Ring Video Doorbell allows you to cut out the fear of a doorbell waking someone, see who is at your door, and communicate with a visitor to tell them you’ll be down in a moment.


Another technology-related mom product, The Echo Alexa can become your daily assistant and make things a bit easier for you. Have her play music for the kids, tell them stories, convert measurements, and even tell you what the weather is like outside so you can clothe each child properly without having to test the temperature yourself.

Of course you’ll want an Amazon Prime subscription so that you can even quickly reorder things you need through the Echo.

Baby Carrier

Since you aren’t a first-time mom, you probably already have a good baby carrier, but if not, now is the time to get one! Babywearing is necessary when you have two kids roaming around. It will free your hands up to do whatever you need to do around the house or even help put baby to sleep if you need a bit of a break.

The most popular baby carriers are the Lillebaby and the Ergobaby 360, especially since both are a soft, structured carrier and do not require an infant insert. See my review of the Ergobaby Omni 360, here.

Changing Pad Liners

If you will have two kids in diapers, don’t forget you’ll need extra Changing Pad Liners. Some forget about insane newborn baby poop issues, and you can save yourself from doing extra loads of laundry with these on hand.

If you did have these with your first, they are awesome! They protect your cute changing pad covers, they’re waterproof, and easy to swipe out when they get dirty.

Haakaa Breast Pump

If you plan on breastfeeding, you may have heard about the magical Haakaa Breast Pump! If not, it’s basically a “letdown” catcher that you suction to one breast while feeding baby from the other side. Moms can easily build a supply in those early weeks with baby without having to pump.

This option is so important as being a mom of two doesn’t leave you much time to pump that milk.


What’s worse than a sick kid? Two sick kids. What’s worse than two sick kids? Dragging two sick kids to the store for medicine, especially if one is a baby and the other is a crazy toddler. Stock up now and have everything you need on hand.

If your oldest is in school, expect that baby may get sick more often then what you were used to dealing with before.

Zarbees is the most popular medicine for babies and toddlers because of their all natural properties. Check out their natural rub to help fight baby and toddler congestion.

Hair Products

Hair products? Yes, girl. Just because you’re a mom of two doesn’t mean you need to look like a hot mess every day. Since you may not have a lot of time to get ready, you’ll want to invest in a good dry shampoo and some hot tools! I love ORIBE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. It’s a little pricey but a little goes a long way.

I also love my Conair Curling Wand and HAI Ceramic Hair Straightener. It seriously takes me less than ten minutes to get my hair looking date ready, whether I want it curly or straight.  

Amazon Prime/Subscribe and Save

If you don’t have Amazon Prime or do and don’t participate in Subscribe and Save, you are missing out on major deals. Double the children, double the amount of diapers, wipes, soap, laundry detergeant, etc. Start ordering some of those items monthly, save 15-20% off, and have it delivered to your door.

Read more about how you can save on baby/toddler gear here.


When I asked my followers about their favorite mom of two products, many made jokes about “wine”, baths, alone time, etc. Although funny, it made me realize how important self-care is for a mom of two! With a lot less time to yourself, you will want to get some goodies that will be perfect for those moments you do get to breathe.

If you love a bath, get some fun bath bombs or masks. If you love to workout, get some wireless earbuds or new running shoes. If you love to read, stock up on some great books that aren’t parenting related.

Whatever it is that brings you happiness, let yourself enjoy it a little more by adding something special to it!

Be Mom of Two Ready with These 12 Products

No matter where you are in your momming journey, these 12 products will step of your mom game for sure.

What other products would you recommend for a mom of two? Share yours below!

Already towards the end of your pregnancy and thinking about all the feels when it comes to your firstborn? You will totally connect with my open letter to my firstborn child. Read it, here.

The post 14 Best Products for The New Mom of Two appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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If you’re a parent, you’ve probably seen or heard of a kid’s program called Little Baby Bum. Known to us novices as LBB, the series depicts animals and children dancing and singing to various nursery rhymes.

Personally, I feel like I know this show inside and out, as it doubled as a babysitter for my toddler during my 16+ weeks of morning sickness with my second child. Laying lifeless on the couch, you begin to notice things in a very sinister way. After hours of watching, I began to think, WTF is the deal with Little Baby Bum?

Via Gyfcat

It wasn’t until model and TV show host, Chrissy Teigen, posted a picture of her child watching LBB on Instagram that I realized how far the reach of this show had become. Even the rich and famous were being subjected to the continuous singing and dancing. Diving into the comment section, I found that many of her followers had the same issues with the show I did!

After much thought, here are my questions and flat out grievances for the insanity and kid craze known as Little Baby Bum:

1. Why Are There 80 Million Versions of Wheels on the Bus?

Probably the biggest questions on all viewers minds… why are there 15 different renditions of Wheels on the Bus in LBB land? WHY? I curse the day the Vehicles episode of Little Baby Bum was ever created on Netflix. Thirty minutes of a song on repeat is not only tortuous, it’s immoral and honestly killed my childhood love of this fun nursery tune.

via Gfycat 2. What Makes Super Pig So Super?

Why do they call Super Pig, ‘Super’? Is it because he has the most awesome dance moves ever? Seriously, have you watched that pig shake it? I really hope my son learns a thing or two from Super Pig so he can sport it on the dance floor!

3. Where’s the Diversity?

With over 18 billion views on YouTube and 15 million followers, I would love to see more races and ethnicities represented on Little Baby Bum. It’s important that the children watching can see themselves in their favorite songs and characters, while also seeing other children that look different than themselves. Give us more inclusion, LBB!

4. What Kind of Name is Jacus?

In Little Baby Bum there are some main characters, two of which are human. Out of these two humans, one is named Jacus. So incredibly random, don’t you think? Between teaching and traveling, I’ve heard many names in my lifetime, but Jacus is definitely not one of them. I’ve done some research and found that Jacus is a Polish name. Interesting, but for a child’s show it’s an odd choice to say the least, and one that I laugh at as my child learns words and one of his first is Jacus.

via Gfycat 5. Those Hot Cross Buns Look Bomb

I rarely want to reach out and grab animated food on TV, but those Hot Cross Buns on LBB look so good! No, I’m not high, but that chef on LBB really knows what they’re doing. Okay, so this is not necessarily a grievance, but maybe you’ve noticed it too? Please say yes, so I don’t feel so weird for admitting this.

6. Are You British or American?

Does anyone else detect an accent? Sometimes I hear American accents and sometimes I hear British accents. So LBB, what are you? Definitely not Madonna or Lindsey Lohan, so make up your mind or is this your definition of being diverse?

7. Super Pig Drives a Porsche

Super Pig is obviously a favorite of the show’s writers because not only is he super and has great dance moves, he drives a Porsche! What does Super Pig do for a living? He must be doing really well for himself.

8. Is Mia a Little Girl?

You would think the characters on Little Baby Bum are kids, but some things have me questioning if Mia is a little girl or not. Her hair and clothing seem kidlike, but there is one song where Mia jumps in and out of cars to drive them all around the countryside. Kids shouldn’t be driving around, especially in such treacherous terrain, so we’re made to assume she is at least old enough to drive? Mia, we want must know more. Are you a child who is severely breaking the rules, or a teenager with a driver’s license?

via Gfycat 9. Big or Small Confusion

Is anyone else as bothered by the Big and Small song? The song disproves itself constantly and is quite confusing for the mind of a 2-year-old to understand since the comparisons are all relative. For example, first they say the boy is big and the ball is small. Yes, compared to the ball, the boy is big, but within a few moments, people (including the boy) are called small compared to the size of the world. Well, what is it? Are people/boys big or small? Of course, as adults we understand each comparison is its own entity, but to a small child, it’s confusing. If the song was renamed “Comparisons” I would gladly accept it and move on!

10. Daddy Finger, We’re Over You

It’s been determined all over social media that parents hate Daddy Finger. It’s weird and insanely catchy. Human or Panda, we don’t want to hear it anymore LBB!

11. What Sound Does an Elephant Make?

It’s hard to reproduce the sound an elephant makes and Little Baby Bum upholds this statement by claiming elephants say pawoo. I’m not going to make my own elephant noise, but pawoo would not be the direction I’d go. LBB, NO ONE SAYS PAWOO!

12. What’s Wrong With The Animated Bunnies?

In one LBB song the animated bunnies look insane. I call them meth bunnies. Their eyes are wild and crazy and they hop around like they have endless energy. If you’ve never noticed this too, I’d be surprised. Let’s use the same graphic skill level used to make the hot cross buns on these poor bunnies.

LBB, You’re Actually Alright

Joking aside, Little Baby Bum is not all bad. The show has gotten my son and me through some rough times. Whether it be at home, in the car or on an airplane, my son loves LBB and has even learned a few things along the way. Some of the first words he said and first dance moves I witnessed were because of Little Baby Bum, which says a lot.

So, thanks LBB for all the good times and bad. I owe you one.

What else do you think is funny about Little Baby Bum? Comment and share!

The post Little Baby Bum: What’s Your Freakin Deal? appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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Recently, I enrolled my son in preschool a few days a week. This was a big step for a stay at home mom like me, but not completely foreign either. See, I’ve had several first days of school because before I decided to stay at home, I was a middle school history teacher.

If you’re a teacher mom like me, you’re totally rocking this whole parenting thing. Why? Because teaching and momming are one and the same.

Both interesting, and both downright exhausting, but two little boys later and almost a decade of classroom experience, teaching prepared me to become a mom in the most strange and unexpected of ways.




Check your inbox to download your baby registry checklist and enjoy it, mama! Email me with any questions you may have.

1. Intensive Bladder Training

Teachers are known for having bladder issues. Why? Because they can hold their pee for an insane amount of time. It’s like a right of passage to race to a restroom between passing period.

The good news about teacher-bladder training is that it totally prepared me to be a mom… Sometimes, it’s hard to find an opportune time to pee. We’re so wrapped up in what’s going on with our kids, or we straight up can’t figure out the logistics of urinating in a public restroom with two kids, so we just don’t!

2. Dealing with Total Grossness

Teachers deal with some pretty nasty stuff on a daily basis. Body odor, farts, lice, pink eye, a little vomit on the shoe, all in a day’s work, right?

Well, a teacher’s day isn’t much different from life with a child. Parenting is all about getting urinated on (totally sterile by the way), terrible poop stenches, and smelly odors coming from under the bed. Good thing teachers are equipped to deal with the total grossness, thus increasing our level of tolerance as a mom.

No joke, when vomit in the hair doesn’t constitute a shower for yourself, you know you’ve reached another level of mom.

3. Head Start in School Choice

When other moms find out I’m a teacher, they love to question me about my opinion on good schools- and they should! They want what’s best for their children and it’s always a good idea to talk to people who know a thing or two about education.

As teachers we have a head start in deciding what schools best fit our children because we know what qualities make a school great!

4. The Patience of a Zombie

Some days, teaching presents some big challenges and teachers need lots of patience. Like an insane amount of patience… so much patience, you actually make yourself numb some days just to survive. Almost zombie-like, right?

As a stay at home mom, my kids really test my patience. The patience that took years and years of teaching to achieve. I used to see 165 kids go through my door on a daily basis, but my one toddler puts them all to shame. Luckily, I have tools in my toolbelt to cope. My husband, on the other hand, isn’t as fortunate.

5. Teacher Mom Immune Systems Are the Best EVER

You know what they say: ‘Moms don’t get a sick day’ but teachers don’t either! After working with kids for 9 years, I’ve been sick a lot. The first few years were brutal, but after the initial shock to my immune system, it’s hard to catch a bug! In fact, it may take Ebola to actually get me a day in bed.

Regardless, teachers can nurse their children back to health without the worry and fear of catching it themselves.

6. Early Mornings Are Easy… er… Easier

Why do children like to wake up at the crack of dawn when all you want to do as an adult is sleep-in? I have no clue, but as a teacher mom, you’re used to early mornings because schools like to start at the crack of dawn too! Lucky you.

You can sleep when you’re dead, mom.

7. You Got That Stare Down on Point

As a teacher, I’m sure you’ve mastered the stare down. No need to say anything because your eyes say it all.

Now, as a mom, I get to use my skillful and creepy stare on my son and he has years of teaching middle school to thank for that scary glare.

8. Read Alouds Are Da Bomb

Teachers have such a specific way they read because they have to make quadratic equations seem captivating at 7 in the morning. We pause at the right points, display inflection where needed, change voice for characters, all while walking around the classroom and monitoring student behavior. It’s an art.

All this practice really comes in handy during story time with your kids. So. Many. Stories. Pete the Cat never sounded so good when performed by a teacher mom.

9. You Know it Takes a Village

If you teach in a bubble, it’s very hard to grow. Educators know that that’s why we seek help and strategies from other teachers. We read research, buy books, and attend seminars. We do this because teachers love to learn and grow along with their students.

Just the same, being a mom also takes a village. We have family, friends, Facebook groups, books, and Google searches galore in order to help us raise our children because it’s impossible to do alone.

10. Organization Is Key

Organizing is fun for teachers. We gravel at colored containers, fun borders, bold fonts, and any other way to make our classroom run more efficiently while always looking its best. So, when the opportunity to organize our children’s toy collection arises, teacher moms are more than ready for the challenge.

The yellow bin for cars, the clear bin for magnets, the blue ones for puzzles… I feel so alive!

11. Arts and Crafts Time is Easy Because We Are Hoarders

Teachers would save a single staple if they could. We keep everything because we never know when we will get a new one or when we will run out. I’m serious, one time, my school ran out of paper for copies. PAPER!

Luckily, we save everything because just about anything can become a craft for our creative kids at home. I can whip up an activity in less than five minutes with a collection of random crap I find in my desk drawers. It may look like a recycling project gone wrong, but my son doesn’t know the difference and there’s no rubric necessary.

12. Rainy Days Are Still the Worst

Every teacher hates a rainy day at school. Find one that doesn’t, and I’ll give you a dollar. The kids are crazy because they’re stuck indoors, the commute to and from work suck, and school pick-ups and drop-offs are a disaster. Using a sick day almost seems like a better option.

Being stuck indoors with your kids all day is not much better. In fact, it’s my personal hell, but dealing with it as a teacher allows your creative side to really shine or your classroom patience to be put to good use.  Either way, rainy days aren’t what they used to be before kids came along.

13. You Have a Sense of Humor About Things Because Otherwise You’ll Cry

Some days as a teacher you want to cry but all you can do is laugh; like describing your day to someone would just be a string of nonsense. If you can’t laugh about it, you will break and being a mom is kind of like that. There are some days you feel like giving up, but giving up is not an option. So, you laugh. You laugh because you have to. You laugh because this too shall pass and in your heart you know you’ll survive because teacher moms are badass.

Hey, Teacher Mom, You Got This

The experience that goes along with running a classroom each and every day provides you with the most unexpected opportunities to learn how to become a mom. The skillset, the attitude, and, of course, the bladder control makes for the perfect pre-parent practice.

What other unexpected ways did teaching prepare YOU to become a mom? Comment below because, you know, it takes a village.

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To My Firstborn Child,

I haven’t said these thoughts out loud because every time I try, my raging pregnancy hormones make my throat swell and my eyes tear up.  But, how do I tell you, you won’t be the only one anymore?

For two years, you have been my little baby. My firstborn child. We spend every day together- playing, reading, shopping, dancing- whatever we feel like. Our special breakfasts and lunches together are my favorite!

You get all my attention, love, and affection because you are my world.

We ride around during the day. Running our errands, going to playdates, setting out on new adventures. You are my buddy.

I take videos and pictures of you to send to family because you are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. My phone is filled with your sweet smile, laugh, silly mealtime messes, and anything else we find interesting to share.

We’ve been on road trips, day trips, and vacations together for 24 months, as our little family of three.

At night we have our family routine. Dinner, bath, PJs, a book from mom, a book from Dad, good night songs and a kiss on the cheek. You love getting ready with us as you run along and shriek with excitement. Every night you get all my attention, love, and affection.

But any day now, things are going to change.

You’re getting a brother. Another living, breathing, soul I’ll nurture and love every day too.

The days of just you and I will have a new addition. Another member of our very exclusive clique. Another buddy.

He will ride in the car with us and try new things. He’ll tag along at the grocery store, the movies, the pool, and the park. He will be embarking on so many firsts, just like we did.

Our family trips will turn into reservations for four instead of three.

I’m overwhelmed thinking of how I can quite possibly share my attention, love, and affection. How will my heart survive it?

And how will you survive it?

Will you be the same, free-spirited and funny kid that I know you to be, or will you be sad that mommy and daddy may have to share their goodnights?

I’m sure you will be, but I think you will miss it.

It’s okay.

I know I’ll miss this time too, but you and I know you’ll always be my firstborn child.

Lately, I’ve been engaging in some weird mom behavior. I’ve been studying you. I’m so proud of how smart you are. How creative and kind you can be. How full of life you are. How curious you are about the world around you. I watch you eat, squeeze your little legs, let you take a 45-minute bath if you want to and run through the sprinklers even though it means we will be running late. I’ve been smelling your little head as we read our books before bed. I’ve been watching you play outside and secretly filming you talking to your teddy bears and playing make-believe.

I want to take it all in while I still can while there’s still time.

These past two years have changed me in ways I never thought were possible. I love being your teacher, cook, chauffeur, friend, nurse, psychologist, and best of all, mommy, but I know it’s not over for either of us. Not in the slightest.

You will continue to teach me.

I will be able to watch you and your brother grow together. I will watch you transform into my little baby to a big brother. I know I’ll need your help just as much as you’ll need mine, and we’ll do it together.

I can already visualize the laughs, the energy, the tears, and the fights.

Yes, it will be different, but you will have a built-in best friend that aren’t just your mommy and daddy. You’ll connect with each other on a level not everyone has the opportunity to understand.

In a way, I’m being replaced.

You won’t need all of my attention, love, and affection because you’ll have his too!

As we move forward in these next few days, remember that even though we will both probably miss this, better times are upon us. We will grow and change. We will experience more firsts, giggles, dance parties, meals, outings, tears, and stress, and we will do it together.

We are a team.

You, my firstborn child, made me a mom and that’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. That will never change. Our memories are all ours with many more to come.

So please don’t worry and I promise to try not to worry either.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine” and you will always have my attention, love, and affection.

Forever Yours,

Your Mom

The post A Pregnant Mom’s Letter to Her Firstborn Child appeared first on Real Time Mom.

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