Category Archives: Parenting

{Mommy & Me} Workouts!

 Mommy & Me Series l foreverslikeadream.com

Being a SAHM doesn’t leave me with much time to accomplish things for myself. Some mornings the kids will play upstairs and I’ll work on some blog posts or attempt to get some laundry done, but more often than not until daddy gets home around 6pm, my day revolves around the kids.

Not that I mind (I know I only get times like these in their first years) and now that both kids are a little older, I’ve started to let them do certain things with me. When both kids were babies, I would occasionally do baby yoga with them, but I like to promote a healthy lifestyle. Now that they’re older, they’re understanding things more and asking questions so when my daughter wanted to do yoga with me, I happily obliged!

Mommy and Me Workouts l foreverslikeadream.com

My workout may not have been as productive as it normally is as far as the actual workout goes, but it was more productive for me when it came to laughter and time with my girl! The look on her face as she watched me and tried to mimic my moves melted my heart. She pulled out her picnic blanket that goes with one of toys (even though I have a second yoga mat I offers her) and she practiced her moves right beside me. It was one of my favorite workouts to date!

If you want to spend time with your kids, but want to get that workout in too – have them join you! We had a blast!

Watch for an upcoming post on Lavery demonstrating some fun “toddler” yoga moves for you, too!

{Mommy & Me} The Importance of Date Night With Your Kids

Mommy & Me Series l foreverslikeadream.com

Being a SAHM has it’s up’s and down’s. I love spending time with my kids everyday. I can’t imagine not having them home with me right now during their first and most precious year. But, having two kids at home with me makes one-on-one time hard.

I try to take both kids on dates every now and then (although, admittedly I wish it happened a lot more often!) When a friend asked if I wanted to join her and her boys to see The LEGO Movie yesterday, I was excited to surprise LC!

He’s going to be five in a few weeks, but he’s already more excited to see his friends than me. When he saw his buddy waiting for us at the movie, he took off immediately. It wasn’t until after the movie and after dinner while we walked hand in hand to the car that he melted my heart.

I told him I loved him and he replied;

Mommy? When I go to college, I’m going to miss you, daddy, and sissy.

Seriously!? He’s almost FIVE, but he’s thinking about going to COLLEGE!? He is literally growing up right before my eyes. College!? (We can thank Monsters University for that one!)

This one comment though made me realize how important these moments are. I feel like life passes by so quickly. Each day gone before we blink. But, they aren’t going to be this little forever. They aren’t going to want to go on dates to dinner and a movie with me forever. I need to soak this up now while I still can.

Being a mom is hard. It’s not easy and there are some days I want to lock myself in the bathroom for just five minutes of peace. But, being a mom is my favorite job; the best part of my life. Hearing my little man tell me how much he loves me is a reminder that God put motherhood in my life for a reason.

It may be a reason that is sometimes tainted when I question my abilities as a mom, but my life has a greater purpose with these two little angels than I might ever understand.

Take your kids out on a date. You need that time with them and they need that time with you. It doesn’t have to be to a movie. Take them on a walk in the park (that’s free!) or for a ride on the light rail one afternoon.

We all need to take a break from life and enjoy these moments. I know for us, they are few and far between at only the young age that he is. Soon, Kindergarten will be starting and that’s the beginning of the rest of his life.. without me. He’ll be with his teachers and friends for more hours in the day than he will be at home with me.

Enjoy these moments.

Mommy & Me Date Night l foreverslikeadream.com

Moms’ Night Out in Theaters Mother’s Day Weekend! #MNOMovie

“I’m hungry.”

“I want water.”

“I’m not tired.”

“I peed! Mommy! I peed!”

This is my life. This is how it’s gone all week. I’ve lived in yoga pants on a daily basis… the same pair, because the laundry is piling up high. I haven’t washed my hair in days (except for right before I wrote this blog post.) Literally. At 10 o’clock at night, because Lord only knows that’s the only time I can have to myself to wash my hair without a screaming toddler banging on the bathroom door.

I had the opportunity tonight to see a pre-screening of Moms’ Night Out; starring Sarah Drew (of Grey’s Anatomy,) Sean Astin (Rudy!), Kevin Downes (of Courageous,) Patricia Heaton (of ABC’s The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond) & more. Going into this movie, I took my friend Leah of The Grace Bond and admittedly, we both almost cancelled right up until the last minute.

Screaming kids in the background? Check! 

Crying babies hungry for food? Check!

Counting down until daddy gets home so we have time to make it out the door? Check!

We were literally making excuses of why NOT to go. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I did! This movie embodies everything we moms feel on a daily basis. I saw myself in the main character in more ways than one.

Hiding in the bathroom for even just FIVE SECONDS OF SILENCE! 

Showing up to preschool in workout gear I likely had on yesterday to see moms all done up from head to toe.

Tossing the sneakers and yoga pants for one night of looking pretty.

It’s getting that reminder that God has got this. HE always has our backs; on those days when we are at an all time low feeling like we can’t even remember what life was like before sippy cups, dirty diapers, and spit up.

It’s not easy to feel blessed and thankful amidst the chaos and it’s even harder to come across a movie that can remind us of that.

Mom’s Night Out is the perfect blend of the Hollywood mainstream comedy that thrives in this modern world; but it brings faith, hope, and love into our hearts when we need it the most. You don’t get that in today’s society. Hollywood forgets why we are all here; and seeing that in this movie was exactly what I needed after my week of chaos.

A reminder that even in the most unflattering moments of a mother’s life; even amongst all of the chaos, He’s got this. We’re not alone.

Maybe my house isn’t always the cleanest, my clothes aren’t always the prettiest, and my attitude isn’t always the brightest. My life is sometimes a complete disaster and I’m living among the chaos of this dream that I have built and turned into my life. It’s so easy to get soaked into all of the bad, but forget the good and to dwell on what’s going wrong or not in the way we planned.

But, this life that I’m living… it’s my beautiful disaster. My perfect dream. My forever in this beautiful world God has given me is the dream I have always wanted. It’s how this blog even got it’s name, because my forever is like living my dream…. even on the days when I don’t believe that myself.

I’m not perfect. Nothing in my life is. But, it is exactly what I need and what I want. I don’t want perfect and the values that not only this movie, but the minds behind the scenes and on the scenes all withhold remind us of that. I even had the opportunity to meet Kevin Downes himself and hear about what it was like filming this movie in Hollywood.

How amazing is that!? To be able to meet in person someone who has brought movies like Courageous and Moms’ Night Out to the table was amazing. You just don’t get these values in Hollywood anymore, and it’s so refreshing to see.

Grab your girlfriends, your husbands, your daughters. See this movie. You will not regret it. Every mom needs to hear the words that I just heard and see the relationships that I just saw. Hollywood needs to do more of this. I laughed, I cried, I nodding my head and wanted to scream;

“YES! That is SO me!”

I’ve said the words that the characters spoke and been through the exact situations they filmed.

Moms’ Night Out – In Theaters May 9th! Who’s coming with me!? I know I absolutely cannot wait to see it again!

“The hand that rocks the cradle, is the one that leads the world.”

#MNOMovie

Forever’s Like a Dream Sample Disclosure: The opinions expressed above are honest, accurate, and not encouraged anyway by monetary donations. Movie tickets free of charge were received, as stated within the editorial.

Meet Barnaby

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter at all, you might have seen photos of our little elf popping up here and there, so I thought it was time to give him the “official” introduction.

Last year on Thanksgiving, Barnaby became a part of our family. Although he’s talked about all year long by my excited little man, he only shows up during the holiday’s. I’m sure you all know of the “Elf on a Shelf” tradition and it started for us last year.

Since we normally get our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night, it was only appropriate for Barnaby to make his first appearance on the same night too. How he got his name is kind of a funny story….

Who has seen The Santa Claus movies? Everyone, right? Well… you know Bernard? For some weird reason, I always called him Barnaby. We decided to name our elf Barnaby so there really is an elf named Barnaby around our house!

Last year, I was a new “elf mom” so for the most part he just got moved every night and left a few surprises here and there. This year, we’re getting creative. On his first night, Barnaby brought the kids Christmas pj’s to wear for the holiday season!

So far, he’s toilet papered our tree, left a little hot chocolate and cookies surprise after the kids went on a walk around the neighborhood to see the lights, and stole mom’s magazine to catch up on celeb gossip with a midnight snack. We’ll have to wait and see what fun Barnaby continues to get into as we approach Christmas! He even made it onto WCNC Charlotte’s Pinterest page! They have a whole board dedicated to “Elf on a Shelf!”

Stay tuned for more elf fun – hopefully I’m a better “elf mom” this year! ;)

Do you have an “Elf on a Shelf?” What’s his (or her) name?

Healthy Snacks For Kids {Kashi Chocolate Soft Baked Squares}

Today we had a super fun playdate. It wasn’t just any playdate, but a KASHI PLAYDATE! Yummy right!? We got to try out Kashi’s new Chocolate Soft Baked Squares and they were a hit!

Of course some of the kids ate a few bites then took off on the playground, but others chowed down until they were gone and us mama’s enjoyed some bites too! I think Lavery and Gracie loved them, don’t you think?


The best part of about Kashi Chocolate Soft Baked Squares is that it’s chocolate, but sweetened naturally, low calorie (160 per square) and are made with sweet potato and black beans. Your kids THINK they’re getting a chocolate treat, when in reality, they’re getting a chocolate and vegetable treat!

What did everyone think of them? They were a hit! Here are some of the great things about these healthy snacks that made us mom’s go crazy for them:

  • Made with real vegetables such as sweet potato and black beans
  • Naturally sweetened (which means they aren’t loaded with tons of CRAP!)
  • Made with SEVEN… yes, SEVEN whole grains
Kashi to me, has been a pretty trusted brand, so I didn’t doubt this was something we all would love. While I know us mom’s could tell the taste difference between these and something loaded with sugar, we were all pleasantly surprised at how delicious they were. Healthy snacks for all of our families is always a top priority and I know I’ll be keeping a stash of these in my pantry to help satisfy my ever so often sweet cravings!

And Lavery Makes Four

Last week, we had some family photos taken by Lora Lynch Photography! You might remember by post highlighted some of the photos she took of our family as we awaited Lavery’s arrival, and I couldn’t wait for her to capture some updates family pictures!

Right after Lavery was born, Lora Denton Photography took some amazing newborn photos, but I quickly realized…. we were now a family of four and I wanted some precious moments to capture our beginning moments as a family of four, not just three.

Lora did such a great job capuring these sweet moments and was able to make the best out of a rough situation (like our sweet 2 year old deciding he wanted nothing to do with the camera!) She still was so sweet and handled a 2 year old tantrum well and was able to capture some precious moments of him and of us with Lavery too!

Thank you so much Lora!

Successfully Cloth Diapering a Newborn

I’m sure you’ve all seen my posts on Facebook or mentioned in other posts on here, but we have had so much success cloth diapering Miss Lavery since the day she was born! (Yes ! Even in the hospital!… Well sort of.) When we were packing for the hospital, we brought our own chlorine free disposables by Seventh Generation and GroVia Biosoakers and used them with cloth inserts. (By the way, if you click on any of the product links, it’s going to take you to my favorite cloth diapering store Jack Be Natural… where we buy all of our diapers and more!) Even the nurses in the hospital were using what we brought and Lavery has never once worn anything but a cloth diaper or chlorine free disposables occassionally in the very beginning! I’m so proud of us!

I want to tell you about some of my favorites. When we started cloth diapering Landyn, he was already 18 months old, so I started out and have used the entire time One Size Pocket Diapers. Our favorite brand with him was Kawaii, because they were so affordable and they seemed to fit him the best over any other brand. This time, we’ve used a variety of different options…. and I’ve found the options are endless! Adorable colors, patterns, different fit’s, snaps or velcro, All in Ones, Pockets, you name it – we have it!

I have become very fond of prefolds (which I never thought I would like.) I love the contour prefolds like this one from Imse Vimse with a Thirstie’s cover and I also love these Kissaluv’s fitteds with a cover too. They both fit her so well (and of course are adorable too!) But.. my all time favorite for fit, convenience, AND cuteness are the GroVia newborn All in Ones! These diapers are the BEST! I even have bought a One Size of the same diaper to try once she gets a little bigger and grows out of the newborn ones.

These diapers are so easy… no taking out inserts, no folding, no covers, just convenience and voila! I’ve even sunned them a few times and they still look brand new!

Cloth Diapering isn’t as hard as it seems

I’ve had lots of friends tell me they think I’m crazy to go through all the work of cloth diapering, but they couldn’t be more wrong! I’ve had lots of friends inquire about thinking about cloth diapering themselves or ask questions, because they have friends considering it and let me tell you…. I couldn’t praise it more! For so many reasons! Helping the environment, more cost effective, and how cute they are! I want to do this for all of the above and that’s why we do. I remember when I brought up cloth diapering to my husband. At first, I thought he would tell me I’m crazy and there was no way he would be on board, but to my surprise, he was all for it and he agrees with me about how important it is to us and our family! I don’t even use a diaper service, and washing myself isn’t all that bad! It’s so easy to do, and if you have kids and are doing a ton of laundry already, what’s one more load of diapers!? Check out this information found on Jack Be Natural about why cloth diapering is important and how you can benefit.

There are a few things to keep in mind. My biggest thing I like to remind people is to make sure you wash your diapers AND your clothes in a cloth diaper safe detergent. I feel it’s important to use a cloth diaper safe detergent regardless of washing cloth or not, becuase I want to avoid all of the chemicals that come in any of the other detergents. We have switched all of our household cleaning products to products that are safe. You wouldn’t hand your child a bottle of bleach and let them have at it, would you? We feel it’s important to use only safe products in our home for both environmental purposes and health purposes. One of my favorite resources on how to know what’s safe and what’s not and a place you can purchase all safe products for your home is Green i Am and I recommend you do too!

Lastly, I have to tell you about this awesome local company I have found recently that I love too! Aside from Jack Be Natural, Check out EcoMcBaby!All of these products are handmade and she makes some adorable stuff! I have the most adorable wet bag that I keep in Lavery’s diaper bag for dirty diapers on the go!

Jack Be Natural, EcoMcBaby, and Green i Am are all awesome resources if you or someone you know is interested in cloth diapering or learning about using more safe and natural products in your home. If anyone has any cloth diapering questions, please feel free to ask or check out any of the websites above! I don’t think you will be disappointed if you choose to learn more!

And to those of you thinking about or about to embark on a new cloth diapering journey…. I wish you luck and hope you’re journey is as successful as ours has been!

Here is Little Miss just three days old in on our favorite cloth diapers! (See! I didn’t lie when I told you they were absolutely adorable!!)

 

Life as a mommy of two… WHAT!?

WHAT!?… That is what has been going through my mind the last few days. WHAT WAS I THINKING!? We were just starting to have it good. LC is communicating, he is more independent, I could relax in the mornings on the couch and snuggle with him while we watched a movie. What was I thinking wanting these late night feedings, early mornings, and exhausting days?

But then I look at Lavery’s beautiful face and gorgeous eyes… and compare her to my baby pictures and realize this is what life is all about. This is what I live for. My babies. My newborn baby and my big baby. I am so blessed and thankful and even on days like today…. days where I just need some quiet time by myself at the end of a disaster of a day… I’m still thankful and love every moment of watching them grow and being around for every part of it.

Days like today where LC is whiny, Lavery is whiny, LC wakes his sissy up, and the list goes on… days like this, I just need to sit down and remind myself… this too shall pass.

I have many updates I need to give. Lavery is almost 4 weeks old… REALLY!? Where has the time gone!? It happens WAY TOO FAST. I have also pulled out a few of my baby photos. All of this talk about her being my mini me (which I couldn’t be more thrilled about by the way!) But all this talk made me want to take a look at me when I was a baby. Can I just say…. HOLY COW! We are TWINS! I have got to scan those photos and show you to compare!

Lavery also had some FABULOUS newborn photos done I cannot wait to show you! I am just loving having a daughter to dress up in ruffles and bows and pink and flowers and… AHHH! LOVE IT!

LC has started talking… A LOT. He’s been talking for a while, but this is one trait I wish he would not have gotten from his mama!

And oh ya… look at how absolutely adorable this is!? This is my life… you jealous? I know we all “ooh and ahh” over our kids, but this photo is a glimpse into the love of my life and my days as a mommy of two (forget about the fact that I might have lost my sanity for a bit today or I probably walked around with spit up on my shirt for an hour….) THIS is what it’s all about!

WhatToExpect.com Partnership & Giveaway *CLOSED*

When I was approached by WhatToExpect.com about partnering with their site, I was ecstatic! Of course I jumped to the opportunity! Having a toddler and being pregnant, I am on a constant quest for the best resources on giving me advice and guiding me through the journey of motherhood.

When I was pregnant with LC, I remember reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and kind of freaking out a little bit, feeling somewhat overwhelmed at everything I was reading. I eventually stopped reading to take a step back and evaluate things on my own rather than letting a book scare me, but I have found myself in the last two years of being a parent to a growing toddler and now an expectant mom once again going back to that book to seek out information or advice. I never would have expected to be contacted by their websiteabout a partnership and build my persona as a Blogger in a an even bigger way through their website!

I blog about being a mom. That’s who I am and that’s what I know. Being a mom. I live for LC and I live for this baby growing inside of me. I turn to every possible resource to help me the best mom that I can be. I strive to inspire other moms and I look up to my mom friends. My whole world revolves around being a mom. Yes, I am a person aside from being a mom, but being a mom is my job, my pride, and my joy and I want to share my pride and joy with the world.

WhatToExpect.com is the website version of the “What to Expect” books. You can go onto this website and join a community of other mom’s, track your baby’s growth throghout pregnancy, and get information on conceiving to the growing baby inside your belly up through the toddler years! One of my favorite things to do even being pregnant for the second time is to read the pregnancy calendar each week and see a little glimpse of what this baby girl is developing this week and get a better idea of what’s baking in my belly.

WhatToExpect.com offers a variety of books you can find here including a brand new book you can pre-order called “What To Expect the Second Year.” How cool is that!? One of my favorite things about these books is they are so personalized. It’s not just one book filled with some information on the growth of your baby. It’s a series of books tailored to each stage of their development and lives. You can read them as your child grows.

The Giveaway

I love this giveaway! I love it, because it’s totally personalized to mom’s like me! Mom’s who are expecting their second baby and already have a toddler to chase around. And the best part!? There will be THREE winners! That’s right… THREE winners! Three lucky mama’s will be the winner’s of TWO great books. “What To Expect When You’re Expecting: 4th Edition” and “What To Expect The Toddler Years!”

Even if you aren’t expecting, but have a toddler, have any pregnant friends? Give one as a gift! Or Vice versa! These are great books with an abundance of resources you won’t want to miss out on!

Here’s How You Win!

Leave me a comment on this blog post with either your due date or child’s age and why you want to win! It’s that easy!

Get Additional Entries

If you want an extra chance to win, here’s two chances!

1. “Like” Forever’s Like a Dream & What To Expecton Facebook and leave a comment on my wall tagging us both in the post.

2. Follow me (Kelchristina) on Twitter and What To Expect and tag us both in a tweet!

The Giveaway will end ONE WEEK from today at midnight on May 2nd!

Good luck!

The Mommies Network’s “Only Fools Text and Drive” Day

This April Fools’ Day, The Mommies Network would like national community support in making it an official “Only Fools Text and Drive Day”. By launching a video where children tell parents how they feel about texting and driving, and passing it along through their 25,000+ members nationwide, they intend to do just that. To pass along the message that “Texting and Driving is For Fools”, the video encourages everyone to drive with their headlights on April 1, 2011.

Watch the video below and share it with your friends and family as a reminder not to text and drive!

Vlingo (http://www.vlingo.com/) has partnered with The Mommies Network to bring you an application for hands-free texting, emailing, searching and more – view the video for details on how to get this app for FREE!