Tips for Road Trippin’ with Young Children

My husband and I recently got back from road tripping to Charleston, SC with our two young children. The drive, if driven straight through, is about 13.5 hours. Yes, read that again, 13.5 hours. We had done a similar drive with Ben, our four year old, a couple years back and it was wonderful. No one told me it was game over when you added another child to the mix.

This trip was so wonderful and insane and tiring and lovely and awful all at the same time. I hate using the word awful, but there are no better words to describe some of the time (mostly the drive).

Charleston is a beautiful wonderful city with so much to do and see. Adam and I would love to go back without kiddos one day.

The drive was about 80% fine and 20% not. You’d think those odds aren’t bad, but you’re wrong. The 20% really negated that 80%. I’m glad we did it, but we won’t do it again until they are older!

Here are my tips for anyone that is coming upon a big road trip:

  1. Don’t do it. Wait until the kids are a little older. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but at four and almost a year it was rough. We had a family wedding and so much stuff so we knew this was something we had to do. I don’t like flying. At all. But it would have been better.
  2. Bring multiple tablets. Not kidding. We had three. One was loaded with shows, one had a bunch of non educational games and one had educational games. Our four year old went through them all.
  3. Bring ALL THE SNACKS. Not just for your oldest, but for the baby as well. Without snacks we would have never made the drive in two days.
  4. Let go of the notion that you will get to your destination at a certain time. I so desperately wanted to get to Charleston by lunchtime the second day. I thought it would be easy. Ha. The universe said I don’t think so. We got there around dinner time.
  5. You’re going to have to stop. I hate this. I hate stopping. I just want to keep driving. Impossible. That first day we stopped three times. Give in and let go.
  6. Try and get separate sleeping spaces when you stop overnight. Needless to say – we didn’t get much sleep.
  7. This is obvious, but always go for the Airbnb or vrbo when vacationing. Homes are always better than hotels.
  8. While vacationing make sure that you and your spouse allow time for each of you to get out. My husband and I took turns during nap time to go out and explore on our own.
  9. Date night. We were lucky enough to have my parents there for a night to watch the kids. This allowed the two of us to recharge and have a little adult time.
  10. Look at restaurants ahead of time. A lot of places weren’t kid friendly so I looked them up to see if there was a kids menu. If there was I would make a reservation! Most places took reservations and it was a blessing!
  11. Try your best to make good memories.

As much as I say it was hard, it was really great too. When I ask Ben about it he tells me his favorite parts were the wedding (which was amazing) and our last full day. Our last full day was honestly just walking to the park, walking by the water and eating some food. It made my heart happy.

Good luck to all of you out there planning road trips with your families for spring break. Got any tips to help out other mamas?!

Down Syndrome Awareness Month: What is Down Syndrome?

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month which is very exciting in our household because we love getting to share what Down syndrome is to anyone who will listen. When we were told our son, who is now almost 2, had Down syndrome we had to do a lot of research because we didn’t know a lot about it. That research led us to understand that technically “Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21 [and] this additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome” (according to the National Down Syndrome Society). But to us, Down syndrome is so much more than that…

To us, Down syndrome is:

  • watching my mom get a tear in her eye when Ryan finally calls her “ga-ga”.
  • hearing my dad say that Ryan was “chosen for the perfect family” and “that he will teach us so much.” when we told him.
  • having everyone stop me in a store just to say “hi” to Ryan.
  • immediately having a club of strangers who are also part of the “lucky few” and feeling connected to them in a way other people can’t understand.
  • celebrating like crazy when Ryan meets a milestone he has been working so hard on—and even FaceTiming “ga-ga” so she can celebrate with us!
  • listening to my 5 year old niece tell me how lucky I am that Ryan is my baby–and knowing how right she is!
  • looking into Ryan’s eyes and realizing that he understands people in a way I never will.
  • seeing Ryan’s smile light up a whole room.
  • having the most walkers at our local Buddy Walk and realizing that our support group is absolutely amazing.
  • receiving all of the uplifting articles about people with Down syndrome from everyone we know.
  • dealing with normal day-to-day ups and downs of a typical toddler; because he is first and foremost, a toddler.
  • advocating for Ryan so that he can live his best life–whatever that entails.
  • not wanting to change a thing about Ryan because he is “down right perfect”!
  • feeling like the luckiest mama in the world because Ryan is mine!



But don’t just take my word for it…come back and check out our Mom of Fames all month to hear what other moms who have kiddos with Down syndrome have to say! And please, if you know, tell us what Down syndrome means to you and your family!

Surgery and Being a Mom Don’t Mix

This past Monday night was a pretty scary night for me. It had been a full weekend of family (between a family cook off and baptism)! My brother from California and his family were in town and the fun was just beginning.

Well, around 7:00 pm (while we were bathing the kids) my chest really started to hurt. I’ve had an attack like this before and just went downstairs to take some tums. A couple hours later and it still didn’t go away. I took a strong antacid and tried to sleep.

Around 1:00 am, when I still couldn’t sleep, I woke Adam up and he urged me to go to the ER. I declined for a bit, but thought it may be in my best interest. I drove myself to the ER and upon getting there and walking in I vomited three times. I checked myself in and all the tests began. They ruled out a heart attack (which I didn’t think it was), but wanted to check my gallbladder.

Ding ding ding! That was it. I had gallstones and needed to get it removed. Usually this is outpatient, but my blood was telling them that my liver enzymes and bilirubin was high. This told them that I most likely had one stuck in the bile duct. I had to wait a FULL 36 hours in the hospital before I was able to receive the test needed. I was PRAYING I didn’t have one stuck as this would have led to another procedure to take the stuck one out. They told me that if they had to do it there was a 1/20 chance that I would develop pancreatitis (due to my age). Let the praying begin.

Another 12 hours to get the results, but the stone passed and all I needed was the gallbladder out. Woo hoo!

The week in the hospital was rough. My mind went everywhere. I hadn’t eaten since 6:00 pm on Monday and I didn’t get out until 4:00 pm on Friday. It was rough. I missed my kids an insane amount and my breastmilk supply dropped.

Cece had to have formula. I know this isn’t a big deal to most. Fed is best and I understand that, but this was taken away in a very awful manner for me. I didn’t have a choice. I am working an insane amount to get it back. Right now she is a 50/50 baby.

I thank god I married the man that I did. He stepped up like I never thought possible. He was dad, mom, homemaker, provider and still came to see me everyday. He was and is being a wonderful man.

Recovery has started. It’s almost like I have to bond with my baby all over again (cue the tears). I can’t pick her up for four weeks and that’s going to kill me.

I count myself as one of the luckiest people on the planet though. I have an incredible husband, parents and in-laws that have gone out of their way to help and stay with me and wonderful friends who have checked in everyday and even brought over fun goodie bags (thanks, Erin!).

I now need tips and tricks to get my breastmilk supply up and running. Please help!!

Five Things Every Working Mom NEEDS During the Week

Going back to work after the second child was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Not only are you grappling with the fact that you are leaving your three month old with a stranger (and paying a lot of money for it), but you are scared to jump back into your job and give it 100%. 

I have been back at it for a little over a month now and here are a couple of the things that have saved me.

Kroger Clicklist (or any other drive-up/at home service)

We would never eat if it wasn’t for these services. We drop the kids off at daycare, work eight hours, pick the kids up and go home. We are out of the house from about 7:30 until 5:30. This does not leave a ton of time to grocery shop.

I have only used clicklist and although my order isn’t always perfect, I love it. It allows me to leave the kids in the car. I don’t have to take the three year old and infant into the store. This is a miracle. 


I love planning vacations. I love planning fun weekends with the kids. I do not like planning the day to day schedule. Between work, pumping (yes, pumping), appointments and somewhat of a social life, our day to day needs to be planned and organized. 

A few things that have helped me is that I have literally every single thing ready the night before. This includes all my pumping equipment, my daughters bottles, my sons clothes (and mine) all ready the night before. This allows me to just get up and get ready to get out the door.

I keep a large weekly calendar in the kitchen by the door. This way my husband can’t miss it and can see what we have going for the week. 

I also plan and schedule every single pumping session at work. I try and time this with the time that her daycare will be feeding her the bottles. This works for me. 


Support System

No joke. This is the most important of them all. My husband and I are SO incredibly lucky to have such wonderful parents. They have made this transition a lot easier on us. 

My parents watch my daughter on Tuesdays and along with that have been picking up my son from daycare that day. My mother in law has been picking up my son on Mondays and this is a huge help. 

Both kids go to two different daycares so I am in the car after work for about an hour and a half. By them picking up my son it saves me so much time. It’s so wonderful. 

Another important part of my support system is the texts and calls from friends. I know I have cried, complained and gone out of my mind. I appreciate you all listening.

Having a positive mindset

I know many of you might think this sounds lame, but this is SO key to having a good week. If you start your week without this your entire week will be ruined. I know. I’ve gone into Monday morning with an awful attitude and it changed my whole week.

I get it. Sometimes it’s really hard to stay positive in the AM. You have been up with your baby, your toddler and dog (just me?). 

Time to yourself

This one actually took me a good long while to actually understand. Not until recently was I giving myself any time after the kids went to bed. Once they went to bed I was instantly in as well. Sometimes this is still the case, but you quickly realize that this is your only alone time. Period. 

I have been staying up and watching some TV or reading or, honestly, just doing nothing at all. 

My house is not always clean and clutter free. I am not always put together like I was before kids. Being a working mom is HARD. You are constantly thinking about your kids during work and work when you’re with your kids. It’s hard to turn either off. 

I am so very lucky to have a husband, family and friends that help and support me. Also, this mom community in which we started. It gives both Erin and I an outlet to learn, discuss, complain and relish in the joys of motherhood. 

Let me know if you have any great tips or tricks to make the work week a little easier!

What To Do When a Friend Loses a Parent

Six months ago my dad passed away (it still takes my breath away to say that). Before this, I didn’t have much experience with death. My dad’s best friend passed away when I was in college and both of my grandfathers passed away shortly after college; and these obviously affected me, but nothing prepared me for my dad’s. I want to write about dealing with the grief of losing a parent along with having a toddler but I’m still not ready to do that (I promise, I will, though).

Instead, I’m going to talk about what I learned. I learned that some of your friends will be extremely supportive, and others unfortunately won’t. My dad’s death was fairly sudden but we did have some lead up time to it and in that time (and the time following) I really learned what friends I could count on. I had several friends who offered to watch Ryan (and did) so that I could be at the hospital; I had other friends who ordered or dropped off food for us to eat; and I had friends who would check in every day to make sure I was doing okay. And yes, I had friends who did all of this…and even more! I also, unfortunately, had some friends who did not even mention the passing to me. I was later told this was because “they didn’t know how to handle the death of a friend’s parent”.

I’m not going to lie to you, it’s very hard to understand before you have personally gone through it, so I can’t completely fault them for not knowing what to do. Now that I have gone through it, though, let me help you support your friends if and when they go through the same. 

Here are the 5 things I would suggest you do if a friend loses a parent:

1. Say Something (even if it’s not perfect)

Shortly after my dad died I was reading It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerney. In it she talks about the stupid things people said to her after her husband died. A lot of the things were awkward and some were even funny but after hearing it all she concluded, “It’s okay for us to stumble for words when we’re faced with death and sickness and grief; it’s okay for stupid and awkward ones to slip out where we’d hoped sweet and comforting ones would have appeared. You may be the person who says the wrong thing, but that’s better than being the one who says nothing at all.” (McInerney, 232).

This really hit me. I never know what to say at funerals or if someone is going through something hard and, likewise I honestly don’t know what I wanted them to say to me. But I wanted them to SAY SOMETHING. I had a few people say things to me that weren’t the most articulate or even helpful, but I appreciated that much more than the silence. Acknowledgement can go a long way so just remember that when someone you know is going through something hard.

2. Offer to Help (in a specific way)

After my dad died everyone said “let me know what I can do to help”. I so appreciated that but to be honest with you I rarely cashed in the favor. I could barely think straight so I had a hard time coming up with ways that people could help me (even though I probably could have used their help). What really helped was when someone said something specific like, “I’m going to call during lunch so you’re not alone with your thoughts”, or “lets go for a walk and talk about it” or “I’m going to drop off dinner in a few minutes, I’ll just leave it on the porch so you don’t have to host company”. Thinking of specific things you can do for the person is so much more helpful when they are in the heat of grief. 

3. Send Something (if you can’t help)

Obviously not all of my friends live around us or were able to help directly because of their schedules. Many that couldn’t specifically help, though, sent something instead. Whether it was a meal from a local restaurant, a gift card to a meal delivery service, or just a donation to the charity we belong to, it all really meant something to us!

4. Show Up (if you’re able to)

Whenever I saw a friend show up at the funeral I would cry. That doesn’t sound good, but I promise you it was. Just having a support system the day of the viewing and/or funeral was essential to me making it through it (even if those friends were crying just as hard as I was!). So make sure you show up if you’re able to, you never know how much your friend is depending on that!

5. Check In After the Funeral (and even 6 months later)

Dealing with the death of a parent is hard, there is honestly no sugar- coating it. Once the funeral is over, it’s out of the minds of many, but definitely not out of the family’s. It’s not something I want to talk about all of the time but just having friends check in once in a while makes me feel better. Especially on the days that it’s obviously tough, like birthdays and anniversaries; I had several friends check in on me on Father’s Day and it really made the day easier. I know we’re all busy with our own stuff, but really try to think about your friend and check in occasionally. You never know when they’re having a rough day!

Seems easy enough, right? Let me know what helped you through the death of a loved one, I’m sure there are things I missed.

10 Fine Motor Activities I Made Using $10 Worth of Items from the Dollar Store

Last week I was so excited when we received the catalog for the local teacher store. I was happily going through it and circling things I could get for Ryan to play with/learn from this summer (once a teacher, always a teacher). That is until I started adding up how much all of it would cost and it was beyond crazy (think—over $100)! So I decided that I would make my own activities for him instead.

For those of you who don’t read momfaming regularly (and you really should!) Ryan is a 20 month old with Down syndrome. I only tell you that second part so that you understand he is not working on things that a typically developing 20 month old usually is (all of these activities can be made more challenging, though, if your kiddo is ready for it!) Our big goal for the summer is WALKING. Besides that, though, I really wanted to work on his fine-motor development. This is where the dollar store comes in! I was able to come up with 10 different activities using $10 worth of items from the dollar store (as well as a few things I had laying around the house). Check them out below!

$1 Store Items: 1. Tweezers, 2. Pipe Cleaners, 3. Straws, 4. Mixing Spoons, 5. Pompoms,
6. Cheerios, 7. Play Dough, 8. Playing Cards, 9. Watercolor Brushes, 10. Pool Noodle

  • Pompoms & Water Bottle – Have your child pick up an individual pompom and then put it into the water bottle. This will really help them practice their pincer grasp as well as the direction “put in”.
  • Straws & Water Bottle – Same concept as above but with straws instead of pompoms. I bought the straws with a spoon scoop so that they were a little bit thicker than regular straws. Once your child gets really good at it, you can move on to thinner straws for more of a “pincer grasp” challenge.
  • Pompom Scoop – Put a bag of pompoms in a bowl and have your child use a spoon to scoop them up and put them in another bowl. This will help their wrist movement and also prepare them for self-help skills like feeding and stirring!
  • Noodle Pieces & Spoon – Cut the pool noodle into 1 inch thick slices. Then have your child put the slices onto the long spoon. I had to hold the spoon for Ryan but my hope is that he will eventually be able to hold the spoon in one hand and use the other hand to put the noodle pieces on.
  • Tweezer Practice – This concept is a little advanced for Ryan but it is the perfect fine motor practice for those who are ready! You can have your child use the tweezers to pick up pompoms, straws, cheerios or any other small objects you have laying around the house.
  • Card Slot – I used an empty oatmeal tub but any container with a lid will work. You need to first cut a slit in the lid (big enough for a playing card to go through—-I made the opening a little thicker to start and then I will make another one that is thinner once Ryan’s ready for it). Then have your child pick up a playing card and put it into the slot. Once he/she gets the hang of putting it in horizontally, turn the tub so that the card has to be put it in vertically instead.
  • Water Painting – Have your child use a watercolor paintbrush, dip it in water, and “paint” with it on a piece of colored construction paper. Once he/she has practiced a lot and has good control of the paint brush (and you’re ready for some messiness!) let him/her use some paint instead of the water!
  • Play dough & Straws – Put a piece of play dough in front of your child and give them a handful of straws that you have already cut in half. Instruct them to put the straws into the play dough and then ask them to take them back out. Again, this works on the pincer grasp as well as following directions. It also helps to get the child used to the movement involved in using a fork or spoon and bringing food to their mouth.
  • Play dough & Pipe Cleaners – Same idea as above this time using pipe cleaners (also cut in half) instead of straws. To add another element to this give your child a handful of cheerios and see if he/she can put the cheerios on the pipe cleaners. Once he/she gets the hang of that, just use the pipe cleaners and cheerios without the play dough for lacing practice.
  • Play dough Practice – Kiddos can work on a lot with just a hunk of play dough sitting in front of them. As they manipulate the dough they are working the muscles in their hands which are needed for fine motor control. They will also stimulate their creativity by making the play dough look like whatever they want it to!

Easy enough, right!? Now run—don’t walk— to your local dollar store and get started! It’s going to be a long summer if your kiddos don’t have anything to do!

Have you figured out any fun, easy, and cheap activities to make to keep your kids busy (and learning) throughout the summer? Let me know in the comments!

#Momguilt Part Two – The Second Child

So awhile back I wrote a blog about #Momguilt. Little did I know that it only gets TEN TIMES worse when you add a second child into the mix.

The same feelings of guilt are still there.

The guilt of …


making a healthy dinner

when I lose my patience

when I’m distracted by something else *phone*

that I allow TV and tablet

Now there are even more and a lot of them have to do with my attention and how I can evenly divide it. I would, ideally, like all aspects of my life to feel most important.

  • My children. This is the area where I have the most guilt.
    1. My son. I feel guilty that I have literally changed my son’s life in a drastic (but beautiful) way. When my attention is on him I am distracted by his sister and her needs. I know that I don’t give myself credit, but it’s hard.
    2. My daughter. Although she gets attention – (just finished up a wonderful 12 week maternity with her) it’s very different from what Ben got when he was a baby and I feel guilty about that. She really will never get my FULL attention because she is the second child.
  • My husband. Although it isn’t said and completely fine – I know that my husband is the one who gets the shaft completely. Our lives have taken a turn from the two of us, to the three of us, to now, the four of us. I am sure it will get better, but right now this mama goes to bed right when the baby does which gives us almost zero time together.
  • My Work Life. Although I just started work I am already feeling guilty. When you don’t have kids your work is basically your baby (right? Am I the only one?). I know that I will get into a groove again and it will just take time. Why do we think things should just happen instantly?!
  • Daycare guilt. This is geared more toward my three month old. My son (three years old) thrives at his daycare. There is a constant pressure on my chest about leaving my three month old with others. The guilt I have about going to work and not being with my children is great.

Luckily, I have an amazing husband, family and friends who make me feel like I am doing it all and doing it with grace. We can’t be perfect. No one is.

Now, please pass me a glass of wine.

10 Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas

One of the worst parts about having a toddler is…feeding them! Have you ever made a meal and they won’t even try it!? Or they take one bite and say “eww”!? It’s beyond frustrating and makes mealtimes some of the worst parts of your day. Now that summer is coming lots of kiddos are going to be home for that dreaded lunch time too! You’re going to need some new ideas, STAT!

Here are my favorite easy toddler lunch ideas. Most of these are just the main course so they’ll need some sides to go with them. Those are usually easy, though–slice up some fruit, grab an applesauce, or warm up some microwave veggies (have you ever seen these!? They’re the easiest things in the world!) and your meal is all set!

Let me know in the comments what your kiddos love to eat for lunch–we’re always looking for new ideas! And tell me your best story about their refusal to eat…because, after all, misery loves company!

1. Crescent Roll Sandwiches

We got the idea for these from my sister in law and they are some of our favorites to make! They’re so easy that once your kiddo is old enough they can even help you! You just need a tin of crescent rolls (we use the Annie’s brand) and whatever you want to put inside. We have made cheddar cheese & turkey, pizza (mozzarella & pepperoni) and mozzarella & turkey. You just have to unroll the crescent rolls, put the ingredients inside, roll it back up and cook it in the oven for the amount of time it says on the tin.

2. Quesadillas

Ryan loves many different variations of quesadillas. Sometimes we do just cheese, and other times we throw in turkey, chicken or taco meat. It’s also a good way to sneak some veggies in by adding peppers, onions, mushrooms, or any other veggie you have in the fridge. I also love using Street Taco tortillas because they are the perfect size for a toddler!

3. Hot Dogs

This is pretty self-explanatory but paired with some yummy veggies or Broccoli Tots they are the perfect meal for a toddler. Just make sure you cut them into bit size pieces–they are a very common choking hazard in young children!

4. Eggs/Omelette

This is another super simple lunch that can include most of the major food groups. I prefer to make omelettes because it’s so easy to throw in some meat, a veggie and cheese (I try to use leftovers from the night before so that it’s even easier). It cooks in less than 5 minutes and I make it with 3 eggs so that he can eat half today and have the other half for lunch tomorrow!

5. PB&J Pancakes

Pancakes is always a fun meal! Again your kiddo can help once they’re old enough and it usually makes lots of leftovers. To make it even more fun the next day I use the pancakes as “bread” and throw some peanut butter and jelly on it. It sounds weird, but trust me, just try it! To make the pancakes a little healthier I use Kodiak Cakes because they have more protein than regular pancakes.

6. French Toast

As you can probably tell by now, we love breakfast for lunch! French toast is the perfect lunch for a toddler because it has protein from the eggs and dairy from the milk you add to it. It can also be cut into strips so that they can easily feed themselves. With a quick veggie and/or fruit on the side it’s delicious and nutritious! And just like with pancakes, I sometimes put peanut butter and jelly on it and Ryan can’t get enough!

7. Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I love this because it tastes just like regular pizza but it also gives him a serving of veggies without even trying. Not only is the crust made with cauliflower but I also choose one that has veggies on top! It’s also perfect because I can make one pizza and we both have lunch for a few days! We love this one that comes frozen in a 2-pack from Costco.

8. Leftovers

Again, no explanation necessary. If they liked dinner, feed it to them again for lunch the next day! It doesn’t get much easier than that!

9. Deconstructed Sandwich

This is one of my go-to’s if I don’t have much time and/or I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while. It’s all of the stuff you would put into a sandwich, but without the bread! So a little lunch meat and cheese and I usually give some crackers on the side for a little crunch!

10. Grilled Cheese & Soup

Who doesn’t love this combo!? Grilled cheese is super easy to make (did you know if you put mayo on the bread instead of butter it gets crispier!?) and soup just adds a nice side to either eat or dip the sandwich into! Ryan hasn’t tried the traditional tomato soup but he loves chicken noodle, broccoli/ cheddar, and minestrone!

To My Friends…Thank You for Making This Easier!

When I first learned that my son, Ryan, has Down syndrome there were so many different thoughts going through my head. *Will he be okay?*, *Will he have friends?*, *Will he be included?*, *Will he be happy?*

After we found out that he was otherwise healthy, one of the biggest concerns I had was about the support we’d receive. I have a great group of friends but this is something we had never experienced before so I didn’t know how everyone would handle it, including me. It’s a lot to deal with when you find out your child has special needs; you definitely need your support system to help you through it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change a thing about him, but having friends that love and support us makes it so much easier. 

So to my friends (and family)…thank you for:

Loving and including Ryan

One of my biggest fears was that Ryan wouldn’t have meaningful relationships with my friends’ kids because he was different than them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. My friends are amazing at loving and including Ryan. He is invited to every play date and party and while he is there they make sure he is treated just like everybody else (if not better!) Everybody comes over and makes sure Ryan is doing okay and if he can’t participate in something (because he hasn’t reached the milestone yet) they make sure he has something else that he can do. He loves being around people and it is so fun to see him interact with the kiddos and other adults.

Always asking about him and his development

Along with Ryan’s diagnosis comes weekly therapies (occupational and physical) and extra doctor’s appointments. My friends always seem to remember to ask about how he is doing in them and what he has accomplished during them and it really means a lot. Sometimes I don’t feel like having OT and PT every week. I feel like the house always has to be clean and some days it just really disrupts his schedule. I know he needs it and he is thriving because of it, but it can honestly get really frustrating. When my friends ask how it’s going or cheer because Ryan met a new milestone, though, it really reminds me of my priorities and eases my frustration.

Still sharing your kids’ accomplishments

Another one of my fears was that my friends would feel bad bragging about their kiddos to me. I didn’t want the fact that Ryan was reaching milestones later deter them from telling me all the cool things that their children were doing. Luckily, my friends are very open and let me know when a new milestone has been reached. And just like they celebrate with us when Ryan succeeds, I love to celebrate with them!

Going to fundraisers

One of the most generous ways my friends have found to support us is to donate to the Down Syndrome Guild. Whenever there are events that we invite them to, they show up without question. Our first event was for World Down Syndrome Day last year. I invited everyone on a Monday (when it was on Wednesday) and somehow we had over 30 people show up just to support Ryan. It was so amazing to see and really made us realize how lucky we are to have these people in our life.

Having the difficult conversations

Most of my friends’ kids are under 5 so I’m not sure we have crossed this bridge yet, but it is definitely coming. Eventually (probably sooner rather than later) their kiddos are going to realize that Ryan is different. They’re going to ask why he looks different or why he acts different than other kids his age. I know this isn’t going to be the easiest conversation for them to have and I want to thank them in advance for having it. And I know their kids will be just as supportive and kind as they all have been because they’re all amazing moms (and dads) and are raising amazing kids.

Ryan is one lucky little boy to have you all in his life and I am one lucky woman to have you all as friends.

So…thank you from the bottom of my heart!


The Struggles of Going Back to Work

As I write this I have about four more weeks before I have to go back to my full time job. Yep. Full-time job. That sounds crazy, right? I have a *newborn* and a toddler so that surely is my full-time job. RIGHT!? I am screaming this because I am not quite sure how I am going to do it all.

Why, as a society, have we not gotten better about how we treat working moms? Why is everything still going to be expected of us when we go back to work?

Let me tell you right now – maternity is NOT a vacation. It’s not 12 weeks where the moms get to party and live it up. It is quite literally the hardest job you can imagine.

While your body (and mind) are healing from pushing a baby out you are taking care of a newborn and most likely other children. You are on call every minute of every single day.

Besides taking care of your children you also feel like you have to cook, clean, shop and maintain everything around the household. You should have to be the one to do it all, right? That’s what society tells us.

Going back to a full-time job and having a full-time job at home doesn’t seem possible and I am fearing it.

I am fearing leaving my three month old daughter with complete strangers.

I am fearing how my nights will look when trying to get everything ready for the next day.

I am fearing the new morning routine. Trying to get a toddler and newborn out of the house.

I am fearing dinners and how on earth they are going to get made.

I am fearing how any household task is going to get done.

I am fearing getting back into the groove at work and finding my stride again.

I am fearing all the breaks I will need to take to pump.

I am fearing not breastfeeding my daughter whenever she needs it and instead having a stranger give her the pumped milk (this one also makes me incredibly sad).

So, there you have it, I am a scared and I know I’m not the only one that has these thoughts. I know mothers everywhere are thinking the same things and more. I just wish we would be able to do something about it and stay home with our babies a little longer.

One can dream…