Disclosure: I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. I am part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network.
The green trees that swayed in the wind. The birds that beckon us to them. The streams that spill over the rocks. The creatures that live with us and created a world of melodies if you stop to listen. The moment I saw you was the moment I noticed the world.
I began to worry what would happen if? How could I do better? What could I make better? Is there a way to love only you? You showed me. You stopped the world and made it a better place to be in it. That was the first time I knew The Meaning of Life. When I found you. It is still your hand I hold your heart that melts mine. Your laugh that carries me through the day and your love that challenges me to do better. You are more than a chapter in my book you are the person I want to write each page with. You are my person.
When I tell our daughter about finding your person the single greatest lesson I have is to be yourself, and if that person doesn’t love you for who you are, then they aren’t your person. When I struggle to find the right words to remind our daughter I think about the outside influences in the world. I think about the power of music to communicate.
The new album by Kelly Clarkson communicates to me. It moves like a freight train pounding through the night. Her album is about me because she was me, she is me, she is every woman. The hits keep coming from this singer as she returned to her powerful voice. The release of her new album will have you singing in the shower, in the car, even while you do chores. The melodies are so powerful your kids will also fall in love.
Kelly Clarkson’s The Meaning of Life is the album of our time. Kelly Clarkson’s ability to tie together life’s missteps and life’s gifts in songs are uncanny. Her voice whispers in our ear long after the music is replaced by the chaos of our life.Continue reading
Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum. This is a guest post written by my husband for RealAdviceGal but all opinions expressed here are his own.
As a parent, you don’t want to think about dealing with puberty in boys. There are dozens of scary to parents moments to consider, but they aren’t all as tough to handle as you anticipate. One thing that is easy to manage with most boys and teens is to manage body odor during this time.
At some point in time, all males experienced it: that rite of passage from childhood to manhood. I vividly recall being a boy, waking five minutes before I was supposed to leave for school. With bad breath and bed head, smelling something like what I’d imagine an opossum to be like and throwing on the same pair of sweat pants I’d worn all week, I’d head off for another day of endless monotony. I mean, who really cared what people, much less girls, thought? After all, didn’t they have Cooties anyway?
Thankfully for my classmates, testosterone triumphed over those childish ways, much to the dismay of my mother (and mothers everywhere). I’d donned new clothes; put enough gel in my curtained hair that it was stiffer than famed Cowboy’s Coach Jimmy Johnson’s. To boot, I’d put on enough cheap cologne from Dad’s medicine cabinet that you could smell me from a country mile. The change brought about a million sighs from mom and high fives from my suddenly proud Papa, other than the annoyance of his having to buy extraordinary amounts of cheap cologne.
Hopefully gelled hair and sweat pants aren’t as prevalent today, but the metamorphosis of young men is still inevitable. Fortunately, we can share some good ideas for how to tame that body odor that exists during puberty in boys.
Encourage regular bathing. Teen boys often want to skip this vital part of their day, but to combat the unusual odors their body is now making it is important. Sometimes this means putting your foot down as a parent and making it a must each day whether they want to or not. Give them the time by making sure they get enough rest at night so an earlier alarm in the morning is easy to manage. Puberty in boys is hard to navigate, but in some things you have to put your foot down as a parent.
Make laundry duty mandatory not an option. For some guys, once they start having to deal with their own laundry and the smells they include it is easier to realize how important cleanliness is in life. Make them take over their own laundry if they aren’t already. They will learn a valuable tool for life, and just might have a bit more compassion for mom and dad and the chores they have been doing.
Use the right products. Kroger carries Axe and Degree Dry Spray products that are anti-mark protection antiperspirants that provide 48-hour odor and wetness protection. This means the protection they offer will last all day and they don’t have to overspray or reapply throughout the day. We’ve all been around the guy who went a bit overboard on their body spray, so this makes it a great option and your son can leave the house smelling fresh and clean every day.
Now is the time to stock up on Axe, Degree and Dove products. For a limited time only, SAVE $1.50 on any ONE (1) AXE Signature Gold, Degree Men® UltraClear Black + White, Degree Women® UltraClear Black + White, Dove Men+CareInvisible, or Dove Invisible Antiperspirant product at Kroger, King Soopers, Ralph’s or Fred Meyer. This offer is valid: October 9th to November 30th.
Check out the Kroger store locator to find a store near you.
Here are some facts about these products:
AXE Anti-Marks Protection Antiperspirant
– These features a new formula with anti-yellow stains and no white marks technology specifically designed to protect your personal style so guys can look, feel, and be their most attractive self. Available in a variety of AXE Signature fragrances.
Degree Women UltraClear Black + White Antiperspirants and Degree Men UltraClear Black + White Antiperspirant
– With an exclusive formula that contains anti-yellow stains and white marks sweat protection, Ultra Clear Antiperspirant protects against unwanted marks or stains. It also includes MotionsenseTM Technology and is designed to respond directly to your body movement. The more you move, the more it works. The collection provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection and is available in two fragrances.
Dove Invisible Antiperspirants
– These are reformulated to leave no white marks on 100 colors of clothing. Offered in Dove Advanced Care, these antiperspirants go on invisible while providing 48-hour odor and wetness protection plus Dove 1?4 moisturizers for added skin care benefits. Available in two fragrances.
Dove Men+Care Invisible Antiperspirant
– Tough on sweat, not on skin. Antiperspirant sticks are reformulated to remain invisible, leaving no white marks on 100 colors of clothing. The collection offers 48-hour odor and wetness protection, along with our Dove Men+Care signature 1?4 moisturizing technology and is available in two fragrances.
As a mom or dad of sons, you will eventually face puberty in boys. These tips will help you to manage frustrations like body odor with ease!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and Blog Meets Brand. All opinions expressed here are 100% mine. I believe in healthy living that’s why I’m happy to share this detox challenge to my readers.
The moment when you can run up the steps, and it isn’t because the bus is here and your child forgot a book. You are running up the steps because you feel good. Your life reminds you of white water rafting, Your day goes by faster than the rapids in a river and it is often confusing to navigate but then it becomes exciting and joyful, and you forget the work.
You feel alive on that river. You thrive in that environment. You feel more alive than you have felt in years in those moments. You decide if you can navigate life for everyone else it is your turn to plot your own course.
You are excited. You have a plan. You are going to do it this time. You can do it this time. I mean you can organize the lives of little people, clean the table with one hand, help with homework, and cook all while they ask questions. You can even locate things that they have walked past one million times and still can’t see them.
You may be a superhero. You are a superhero, and you are going to power up.
You have decided it is your time. Your moment. You give every moment to everyone else. You can do it. You are ready to let greatness touch your lips. You are willing to drink up life. You will take ownership of your health.
You can do anything. I have seen it! I have heard it. I have felt your determination when it comes to those you love. It is your turn to enjoy yourself! You can do almost anything for five days so why not change your life so you can do more. Have more energy be healthier. You want to increase your calcuim to build your bones and teeth. You need magnesium for healthy muscles, energy metabolism, and it is essential to the healthy functioning to the nerve center.
You ask yourself what if the fountain of youth is found in a bottle? Doubtful? Maybe? What if inspiration is?
What if you promised yourself you would to switch to Gerolsteiner’s sparkling mineral water for five days. You wanted to take part in the Sparkling Detox challenge from September 11 until September 15 because you are curious. Will you feel better when you give up beverages filled with sugar, additives, and caffeine? Will you have more energy? Will you be able to fly after? No, No, No you won’t but you will stop filling your river of life with caffeine, additives, and sugar. You wouldn’t swim in that so why drink it?
I invite you to join the Sparkling Detox challenge with me.
You have five days, and you have everything you need to make the change you want to see.
How about I sweeten the deal.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pampers but all opinions expressed here are mine.
Breathe, breathe, breathe they say bring the air in fully. Let it fill your lungs. Then release slowly. Slower, slower, slower, let it all out as your lungs deflate.
The room is filled with people in starched whites and crumbled blue. You are happy, scared, nervous, you have never been so afraid in your life. He grips your hand tighter. You go back to breathing trying to find the melodic rhythm you once had. You purposely run over it in your mind, then inhale in and then out and repeat.
He catches your eye. You look at him and wonder does he know what to do? Will you ever know what to do? Will what you chose to do turn out right?
What is right?
You go left and roll slightly. The people in the blue and white tell you it is time. Time! It can’t be “time”! You haven’t figured it all out yet. You haven’t read the last chapter of the parenting book. What if the last chapter has everything you need to know? Breathe they say. Breathe as if it is that easy.
I say everything about parenting leaves you breathless.
The first time you look at your baby fills your eyes with tears, and your heart beats stronger than an army on a mission. You hold your breath as you gather your baby in your arms and pull them close. You search their eyes for the answer.
You lose your breath when your husband holds the baby for the first time, and you see him as a father. You draw your breath as you lay them in their crib on the first night and each night after that. You say a tiny prayer to keep them safe as you watch their lungs rise and fall.
You wish them forever.
You struggle to remember how to put on their first Pampers while they squirm or before they realize they are naked. You sometimes aren’t quick enough, and sometimes you are so tired you forget the wash cloth, and your son sprinkle reminds you of your error. You kiss their bellies and try to drink in every noise and each sweet smell as you remind yourself to breathe.
You fall in love over and over and each time deeper than the last. You hardly remember a time when every breath you had wasn’t labored and careless.
You think to yourself that it is my job to provide, to love, to teach, to remind, to recover, to read to, to feed, clothe, keep healthy, educate, indoctrinate with positivity.
It is your job to embrace, to guide, and to love them through it.
You will go through more diapers than you can count. You will learn to change your baby with lightening fast speed. You will learn to hold them with one hand as you manipulate the soft diaper around their always mobile tush.
You will think about how much money you spend. You will think of ways to save for bigger things and better things.
You will be thankful for Pampers and their FREE rewards program. It is so easy to save!
1) You download it here
2) You scan in the codes on your Pampers Packages
3) You earn rewards
4) Collect gifts (You know you deserve them for being the best.)
This is the ultimate #momhack or #dadhack, earn rewards for changing diapers! (Score!)
The only thing my son really wanted for Christmas this past year was an Amazon Echo. I was hesitant at first but went ahead and got one for him when they were on sale. I am really glad I did! We love Alexa! I want to share with you some of our favorite things that the Amazon Echo does for us.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I received a free book to review, but all opinions expressed here are mine.
She sits there in the corner crawled up in a ball. Her leg is dangling off the pink bean bag as melodic music fills the air. You recall holding her and rocking her. You remember watching each breath as it left her body. The rise of her chest, the excitement in yours, the fall of her chest and the apprehension in yours as you waited for it to rise again. You would continue to spend countless hours watching for that miracle of breath.
She asked you yesterday if you still loved her even after she broke that trinket. You watched as her eyes brimmed with tears. Her hands shook as she presented it splintered to you. The same fall and rise in her chest accelerated with anticipation of your move this time.
You take on a look and are reminded of the sweet smell of her skin the soft cushion of her cheek next to yours. The endless hours wondering how someone you had never met before could be everything to you. You rocked on reading that book, those words, hoping, praying that every last one would be engraved in her heart.
You often close your eyes still and wonder where the years have gone. How one day has moved into a week and that week rolled into a year.
You hear her voice echo in your head when you are sleeping. The way her legs used to uncurl when she yawned after sleep. The same sleep that evaded you rest comfortably on her.
You think about the hours you have spent researching, reading, inquiring to make sure she had everything she needed. You weren’t sure if you did it right. If you are doing it right but you know one thing, if trying was winning you are in first place.
You find your mind wandering as it often does to her care. You think to yourself what will be the difference between her success and her failure?
You hear her voice asking you to read that book one more time as she climbs on your lap. You hear her sweet voice as she repeats each word as if she is reading. She embraces the melody of the prose as graciously and naturally as the waves deliver water to the beach the same symphony is natural to her and you both. It is your song.
She is once again close to you as her weight pressed against your chest and you read to her once more. You remember the millions of times you have read this book to her. The endless hours in the rocking chair. You read again and again in your mind grateful she isn’t old enough to read the book herself because you still want to do something for her.
You begin to read. She follows. You read faster. She anticipates the next word as you struggle to breathe, your baby is growing up.
You hope she will follow your guidance. You use your time each night starting with this book to confirm your love to cement it in a place that is so deep and so firm that the earthquake of other children will not shake your love for her and her love for herself. You want her to know how much you love her. You want her to be swaddled with each word as she grows.
You have found this communication tool between two covers and flimsy paper. The paper possesses the power to convey what you want to say.
You will carry this book forever. You will one day not need it as the prose become your voice in her heart. You will leave the book in places when she needs to hear what you aren’t sure how to say. You will send this book with her to school on her first day or even a note with a passage. You will put it in her first care package for college.
You will buy her this book when the single best thing happens to her. When she finds the love that has no reason, no end, no limit. The most powerful, beautiful, empowering love of all when she gives birth to him or her.
You will give this gift because it means the most. It will be the tradition of your family.
The one gift that will transcend all time and place. It is this book. This very one that will get you through the beginning, middle, and all of the in-between of life together. It will be your special thing. The time that binds you the words that will escape your lips when you aren’t sure what to say and the mantra that she will draw on when she needs to hear them.
It will be your song. The one thing that only you share. The thing you will need as the world changes and you need something to stay the same something to stay between you.
This is your gift. The gift a mother gives, a friend gives to a mother it is more than a book it is the whisper we can’t forget to hear.