Monday, May 31, 2010

Washable Paint

Last Christmas, my *sister brought shirts and paint for our daughters to enjoy creating their own fashions together. Which they did. My girls love anything bright and colorful and creative! So they decorated their new white tops with rainbows and polka dots and their names in various colors and then laid the shirts out across a table to dry. Except that there wasn't quite enough room on the table for all the shirts. So one got placed on the piano bench.

This was all good and fine, except that my five-year-old likes to play the piano. And she's not always aware of her surroundings. She also doesn't always tell us immediately if there's something wrong. Case in point . . .

Apparently Katie's blue-jeaned bottom rubbed up against the freshly painted shirt that was drying on the piano bench. Then she apparently sat on the futon, which had a bed sheet covering it at the time. Then she apparently went into the bathroom and brushed her bottom against the white wall. Then she apparently went into her bedroom and sat on the carpeted floor. Lastly, she apparently hid behind her bedroom door and brushed her painted bottom across the yellow wall.

And (apparently) the blue, white, and hot pink paint was not washable.

All this to say that I am reminded daily--and in various rooms--why Mamas love washable paint.

*Note to my sister: I love you. And I love art projects. But just as all glitter projects have been, I'm afraid non-washable paint projects are henceforth banished to the outdoors. In addition, I need to work on Katie's attentiveness and communication skills.

Question for you: Do you have any stories to share involving children and paint?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Friday: Baby Gives the Evil Eye

This still cracks me up every time I see it! Happy Friday, Mamas!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Seeing the "Kids Eat Free!" Sign

On the occasions when we take the family out to eat, we Mamas are instantly lured to the restaurants who proudly display their signs that say "Kids Eat Free!" There are many reasons for this--the obvious one being financial. But these signs also imply that kids are actually welcome in this establishment, and they will probably be provided with paper and crayons, which--let's be honest here--is fun for the parents, too. Especially if the paper covers the entire table. This also means that cups with lids will also be provided, as well as menus that include food our children will actually want to eat.

"Kids Eat Free!" is good news for everyone. It's like they're saying, "Come on in, Mamas and Daddies, and let out a sigh of relief. We're gonna feed your kids and even clean up after them. And we don't expect them to be perfectly still and silent while in our restaurant. And for our patrons who get irritated with guests under the age of 12 and like to give dirty looks of disapproval to the parents--well, they should consider the 'Kids Eat Free!' sign as their heads up warning to find somewhere else to dine."

Everybody wins.

Question for you: Where's your favorite place to take the family to eat? And do the kids eat free?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Peeking at Our Children While They're Asleep

Mamas know that especially if it's been "one of those days," it's so important to peek in on our little ones when they're asleep at night. They are so peaceful, so still, so quiet. Yes, we need to see them this way.

We need to be able to just stare at their little faces without their knowing, without their talking back or interrupting or asking us for anything.

Just to gaze on them and brush the hair away from their eyes and kiss their warm foreheads.

And be reminded of how much we love them, how amazing they are, and what a miracle this thing called life really is.

We stand and stare and stroke their cheeks until our hearts just about burst with all the love we have for these children. And we have to practically force ourselves to leave the room.

Otherwise they might wake up!

Question for you: Do you peek at your sleeping babes every night?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Washers and Dryers

I have to be honest. I enjoy modern conveniences, and I doubt I'm the only Mama who does. I may complain about all the laundry that has to be done around my house, but when I consider the fact that I don't have to go down to the creek and beat every shirt against a rock or hang all of our underwear on a line to dry, I'm pretty happy. And while my machines are a lot older and a lot less cool-looking than these . . .

 . . . I'm okay with that. Mine work, and that's all that matters. And talk about multi-tasking! I love the fact that I can wash and dry clothes simultaneously, and I don't even have to be in the same room with any of it to make it happen!

Yep, I'm pretty thankful for modern conveniences. Now if we can just invent a sorter/folder/putterawayer . . .

Question for you: What modern conveniences are you the most thankful for?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fun Friday: Mommy Rhapsody

This is just AMAZING.

Mommy Rhapsody from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Diapers That Don't Leak

My husband Kevin used to perform as a magician. Actually, he could still do it, but he's a little out of practice. When Callie, my first-born, was just a few weeks old, Kevin was asked to perform at a church's Valentine's banquet, so I decided that Callie and I would accompany him. After a nice meal, everyone settled into their seats to watch Kevin's show. I took baby Callie out of her carrier and placed her in my lap so that she could see her Daddy amazing everyone.

Several minutes into the show, I felt something really warm spreading on my lap underneath Callie's hiney. I closed my eyes in that "Oh no" kind of way and reluctantly glanced down to assess the damage. I gently lifted Callie up, hoping to see that she had merely peed on me.

But no such luck.

There was a greenish-brown, watery mess of a substance that basically covered both of my thighs as well as Callie's legs and back. There may have been some in the diaper, too.

Did I mention that Kevin was in the midst of his performance? And that Callie and I were sitting all the way across the room from an exit? And that I knew no one to ask for help?

So I endured it. I sat there covered in nastiness but with a proud smile on my face until my husband finished his performance. But as soon as he returned to his seat, I informed him that we had to split, because as a brand new Mama, I was only half-way prepared for this type of emergency: I had a change of clothes for the baby but no change of clothes for the Mama.

I don't know whose poor baby this is in the picture, but I definitely know the experience. Yeah, I don't really miss that part of having babies.

Question for you: What was your baby's worst leaky diaper experience?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wearing Our Babies

Because nine months just isn't quite long enough . . .

Question for you: How did you wear your baby?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Scale

We Mamas absolutely love the scale! It gives us an objective number that lets us know exactly how we're doing. We especially love the scale at the doctor's office, because we just can't help but be proud of the pounds that have been gained since the last visit. We hope for them, actually. We want every little ounce registered on the permanent record. The doctor even congratulates us for it!

"Must be eating well!"

We just beam and glow and look forward to the next visit when the scales will be tipped even more. And as we leave the doctor's office, we can't help but let out a sigh of relief and a "Yesssssss!," for our mission has been accomplished. It was a job well done.

We can't take all the credit, of course. After all, the baby was the one doing all the eating, right? "Enjoy it now, little one!," we say to the smiling, drooling babe. "When you get to be my age, you won't enjoy getting on the scale so much."

Question for you: Did you get nervous when your baby was put on the doctor's scale? Was your baby a good eater?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our children not gasping and saying, "MOM!! What's that purple on the back of your legs?!?!"

Yes, this happened to me. I rarely wear shorts, but we were doing some intense work in the house yesterday, and I was so hot, so I threw on some nearly knee-length shorts. It wasn't immediate, but my nine-year-old daughter did, in fact, gasp and say, "MOM!! What's that purple on the back of your legs?!?!" You would've thought it was an actual spider, rather than spider veins, crawling up the back of my legs. I just (sort-of) smiled at her and assured her I was okay. And my husband came to my defense in telling her that they were my trophies for having babies. (Before you get angry at the man, be assured that he was simply repeating my own words.)

"TROPHIES?!?!" Callie wasn't quite convinced.

Me either, girl. But it'll have to do. I only wish mine were as subtle as the ones in this picture.

Question for you: Do you have any trophies for having had babies? And do you display them proudly?

Friday, May 14, 2010

And the winner is . . .

Congratulations to ANGIE UPSON BRYANT!!! She has just won the  "Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies" CD! Angie, I just need you to e-mail your address to me at, and I'll get it out to you at the beginning of next week. Congrats and enjoy this CD with your kiddos!

For everyone else--never fear. There will be more giveaways in the days to come. I'd still like to encourage you to purchase this CD, though. You can get it on or from The Rabbit Room.

Fun Friday: Slugs & Bugs Videos!

In honor of our drawing today, I wanted to give you a little taste of the great music on "Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies." So here are three videos to show off the music and fun that are in store for you and your kiddos! Don't forget--if you don't win the drawing today, you can still purchase the CD on or from The Rabbit Room. Today's winner will be announced at 4:30 p.m., so check back!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Going to the Bathroom by Ourselves

Mamas, you know what I'm talking about. It truly is unbelievable how rare it is that we can accomplish this one simple task. I am convinced that there is a hidden button somewhere on the toilet that alerts all children to come running to the bathroom door so that Mama may not have a moment's peace. It's kind-of ridiculous, really. I mean, it's not like we're sneaking off to take a nap or eat some chocolate (well, not every time); we just need to take care of business. Preferably alone. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. Because the times in the past nine years that I've been a Mama and have been able to be in the bathroom without hearing knocks on the door, listening to apparently urgent requests and tattles, or seeing little fingers or notes or toys slip under the door, etc. . . . have been few and far between.

So when people come to my house and ask where the restroom is, I laugh at the irony.

Question for you: Is this true in your house, too? I know it can't just be me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Veggies with Cartoons on the Labels

It's not always easy to get little ones to eat their veggies. But the odds of them taking a few bites are greatly increased if a cartoon character's face is plastered across the label. Once in the grocery story, my son was begging me to buy a bag of baby bananas because Lightning McQueen and Mater's pictures were on it. I said no a few times, because they were a little more expensive than regular bananas. Then I stopped and listened to myself telling my son we weren't going to buy bananas. There are plenty of "no's" to be dealt out when perusing the grocery store with your kids, but one of these probably shouldn't be used on bananas.

We Mamas aren't above using tricks on our kids--especially if it gets them to eat healthy things. So, Disney, I'd actually like to thank you for the endorsements. And, Popeye, you've been at this a long time. Kudos to you for being strong to the finach!

Do I wish kids would just eat good things without resorting to bribery? Sure. But am I going to boycott healthy foods my kids request just because of a cartooned cameo on the package? Nope.

I yam what I yam.

Question for you: Do you buy Disney food? And do your kids eat it?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Being Prepared

From the moment we find out we're going to be Mamas, we start reading up on what to expect. We browse books, magazines, and websites; we poll our friends and family; we make plans and schedules and know exactly how we will do things once the baby arrives. We will be wonderfully prepared and adept parents. We will know how to handle anything thrown at us. Heh. Heh.

Then the baby actually arrives.

What was that we read? What was our plan in this situation? WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING?!

The truth, as any Mama will tell you, is that no one can really be fully prepared for Mamahood. It is something that we have to, in many ways, figure out for ourselves. Every baby is different; every parent is different; and every day is different. We are all constantly in training, I'm afraid.

Don't get me wrong. It's a very good thing to read the books and talk to your friends and make plans and schedules. Just know that babies are particularly good at not doing things by the book, which isn't surprising, since they can't read.

The Stuff Mamas Like Motto: Be prepared to improvise.

Question for you: Did you feel prepared for your first baby? What surprises were thrown at you once he/she arrived?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Watching Home Movies

Mamas absolutely love watching home movies, and so do Daddies and kiddos. It's especially great if it's been a while since you've watched them. The kids are all intrigued by how they looked, talked, and acted when they were babies and toddlers, and the parents are all intrigued by how quickly the time has passed. The kids poke fun at each other; Mama and Daddy look at each other with loving but somewhat sad eyes. It's a bittersweet time, for sure.

I think it's interesting to see how we've grown and
changed over the years, even in our parenting skills. There's almost always a difference in how it was done with the first child as compared to the third, whether we like it or not. But that's okay. It makes them who they are. It's also great to see how each child has developed over the years and to see what signs they gave as babies that would indicate how they would be as older kids. (My firstborn has always been so intense and focused!)

Word of warning: If you feel like you've had all the little ones you're going to have, be careful about watching videos of your children as babies. It will be difficult to fight the urge to have more!

Question for you: How often do you pull out the home movies? Who enjoys it more--the parents or the kids?

Fun Friday Giveaway!

This week on Fun Friday, I'll be giving away the "Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies" CD by Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame! Want to win it? All you have to do is stop by my blog each day this week and leave a comment. For every comment you leave between now and Friday, you'll be entered into the drawing for the CD. I'll announce the winner on Friday afternoon at 4:30. Woo-hoo! Free stuff!

Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies

In "Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies," Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame have created a wonderful collection of fun-filled songs that evoke giggles, toe-tapping, head nodding (both in keeping with the beat and in understanding of the songs' contents), quickly singing along, and dancing with your kiddos. The lullabies at the end of the album are sweet, soothing, thoughtful, and prayerful. Beautiful, beautiful songs that make you want to hold your babies close and never let them grow up.

Swirled into each of these songs is a dose of the messy reality of parenting babies and toddlers. You can tell that these two guys have had the experiences of playing with, entertaining, burping ("Chicken Wiggle"--so funny!), feeding ("Beans"--also hilarious), and changing their own little ones. The evidence points to the fact that these guys have lived the dailyness of parenthood and wrote these songs to help them get through it. Fun dads!

My personal favorites on the album are "Piggy Little Toes," which will have you square dancing; "Who's Got the Ball?," which will have you wanting to play a game with your kids; "Tractor, Tractor," which will have you laughing; and "You Can Always Come Home," which will have you feeling all sentimental about your babies.

It's hard to tell if these guys' target audience was intended to be young kids or the parents who love those young kids, but they succeed at hitting both. I've been a fan of Andrew's and Randall's music for quite a while, so I wasn't surprised that I loved this album. Your kids will be begging to hear this music over and over again . . . and you'll actually be happy to oblige.

Now if you don't already own this music yourself, you can get it a few ways:
  1. You can buy it from
  2. You can buy it from The Rabbit Room.
  3. You can win it this week on my blog! (Stay tuned.)
Either way, just get it!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from The Rabbit Room in exchange for posting a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day from Stuff Mamas Like! I pray that you feel loved and appreciated particularly on this day set aside to celebrate YOU!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fun Friday: Momisms

I thought it would be quite appropriate to kick off our Fun Fridays on Stuff Mamas Like with a video we can all appreciate. You might want to memorize the lyrics. Oh wait . . .

Announcing Fun Fridays!

Today begins the first of Fun Fridays on Stuff Mamas Like! You never know what it will be, but whatever it is promises to bring a smile to your face. Be sure to stop by each week--not only for the smile but also for the contests and giveaways that will happen from time to time. Uh-huh. Now you're interested, aren't you? 'Cause if there's one thing Mamas like, it's free stuff!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Children Not Cutting Their Own Hair

On a morning about six years ago, my husband came and woke me up and had a very concerned look on his face. He said he needed to tell me something. Bracing myself for news of the death of a loved one, I sat up in bed and held my breath. Then Kevin asked our then three-year-old daughter Callie to come into the room and urged her to fess up.

"I cut my hair," she said in a soft tone while looking at the floor. As I looked at her, I said, "Okaaaaay," and then looked at Kevin with a Really? It's not that obvious look. To which he said, "Callie, turn around and show Mommy the back."

Oh. My. Goodness.

Callie's hair had been past her shoulders, and now there was about a three-inch-wide section missing right in the middle at the base of her head/top of her neck. Oh yes, and this was just two weeks before she was to be a flower girl in my sister's wedding. Lovely timing.

So off we went for Callie's first big girl haircut. There weren't a lot of options, so we went with the short stack in the back with sides that angled longer toward her face. And it was sooooo cute! I would never have done it on my own, but with our hands forced, we did it, and it was darling.

Thankfully that's the only self-inflicted haircuts we've had at our house. (You should see me knocking on wood while maintaining my typing.) We got off easy. Many Mamas aren't so lucky. They get to deal with the random chunks missing and and/or the bangs-be-gone look. And these children probably thought just as Callie did--"It's okay, Daddy. I can put it back."

Nope. Ya can't.

Question for you: Has your child ever cut his/her own hair or a sibling's hair? How bad was the damage? And did you take a picture?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Everything just goes so much smoother for Mamas when our children are obedient. I'm not sure why kiddos like to test this so much. You'd think they'd learn that things go much smoother for them, too, when they obey!  We give them opportunities to turn their behavior around by giving them warnings and even giving them the 1-2-3 count that advises "You will not like what comes after 3." When the right choice is made, it's a wonderful thing. But when the disobedience persists, we have to take action. And contrary to our children's beliefs, we don't enjoy doling out the punishment.

Mamas out there, stay strong! Stick to your guns Be consistent with your expectations for obedience in your children. They'll thank us for it . . . some day.

I want to ask this Mama how she does it.

Question for you: How do you encourage obedience in your kids?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Professional Photographs 

Oh, the things we put our babies through for a professional photograph! We do all the necessary prep-work, making sure they're cleaned, fed, and napped. We bring their favorite toys and make sure we're in the bubbliest of dispositions so that everyone's happy for picture day. We dress them in their cutest outfits . . . or don't dress them at all (What is it with naked baby pictures?!). Then we plop them down on a table, often covered in fuzzy or billowy fabric; step away from the table, thereby making the child feel suddenly abandoned; tell the child not to look at us but rather at the complete stranger who is making both funny faces and funny noises while simultaneously flashing bright lights at the child; and then expect them to be completely thrilled with this situation.

"I don't understand why she doesn't smile," we say.


Question for you: How did your baby do on picture day? Personally, I have some pretty pouty first pictures of my eldest.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Having Eyes in the Back of Our Head

Children everywhere are convinced that their Mamas do indeed have eyes in the backs of their heads. We see our children do things that should be impossible to see. We can catch them in the act and call them on it--all with our backs turned to them.

So is it a myth, or do these wonderful assets actually exist? Mamas will never tell. But we will see.

Question for you: Do your children believe you have eyes in the back of your head? Share your favorite story concerning their powers.