August Series + Remainder of 2018

August Series + Remainder of 2018

Time sure does fly, doesn’t it?! It seems like it was just January and I was planning out my class schedule for the year. And now June is about over and I can’t believe I have only two more series left for 2018.

I’ve had several moms inquire about why I’m not having a class in the last quarter of the year. Valid question! The Sands fam is thrilled to be expecting our 3rd baby in early November so I am taking some time to adjust to life as a family of 5.

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Birth Empowerment : Own YOUR Power

Birth Empowerment : Own YOUR Power

We have the power within us to birth our babies. We don’t need anyone to give us authority to do what is inherently and fundamentally a part of who we are. 

What we need is to be informed, supported, and trusted. Through pregnancy and while giving birth, we should be surrounded by people who believe in our ability to bring our baby earthside and are there to help guide us through that evolution. Care providers, doulas and childbirth educators are important, and they play a critical role. They are our partners in birth.

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Cloth Diapering for the Working Mom

Cloth Diapering for the Working Mom

So you’ve made the decision to fluff that cute little bum  – congrats! You won’t regret it! But you’re probably a LITTLE worried about how you’re going to manage all the extra “work” that comes with cloth while you’re working full time. Have no fear, my friend. This full-time working mom has done 4 years of cloth and I’m going to share my tips with you.

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Baby, Back That Glass Up

Baby, Back That Glass Up

This mama is a proud consumer of glass when it comes to food/beverage storage. Decades ago, bottles made of glass were the only bottles made. Did you know that glass bottles are STILL available to purchase?! Check out my reasons for incorporating glass bottles into your stash!

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Terribly Terrific Twos

The “terrible twos” have hit our house.

For probably the whole first year of Lucy’s life, I was never more confident in the decisions I had made in my life than I was that first year she was alive. This is opposite for most first-time parents. I researched and read EVERYTHING I could on different aspects of parenting so that by the time I made a decision, I was 100% confident in the choices we were making as parents.

Boy, Kate is a different story. She has thrown me for a loop since the beginning. But I digress…

The Terrible Twos are challenging! Their ability to think for themselves, communicate their wants and needs, and their desire for independence is sure amazingly awesome to witness but makes me seriously question my parenting. The tantrums, the attitude, the defiance. I’ve yelled at her in response to an exorcist-like tantrum in protest of nap time. I REALLY don’t want to be a mom that results to yelling. It makes me feel out of control of myself and of my household.

Thank goodness for mama groups on Facebook. They have become my sounding board for advice and reassurance when needed. Another mom going through the toddler phase asked for recommendations on books to read to help effectively parent in these formative, important and difficult years.

Janet Lansbury’s “No Bad Kids” was recommended, which I ordered on Amazon that day. Understanding that no two moms will parent the same, this book rings true to what we believe is the most effective way to raise and discipline children: through love and respect. This book has given me two things: 1) reassurance and confidence that we are doing many things right; I’m on the right track 2) Tools and ideas for improvement on areas where Mike and I are missing the boat. I’m about 50 pages in (150 pages total) and I’ve already been able to implement many of the strategies she suggests and have noticed a difference in a few short days!

“Gain perspective. Our attitude toward limit-pushing behavior is everything, and our perspective is what defines our attitude. Testing, limit-pushing, defiance and resistance are healthy signs that our toddlers are developing independence and autonomy” – Janet Lansbury

No Bad Kids.jpg

 

I feel like I am again the CEO of my household, confident in the decisions I’m making. A few tools in my tool belt, a cup of coffee in my hand and Eric Church blaring on the radio and I’m back. Peace in the house is getting restored and I’m taking the time to think through how best to discipline – which is most certainly not the easiest way, but the most respectful and honoring ways to help Lucy learn to express her independence and emotions. (yelling, bribery and distraction would sure be easiest but are not forms discipline, as I have learned. Makes sense, right?)

Will I never “lose” it again and yell? Of course I will! But at least I don’t feel unsure of my self.

Now, to figure out miss Kate…. who is increasingly the sweetest and happiest baby.

Gosh I love my girls. Wouldn’t trade them for the whole world.

Next on my agenda, mastering Yoga. In true Shannon form, I am reading about it as much as I can…

Enough for today.

Originally published on February 12, 2016

 Trying mommy's Poofy Organics Lip Gloss

Trying mommy's Poofy Organics Lip Gloss

It's OK, Mommy.

My little Lucy. She’s a pistol (Or perhaps just a typical two year old). But gosh she’s so dang sweet. Returning to work after Kate has not been smooth and I’ve found myself crying a lot more than usual; worried about Kate, worried about Lucy, just wanting to be home with my girls, worried that I’m not a good enough mom, employee, wife, friend.

These little humans we create and mold are just quite amazing. Lucy has seen me crying several times over the last few months. And it never fails – she comes right over with a hug and a kiss and a “It’s ok, Mommy. It’s ok.” I’ve found myself feeling guilty for allowing my girls see me upset. But, it’s OK. In fact, it might even be a good thing. We are trying to raise our girls to know it’s OK to feel their emotions; it’s OK to be angry, sad, frustrated or upset. And then, we try to teach them the best way to work through these emotions. It’s OK to cry.

And it seems little, but her gestures like these remind me that I’m doing something right. Amidst the tantrums and the sass, she also shows compassion. And then she tells me how much she loves me and daddy and Kate (followed by a big wet toddler kiss) and my heart melts.

They are teaching me just as much, if not more, than what I’m teaching them. I’m learning from them all the time and I thank God every day they chose me to be their mommy.

Originally published January 22, 2016

 “I’m tickling Kate, mommy!”

“I’m tickling Kate, mommy!”

Sweet Baby Kate

Our precious baby Catherine was born on August 17th – happy, healthy and perfect. She is now 4.5 months old and it has certainly been a journey with her! In hindsight, I wish I would have blogged about it all. She is much different than her sister. But it’s not too late to re-start. So, more to come.

Cheers to 2016. I vow to spend more time slowing down and “just being”. My two little creatures are begging this of me. And less worrying. It’s in God’s hands, after all.

Originally published January 5, 2016

 Mama and Kate. Babywearing has been my saving grace with this little monkey.

Mama and Kate. Babywearing has been my saving grace with this little monkey.

Lucille's Gifts

Toddlers do the most amazing things. It’s so easy to overlook how amazing little kids are in the hustle and bustle of every day life. My little Lucille, nearly 21 months, is down right maddening sometimes. But she is SO amazing.

I was having a really rough day yesterday and arrived to pick her up from daycare with her shouting “HI MOMMY!!!!”, excited to have me watch her go down the slide. (And, what I actually watched was another little girl kick her down the slide sending my happy, excited child into tears. Sigh. Toddlers.)

omaha toddler

We drove home in silence, which is not normal for us. Usually there is laughing, singing, tears, complaining about the awful carseat, etc. I was deep in thought, reflecting on my day, and I thought perhaps she had fallen asleep. We arrived home and I went to the back seat to find her awake. Maybe she had been deep in thought as well. I hopped in to release her from her dreaded carseat and she smiled and immediately began pointing out my facial and clothing features. “Mommy’s eyes. Mommy’s hair. Mommy’s pretty necklace. Mommy’s ears. Mommy’s pretty earrings. Mommy’s shirt.” And then her own features, “Lucy’s eyes. Lucy’s nose. Lucy’s piggies. Lucy’s hair.”I don’t know why, but it brought tears to my eyes. This experience is nothing new; we go though it daily – on me, on her, on daddy, on Barley, on stuffed animals. But yesterday, I needed it. I truly NEEDED it. I needed her little hands on my face. I needed to look directly into her bright eyes. I needed to see her smile (albeit, underneath her filthy, snotty face. Ha!). I needed to hear her voice.

Lucy gives me gifts almost daily. She gives me happiness, worry, frustration, giggles, hugs, kisses, tears, tantrums, laughter. She gave me a big, huge blown-out bellybutton during pregnancy that I don’t think will every return to normal. She gives me the opportunity to make mistakes and learn, forcing me to grow into a better person. Yesterday, she simply gave me a small reminder that it will all be ok. I’m going to be ok.  I need to slow down and appreciate these moments more often.

Originally published on June 11, 2015