Fight Mom Guilt

Moms feel an exorbitant amount of pressure to be all things to all people, especially to our children. This season, more than others, mothers try to shelve elves, decorate houses and buy gifts, all while keeping up with everything else. We have to work to fight mom guilt on a daily basis.

I wanted to let you all know that you’re doing a great job in my piece over at Lose the Cape. Please visit, read and leave a comment over at Lose the Cape on my piece “Mom, You Got This.”

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Also, I wanted let you know that my newest book will launch tomorrow, Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever (and then I had kids!)! We are still looking for reviewers and bloggers in exchange for a free ecopy of the book. If you’d like to participate, please sign up HERE. The blog tour will be ongoing for several months. 

If you want to skip the tour, and get the book, I would love you forever!


This is an affiliate link.

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How to Repair Hardwood Floors Yourself

Once upon a time, my husband and I moved in to this gigantic house (for us) which was cheap, but had a lot of issues. Even though we were working long hours and exhausted, the flooring was in complete disrepair and something needed to be done. The wood was chipped, nails had become unhinged and the color was at best inconsistent.

Having a three year old with another on the way, my husband thought it would be a good idea for us to utilize more of the house by fixing the floors. He says it’s because of safety. I argue that it was for our sanity, since the bad flooring meant that our son spent every minute in the room with us.

When he suggested repairing the floors himself, I laughed. My husband is highly capable, but in general, I don’t think of him as the man that works with his hands. I have learned over the years that when he sets his mind to something, he gets it done. He managed to redo the living room to a gorgeous sparkle, well worth his time, and not heavy on our wallet.

How to Repair Hardwood Floors Yourself

Replacing an entire hardwood floor is a labor-intensive and expensive proposition. If your hardwood floor is only damaged in one or two spots, it’s much better to simply repair the damage. It’s surprisingly easy and relatively inexpensive to make these kinds of small repairs by replacing a board in the flooring. In addition to fixing dings and scratches, you can repair buckled areas of the floor as well.

In most cases, hardwood floors use tongue and groove construction that connects adjacent boards. While this design doesn’t make it easy to replace a single board, it is still possible. Start by looking for any nails in the board and use a nail set and a hammer to drive them through the wood. Once the nails are out of the way, you can start removing the damaged board or boards so you can install replacements. The following steps will show you how to do this:

hardwood floors

Step 1. If you’re removing the entire board, you can skip this step and go on to step 4. With a carpenter’s square, draw a line across the section you want to remove.

Step 2. Use an electric drill to drill a series of holes along the lines you drew.

Step 3. Split the board along the lines using a wood chisel. This makes removing the wood easier.

Step 4. Pry the damaged board out. If you use a pry bar to help get it out, place a piece of scrap wood on the surface you’re pressing against with the pry bar so you don’t damage another section of the floor.

If you have to cut and removed sections from multiple boards that are adjacent to each other, make sure that you draw the lines and cut them so that the joint ends don’t line up.

Step 5. Use the wood chisel to square up the ends of the cut boards. The ends have to be smooth and square to install the new flooring. Completely remove any exposed nails with a nail puller or use the nail set to drive them even further into the subfloor.

Step 6. Mark a replacement board so you can cut it to the same length as the one you just removed. Next, cut off the bottom of the groove on the board. Doing this makes it possible to put in one section of board between two others because you can insert the tongue on one side and lower the top groove into place on the other side.

Step 7. Test fit the board to ensure that it fits properly. If it doesn’t, remove it and recut it so it does.

Step 8. Before putting the board in place for the final time, make sure that you apply construction grade adhesive to the back. Then install it. Place a scrap piece of wood on the board and then gently tap it with a hammer to ensure the board underneath adheres.

 

The only thing left is the finish. While it may be very difficult to match the finish of your current floor, it’s a good idea to try this before refinishing the entire floor, which can be time consuming and labor intensive. Tape off the floor boards around the repair and try to match the stain by gradually darkening to match the other boards. Once you have found the color that matches (or is as close as you can get it), apply the finish coat and let dry. Now you have repaired your wood floor yourself and potentially saved yourself quite a lot of money!

 

This guest post is courtesy of MacDonald Hardwoods in Denver, CO. MacDonald Hardwoods features many different hardwood floor types, including bamboo, white oak, hickory, maple and many types of exotic hardwood flooring.

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50 Ways to Multitask While Breastfeeding

**This post contains affiliate links. 
If you decide to purchase, there’s no extra cost to you and it helps me keep this blog going.**

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Today, we welcome Renee Show and her book, Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding. Thankfully, I just finished breastfeeding myself (after about 20 months). This book would have come in handy just a short couple of months ago. So, to make sure that the rest of you use your time wisely, here are 50 ways to multitask while breastfeeding.


Breastfeeding takes up an incredible amount of a new mother’s time. I know this from experience.

I breastfed each of my 4 children for the first year of their lives. Though not an official breastfeeding “expert,” I have spent well over 1,000 hours of my life breastfeeding.

It’s not unusual for new moms to be shocked by the sheer amount of hours that they need to breastfeed new babies, especially when starting out. Even people, like me, who are extremely committed to the idea that “breast is best,” can feel a bit overwhelmed by the time involved in sticking to that commitment.

It’s no fun feeling like you’ve been reduced to a milk machine.

One evening while I was breastfeeding my 2nd baby (who was famous for long nursing sessions), I had an epiphany. I discovered that I had become adept at multitasking while breastfeeding. I realized that I no longer needed to view breastfeeding as dominating all of my time, but rather as a vehicle that let me accomplish many other things simultaneously. 

Since that evening, I began listing all of the things I would catch myself doing during nursing sessions. As I had 2 more babies, my list grew. Eventually, I had discovered 50 ways to multitask while breastfeeding, and I wrote a book called Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding.
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Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding

As its book description states, this is not another manual on “how to breastfeed.” Rather, it’s a guide for “how to make the most out of breastfeeding.” It includes:

  • a strategy for positive thinking about nursing
  • an overview of nursing gear
  • 50 ways to multitask while nursing
  • a bonus discussion about weaning

My hope is that this book will help other new mamas persevere in their breastfeeding efforts, showing them that their nursing sessions are incredible blessings rather than time-draining hassles.

Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding is available in both Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon. Either version makes a great gift for a new mom. Breastfeeding is essentially a one-woman job; anything you can do to show your support for breastfeeding moms will be greatly appreciated!

Group Materials

I want Diaper Bag of Tricks for Breastfeeding to bring new moms together. That’s why I developed a FREE discussion guide, including excerpts from the book, to be used by new moms looking for an easy, stress-free way to start their own Mommy Group. Anyone can download a complimentary copy of the discussion guide at: http://www.MommyForAMoment.com

FREE discussion guide available at:

250 x 250 with Words

Stay tricky, Mamas!

Renee Show

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Are You a Great Multitasker? Maybe Not

Multitasking.

We’re moms. Multitasking is as natural as running our business with a child on our hip while getting our kids to do chores. We multitask all day, every day. As we navigate this thing called motherhood, we fall into the daily traps of trying to do it all, at the same time.

A child comes home from school and we need to cook dinner. As we start dinner, we realize the floor needs to be mopped. When we check our child’s homework, we realize there are toys on the floor. Instead of leaving them alone, we jump to it. It’s all gotta get done somehow.

Read the rest at Lose the Cape.

 

Are you tired of being a multitasking mom? Switch your strategy with these awesome tips!

 

Do you agree? Do you have tips?

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Be Still {Guest Post}

Where did all the years go?  Where did the young girl I used to be go?

What did I do with all that time?  Did I get to busy with life that I missed the living?

The Words “Be Still” carry a whole new meaning for me now than they ever did before.  Life goes by so fast, like a whirlwind. You look away for a moment and you’ve missed so much.  I’ve always worked hard to help provide for my family.  My home has always been clean.  My kids clean and fed. After all that’s what we are supposed to do, right.  It’s called being responsible.  Yet, today I feel a longing for, well I don’t know, I guess time.

Days gone by have now turned into years.  They were good years but still in the back if my mind there is a longing for the things I didn’t do, or maybe just a desire for things I might’ve done differently.  All those days, hectic with my mind always racing into the future addressing things to come rather than enjoying the moment I was living.

I feel a warm breeze on my cheek.  I turn to see the sun setting in the distant sky.  It is so beautiful and the warmth of it’s glow is so soothing.  What magnificent beauty to behold.  Oh, what a beautiful moment to share with my husband.  I must find him before the sun is totally gone for the day.

“Bob?  Bob honey where are you?”  Hmmm, I don’t recall him going anywhere.  Maybe tomorrow we can share the sunset.  I watch the sun slowly disappear on the horizon.  With the sun gone the warm breeze turns cool in the night air and brings with it a slight chill.  I wrap my arms around myself and decide it’s time to go inside and get the kids tucked into bed.  I slowly make my way back into my home.  My refuge, my fortress, my safe place.

I slowly ascend the stairs to the second floor landing.  I stop at the top and listen to see if I hear the kids in their bedrooms or if they are in our bedroom as they are so many nights.  They love to curl up on our bed and watch TV while waiting for mom and dad to shoo them off to bed.  I don’t hear anything, anything, it’s so quiet.  Could they have fallen asleep while I was outside?  It was so peaceful that I guess I did loose track of the time.  I’ll check our bedroom first.

I walk quietly down the short hallway to our bedroom and slowly open the door only to find our bed empty. I glance at the clock on Bob’s bedside table.  It’s only 8 o’clock, still early.  Oh, well I guess they must have given up on me to come inside and went to their rooms. The house is too quiet. Those kids are up to something.

I make my to Abby’s room, my oldest, my drama queen.  Carefully open her door so as not to wake her if she’s sleeping.  Abby is 8 going on 18.  Her room is empty and the bed is still made.  She must be in Brandi’s room, her 5 year old sister.  Sometimes the girls like to sleep together.  Oh well, at least they’re being quiet tonight, that’s unusual.  Hmmm, something about Abby’s room feels different tonight.  I guess I’m just feeling a little off tonight.   I just feel a little strange, I guess I’m a little more tired than usual.

At Brandi’s door I listen for giggling before I open the door a say “gotcha!” Just like I always do and the girls run and giggle louder.  Those two are a pair, my little monsters.  I hope they don’t want to play for to long tonight, I’m too tired for a long struggle to get them to go to sleep.  I slowly and quietly open the door to check on the girls.  “What the hell?  What’s going on?  Girls where are you.  I mean it, answer mom right now!”  Nothing, not a sound.  “Ok girls, this is not funny anymore.  You answer mommy right now or you’re both in big trouble!”  Still only silence meets my ears.

Ok now I’m just mad.  This is so not funny.  They better not wake the baby up by being in his room.

I just can’t deal with anymore crying right now.  I’m just to tired for this crap tonight.  I knew those peaceful minutes outside would not last, that feeling was just to good.  And with this thought I stomp off down the hall to the baby’s room.

Again, I slowly open the door.  No sound.  I tiptoe to the baby’s crib.  “What?”  Bob!  Bob!  Bob the kids, Bob do you have the kids!”  Now I’m panicking.  Breath, breath I tell myself.  Ok, Ok, everything’s ok, Bob just has the kids outside maybe.  Then I remember Bob’s not home.  Bob’s not home!  Where are my kids!   Where is Bob!

No, no!  “Kids where are you!  Answer mommy!  I’m not mad anymore.  Mommy is just scared.  Please answer Mommy….”  I manage with a squeaky terror filled voice.  Nothing, not the slightest noise.  The silence is deafening!  “Help me, somebody please help me!”

I run through the house, nothing, no one.  My house is empty.  The only sounds are my cries of terror.  “My kids, Bob, please somebody help me.  They’re all gone.  Please…….!  I don’t understand, where is everyone, where is my baby?  “I need my baby, Jacob, Jacob, honey where are you?  Jacob, please cry so mommy can find you, please cry, please cry baby!!!.  Please……”.  But the only cries are my own.  “Oh God, what’s going on?  Where are they!  Please help me!”

My legs grow shaky, I collapse onto the floor, sobbing like a hurt animal.  My tears are hot against my face.  Those terrible sounds of anguish are coming from me.  It’s me!  “What’s happening!”

As I lay in a crumpled heap, sobbing uncontrollably I feel a gentle hand touch my hair.  Then I hear a voice say, “It’s okay child.  You are safe.  Be still child.”  The words were so gentle and low that at first I though I had imagined it.  Then the touch of the wonderful hand rubbing my hair, it’s Bob, Bob is here, it’s Bob.  I must be dreaming.  Bob is here and the kids are alright.  I’m ok, it’s just a dream.  I manage to raise my head only to realize that it’s not Bob.

“Get away from me!  Who are you?  Where is my family?  What did you do to my family?!”

“They’re all gone child.  You’ve grown old and Bob passed away 10 years ago.  Your children are all grown and live scattered around the world.  You’re all alone child. ”

“No, no, that’s ridiculous.  I’m not old and Bob isn’t dead.  What have you done to him!  Where are my kids!  Bob, Bob, help me!!!!!!!”  Not a sound to be heard.  “You’re crazy, I’m not old and my kids should be in their beds!  Look at me, do I look old to you?”  I put out my hands to show him how young they look.  Oh my God, my hands, what’s wrong with my hands?  They are old and wrinkled and old.  I’m old?  How?  When?  I was young this morning?  My kids were here this morning?  Bob was here?  I worked late today?  Right?

He reaches out his hand.  “You are alone child.  Hear the quiet.  The house is quiet and peaceful.  There’s no crying baby, no screaming, fighting girls.  Bob isn’t going to fuss at you over dinner being late nor tell you again about how bad his day was.  You can sit and have your coffee in quiet now.

It’s what you always wished for child.  You now have your wish granted.  You can do anything you want with your time now”

“No, no!  That’s not what I wanted.   I want my family back.  I want to hold my baby, I want to hear Jacob cry for his mommy.  I want to hear my girls giggling again.  I want Bob to hold me.   Please, this is not what I wanted.  Please, please…. this is not what I wanted.  Please…….”.  My sobs again are deafening in the silence that surrounds me.  I’m in a heap on the floor again.  I just want to die.  What did I do.  What did I do.  I didn’t mean it!  I want my family.  I’ll make time.  I’ll enjoy my time with them more.  I’m so sorry, I love you all so much. Please forgive me.  Please forgive me.  I want my time back.  I’m so sorry.

Then, nothing. Only silence.  Terrible, awful silence. …………..

“Angel, Angel.  Honey are you ok?  Angel?”

My mind feels foggy.  I feel dazed.  Bob?  It’s Bob.  “Bob?”

“Yes, honey it’s me.  Are you ok?  Why are you on the floor?  What’s the matter?  Why are you crying?   Angel, what’s wrong honey?”

“Bob!  Bob you’re here!  It’s you, you’re here and you’re alive!  Bob, you’re here!”  I say as I throw my arms around his neck and kiss his entire face.  “You’re here!  Bob I love you, you know that right?  I’m sorry I was cranky earlier.  I’m sorry Bob.  Please forgive me.  Don’t ever leave me Bob.  Promise you will never leave me.”  my tears are flowing again as the words tumble from my quivering lips.

“Angel, what are you talking about.  I’m never leaving you.  I love you, you know that.  I’m not going anywhere.  Are you sure you’re ok?”

“Bob, the kids!  Oh God, Bob the kids.  The kids are gone Bob, the kids are gone!”  comes these painful panicked words from my mouth.  Bob, where are the kids?  The kids, Bob, the kids are gone!   The kids are gone!”

“Angel the kids are fine.  They are all in their beds sound asleep.  I just checked on all three of them.  They are sleeping like little angels tonight.  They went straight to sleep while you were outside.  No argument whatsoever.  They must have sensed you needed a little time alone.”

“Time?  Alone?  No, oh no.  I don’t ever want that much time alone.  NEVER AGAIN.”

“Honey, you’re not making much sense but let’s get you upstairs and you can lay down and you’ll feel better.  You’ll be ok in the morning.  You’ve been really stressed lately.  I’m sure you’ll be fine tomorrow.”

We walk to our bedroom and checked each child’s bedroom on the way to ours.  All my kids are safe and warm in their beds.  The wonderful sounds of their breathing is like music to my ears.  When safe in our bedroom.  I look at Bob and say, “Bob, honey will you pray with me tonight.  Will you pray beside me?”  Bob takes my hand in his and we kneel together beside our bed.  Words will not come for me only tears of joy and thankfulness.  Tears that I’m sure God understands.  And in the midst of my tears, I once again hear, “Be still child”.  I can’t wait until tomorrow.  A new day, a day I can start over again, a day with no mistakes in it.  Fresh, new and for me to find my peace and for now I can Be Still.
Angel

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