From Meredith to Mommy

http://www.frommeredithtomommy.com

I blog about the transformation to motherhood. Reflections and anecdotes to about the everyday changes and challenges in life that are involved from my move from teacher and wife to stay at home mom. Funny, sweet, a bit of it all!

Meredith is a winner of Top 25 Family Blogs by Moms - 2013

What's your favorite family tradition?

Right now, Friday nights in our house are movie night. We give the girls their baths before dinner and eat pizza in our pajamas before snuggling up together and watching a favorite movie together. It's the perfect way to end a week.

What's the most challenging thing about being both a blogger and a mom?

The most challenging thing about being both a blogger and a mom is balance. I'm in a constant balancing act. Motherhood is all consuming, but I want to find the time to write about it. I know that I need time for my husband and time for myself to be a good mom, but writing and blogging creeps into that time. I'm constantly striving to find the best way to balance kid time, husband time, me time, house time and writing time. There are never enough hours to be a great blogger and a great mom.

Another place I need to find balance with is just how much I want to share. I know that I always want to write with honesty and integrity, so the balance is in what I share. I try hard to share stories that I wouldn't mind anyone hearing at a party - no oversharing! - but that do give readers a glimpse into my REAL life as a mom.

What's the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

As my husband once told me when we were having one of those whose life is harder conversations, "your hours stink, but your reward is great". The most rewarding thing about being a mom is experiencing the true love I have for my whole family. Do I love every single moment? Of course not. But the tough moments make the sweet ones that much sweeter.

Do you have any great tips for removing stains? Whether it's mud on carpets or blood on clothes, we want to hear your best stain-banishing tricks!

Meredith

So far I have two favorite inventions - Spot Shot for carpets and OxiClean spray for clothes. I have a two year old who loves markers. Most of the time she uses them supervised, but occasionally she'll sneak one away. She does know better than to actually draw on the walls or on the floor, but dropping a marker on the carpet - even a dry erase marker, makes it look like my carpet is polka dotted. Spot Shot works FANTASTICALLY and it's so easy. And I've been an OxiClean fan since the infomercial days. I love all the Oxi products...if they can get out breast milk poop, I'm a fan!
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What was your favorite book as a teen?

Meredith

I loved all of Lurlene McDaniel's books. My mom called them "death books" but I thought they were inspiring.
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Cabbage Patch Kids, the Bionic Woman, Lite-Brite...what toy from your childhood are you most nostalgic about? Please include a link if you can find one.

Meredith

I loved Strawberry Shortcake and was such a happy girl when Santa brought me this dollhouse! http://www.doll-house-miniature-club.com/1980-strawberry-shortcake-doll-house.html I heard later that my father had a FAIRLY major temper tantrum on Christmas Eve due to this dollhouse, but I absolutely adored it!
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How do you carve out time for yourself?

Meredith

Every night , after my infant and toddler are in bed, I take a half an hour (or more) to soak in a bubble bath with a good book (and sometimes a glass of wine). I've been doing this since my now two year old was only a few months old. It's me time. It's my quiet time, it's time to pamper myself, it's my time to wind down. My husband knows my ritual and not to mess with it...sometimes he'll even clean the kitchen while I'm in there!
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Should potty training include treats or rewards?

Meredith

A potty chart with small prizes to work toward for staying clean and dry, and mini m&ms for successful "eliminations" worked beautifully for my two year old. She loved seeing her prize waiting for her and counting how many more stickers she needed, and she was excited to pick her color of m&m. Didn't cost much, and kept her focused on her goal. We stopped the prizes after she filled up her charts and she didn't even notice. We're slowly stopping the candy...don't offer, don't refuse. Worked for us! Why make potty training harder?
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What are the most important things to do while on maternity leave before going back to work?

Meredith

First and foremost, and obviously, enjoy your baby. Snuggle together, take pictures, play. The time between having your baby and going back to work will fly no matter how long your leave is. Practically, a few weeks before going back, do some trial runs out of the house without the baby. If you're breastfeeding, have the baby practice with a bottle (but do NOT stress if the baby won't take it right away - some babies won't until they really have to). Plan your routine of when you'll need to leave the house, what you'll need to do in the morning. Enlist some help, plan for takeout, or do some freezer meals for the first week or so. Most importantly, plan without panicking. Don't waste the last bit of maternity leave emotionally back at work. Don't try to do any major projects or count down the days left. If you find yourself wanting to, go back to relaxing and snuggling. You will find your balance once you're working eventually.
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What are you most looking forward to as a mom in 2013? Please include a link to a picture if it's relevant.

Meredith

I'm looking forward to stepping up my game. I'm going to keep yoga pants in the house, treat myself to a daily shower, and eat three meals a day. I'm also looking forward to following through on all the ideas I pinned, that I'm itching to try out with the girls.
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Does your child's school do lockdown drills, and if so, how does your child feel about them?

Meredith

My girls aren't in school yet, but as a former teacher, we had two mandatory lockdown drills a year. Add in a few "false alarms" and I have taken a class into lockdown 25 times. For the most part, the kids are used to them. They don't enjoy being crammed into a small, dark space and having to stay silent. The younger students will occasionally get scared about WHY we might need to hide. I always reacted that we wanted to practice the best way to keep them safe. But I don't know what I would say now.
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Valentine's Day braids. A flower-bedecked headband. What's your little girl's favorite way to do her hair? Please share a Pinterest-worthy picture if you have one!

Meredith

My two year old recently expressed her preference for "fancy piggies". I tried this one day when she was exceptionally well behaved during hair time and now she requests it! (Hint: favorite show + fruit snacks = a toddler who will sit still ENOUGH for just long enough for me to get it done!
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What's the most unique or fun way to announce a pregnancy that you've seen? Please share a link with a picture if it's relevant.

Meredith

My cousin did something adorable for her third. She took a picture of her husband holding her two girls, and herself cradling her belly. She used photoshop to add the text underneath - 3 + 2 = 5! To announce the gender, she created a collage entitled "what our kids are made of". One girl was holding a jar labeled "sugar", the other "spice" (written in pink), and mom held a jar against her belly reading "snips and snails and puppy dog tails" (in blue). Adorable. I announced mine as "Coming in 2012...Baby N - the sequel!"
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