Nobody Said Having Kids Would Be Easy

It’s 4:00 pm on a rainy Saturday, the “witching hour”, as us moms have come to know and dread. You have been up since 6:00 am. You have played with every toy in the house and then some, you have painted, you’ve made obstacle courses, you’ve built a fort, watched tv, eaten all the snacks, and there is still four more hours until the blissful freedom of bedtime.

The kids are now fighting. They have had enough sharing for one day. Your son performs one of his signature wrestling moves on your daughter. She bites him. Crying ensues. You are arguing with your husband about anything and everything from why the kids can’t behave to what to eat for dinner. Your house is in a complete state of chaos. Toys cover every square inch of your home.

You struggle through preparing dinner while your kids hang all over you, pull at your clothes, whine, and rub boogers on your jeans. You somehow manage to get dinner on the table only to watch your son throw all of his ketchup covered food on the floor.

It is now 8:00 pm. You survived the bedtime routine. The kids are finally asleep! Kudos to you. Dishes and laundry can now commence. By the time the house is cleaned up and the chores are done, you are too tired to even start a movie. You sip a glass of wine and attempt to watch Netflix without making lists in your head while your husband snores on the couch next to you.

Nobody ever said having two kids would be easy. It still boggles my mind how one kid feels like one kid, while two kids feels like 10 kids. I follow so many moms on Instagram and wonder what I am doing wrong. How are they making it look so easy while I can barely find the time to brush my teeth? I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually blowdried and curled my hair since my daughter was born in 2014. I don’t paint my nails anymore, I paint a three year olds instead. The only time I am ever able to get showered and dressed is if I wake before my children which means getting up between 5:00 and 6:00 am.

Evenings are even harder. There’s wrangling two kids into the bathtub, and then trying to keep them there long enough to wash them but not so long enough that they start trying to drown one another. There is crying and yelling, ultimatums, and empty threats. At the end of it all, the battlefield that is bedtime leaves you battered and scarred, and you have no energy left for anything but internet surfing and Facebook stalking.

But no matter how tough it gets, and man will it get tough, I wouldn’t change a second of it. Because for every tough second, there are 1000 sticky kisses and “Momma up’s” and sweaty hugs that make it all worth it. And boy, is it worth it.

That’s the funny thing about motherhood.

Read a previous post about motherhood truths, here.

What To Wear For Fall Family Photos


On Ryan: top / denim / New Balance

On Chloe: dress (runs BIG) / shoes

On Sara: sweater / skirt / booties

On Dean: shirt / denim / shoes


I am not a big fan of posed photos, and neither are my children, so I was really happy that Melissa Zimmer Photography captured the essence of my wild and crazy family so perfectly.

We pumped the kids full of snacks for our 6pm photo shoot. I was a little worried about the timing since we normally eat dinner around 5:45, and my Type A self hates to break routine, but I was willing to make the sacrifice for the beautiful light I knew we would get.

I am not a fan of posed photos so we let the kids run around for the majority of the time, bribing them to smile with pizza afterwards.

I chose outfits based on what my very opinionated threenager picked out to wear. You should have seen her trying on dress after dress, twirling in the mirror, in the fitting rooms at Gap. I didn’t want us to be matchy-matchy but since Chloe chose a bright pink dress, I tried to pick more muted/neutral colors for the rest of us. My outfit was a last minute choice since the top I had originally picked to wear ended up being pretty see through in the afternoon light. Dean’s shirt is old but it complemented Ryan’s well. Ryan’s Hudsons are old, and run huge (they are 12mo) that his skinny self finally fits into them.

Our photos ended up being quick and painless. I recommended keeping any family shoots to 30 minutes or less. My kids were done after about 20 minutes.

I hope you enjoy some of my favorites as much as I do!



photos by Melissa Zimmer Photography

Potty Training Tips

My daughter never ceases to amaze me. When Chloe turned 31 months old, she decided to potty train herself. Literally, She turned to us one day and said, “I don’t want to wear my diaper today.” (cue eye rolling from me) Well that was that. We now have a closet full of Size 4 princess Pull-Ups that Ryan will indeed be wearing someday.


Honestly, Dean and I did next to nothing. Sure we had the potty chair out, and we occasionally asked her if she’d like to use it, but other than that, it was all her. So while I am the one writing this post, it should actually be Chloe who is writing it.

First of all, while yes it is gross, I recommend a potty chair that sits right on the ground. The only way your kid is going to start using the “potty” (potty is in quotes because I now find myself saying, “I have to go potty” all the time, and my husband makes fun of me.) regularly is if they can reach it on their own, especially in the beginning. I started keeping dish soap under the sink in her bathroom for a quick clean up of the potty seat.

I chose Chloe’s potty seat because it is purple. Chloe loves purple. Chloe hates ELMO. Choose a potty seat that your child will love.

Second, STICKER CHARTS. I am a firm believer in sticker charts. That comes from being both a mom, and a kindergarten teacher. Kids. Love. Stickers. Even the boys. You’d be surprised how many little boys I know who love pink scented stickers.

Chloe got a sticker every time she used the potty. In the beginning, you can start by offering stickers for sitting on the potty, pulling up pants, washing hands, etc. The more you offer them, the more successful you will be! Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the sticker chart because Ryan ate it. But it served it’s purpose.

Third, Pull-Ups and easily removable clothes. Sorry Moms, no more rompers. Poor Chloe always wants to wear her purple romper to daycare but I know she’d never be able to get it off herself when she needs to go the bathroom.

Fourth, make the bathroom a place your child wants to be, and have them try to go frequently! We have toys in there. We would bring in books when Chloe was first learning to sit on her potty chair. Sometimes it takes a little time before they actually understand what they are supposed to do on the potty chair. Books help pass the time, and who doesn’t love books!

Last, and most important, don’t rush it! Honestly, I was in no hurry to get Chloe out of diapers. Now every time we leave the house, I need to know where the closest bathroom is.  She also now wakes up super early some mornings (i.e. 6:00am) because she has to pee, and has trouble going back to sleep. So that’s fun.

When your kid is ready, they will potty train easily! If it’s killing you, take a break and try again in a few weeks. No one child is the same.

Or you could hire Chloe to help. I think she charges by the hour 😉