03 Nov 2016

Raising Good People & Volunteering With Kids || Tampa Mama on Great Day Tampa Bay 

1 Comment Great Day Tampa Bay, Lifestyle, Raising Children, TV Segments, Volunteering

Raising good people is what we all want to do. We are raising them to be compassionate, responsible and understand that helping others is the right thing to do.

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03 Oct 2016

Having 4 Kids Means Having Your Hands Full

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, Sponsored

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I’m a sponsored Meta Influencer, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

Scene: A lady walks into a store with 4 kids. You immediately say, “Boy! You sure you have your hands full!”

I hear it 15 times a day or more as I’m walking with my posse.

“You don’t say! Really?” No, that’s not how I answer.

But, yes they really are! They are typically full of laundry, babies, groceries, back packs, toys and so much more these hands do everyday, but what parents’ hands aren’t full?! I find myself repeating to the kids as they go up stairs “full hands up, full hands down” – a saying from my restaurant waitressing days of younger years. Little did I know that my college job of cocktail waitressing would only be preparing me for my life as a mother to four kids. My tips now come is sweet words, pleases and thank yous along with kisses and hugs.

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Being that we have 4 kids under 11, I am finally used to strangers doing the visual count and double take of how many kids I have and the quick double take back to me to see if they all look like me. I can only imagine what they are thinking. The silent sweet smile comes next. (I have now mastered how to read stranger smiles.)

Or what’s even funnier (as this JUST happened on our date night) is that we get into a nice conversation with a stranger, and they ask us the dreaded question, “how many kids do you guys have?” To which we respond truthfully and get the obvious, “you must have your hands full!” Of course we do!

I’ve also come to accept that my patenting is immediately on display the moment I walk into any public establishment. Think about it. You see a family of 6 walk into a restaurant (or even better, an airplane.) You think to yourself:

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A.) Man, they have their hands full.
B.) Let’s see how well-behaved they are
C.) Please don’t sit near us.
D.) All of the above.

What was your answer?

People are voyeurs naturally. They want to see things in action (case in point: You Tube.) I take this on as a challenge. They want to see how we handle things. How we parent. What it takes to keep four kids in line at the store. The other statement I hear is, “I don’t know how you do it.” Everyone wants to know the secret. It takes a lot of energy to wrangle four kids, homework, after-school schedules, daily routines and everything in between. Meta Daily Energy Support helps my body naturally produce energy* so I can tackle what I have to do, and still have the energy left for what I want to do.* I want to enjoy these four during their childhood because I know that my hands won’t be this full for long.

I have an amazing village of family and friends helping me with my kids, offering to drop off and pick up or host play dates to help me out. I am greatly appreciative of it all and have learned that I am DEFINITELY not superwoman and there is no way I could do this alone. And thankfully, I don’t have to. My hands are always full and I like them that way. Weather that be with kids, my career or my life, I thrive here. I’m in my zone.

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My hands are full of life, love and so much more.

My house is full of laughter, smiles and the pitter patter of 8 little feet.

My house is full of kids and I’m always up for having more kids over for play dates because the more the merrier and they actually work with me, not against me.

On Saturday mornings, by bed is full of kids and all we can do is laugh as we all squish together and watch cartoons.

My hands are so full from the grocery store, that my son uses a wagon to bring in the groceries.

My heart is so full with love for these little people.

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My hands are full of 4 lives that are my responsibility to guide them into being good people and making good decisions.

My hands are so full that I sometimes I do break down because let’s face it, it is a lot of kids and a lot of work. And sometimes, I wave the white flag, and call my Mom for a pep talk.

I love every minute and loathe every other minute of having my hands full. It is the best of times, the worst of times. It’s not for everyone. But it’s also not that bad either. And even on my worst and most trying day, you have to remember that the good days far out weigh the bad and I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

Soon, my hands won’t be this full. I will have kids in high school or maybe they just won’t want to be around me as much as they have to now.

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My days of having my hands full are numbered. My oldest just turned 12 and the baby is now 4. I sometimes can’t wait for the madness to be over, but I know it’s only a short term wish. On the days where I’m upset or frustrated that the work of four kids really is just too much (because some days it just is) I try to remember that it won’t be like this forever. And I’m sure I will long for them to be this full again.

I joke that this is the story of my life with four kids…

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So to the next person, who tells you, “You must have your hands full!” Just smile and say this, “You know, they are! Can you help me to my car? That was so nice of you to offer!”

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22 May 2016

My Tiny Ballerina

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, Raising Girls, Tampa

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27 Apr 2016

Let Kids Cook: Teaching Kids Cooking Skills 

1 Comment Cooking, Lifestyle, Raising Children

This post is sponsored.

It’s easy to say, “No, not now.” “Later.” “Next time.” But then, its next weekend, and then it’s next month. Then it’s next season. And now they’ve lost interest.

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15 Apr 2016

Easy Cooking With Kids

No Comments Ad, Cooking, Everyday, Kids, Sponsored

This post is sponsored by Bush’s Beans. Thank you for supporting Tampa Mama. 

 

Abby and I love to cook together!  It’s been fun watching her WANT to cook with me! She sees her “big kids” cook with me and it’s been fun to explore food with her. When she cooks something, she’s definitely much more willing to try it too!

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05 Mar 2016

Sorry, (Recess) Moms? No… Sorry, Florida Kids. NO RECESS FOR YOU! 

No Comments Florida, Kids, Parenting, Raising Children, School

Sorry, (recess) Moms? Sorry? Really Tampa Bay Times
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THESE are the people you should be addressing. Kids are people too.

I’m not into politics, or so I say to myself. I say that, but I’ve started to dive more into the rules, regulations and “politics” of what it takes to get something accomplished in order for it to become a law that might better the lives of kids. My kids, other people’s kids… Don’t you want to stand up for what’s right? Isn’t that how change ACTUALLY came about in so many historical movements? 

I became a part of the Recess Moms to help make a difference. These Moms were inspiring, hard working, smart and did not give up. And they still haven’t. There is always a new session on the horizon and an opportunity for change. 



My kids get recess. They are among the lucky ones in Florida. But what about those that don’t!? Why do some kids benefit and others don’t. Does it have to do with money? Test scores? Bad kids? Good kids? Too much to cover in one school day? If school is the work of the child, then every child should get a break. These are sweat shops and cash cows. These kids deserve to be treated better no matter where they go to school in public. 

This isn’t a laughing matter, however some of the Florida Senators this it is! Check out this video from the day the amendment to the bill is denied. Is this funny? Recess is just for kids, right? Everybody is watching you Senstors. 

Instead of “Sorry Recess Moms,” you should have began your article addressing the 6 year olds, the ACTUAL ones you are letting down. They can read now, you know.
How about this: 

Sorry kids of Florida. The people who are supposed to look out for your best interests, your parents, tried hard. Unfortunately, politicians who are SUPPOSED to represent your best interests – Florida Senators- have decided to vote against a measly 15 minutes in a day as you WORK for 6-7 HOURS, and will continue to be denied recess, playtime, free time and the opportunity to take a much needed break. Your parents were trying their hardest to help give you a voice so your request could be heard, but that didn’t work. Keep slaving away in the system until things can get worked out. 

Hopefully by the time we get this bill passed into law, your spirit as a child and love of school will have not been broken and can be mended back together. 

Sincerely, 

All The People In Suits Who Have No Clue What Actually Goes On In A Classroom 

PS. Your Mom did awesome and I’m sure she will try again, as Mothers always will fight for what’s best for her child.

This is how your Senators voted. Do you even know who your Senator is? If not click here. It’s very simple, if they voted N, they didn’t support the recess amendment being added to a multi-pronged Education Bill that was going to get a Floor vote. You might want to call and ask why? 

  

To read exactly what transpired and to see your YOUR Florida Senator voted, click here

17 Aug 2015

What I Wish I Had Known About Back To School Fashion

No Comments Kids, Lifestyle, Parenting, School, Sponsored, Tampa

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29 Jul 2015

Five Reasons I Love Being Around Three-Year-Olds

No Comments Adventures, CAH, Lifestyle, Parenting, Raising Children, Today Parents Blog Posts

This post was first published on the TODAY Parenting Team Community Blog.

“You must have more patience than I do!”

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“You must have your hands full.”
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28 Apr 2014

A Year Later: Keeping Promises

No Comments Adventures, CAH, Everyday, Personal

One year ago seems like yesterday. I can recount every minute, every instance. Every person who helped. Every person who prayed. It seems so much like yesterday. And still brings tears thinking about how differently things could have turned out.
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17 Mar 2012

Florida Orchestra is back in 2012!

No Comments Adventures, Review, Tampa

My favorite things to do in Tampa with our kids is go to the Florida Orchestra concerts in the park. They used to split their time between Lowry Park in Central Tampa, Al Lopez Park and Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. We had first went to a concert at Al Lopez park when the kids were 2. They loved the orchestra “petting zoo” and the music was amazing. It’s now tradition that we go each year. We love it. We bring food, friends and have such a great time with the kids. It’s so great to see more of Tampa embracing what other “larger” cities have been doing for years.

They will only be playing on May 3rd, 2012 at Curtis Hixon Park, so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!
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